A woman holds a sign saying "Give. Thanks" in a green field

4 ways you can give back to your student community

When was the last time you felt the rush of warm and fuzzy feelings you receive after doing something good for someone else?

Well, I challenge you to do something great for your student community. And if you don’t get that rush of good feelings after 30 days… I was going to offer you some money back but who am I kidding. I’m a uni student, not an infomercial presenter.

Here are some great ways you can get involved at the University.

1. Volunteering

Fact: There is no downside to volunteering. You get to meet new people, develop new skills, add something to your resume, all while doing some good at uni.

There is also no shortage of volunteering opportunities. If you’re interested in directly helping other students, why not sign up to be a peer mentor? As a peer mentor you can help new students understand university and settle in.

If you’ve got a green thumb, the Community Garden is always looking for more people. On top of socialising with other volunteers, you also get to take home the produce you’ve helped grow!

2. Student Elections

Have you ever dreamed of becoming President? Or getting the opportunity to tell Parliament you will not be lectured on misogyny by this man, not now, not ever?

Well this is your time to shine.

STUDENT ELECTIONS. *Cue 1999 Reese Witherspoon*

Advocating on behalf of students is a really important role that isn’t going to be fulfilled all on its own. As a student representative, you can ensure students have a say about what goes on at the University. This is your opportunity to effect tangible change.

There is a vast range of opportunities for students to become involved in governance bodies that contribute to the teaching, learning and business of the University as well as the welfare of its students. Student elections include University Council, Academic Senate and the Faculty Board. Generally speaking, if elected you will need to attend meetings, discuss various issues and share your perspective as a student.

You can also get involved with UNSA (University of Newcastle Students Association). UNSA hosts regular events, advocates for students, provides free meals and supports access to subsidised essential services.

3. Jobs on Campus

Just can’t stay away from the allure of the University of Newcastle? Apply for a job on campus!

As someone who has worked multiple jobs on campus, I can 100% guarantee that they are just THE BEST.

From my experience, the University is super flexible as they understand study comes first, while also providing a fantastic work environment. I spend most of time interacting with uni students anyway, so getting the chance to be paid to do that? It’s a win-win.

You’re also given the chance to help your fellow students. As a member of the Student Central hub team, you can really turn someone’s day around by helping solve their inquiry.

Ditto for those at the library (a truly underappreciated role in my opinion). Let’s be real – no one really wants to be working at 3am. But someone has to man the 24 hour study sections of the library. So to those who fulfil that essential role while I’m cramming a last minute study session, I salute you.

Check this out for more information about jobs on campus.

4. Join a club or society

Clubs and societies can totally enhance your student experience. It gives you the chance to meet like-minded people in some of the most niche interest areas.

Degree-based societies such as University of Newcastle Med Society, the Law Students’ Association and the BusCom Association facilitate events for you to make friends with people in your degree, participate in cultural events and compete in academic competitions.

As a Bachelor of Communication/Law student, I can whole-heartedly say my university experience would not have been the same without the UNLSA.

But why just reap the benefits when you can actually help run events? Give back to your student community by joining the Executive of a club or society, or better yet, start your own! Not only will you gain great leadership experience, you also get to know you’re enhancing your fellow students’ time at the University.

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