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To mark the concurrence of this year’s National Student Money Week and Go Green Week, Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) will be holding a series of events throughout Week Five in order to encourage students to combine the two initiatives.
By helping to save the environment and conserve its resources, students could also save themselves a few bob.
Both weeks will run from 11 February, with Go Green extending over the weekend until Sunday 17. Each is designed to raise awareness of critical socio-economic issues among higher education students, and to help universities help themselves when it comes to students’ financial capabilities and environmental nous.
National Go Green Week is an annual event organised by student-led network People & Planet, which is committed to ‘campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.’ By supporting university-based activities geared towards securing a viable future for the Earth and its inhabitants, the organisation ‘empowers young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to make change happen, at home and globally’.
National Student Money Week will be the third year that the National Association of Student Money Advisors has held its dedicated week-long campaign. Its goal is to promote the range of advice available to students on a wide range of money matters, from ways to save money at university to information on the organisations responsible for supporting students experiencing financial difficulties whilst studying.
The organisation’s website states: ‘NSMW came about because we want everyone – students, the media, politicians and the public – to know about and celebrate the financial support and advice offered in universities, colleges and students’ unions across the UK.’
Here on campus, events for Student Money Week will be co-ordinated by representatives from LUSU, The Base, and the Education and Support Unit. Advice will be given on debt-management, with a particular emphasis on the dangers of using pay-day loans.
LUSU’s Vice President for Equality, Welfare and Diversity, Rosalia O’Reilly, has helped orchestrate the integration of Student Money Week with Go Green Week; she explained that, following her successful ‘Pendle Blackout’ campaign as a JCR Executive member last year and the subsequent campus-wide blackout last term, she was approached by Facilities’ Head of Commercial Service, Jo Hardman, who asked for college bars to become a place in which small-scale environmental-awareness campaigns could be held in order to highlight the degrees to which water, electricity and other utilities are wasted on campus.
O’Reilly, who had already wanted to campaign on behalf of People & Planet, decided to link the two campaigns together. She explained that ‘changing peoples’ attitudes towards [resource wastage] is good for university finances but also good for the environment’.
LUSU and Cross Campus Officers (CCOs) will be supporting the individual colleges in running ‘individual and innovative events’ to make Week Five a positive one for both climate and economy.