Life as a student is about many things: studying, partying, meeting new people and trying new things. You learn a lot about yourself in your first few years of independence: everything from how much pizza your body can realistically contain, to how many words you can write in an hour. For a lot of people, this is also the time that they start to develop their political voice.
Students sometimes seem to have a reputation as lazy layabouts who spend most of their time avoiding going to lectures and having very little interaction with the rest of society. But actually, students have always been at the forefront of change in wider society, whether that is being at the forefront of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (our old SU bar used to be called the Mandela Bar!) or campaigning against racism and homophobia in the country long before it was mainstream opinion.
Bristol is a progressive city, and the students’ union is no different. In 1967 students protested against aristocracy in university management with a sit-in. In 1980 a group of students blocked a train carrying nuclear waste as an anti-nuclear protest. More recently, students through the SU have campaigned against the trebling of tuition fees, in favour of equal marriage and are currently campaigning against cuts to maintenance grants.
Ahead of this year’s general election, The Guardian rated Bristol students as being among the top ten most powerful in the country.
So when you are running from event to event during welcome week, or looking over your reading list for the coming year, or hanging your IKEA fairy lights, remember that other part of student life: the long standing student tradition of working together towards something better. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.
Be part of the work of the students union, and stand to be a student rep. We have reps for every aspect of student life: from sports executive committee members, to course reps for every course, to widening participation officers. There is a role out there for you, so find it.
You can view all available student rep roles, and nominate yourself to be a rep here. The deadline for nominations is midnight on Monday 5 October.