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DSU Campaigns

DSU CAMPAIGNS

DSU is a campaigning organisation - campaigning on the issues that is decided by our student body.  Last year DSU campaigned on numerous issues, including the following:
  • Higher Education Funding

DSU ran a successful Higher Education Funding Campaign. We calculated that the average Durham student will leave university with £25 000 of debt, a message that we spread to the wider community, illustrating how devastating a rise in tuition fees would be. Our march in Newcastle was featured in the national press, creating much publicity for the union.

  •  Windy Gap

DSU has begun a campaign to improve the lighting around the Windy Gap area of Durham, which connects Palace Green to the Gates area of Durham.  This area is well known for being dangerous dark at nightime and DSU is campaigning to improve the lighting in this area to make it a safer route for students.  The latest on this campaign is that DSU is now waiting for inspections to take place regarding light pollution during winter - but finally it appears action is taking place on this issue.

  •  My Friend Oli

The "My Friend Oli" campaign aims to get as many people as possible to sign up as organ donors.  The campaign was launched previously, but DSU is planning on bringing the campaign back to the forefront with a campaign week aimed at both Durham and Queen's Campus'.  Surveys suggest that 90% of people would be happy for our organs to be used to help someone else in the future, but only 20% of people sign up to do so. This campaign is strongly supported by Bill Bryson who said the following:

“I’m launching a campaign to get as many people as possible to sign on to the national register. My hope is that by this time next year we’ll be able to say that Durham has the most signed-up university students, staff and Alumni in the United Kingdom.”

  •  Disability Awareness

Led by Ruth Hoggett, our Students with Disabilities Officer for 2008/09, this awareness week provided an insight into issues related to disability. A Sign language workshop ran in Durham, ‘lose your senses nights’ took place in college bars and films and discussions tackling the issue of disability were made available.

  • IMAP Access

Durham University Computing Society (CompSoc) last year campaigned to improve the quality of email access to students at Durham University. They campaigned to extend the IMAP email interface to all members of Durham University, whereas previously this provision was only available to staff and research postgraduates. The IMAP interface enables ease of email access on Macs, Linux and on most mobile phones.

CompSoc members organised an online petition with 584 signatures, and brought the issue forward to DSU Council. DSU Council agreed to campaign on this issue and represented CompSoc on numerous committees. After these representations, ITS has agreed to offer IMAP access to all students.

  • Baha'i Students

The Baha’i Society, in conjunction with DSU, worked towards raising awareness and actively challenging the decision by the Iranian government to prevent students of the Baha’i faith from accessing higher education. DSU Council passed a motion mandating the DSU President to write to David Milliband, Roberta Blackman-Woods, and the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue. Furthermore the Baha’i society itself actively campaigned to NUS President Wes Streeting about the issue. This has since resulted in correspondence with the Iran Coordination Group in the Foreign Office.

  • Mosquito Boxes

Mosquito Boxes are devices that are designed to create noises that only young people can hear and it drives them away from an area by being highly annoying.  A motion was passed at DSU Council last year calling for DSU to send a motion to NUS (National Union of Students) to back the campaign against the use of mosquito boxes.  This motion was passed by DSU Council and by the National Executive Committee of NUS - meaning that NUS is now actively campaigning on banning mosquito boxes. 

There are many ways for you to get involved in a DSU campaign - or to set one up for yourself.  There are various people to get in touch with - including your Senior DSU Rep in college, the Sabbatical Officers in DSU or Liam Walker - the DSU Campaigns Officer for 2009/10.  DSU is your Union - campaigning on the issues that you want to be heard - all you have to do is make sure we can hear them!

 

 

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