Monday 15-12-2014 - 12:56
Gary Paterson, President at the University of Strathclyde Students' Association talks about the work that they've been doing on campus to support the national Stop Student Poverty campaign.
The campaign to fight student poverty in Scotland has been kicking off across colleges and universities all over the country for a week of action. At Strathclyde we’ve been pushing the campaign locally by getting the word out to students, pushing the petition about, and working to make MSPs hear our demands for more support. Christmas can be a tough time to prioritise a campaign, and we’ve all got loads on but there are a few simple but effective things we’ve been working on to get the campaign going on campus.
Passing round the petition:
We’ve been passing the paper petition around the office, in the student dining areas, and even making sure we all bring one to meetings and passing it around - this is a really simple but effective way to get sign ups even if you don’t have a lot of time.
Getting the word out there:
Beyond spamming my poor Facebook friends with loads of status updates, we have used our networks to spread the link to the petition; I have an email all student function, association social media, and am on a number of student groups which we’ve used to spread the petition – this can be another easy but big way to get the word out.
We’ve sent round the email to all our MSPs detailing the issues and our demands for change, and we’ve even managed to squeeze in a couple of meetings with MSPs where we’ve been able to set out our demands and seek concrete support which has resulted in a motion going into Parliament and MSPs pledging to back the campaign – this can really help reinforce those petition sign ups which will email your MSP.
Stalls, stalls everywhere:
We’re running a number of stalls during the week of action where we’ll be talking to students and grabbing signups on the last day of uni, it’s a tough time to do a campaign on campus but if we only approach students on this our campaign won’t be as strong as it can be, so the day after students leave we are going out on the main street to get signatures and support from the public – this helps mobilise a campaign beyond the constraints of our campus, plus shows our MSPs that the public are behind us in force!
On top of this, we’ll be continuing to tweet our MSPs, promoting the thunderclap, and spreading the word about the issues and solutions we need to ensure all students can flourish backed with support. I’m already loving some of the actions I am seeing around the country, and I can’t wait to see what you all have in store for the rest of the week! Lets do this!