I’m a bit overwhelmed. When I decided with some individuals yesterday that we were going to put out a petition, I felt incredibly nervous. Having seen many campaigns like this fail, there was really no telling as to whether people would respond to what we were talking about. However, waking up this morning and seeing almost 1,000 signatures on the list made me realise that I wasn’t alone in thinking that maybe we have done the right thing. We trended 5th on change.org today.
A lot of people think it is very trivial. And fair enough to them, but outside of the bubble of essays and exams there is always more going on behind the scenes. I have had more alumni speak to me in the past few days about how worried they are and how thankful they were for a petition where they could really voice their opinions and get behind something. All it takes is a catalyst. One drop of dye in the water to change the colour of everything.
No doubt, we have made mistakes. There has been a hell of a lot of feedback and controversy as I was expecting. However, the one thing that I wanted to do, that I felt that the university haven’t been doing, is listening and responding to what people say. We went into the campaign quite headstrong, but after seeing the reactions and listening to some of the intelligent opinions, I think we are closer to finding the right track.
And there are organisations that are really listening. The local BBC radio station is due to drop into my house at the cosy time of 7:10 tomorrow morning to interview me for live radio. Nervous doesn’t even come close to it. I have also spoken to a number of national newspapers and student media, as well as members of the Kings College London campaign and we are really garnering support. The one thing that it has shown me is that people care. Even if they make sarcastic comments and jibes in the background, it engages them and they want to know what is going on.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Warwick this year. And it is a shame that the 50th anniversary of this great institution is in the mire of all of these issues, but there is a way out. I have never been opposed to change, and I think it is actually encouraging, but the processes have to change as well. If the branding of the campus is going to evolve, then so do the people that run it. There should show that students (and staff I might add) will not silently digest whatever they are given by the powers that be. It is as much our brand as it is theirs.
So what do you want that brand to stand for? The real window into Warwick that they claim to be pushing is that the student population is a force to be reckoned with. This generation is not going to be ignored. The reason that we are winning all of these accolades is because we are showing other institutions that have been around for hundreds of years that actually we are doing incredibly well. We are competing on the highest platform.
This is what the brand should reflect. Us. But if they don’t consult us properly, then this is never going to be possible. Let’s take a moment to reflect and start the conversation again. We need to sit down and start speaking the same http://https://www.change.org/p/halt-the-re-branding-of-the-university-of-warwicklanguage.
Like I said before, this is only the start.