Hi Kyla thanks for speaking with us today. So, please tell us all about the Student Assembly Against Austerity here at Staffordshire University
The movement here is part of a wider national movement stemming from the student wing of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and there are many branches at different University’s across the country. It is primarily concerned with the rising cost of education and student debt however, they are also concerned with the wider issue of austerity and social injustices more broadly speaking. We’ve been on many national demonstrations, most recently we all gathered in London for the ‘United for Education’ demo which brought together a diverse set of students and workers from the Higher Education sector. I have been involved in activism for many years but this particular movement came about through speaking with fellow students here at the university who also had a shared passion for these issues.
I understand there are a lot of links between what you are doing with the assembly and your degree course in Sociology, Criminology and Deviance perhaps you could tell us some more
Reflecting from a personal perspective, activism with the Student Assembly is giving me and others complimentary experiential learning that enriches and enhances classroom experiences, such as lectures and seminars. In class we discuss contemporary issues, like those you see on the news all the time, such as the housing crisis, discrimination, corruption in powerful institutions, war and conflict and that’s just a few examples off the top of my head – there are many more. In addition to this, through our student led Sociology and Criminology Society we’ve been able to foster links with wider activist groups and secure some amazing guest speakers from a wide variety of campaigns that also seek to challenge inequalities and injustice.
So what next for the Student Assembly?
We plan to keep on expanding and coordinating with the national group to raise awareness of some of the most pressing issues facing students (and wider society) today. We work for students up and down the country both ‘home’ and international students inclusively. We are also looking to make a film about all these issues and we have a joint project with the Sociology and Criminology Society that will include a free screening of the film I, Daniel Blake with guest speakers.
Thank you Kyla, if people want to know more about the Student Assembly or how to get involved where can they go?
Absolutely! you can find us on Facebook by searching for Staffs Student Assembly Against Austerity.
Kyla Lawton is a second year undergraduate studying BA (Hons) Sociology, Crime and Devianceand co-coordinator of the Sociology and Criminology Society at Staffordshire University.