University has always been about far more than studying for qualifications. It’s a place for sharing ideas, exploring different viewpoints and working out what you really think and feel about the world.
There are unsurprisingly lots of opportunities to get involved in the democratic process on campus, whether it’s as a student representative, protestor, campaigner or member of a political group. Here are some ideas to get you started.
There are lots of things you can campaign about on campus (and elsewhere), whether it’s protecting the environment, tackling the housing crisis or securing equal rights. Campaigning can be a difficult and at times disheartening process, so it’s best to choose a cause you feel really passionate about. The NUS is a good place to start if you’re looking for opportunities to get involved.
Students’ unions run elections throughout the year, where there are usually various roles up for grabs, such as President, Activities Officer, Education Officer or General Secretary. This is about representing the rights and interests of your fellow students so is not something to be entered into lightly. But if you’re serious about it, a year spent as a student union officer is not just a fantastic experience in its own right but can also be an excellent way of developing your organisational and leadership skills.
Represent other students
You don’t have to be elected as a union leader to be a face and voice for your fellow students. There may well be opportunities for you to become a course or faculty rep, for example. Or perhaps you could be a rep for your student halls or a fresher’s rep. If your university operates a collegiate system, there should also be positions available within your college. All such roles involve you acting on student feedback to improve the university experience for everyone.
Work for a paper
Whilst there have been changes in the media landscape generally, student newspapers continue to thrive. Working for one could give you the perfect opportunity to investigate and report on the latest news on campus. Or even provide you with the opportunity to voice an issue you feel strongly about.
Join a society
If you thought the Campaign for Real Ale was about as political as student societies got, think again. Many have a political or campaigning dimension, whether it’s feminism, libertarianism, conservatism or environmentalism. Most universities will also have a debating society, which can be an excellent forum for exchanging ideas and opinions and for learning how to argue your case against people who hold the opposite view.
We’re always on the lookout for people with passion. So why not check out a career at Enterprise today. We offer fantastic UK and international opportunities on our Graduate Management Trainee and Internship programmes.