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What it means to be a Student Community Organiser at Leeds Beckett SU

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

Hear from Jaja Inskeep, LBSU Student Community Organiser (SCO), as she reports on what it means to be an SCO at Leeds Beckett SU, and the vision for Semester 2. 

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

Amara Aksar

Ashley Dutu

Chinwoke Ejionueme-Ifepe

Paul Tranter

 

Student Community Organiser (SCO) Semester 1 Report

As a Student Community Organiser at Leeds Beckett Students’ Union, the role extends beyond just student engagement—it is a commitment to building a community that thrives on inclusivity and support to create change. This role has the crucial task of listening to the diverse concerns of students, recognising the challenges they face in university life. The aim is not just to have a conversation but to channel these collective concerns into powerful campaigns that advocate for positive change. By actively engaging with individuals from various backgrounds, we not only develop a profound understanding of the university's diverse fabric but also harness the insights gained, and relationships built, to initiate impactful campaigns.

 

The Role of a Student Community Organiser

  • Engagement and Communication: Engaging with students from diverse backgrounds to understand their challenges with university life is key to the role. We can effectively communicate these concerns to the Students’ Union, acting as a bridge between students and the administration.
  • Promotion and Awareness: We participate in university events like Freshers' Fairs to raise awareness about the role of the Students’ Union. Promoting available services and diverse communities to encourage student involvement and engagement.
  • Collaboration and Training: There have been collaborations with external organisations like Citizens UK, where we have undergone training in active listening and effective communication. These skills help us enhance the ability to empathetically engage with students and understand their challenges.
  • Listening and Documentation: We have conducted various listening activities such as one-on-one conversations and house meetings to deeply understand student concerns. Following this, we document these discussions in reports focusing on critical issues like living expenses, accommodation, transport, inclusivity, well-being, timetabling and coursework challenges, and equity.
  • Campaigning: Later in the role, we will formulate and execute campaigns based on insights gathered from listening activities. The aim is to build collective action for meaningful changes and improvements within the university and wider society in Leeds. There will be opportunities for any students who are interested to take part in this! 

 

The Rewarding Aspects being a Student Community Organiser

Being a Student Community Organiser at Leeds Beckett has been a fulfilling experience where I have developed many interpersonal skills and deepened my understanding of our diverse university community. Engaging with students from varied backgrounds has significantly elevated my communication abilities, allowing me to adeptly convey their concerns to others. Through active involvement in events and collaborations with external organisations, I've cultivated a multifaceted skill set encompassing promotional strategies, effective engagement techniques and active listening. This also broadened my perspectives by immersing me in the diverse narratives and concerns within our university. The ability to find pivotal issues and to soon craft impactful campaigns for change is profoundly rewarding, offering a sense of purpose and the chance to bring positive transformations within our university community.

Overall, these experiences not only shape the skills necessary for effective community organising but also offer a sense of fulfilment by contributing to positive changes and fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment at Leeds Beckett University.

There will be opportunities to get involved in our campaigns coming up in Semester 2 so keep an eye on the SU website for further information!

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