Glasgow University has always had a strong history of activism, striving to be supportive and inclusive towards all, regardless of background. During the Second World War this manifested itself in the form of special educational arrangements for Austrian and Czech doctors and Polish lawyers, and the University Settlement offering accommodation to those fleeing the Nazi regime. Now, as the world sees the biggest mass movement of people since WW2, the university continues to be a place of safety for refugees, who are being forced to flee their homes following widespread persecution and human rights violations.
It was announced earlier in the week that the university will be offering four fee waivers – one for each College – as well as extending the University’s Talent Scholarship scheme to support refugee undergraduate and postgraduate students. In addition to this, the university also funds the Glasgow Refugee and Migration Network (GRAMnet), which brings together researchers, practitioners and policy makers with refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland.
While it’s great that those higher up are providing support, there’s still plenty that you as a student can be doing to get involved as well. If you’ve managed to make it to the Freshers’ Fair over the past few days, you can probably tell by the hundreds of stalls that the university is not short of clubs and societies to join. In light of the ongoing refugee crisis, we’ve compiled a list of the places and societies you can get involved with over the next few weeks.
GU UNICEF and Glasgow Refugee and Asylum Seeker Solidarity (GRASS) are holding a collection for Calais in committee room one of the QMU on Thursday 24th, from 11-4.30pm. They’re looking for a range of clothing and items: in particular winter clothing, shoes, blankets, sleeping bags and duvets. GU Red Alert will be asking for donations of sanitary towels at their first social of term, and the SRC will be collecting donations at the Welcome Point in the John McIntyre building (open Monday to Friday from 9-5, except Monday 9.30-5 and Friday 9-4).
Other societies such as GU Amnesty International, GU Climate Action Society, GU Feminist Society, GULGBTQ+, GU Mary’s Meals, Isabella, Elder Feminist Society, Oxfam Glasgow University, oSTEM Glasgow and Sexpression Glasgow are all taking part in fundraising or awareness, so for full details make sure to check out their facebook accounts!
[Louisa Burden – @burdisthew0rd]