Speak your mind this week and lets talk about… Aberystwyth

UNLESS you’re like me and you only have two lectures a week, you will have bumped into Union officers or seen posters around campus advertising Speak Week. It is the first time our University has hosted a week dedicated to the expression of free speech and allowed students to participate through lectures and fairs. Yes, ordinarily you can get in contact with the University to let them know what they could improve, what’s bothering you or who is not being included. However, Speak Week is a chance for the larger student body to involve themselves with the future of Aberystwyth and its academic institution. Additionally, every day you get a coffee morning and on most days, a film; just more excuses to chill out with friends on the run up to essays and dissertation whilst hearing about what will affect you next year. Even if you only take an hour out of your day to visit one of these events, I assure you it will be well spent, you’ll only regret not getting involved later.

Let's Talk AboutHaving kicked off yesterday with a lecture from Craig Owens, tonight’s panel on ‘The Future of Aberystwyth University Question Time’ at 7pm is not to be missed if you’re going to be here next year. Not only will you get the chance to see what could influence the town and University next year, but you’ll also get to question the panelists on what they intend on doing to make Aberystwyth a better place for students. And who wouldn’t like to see the Uni officials squirm under student pressure. If you’re passionate about change then Speak Week is perfect for you, and this is an event for making your voice heard. Furthermore, ‘Aber Talks’ on Wednesday at 2pm, and The ‘Liberations Fair’ on Friday at 10am are not to be missed. The fair, alongside the ‘ZONES’ happening in the Picture House all week, covers all aspects of the student body. These smaller sections allows students to push for change on issues that affect sections of the student body and are crucial for the growth of our University. Think LGBT are severely under-represented within the Union and University? Does the lack of provisions for people with disabilities bother you? Do you wish there was something extra to help you get a job after University as a minority? Then get off your sofa and tell them what to do!

Every student is guilty of it, complaining about the state of the University or what they haven’t done for students lately. So why don’t you get up and speak up during Speak Week. With tuition fees at £9,000 a year and looking like they’ll stay there, the average student will come out with around £40,000 debt (tuition fees and an average £3,000 maintenance loan a year). Think we shouldn’t get library fines for this extortionate price? Tell them. This year, Aberystwyth University and the Union are giving us the chance to change that, to really get what we want out of University. You may consider it a waste of time, but getting the chance to tell the officials what to invest in to improve the student experience and hopefully the rank of the University, is priceless.