This week for we sat down with our FAB friends from Oxford University in London to see what their ACS is all about. Join us while we talk culture, aspirations and annual Christmas dinners.……

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAB: What is the driving force behind your organization?

Oxford – Our community spirit is the driving force behind our organisation. We seek to support and further the interests of people of African and Caribbean descent within the university, through regular academic, social and career-related events.

 

FAB: Why do you think it is important for your organization to be African ambassadors on your campus?

Oxford – As the proportion of African and Caribbean students within the student body of Oxford University is relatively small, we believe it is important for the ACS to ensure that the voices of members of this minority group are heard, whilst giving others the opportunity to learn about our cultures through the variety of events we host.

 

FAB: What kind of events do you organize? What is the biggest event of the year and why?

Oxford – We organise political, social, academic and career-related events throughout the academic year. Our biggest event of the year is our annual Christmas Dinner when we invite sponsors, speakers and supporters from outside of the university to join our members to celebrate the festive season. It is the biggest event of our year because it is at this event, other than our annual summer fair, that all interested parties of the Oxford ACS are able to meet to reinforce our community spirit and aims.

We have also set up an online mentoring scheme for students of African and Caribbean descent who would like guidance on applications for universities, particularly those in which Black people are under-represented such as Oxford. We hope to have this up and running by October 2011.

 

FAB: Do you think your organization is FAB?  What is unique about your organization?

Oxford – Our organisation is definitely FAB because we welcome anyone who has an interest in the culture of both Africa and the Caribbean, and our aim is to host exciting and stimulating events for our diverse membership, as well as to support our members through a range of events focusing on, for example, internship and post-degree development and employment.

 

FAB: What are some of the positive and negative (if any) outcomes/perceptions of being actively involved in your ACS?

Oxford – Positive; people appreciate the opportunity to learn about and explore African and Caribbean culture. Negative; people assume that only people of African or Caribbean descent can join the society- this is definitely not the case!

 

FAB: What would you say to those who believe ACS is just about partying?

Oxford – We have several sponsors who often host career-related events and support our members in securing internships and work after they have graduated. We also host educational and cultural events such as our recent event with Malorie Blackman, in which she spoke about her career as an author and her books which include ‘Noughts and Crosses’.

 

FAB: Do you think being a part of your ACS will contribute to your career aspirations? Are there any examples of former members/officers that prove this?

Oxford – Of course! Personally, I have only just completed my first year, but with the help of one of our sponsors I managed to secure a 2-week internship with a leading investment bank. I also know that the ACS has had a positive impact on the careers of several other current members and Alumni of the Oxford ACS.

 

FAB: Do you feel the African/black population in your University is well represented? How has this affected the organization?

Oxford – As statistics prove, the black population is not well represented in Oxford University, so the ACS acts as one way of representing the interests of Black people within the university. As the proportion of African and Caribbean students within the student body of Oxford University is relatively small, we believe it is important for the ACS to ensure that the voices of members of this minority group are heard, whilst giving others the opportunity to learn about our cultures through the variety of events we host. For this reason we encourage anybody who has an interest in African and Caribbean cultures, regardless of background, to join the society and get involved in its events.

 

President: Gillian Appau

Treasurer: Martha Mends

Abbigail

Phosile

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.