Hi, I am Nikhita, and I am in my second year of university. Last summer, I wanted to join a student society that would make a real difference. So I joined the committee of the York Anti-Racist Collective Society (YARC society). I have always had a strong sense of justice and been passionate about creating a safe place where BAME students can talk to each other and be heard.
York Anti-Racist Collective Society
YARC society is the student strand of the York Anti-Racist Collective. It was set up in response to George Floyd’s murder and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
My role on the committee was the Wellbeing and Safety Officer, which involved finding resources that could be useful for BAME students. Recently, I have been elected to become the Disability Representative. In this new role, I will be representing BAME students with a disability or learning difficulty, creating an environment where they can be themselves and be supported by the university.
At YARC we created a book club that specialised in decolonising the curriculum. We also created events and discussions on a variety of topics, from institutional racism to the portrayal of people of colour in the media, with key speakers and collaborations with other societies/networks such as Feminist Society and the YUSU BAME Network.
We also have socials such as quizzes and coffee-and-chat events where people can come and chat with us about anything. Our society posts regularly on social media platforms about upcoming events and current issues that people should be aware of. I am proud to be a part of YARC as I think anti-racism is an important cause to support.
British Asian Society (BAS)
As well as being part of YARC, I also wanted to be a part of an existing society that I feel connected to. So I chose to become a member of the British Asian Society (BAS). It’s a society where people can appreciate British Asian Culture. And anyone can join, meaning you don’t have to be Asian to be a part of it. The society has big events throughout the academic year such as Diwali, ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘Bollynights’. As well as smaller events such as Bollywood movies, charity events, games nights, and networking. They have also had regular dance sessions with a variety of disciplines.
To be honest I felt a bit nervous about going to the first meeting on my own. However, I found a friend from my hometown on the society’s group chat. So we met up and went together, and that made me feel more confident. Everyone is so welcoming and, as the society is so big, you are bound to have something in common with others you meet whether it’s what you are studying, your year of study, college, hometown etc. I highly recommend joining this society!
I have made many friends by being a part of these societies and they have enhanced my university experience. So if you are thinking of joining a society, do it – you won’t regret it!
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