Student societies at Cambridge University: CUSU BME, Street Dance, Unicef, Wilberforce, Debating

Student societies at Cambridge University: CUSU BME, Street Dance, Unicef, Wilberforce, Debating

October 20, 2019 4 By Stanley Isaacs


CUSU BME Campaign stands for the Cambridge University Student Union
Black Minority Ethnic Campaign It’s a liberation campaign which is one of several
under the CUSU umbrella and then we work within the
BME community here in Cambridge One thing that we’ve learnt about
working in this campaign is that collective voices are
really powerful Because there’s so few
of us, often in Cambridge, we feel very scattered
and, like, isolated So this campaign has given us
a chance to come together use our voices for
a greater good And essentially our committee is like
a family where we all work together to help each other with
our workload and tasks What’s next for the BME campaign is raising transparency about the
Prevent Strategy It’s not a very transparent policy and we want to raise awareness and
work very closely with colleges to ensure that Muslim students are not
disproportionately stigmatised under it We’re also really anxious to make
sure that language is accessible here and for that reason we would like
to hold talks and forums that we have the ability to talk to people who
are in the same boat as us who’re academics of colour
who feel the same way that we do and allow us to access
the language that we need to express and articulate our struggles You can find out more about
BME CUSU Campaign on Facebook Twitter and Instagram So as the street dance team our main focus is competing nationally against other universities We also do May Ball performances and perform in the CUTAZZ Dance Show and we also set up regular workshops that kind of is open to anyone
in Cambridge to take part in We cover a wide range of styles including Hip-hop Commercial Dancehall Afro-beats Breakdancing So I really enjoyed
street team because it’s taught me to balance my work and
my extracurriculars but it also doesn’t actually feel
like an extracurricular commitment It just feels like I’m
getting together with my friends and just having a dance,
just like if you go to club The thing I’ve enjoyed the most is the incredible amount of diversity in the
team in a team of 20 people we have 13 different nationalities and we have
people from all sorts of degrees and I think that what that has taught me is to
push completely outside of my boundaries push beyond what I am comfortable with
and learn from others So if you want to find out more about Street Team we have auditions in early October
and they are open to everyone If you enjoy dance, you know, no
matter if you’ve danced before, come along, because it would
just be the best thing you ever did I was a beginner when I went along Also the CUTAZZ Facebook
page covers the street dance team too and the Instagram page as well and just, yeah, all the socials So the aim of our society is fundraising
for UNICEF but also raising awareness
of UNICEF’s work and because we’re pretty new, only
started in 2017, we’ve been able to do loads of stuff from scratch
which has been amazing One of my favorite things about UNICEF Society has been meeting amazing
people not just on the committee but also at UNICEF HQ and at UNICEF
societies all over the country at different universities Being president of UNICEF Society
has really helped me learn how to work with people, how to
motivate people, how to come together as a team and also how to raise the most
money possible when you’re on a tiny shoestring budget In the future, UNICEF Society
just hopes to keep expanding into every college and really putting on
so many more activities and helping raise even more money If you want to get involved,
you can search ‘UNICEF in Cambridge’ on Facebook and on Instagram
or find us at the freshers’ fair What’s really exciting about the Wilberforce Society is that for most students it’s their first opportunity to get involved in policy paper writing, research, and really seeing their work
have an impact for the first time An example of where we’ve been very
impactful is that we wrote a policy paper that advised the Tunisian government on their constitution which is now in use So we also had a policy
paper related to Brexit and that was like a really big paper because we had, basically, sort of, different teams looking at the different impact of
Brexit and that was something that was pushed for in kind of like in Parliament
as well so there’s something they were really proud of in the society We also run panel events
for each of our policy papers in which we bring together
experts on the subject of the paper and then every February, we run our
annual Wilberforce Conference we bring together large different group of world
experts on different areas together to discuss
various policy issues The union is Cambridge Debating Society It was found in 1815 so it’s more than 200 years old now We have debates every week where we bring in famous
people, interesting speakers and we also have really regular
speakers events, where we have, for example Prime Ministers or famous
actors who come in and speak to us about the work they’re doing
and it’s really exciting So the next 6-12 months, the union is
moving in a couple of interesting directions We have access initiatives
to bring disadvantaged students to the union, teach them how to debate,
get them involved in what we’re doing Also we’re going to have
a lot more BME speakers coming so we’re going to
widen the perspective here at the Union And also we’re opening
the Union up which means that you’re going
to get to hear behind the scenes from the speakers that
come and visit us And it’s going to be a lot more exciting
in the next few months so Looking forward to seeing you