‘A safe space for meeting like-minded people’

| Michael Maurer

Twelve UT students want to fight oppression and create a safe space with their newly founded association 'Shareit'. ‘We hope to share our resources and energy for people who cannot help themselves.’

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk
Photo: students at the O&O Square.

Shareit is still in the founding phase, but the members have clear ambitions for the upcoming association. Members of Sharit aim 'to create a safe space for students at UT', explains Tyra Nwabugwu, one of the founding members of Shareit and a bachelor student in Psychology. Especially students who do not identify with the current cultural associations at UT are welcome at Shareit. ‘There is no association at UT where people who do not share the same culture can come together, which is why Shareit aims to fill this gap.’

For the upcoming association, it is not only important to create a safe space for students at the university, but the members want to 'share resources and energy for people who cannot help themselves'. To this purpose, the association organises charity events to help people who are affected by oppression.

Events

Shareit plans regular events to raise awareness of oppression and support people affected by oppression through fundraising. The first event of that kind organised by the upcoming association is a backyard sale on 5th of June in Enschede, where members will sell products to support a charity that helps women in Nepal. ‘The donations will enable women in Nepal to learn new skills and improve their education to help them become independent from their families’, explains Tyra Nwabugwu.

These charity events are not only meant to raise donations for people in need, but also to provide 'a safe space for students to come together and meet like-minded people', explains Klaas Rah, another founding member of Sharit and a master student in Psychology. To come up with ideas for future events, open discussion is encouraged in the members' group. 'We find suitable ideas for events by having open discussions about which project is best suited to help people who are oppressed in any way', says Tyra Nwabugwu.

According to the members of the upcoming association, the charity events and awareness campaigns will not focus on a specific form of violence such as sexual or domestic violence, as Klaas Rah explains: 'We as an association don't really choose to target any kind of oppression, we decide for ourselves which issue is most important at the moment and then try to make a difference'.

Recognition of the student association

At the moment, Shareit is not yet recognised as an association by the Student Union, but according to Tyra Nwabugwu, the members are very optimistic that it will be recognised very soon because ‘many students are interested in Shareit and many students also think that the university needs an association like Shareit’. The Shareit team has already fulfilled most of the requirements for recognition as an association, says Rah. 'We as Shareit members now just need to find more members.’