This summer Wikimedia UK embarked on a systematic campaign to raise awareness of the assistance the charity can offer to university students towards the creation of new student societies associated with Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
With support from Wikimedia UK, Wikipedia student societies have already been established at Imperial College London and Cambridge University. We are keen to see this sort of activity develop on other campuses across the UK.
We’re in the process of discussing the possibility of new Wikipedia students’ societies developing at a number of universities in Cardiff, Dundee, Manchester, Hull/Scarborough, Swansea and London.
Although student unions have been very accommodating during these initial discussions, it’s up to students at individual universities to set up societies. Wikimedia UK will offer all the assistance possible through staff and volunteers from the charity’s community. Initially this could involve a stand or stall at the upcoming freshers’ fairs, but it can and should go beyond that. We therefore seek volunteers from the Wikimedia UK community to help out with getting the word out to university students in their area and/or assisting with stands at freshers’ fairs.
Ultimately, the charity seeks to support new students’ societies with the aims of attracting new members and distributing information about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects beyond freshers’ week. September, when many universities start, coincides with Wiki Loves Monuments, while other events such as Black History Month in October offer opportunities for sustained engagement and learning
Registering a new students’ society with us is very simple and we’re able to do this rather quickly seeing how close to freshers’ week we are. Details about Wikimedia UK’s support for student societies can be found here while examples of student activities beyond freshers’ fair can be found here
Furthermore, new Wikimedia-supported student societies registered with us before 10 October may be invited to present their plans for the coming academic year at the EduWiki Conference taking place in Cardiff later on this year. Scholarship opportunities are available to enable some officers of UK-based student societies to attend the 2013 EduWiki Conference. More information about all this is available for any new student society interested in joining us at the conference.
Please help us spread this information across university campuses throughout the UK, or if you’re a university student and a Wikipedian just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take it from there; there are around 150 student unions at UK universities so it’s likely that Wikimedia UK is already in touch with the students’ union at your university.