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Our Student Community Organising Journey by Chinwoke

student community organising
Student Community Organising team photo, left to right: Ashley, Jaja, Chinwoke, Paul, Amara

Hear from Chinwoke Ejionueme-Ifepe, LBSU Student Community Organiser, as she reports on the great work of the team in Semester 1! 

You can also read reports from the other members of the Student Community Organising team here: 

Amara Aksar

Ashley Dutu

Jaja Inskeep

Paul Tranter

Student Community Organiser (SCO) Semester 1 Report

The background

Being a Student Community Organiser is a call to engage, discuss, relate with, and bond with, fellow students in a quest to understand what worries, concerns, issues or comforts (as the case may be) they have experienced as students of Leeds Beckett University, while studying and living in Leeds.

Trainings and seminars were conducted for me and other SCOs by Citizens UK and staff from Leeds Beckett Students’ Union (LBSU). This training provided us with the skills required in effectively engaging students and bringing the required change and results to improve students’ lives.

The journey

We engaged students through various means such as 121 conversations, house meetings, stall activities, action group meetings, and meetings with course representatives. The idea was to speak with students, connect with their network, identify student leaders who had the power to influence other students and students who would be willing to champion campaigns towards positive change when the time comes.

It was quite refreshing and interesting to discover that students were willing to talk to me about their concerns, issues and wins; it felt like they were waiting for the question to be asked. Few were persuaded or cajoled and times rescheduled several times. However, I was trusted by students because I believe that they are passionate about bringing forth the required change.

Some the themes from our discussions include; transportation, accomodation, cost of living, employment and employmentability, time tabling, culture shocks, integration, etc.

The impact

I engaged with, and hosted meetings for, students from the Global Majority students’ community, student representatives from the LBU ISoc, as well as undertaking 121s which were well received. This is because students were motivated to open up, share their experiences and also registered their interests in being a part of the positive change we hope to create. They were also empowered through these activities to want better for themselves, and some students’ issues were also signposted for faster resolution.

We are curently working as a core team to evaluate all student feedback and we will update you when we have decided on our key campaigns for change that you can get invovled with in Semester 2!