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Student Signal – Bath Spa University

Student-led campaign signals support for the Bath Spa community

Monday, 27 February, 2023

With the cost of living crisis affecting so many people all over the country, two Bath Spa University students have taken action to offer help to their fellow student community by signposting them to the wide range of available support from the University and elsewhere.

Michelle Hogarth and Penny Tate set up Student Signal, a student-run campaign to help students who are in need of information or support that in many cases already exists, but they’re simply unaware of it. 

It all started when Michelle, who is studying Philosophy, Ethics and Psychology, and Penny, who is studying Psychology, attended a TEDX Bath conference together last October. They were inspired by George Obolo’s talk on how to create real change; they left wanting to create that change at Bath Spa. The cost of living crisis seemed like an obvious issue that needed to be tackled, so Student Signal was born.

Penny and Michelle set up Student Signal with a lot of involvement and support from the Students’ Union, societies and University departments, but their aim is to provide students with an independent platform.

“Student Signal is a transparent, diverse and accessible route for fellow students who want to help each other receive the support that the University provides,” Penny explained.

Student Signal held their first event - a student market at Newton Park Campus - on 27 February, offering students a space to sell their work and earn a bit of extra money. Penny and Michelle hope the markets will become a regular occurrence; a second event is already planned on 18 March at Locksbrook Campus, where staff from the Careers and Employability team will also be running workshops and offering advice and support.

Matt Emeny, Employability Coach and Creative Producer at EMERGE, said:

"It has been a pleasure to support this campaign. We’re delighted to be a part of their events and supporting students to allow them to begin selling their work and building their creative brands. We hope that this is the beginning of a really exciting, student-led career development opportunity for students.”

Though there have been challenges in setting up Student Signal, Michelle and Penny said everyone involved has worked hard to overcome them. “Projects like this are a beautiful way of bringing people together,” Penny said. “I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved so far and excited about the opportunities we can bring to the students at Bath Spa University.”

Michelle added: “We especially want to thank Jasmine Raymond-Barker; Caila Bushaway; Mathew Emeny, Lydia Harman and Tim Neale in Careers; Alex Young and everyone running stalls and workshops.”

Setting up the campaign has also proved to be a valuable learning experience. Both said that the project has confirmed their desire to continue working to improve and support their communities after university.

Talking about the one thing they’d like people to take away from their campaign, Michelle said:

“I want anyone reading this to know that we can make a change - big or small. At the very least, a few student businesses will have been seen by more people than before, and maybe sold one more item than they would have, so it’s a positive difference.”

Penny added:

“[I want people to] have faith that the world will improve through collective action, whether it be the cost of living crisis, climate change or political turmoil. Our action has revealed the potential for being passionate about societal issues and the change we can make when we work together.”

For more information about Student Signal, you can visit their Instagram page.

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