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The information on this page provides you with resources to successfully campaign for change at your university.

Campaigning is a useful way of creating sustainable, long-term change.

How to campaign for change at university

When you start planning your campaign, you could use the prompt questions below to help you.

What is the issue you want to address? How could you narrow this down to be able to meet your aim in a practical way? For example, are you aiming to change a certain policy at your university? Do you want students to know more about the support available to them?

What type of campaign would best help you reach your aim? See examples of different successful sexual misconduct campaigns below.

Who do you need to convince? For example, is it senior academic staff, the leadership at university, fellow students? How might you access them or get their attention?

What information, evidence or data do you have at your disposal to help get attention and strengthen your case for change? The information on this hub on student rights, the responsibilities of universities, the rates of sexual misconduct at university and information on what universities can do to tackle sexual misconduct could be useful starting points to guide you.

How can you make your campaign impactful? How will you ensure you grab attention? Will your campaign have a social media presence?

How will you make your campaign inclusive? See the Intersectional Activism guide from the NUS for more information.

What barriers might you face in creating change? How might you overcome these?

How might you ensure the safety of yourselves and others during this campaign? Learn more about burnout and secondary trauma when dealing with upsetting topics like sexual misconduct.

For more information, see this comprehensive guide to campaigning from UN Women for information on campaign planning, strategy and implementation. The guide is specific to tackling violence against women and girls, of which sexual misconduct is a form.

Sexual misconduct campaigns

Not On My Campus: this is a national student network which tackles sexual violence at university. They also provide campaign support.

Reclaim the Night: this is a national campaign run by the London Feminist Network that campaigns for justice for rape survivors.

#ITSNOTOK: this campaign takes place each year during Sexual Violence Awareness Week and aims to raise awareness of sexual violence and abuse.

The #MeToo Movement: founded by Tarana Burke, this movement aims to bring healing to survivors of sexual violence.

The #EmilyTest: supporting students affected by gender-based violence in Scotland.

Our Streets Now: campaign to ban public sexual harassment from higher education campuses and cities.

Revolt Sexual Assault: campaign working to expose and raise awareness of the real nature of sexual assault and harassment experienced by students at university in the UK.

It Stops Now: campaign to end sexual violence in higher education.

Reclaim the Campus: this campaign group have released a report into UK universities sexual misconduct policy.

#BuildTrustNotSilence: campaign to encourage universities to pledge not use non-disclosure agreements.

Examples of student led campaigns: NUS campaigns

NUS Women Student Campaigns Network

Women Students: Safe & Equal from EVAW.

It Stops Now Campaigning Toolkit

Let’s Talk About Yes: UK Universities Activism Toolkit from Amnesty Students

Previous successful campaigns

Examples of successful student protests, petitions, and campaigns.

Your university may already be running campaigns that you might be able to get involved in. You could reach out to your students’ union or societies to find out more.

Protesting & campaigns

Campaigns can take many different forms. Awareness campaigns might involve posters, leaflets and videos, other causes might benefit from protests.

Everyone has the right to protest 

The Green and Black Cross provide protesters – whether you’re planning a protest, or been harmed or arrested protesting – with valuable information and guidance to support you and maintain your safety whilst protesting.