Steven Greaves, the Students’ Union welfare officer, has called on students to get more involved in campaigning and to fight for causes they believe in.

Greaves says that a great way to get started campaigning is by participating in a campaign or activist academy. These academies have been set up by the NUS and take place all around the UK to encourage and foster a campaigning culture at universities.

He says that he went to one of the academies last year, along with the previous welfare officer, Vicky Wieczerzynska.

“We’re definitely looking to send students who are looking to be active on certain issues. For example this year there is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender academy for students who want to become activists on issues like that,” he says.

Although the academies are an excellent way of honing campaigning skills and techniques, Greaves says that anyone can start campaigning and get involved immediately.

He says that students at the University of Lincoln have previously been involved in very successful campaigns, an example being a recycling campaign that was a huge success last year, and hopefully that was just the start.

Greaves says that, although the University of Lincoln doesn’t have a particularly strong history in campaigning, there are signs of a growing activist culture.

“For some reason Lincoln just doesn’t have that level of political interest compared to some other universities. I’d love to see Lincoln campaigning more. I’m not saying that I want Lincoln to be more political, because there are negatives to that. But I’d love to see more students campaigning for what they believe in,” said Greaves.

Other ways in which the Students’ Union is aiming to get students to fulfill their campaigning potential is by encouraging more students to get involved in the Student Council.

Greaves says the Student Council is a platform where real and important issues can be dealt with by students. He went on to emphasise the importance of students just getting involved in any campaign activity and realising their opinions do matter.

“It’s about getting students active and realising what they can do and hopefully that will lead to a campaigning culture at the university. It’s important to remember that if there’s an issue you believe in, then it’s quite likely that others will be feeling the same or facing that problem. If no one speaks up then it’s not going to get any better,” he said.

For more information about getting involved in any campaign, starting a new campaign, or attending an activist academy, contact the SOAP Centre or check the NUS’s website for details.