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The 93% Club has burst onto the scene of Lancaster University societies, with quickly growing social media followings and regular updates establishing a good rapport with students. SCAN interviewed the President, Jamie Rogers, to hear exactly why it was being set up now and why it was so important at this time to have one in Lancaster University. It started when Jamie saw that a 93% society was being set up at York University and so got ‘in touch with the founder (of the 93% club)’ who he had a call with before deciding to found the Lancaster branch of the 93% club. Jamie believed that when he got to university it was going to be a ‘level playing field’ as everyone has got in based off the same grades. He quickly realised that this was not the case as students from private schools appear to be higher quality graduate candidates after university. Jamie’s secondary school was one of the worst in Lancashire and so he worked hard to get grades that would get him to college and then university. At private schools the class sizes are smaller, and they are ‘tailored to you more’ as an individual student. These differences build the further into education that you go and contribute towards a gap in employability.
The BLM movement and the current push for social justice that is at the ‘forefront of the media’ at the moment inspired Jamie to create the society now. In this climate he thinks that it is the perfect time to start campaigning for social mobility and working to help state school students become as well rounded and employable as possible. Lockdown has given Jamie the free time to get the Lancaster 93% club up and running while also collaborating with many other 93% clubs at universities across the country. In the last academic year there were only two established 93% clubs in Bristol and Durham- this year has seen a major jump to 15 being established across the country. Jamie is in a group chat with the other Presidents where they can support each other, collaborate on resources and work together to create an close knit network of motivated state school students.
Jamie explained that Lancaster is one of the best of the top universities in recruiting state school students- ‘90% of our students come from state schools’. The issue that the 93% club is focused on in Lancaster will be ‘upskilling current students’ to have more ‘well rounded and employable graduates’. Jamie hopes to fill the current lack of ‘student led’ groups focused on social mobility in Lancaster. The aim is to have a resource which acts as a big bank of information focused on different careers that students may not know how to get into. For example, for a student interested in finance but unsure how to get into that sector there would be information on the best internship schemes and on workshops or webinars to attend to boost your credentials. The 93% club will also help students with ‘improving their CVs and creating LinkedIn accounts’ as soon as possible to build up networks of contacts for the future. Jamie wants to help ‘first and second year’ students with getting the right placements and experiences to maximise their chances at getting into careers and jobs they might have been unsure of attempting.
Applications for the executive positions of the 93% society are still open! If you want to be a part of this movement going forwards check out the 93% Society Page on Facebook and go to the application forms.