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Five Ideas… taking part in Faith and Belief Fortnight

Thursday 05-11-2015 - 13:57

We’re again supporting Faith and Belief Fortnight at NUS and we’re encouraging students’ unions to work with their student faith societies to host events, raise awareness and run campaigns. Here are some ideas for how your SU can get involved. 

Faith and Belief Fortnight incorporates the two Interfaith Weeks and runs throughout England, Wales, Scotland and the North of Ireland from Sunday 15 to Sunday 29 November.

Interfaith week provides a focal point to help open up interfaith activity to a wider audience so that more people can be aware of different faiths and the importance of them in people’s lives.

Here are five ideas for what you can do in the fortnight:


1. Order the NUS Faith and Belief starter packs

We’ve made packs to get you started in running faith and belief events, complete with badges, bunting, meet and greet cards and more. They’re limited in numbers so order yours now before they’re all gone! Why not check out our video on Good campus relations below, too?


2. Raise awareness of the faith spaces on campus, for example the chaplaincy and prayer rooms. 

Are students aware of faith spaces on campus? Are they adequate?

You could make a short video like LSESU advertising the provisions; or utilise video as a campaign tool to highlight poor conditions, as Strathclyde Students Union have recently done.

…or you could submit a photo to the NUS hub so we can map the best and worst provisions in the UK.


3. Invite your societies to run workshops as an introduction to their faith and give students a better understanding of what they do.

See examples of various events hosted by Southampton Solent SU.

Not sure who your local faith societies are, or don’t have any set up? You can contact national student faith organisations who will be able to advise or put you in touch with societies in the region.

·British Organisation of Sikh Students

We have also produced a briefing for engaging faith societies in Further Education colleges in particular.


4. Organise a ‘Faith Crawl’

Organise a Faith Crawl, visiting places of significance and worship across your town or city, as they did at Bristol Students’ Union. This is an activity that will be of interest to a whole range of students, not just those of faith, and can be a great way of bringing the local community together to learn new perspectives.

Consider contacting the chaplaincy, history societies and local religious leaders as well as your faith societies to get them involved and cross-publicise the events; they may even be interested in being a tour-guide for each stop!


5. Check out the national initiatives being led by student faith organisations, and consider how it could be applied locally.

The National Hindu Students' Forum (UK) has tied one of their largest projects, Hindu Awareness Week, with Interfaith Week with the hope of creating a better understanding of what it means to be a Hindu at university. Hindu Societies across the country will aim to rid the misconceptions of caste, explore the role of women in Hindu culture and what the concept of God looks like to Hindus. You can find out more about the week on the #HAW15 hashtag.

Jewish Experience Week is an initiative led by the Union of Jewish Students, taken up by Jewish Societies (or ‘J-Socs’) in colleges and universities across the UK. J.E.W. highlights the diverse nature of Jews and Jewish culture, whilst facilitating positive relationships between Jewish students and their non-Jewish peers.

Islamophobia Awareness Month runs throughout November and FOSIS is one of the key supporters of the campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the impact and realities of Islamophobia. Events and discussions take place across the UK each year and you can follow what’s happening on the #IAM2015 hashtag.


For more information, briefings and toolkits on the issues around Faith and Belief, check out our page on NUS Connect.

You can find out more about Interfaith Week in England, Northern Ireland and Wales here, and Interfaith Week in Scotland here.

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