The Oxford SU Class Act campaign supports, represents and campaigns on behalf of students from working class, low income, first generation, and state comprehensive school backgrounds, as well as care leavers and estranged students. The campaign's co-chairs are Jade, a third year History student at St Peter's, and Skye, a third year History and Politics student at St Edmund Hall.
The journey so far
I’m Jade, one of the co-chairs at Class Act and I’m a third year studying History at St Peter’s. I’m also a proud Mancunian! I got involved with Class Act originally in my first year when I was an intersectional rep with another Oxford SU campaign.
I’m Skye, the other co-chair, in third year studying History and Politics at St Edmund Hall- I’m from Hackney, north-east London, quite a way away from Jade! I got involved in Class Act in my first year after stumbling across their Facebook page during a time when I was really struggling with being at Oxford - and it's been an invaluable place for me.
The aims of the campaign
The most important thing we want to achieve is to provide a place for students from non-traditional Oxford backgrounds where their experiences are valued, and that they have a platform to make change from which they are well supported.
At the moment, we are working to provide more readily available and dedicated welfare support within colleges, equalise financial situations amongst colleges and look at postgrad access. We are also gearing up for Class Act Families, one of our ways to help support freshers with the transition to Oxford and any obstacles it brings.
How have you adapted throughout the pandemic?
The pandemic has obviously caused a lot of disruption to academic studies and life for students, and sadly this is often disproportionately felt by students who fall under our remit.
On top of the hugely detrimental impact of lockdown on having access to adequate study spaces, and the additional costs faced by present students self-isolating in halls, the most hectic time of our campaign last year was during the A Levels results controversy when incoming students were unfairly denied their (totally deserved) places due to issues out of their control, with grades that were disproportionately harsh on low income, state educated working class students.
Fortunately the issue was resolved when the University decided to take on more offer holders, but it definitely showed why it’s important to have a force like ours which students can reach out to for reassurance.
Looking to the future
Looking to the future, our ultimate aim is to have a university where no student who falls under our remit is disadvantaged or discriminated against because of their socio-economic background. It’s a difficult feat to achieve, but hopefully by raising our profile, expanding our network and taking on challenges and projects one by one the goal will get closer.
How to get involved
If you want to get involved with Class Act, please visit their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, freshers group and Oxford SU page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like information and support for adjusting into your new student life at Oxford, please visit the Oxford Transition Support page.
If you would like to share your own experience of student life at Oxford or want to promote your student society, email email@example.com