STAR – UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER

We are a group of Westminster Students working in partnership with STAR. Student Action for Refugees (STAR) is a national student-run organization that aims to raise awareness of refugee issues and promote the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into society. STAR has attracted over 27,000 students around the United Kingdom and it is incredible that we now have a society at our very own university. At Westminster, STAR is a new society which is looking for volunteers, activists and student leaders to take over the student group. We will be campaigning to ensure that people in the UK seeking refugee protection have equal access to higher education and can join us at the university as equals.

Our student activists and our Students’ Union at Westminster are in a unique position to affect this change. Please follow us on Facebook (Link below) if you would like to be a part of this great project. Many Universities in the UK already offer scholarships, bursaries, fee waivers and
reduced fees to help people who have claimed asylum in the UK access higher education. We aim to fundraise, learn and spread as much awareness as possible. Due to the sensitivity of this issue especially during current times and the intensity of this situation, it is our duty as students considering what we are studying to be on the front-line to support refugees.

At our first meeting, we were joined by Emma Williams, who is the Chief Executive at STAR. She presented all our members with various facts and figures and further explained the main goals of the organization. She also gave us an overview of the situation that refugees globally
are facing today.

As STAR Westminster, we have discussed the urgent necessity to set up a well-organized team inside the university to contribute as much as possible to the charity and its goals. We settled our group, starting with committee members, in order to divide the tasks equally
though it is our collective duty to stay involved and do our best. We had a debate around various themes, from the refugee crisis to the role of states and other actors in dealing with this crisis. Over the course of time we have identified a series of goals that we would like to achieve by the end
of this semester.

We want to organize a fundraising event inside our university. We believe that the
organization of a charity concert inside the university may be a good opportunity to attract students, spread awareness on the refugee situation today and get an economic support from the donations and fundraising, which is a practical way to contribute fundamentally to their material needs.

We will promote this through the screening of the movie “Refugees diaries” in order to
spread more awareness through visual means on what does it mean to be a refugee, what is their legal status, how are they protected by our governments, and why we need to push our governments to do more to help this person.

We are convinced that the right-wing nationalist rhetoric in relation to refugees can be faced just through knowledge, and that is why we believe it will be a good occasion for students to learn more about that, to get involved in the STAR group. As we are in partnership with Ben and Jerry's ice cream, we will be offering free ice-creams for all the participants during the screening of the movie.

We have many ideas and we all want to do our part in this process. However, we need people to stand up, defend refugees and support them in a concrete way. Fundraising is also an important factor for raising money for the charity and signing petitions in order to demand scholarships from various universities. This will especially be an important activity for young refugees who wish to seek university education and hopefully this will allow them to start a new phase of their life.

In order to receive further updates, please follow us on Facebook-
https://www.facebook.com/WestminsterSTAR/ (Student Action for Refugees - STAR Westminster)

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