Tuesday 04-10-2016 - 13:34
Sussex Students’ Union will be the scene for the ‘South East’ leg of our Regional Activist Network events. We asked their President Annie Pickering to blog about why the union can’t wait to play host to students across the region.
Sussex Students’ Union is hosting the first South East Regional Networks day on Friday 21 October and I am super excited about this.
There are over 100 universities and hence over 100 students’ unions all around England plus 100s of further education colleges, yet sometimes it feels like you are in this tiny bubble of your university setting. This Regional Networks day will be an opportunity for students and officers from around the South East region to come together to be more united and stronger in the work that students do.
It will be a chance to share with each other our problems and successes, in the societies, campaigns and sports that we do, to build friendships and finally get to meet some people we’ve previously met only via email!
Changes are happening at a national level so we need a national response. This cannot happen if we, students, officers and staff do not work together
Especially when, as we keep on hearing, the ‘future of higher education is changing’. And it’s true; tuition are rising, the way in which universities are measured is dramatically becoming more focused on money not knowledge sharing, student mental health problems are growing and students’ unions risks being more restricted on their actions via Prevent.
These changes are happening at a national level so we need a national response. This cannot happen if we, students, officers and staff do not work together, and this Regional Networks day will begin this journey.
At our Freshers’ Fair there was a lots of talk about tuition fees, a national problem and the United for Education National Demo (on Saturday 19 November), a national action. It’s in our diaries (and yours too?) and coaches will be provided for students to come along to join this positive and unifying national action for change.
Wherever you are, we are part of an interconnected student community sharing much of the same challenges of debt, a lack of diversity in who we read in class (old European white men do not hold all the answers) and other broader global challenges around sexism, climate justice and safety for migrants and refugees.
The Regional Networks will tackle some of these issues with workshops on combating sexual violence on campus, campaigning against rising tuition fees, mental health and student deportations.
Come along - especially Brighton and Sussex students (it’s on your doorstep) - whether you’re a new or old student for a day of practical skills learning, sharing ideas and actions and being part of something bigger.
Together, we can be more, do more and make change happen.
Regional Activist Network: South East is free to attend and takes place at Sussex Students’ Union on Friday 21 October from 11am-6pm. Places are limited, so make sure you register online today!