At NUSU we are committed to supporting the different parts of student life. This includes living in the community as well as campaigning on wider felt issues such as the environment. Read here how we have led and supported projects and campaigns in these areas.
Housing Campaign – Looking-Living–Leaving
Living in Newcastle can be an amazing experience but renting does come with responsibilities.
Working with the Student Advice Centre (SAC) and Sara (NUSU Welfare and Equality Officer), NUSU Your Voice aimed to support students in making informed choices when moving from Halls into private rented housing as well as help with the issues that crop up during your tenancy.
Year after year the SAC’s Housing Adviser helps students when things go wrong and we want to help you make the best decisions in order to stay out of the many pitfalls surrounding student housing. We planned to do this by making sure you get the correct information at the correct times. Bespoke messaging on the top ten issues that students report have been and will continue to be sent out this year.
Because pressure can also come from local businesses who are keen for students to commit on a house for next year, we also supported the NUSU Housing Fair on the 15th November.
Keep Jesmond Clean
We work closely with local resident groups and support many projects including community litter picks and gardening projects. This year we are also supporting the Keep Jesmond Clean broken glass campaign to raise awareness of the increasing problem of broken glass on streets and the damage it causes.
Student Food Bank
The Student Foodbank re-launched in October with plans to widen it out to the local community in the New Year. If you have any leftover dry foods at the end of term you can donate them to the Student Food Bank.
Fossil Free Newcastle
Amazing news for the students when it was announced that ‘The University has committed to divesting from fossil fuel companies across all funds by 2021’. The students involved in the years of campaigning have now formed the People and Planet society, making future campaigning easier.
Extinction Rebellion ‘Die In’
The universities branch of Extinction Rebellion North East held two ‘die-ins’ on the Newcastle campus and the Northumbria campus during Freshers' week to alert students and staff to the climate & ecological crisis.
Members of Extinction Rebellion carried out a ‘die-in’ to highlight the climate and ecological crisis and its impact on humans. They used this event to call on the universities to take a lead on communicating the crisis and to take actions commensurate with the scale and urgency of the crisis.
A die-in is a peaceful, non-violent protest where participants lie on the ground as if dead: a solemn act that symbolises the kind of future we face without radical and urgent action on the climate crisis.
Climate Strike Demo
Officers and NUSU staff took part in a 30-minute workday solidarity stoppage to coincide with the global school student strike on the 20th September. This was just the beginning of the campaigning, look out for F.U.C.C. in the New Year.
End Hunger UK
End Hunger UK week of action happened on the 11th-18th October. This national campaign wanted to ensure everyone has access to good food and for no one to go to bed hungry. Students supported the campaign by making a donation to support people in need here in Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside. Ali and Zoe, the students who led the campaign, transported the donations to foodbanks across the region.
Trick or Treat
This Halloween a group of Newcastle students knocked on doors to collect food donations instead of sweets.
Adam Kinneen and Kerri Robson, students who were both involved in the project told NUSU that 18,000 tonnes of food gets wasted at Halloween each year and Newcastle students wanted to do their bit to help. The project is in support of the Trussell Trust and the Newcastle
Over 90% of the food distributed by foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network is donated by the public – that’s why your food donations are absolutely vital to their ability to give everyone referred to them a balanced and nutritious three day supply of food.
The students were out for hours collecting the donations and then sorted them until 1.30am. They collected 1 tonne of food! Incredible and so appreciated by the people who need it.
Voter registration is an issue every year for students who have usually changed address more than once during their time at Newcastle. This year it was especially important for us to make sure students knew how to register to vote in the General Election. Community and Hall Reps with Society members braved the harsh November, North East, weather to support the register to vote campaign.
NUSU President, Katie Smyth, has been inspired by Newcastle University and many others, to make progress in paying NUSU staff the Real Living Wage. Katie updated at Council on the discussion of NUSU becoming a real living wage employer. “We discussed it at our external trustee board, where we were all in agreement of it and of pushing it as much as we can so it’s implemented ASAP. Into the New Year we’ll be looking at the financials” – Katie Smyth
Shoebox Christmas Appeal
We end the term on another good will project. Led by Scarlett Ballantine from Helping our Homeless Society, the annual Christmas shoebox appeal returns. The society are encouraging students, societies, sports teams and staff to create shoeboxes for those in need.
Shoeboxes will be donated to local charities, such as Shelter North East and Destiny’s StreetWorx, who will give them to those most in need during the Christmas period.
Newcastle University students are truly amazing!
We look forward to another busy term in the New Year and wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday.