Interested in joining a new society? We've been chatting to the newly-ratified People and Planet society. Check out what they are up to, the campaigns they're running and how you can get involved!
What do you do as a society?
We run campaigns in order to empower students and teach them the skills needed to run these successfully as we try to push for social and environmental justice at the university.
Is this a nationwide society?
Yes. It came into existence about 50 years ago under the name Third World First, then changed the name in 1998. It focuses on student- led action and has so far pressured almost half of all UK unis to divest from fossil fuels.
How many members do you have?
Currently 11. Though we're quite small, we're a close, friendly team that would love to welcome new members!
Tell us more about your campaigns!
So we're currently running an Undoing Borders campaign, which pushes for migrant justice within uni. Due to the Hostile Environment policy put in place by Teresa May in 2012, young people without leave to remain are being denied higher education, even though they may have lived in the UK for the majority of their lives. Not only that, staff are required to monitor the immigration status of certain students and report back to the Home Office. Turning them into border guards when instead, they should be looking out for their wellbeing. We commit to changing this by putting pressure on our University to resist this policy and allow York to become a place of learning for everyone, as it should be.
What made you start the society?
Grace and I met at Power Shift, an annual summer festival run by People and Planet. It inspired us to start this society at York and try to make change. I would really recommend everyone to go, as you meet loads of wonderful people. The food was amazing too!
What's your favourite part?
I originally didn't know a great deal about the struggles some people have to go through just to get an education here as it's something that most of us don't consider, we just take it for granted. Since getting involved with People and Planet, it's been inspiring to meet other people that feel the same. Though we're only a new society, still finding our feet, we're all learning from each other and I feel like this is just the beginning of something big.
Any events/ interesting things coming up?
We have weekly meetings on Monday nights, then in the spring term we'll be running a Give it a Go session, in which we'll be using natural ingredients to tie dye clothes. It'll be a really fun event, where you can get to know other society members and jazz up some old t-shirts, while being eco- friendly!
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If you're interested, please have a look at our petition to pledge against the hostile environment.