Aberystwyth housing campaign wins NUS Wales award

BFTqERbCMAAgIt5THE HOUSING campaign started by Aberystwyth Students’ Union Student Support Officer, Laura Dickens, has won the ‘Campaign of the Year’ award at the NUS Wales Awards 2013 . The win was announced at the NUS Wales Award ceremony in  Newport on March 13th.

An independent panel of judges reviewed over 80 nominations for the awards which range from ‘Higher Education Students’ Union of the Year’ to ‘Course Rep of the Year’. For the past few months, Dickens has been addressing the housing problems students in Aberystwyth are currently facing, such as extortionate prices and the decreasing quality of houses (largely due to the lack of competition in the local housing market).

In August 2011, it was reported that students in Wales were facing a potential rent increase of 11%, although Aberystwyth students faced a much smaller rise compared to Bangor and Cardiff. Following a survey, Dickens wrote a report on housing in Aberystwyth which concluded that the long term aim should be to establish a Union Letting Agency, whilst also maintaining a close relationship with Ceredigion County Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The other nomination for the award was the GlamInit campaign at the University of Glamorgan Students’ Union, which sought to promote further integration between domestic and international students at the University by running events accommodating cultural differences and ‘language exchange’ schemes.

Following her success, Dickens- who was re-elected as Student Support Officer for 2013 on March 8th- said “I’m completely overwhelmed, it feels so good to receive some recognition for what has been an ongoing campaign! It’s not over yet, and we’ve still got loads to do but I’m definitely feeling immense excitement and drive for the rest of my time here!”