NOTTINGHAM'S TWO STUDENTS' UNIONS WIN NATIONAL COMMUNITY RELATIONS PLAUDIT
The Students’ Unions of the city’s two universities have achieved national recognition for their impact in the community. Nottingham Trent Students’ Union (NTSU) and the University of Nottingham Students’ Union (UoNSU) were winners in the Community Relations category of the annual NUS Awards 2013.
The judges particularly commended their joint campaign to engage students with the Police & Crime Commissioner elections held in November 2012.
With a combined population of more than sixty thousand students in the city, the Students’ Unions felt it was extremely important that the voice of the students was heard with regard to the change to the city’s policing. Through an awareness raising campaign, they were able to mobilise 1,000 people to attend the PCC Accountability Assembly and raise student-specific issues directly with the candidates, resulting in hundreds of student votes in the PCC elections.
This campaign produced many benefits for students and the local community alike — including getting all PCC candidates to commit to a number of key ‘asks’ such as the installation of 400 CCTV cameras in taxis across the city. Their activity has resulted in a stronger relationship with the newly elected Police Crime Commissioner and the community in general. The action was entirely student led, showcasing students’ leadership and organisational skills and their enthusiasm for improving community links.
Nottingham Trent Students’ Union runs many community engagement and volunteering projects throughout the year. Their One Day Challenges have benefited 24 different local community organisations and many schools in the last year. If you are a local not-for-profit organisation or charity that requires volunteers for a project, please get in touch with Louise Robinson, Volunteer Co-ordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a One Day Challenge for their students to take part in.
"COMMITMENT, DEDICATION AND IMPACT"
The University of Nottingham Students’ Union has developed an alliance with 39 other community groups in the city through Nottingham Citizens and is currently working on a ‘Clubs Charter’ which is looking at different aspects of student welfare in the night time economy. It has also been involved in speaking to local councillors and setting local ward priorities for the next five years.
Through discussion with the Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Jon Collins, UoNSU has voiced disappointment that a local by-election was held while students — who make up 64% of the ward population — were on holidays and secured a pledge that this will not happen again in the future. Further information about The University of Nottingham Students’ Union can be found on its website at www.su.nottingham.ac.uk
Sian Green, Accommodation and Community Officer at The University of Nottingham’s Students’ Union said: “I am thrilled that we have received this award as an acknowledgement of the commitment, dedication and impact that the Nottingham student body has in the local community.”
The NUS Awards are held annually to recognise the hard work of students and students’ unions in campaigning and voluntary work. Further information about the awards can be found at http://www.nusawards.org.uk.
[Nottingham University Press Release, 10 July, 2013]