“#DMUpride is not just a slogan – It’s about making positive statements about our values” – DMUpride launch

 

Hundreds of students stood up and made their voice count on Monday for the launch of #DMUpride.

The Campus centre was filled with colour and rainbows as the launch included tie dying #DMUpride T-shirts, making rainbow bracelets plus 10 stalls from different organisations throughout Leicester.

Nikki Payne, co-chair of the LGBT+ society at the university said during her speech; “DMU pride is so important in order to help teach people about the LGBT+ community.”

DMU is the first I know of that holds a university specific pride and this year it is better than ever with even more student input and great opportunities to get involved.”

Other speakers included Ben Brown DMU’s Chief Operating Officer and Keira Rounsley, DSU’s VP Welfare and community.

During the launch the #DMUpride advert was shown, made by DSU’s Mike Mayes VP media and communications. The advert features staff, students and locals from around the Leicester LGBT+ community talking about their freedom to be, this year’s theme.

The annual event celebrates it’s third year with a month long event full of activities including film screenings, comedy shows and a mental health conference at the end of the month.

Elle Knaggs, womens officer at the LGBT+ said: “It’s important for people to understand that being LGBT doesn’t just mean homosexual. An event like #DMUpride helps to educate people and make them more aware of the LGBT+ community.”

The LGBT+ society will be hosting their own events including workshops based around Gender and sexuality in different weeks, also hosting films with the same themes.

The society also got involved in DemonFM taking over some of their shows through the week.

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#DMUpride t-shirts hanging out to dry after being tie dyed or drawn on

 

“Be confident and resilient” – Insider tips from UK leading journalist

“Journalists are engaged in the painstaking search for truth so people can find justice. It has never been more important to have journalists.”

Those words come from one of the leading names in UK journalism, Dorothy Byrne.

Speaking to students of Leicester Media School when they attended a postgraduate employability event on Wednesday 25 January, Dorothy gave a key note address talking about the importance of the truth as a journalist, also giving insider tips for future journalists.

“Fake News isn’t news; people need to find out the truth about what is going on in their lives.”

Lead speakers from ITV, BBC and a DMU graduate also spoke about their time working in the industry.

Olivia Whaley, a third year single honours journalism student spoke about the experience: “It is so inspiring to gain an insight from journalists such as Dorothy Byrne.

“The whole event motivated me and helped me gain an idea of what is expected from graduates.”

During her talk Dorothy Byrne spoke about the importance of supporting journalists in their attempt to tell the truth, the positive side of social media and how ‘Brexit’ was poorly covered, as well as giving students lifelong tips for the industry that had been given to her by other journalists.

“Be alert, support each other, work experience is key and learn different skills you may need. Social media, learning to shoot videos, learning how to drive are all important skills for a journalist.

“Go to events, always have a story to pitch. Know how the industry you want to go into works, make sure to have a portfolio of work, contact people, do as much as you can while at university and most importantly, impress people.”

As well as lead speakers, Professors from the university spoke about postgraduate options from MAs in Independent study, and Global Media, to MAs in Journalism with an NCTJ accreditation and Investigative Journalism, developed and endorsed by Channel 4.

Professor Jason Lee, head of Leicester Media School, said: “We are fortunate to work so closely with Channel 4 and we share the same ethos. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn from Dorothy Byrne.”

For more information about postgraduate opportunities contact Ali Haynes for the MA in Journalism at ahaynes@dmu.ac.uk or Richard Danbury for the MA in Investigative Journalism at richard.danbury@dmu.ac.uk 

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DMU Vice Chancellor makes a stand at 24-hour vigil

By Ilaina Skinner

In a very uncertain time in politics, De Montfort University is not afraid to tell the world how they feel and to stand in solidarity with victims of intolerance with the Vice Chancellor, Dominic Shellard, leading and organising a demonstration.

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For a full 24 hours starting midday on Wednesday, DMU held a vigil on campus to show support to refugees and people facing prejudice. Hundreds of students turned up throughout to show support and express their concerns.

The vigil came at an important time politically as the Vice Chancellor made very apparent. A matter of hours before the protest began, the British Government made a very controversial decision to close the scheme to bring unaccompanied child refugees to the UK. Mr Shellard described this decision as a ‘disgrace’, during a speech at the demonstration.

Donald Trump’s recent Muslim travel ban has caused controversy globally and DMU did not shy away from the topic. The flags of the seven Muslim-majority countries that Trump has attempted to get their citizens banned from travelling to the US were displayed to show that all countries are welcome at DMU and as an institute it does not discriminate.

During the vigil, there were over 100 acts performing, including poetry readings, raps and cultural dances. What became apparent throughout the night was that where university staff and students may all come from different backgrounds, what they share in common is a determination to have justice for humanity.

Students and staff had the opportunity to tie ribbons to the fence around the Hawthorn Building as a symbol representing prayers and hope being sent to those in need of it. There was also a ceremonial candle lighting to show solidarity. It was both a physical and spiritual experience for those involved.

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At about 11pm, Mr Shellard told the story of Mahatma Gandhi to show the importance of fighting political oppression. It was a story that involved hardships, prejudice and torment but one that ended in bringing together the divided people of India after the British occupation.

It was a tale that demonstrated the importance of peaceful and diplomatic protest when facing injustice. Mr Shellard reminded his audience to not turn a blind eye to victims facing intolerance with a powerful Gandhi quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

The nature of the vigil itself was one of impeccable organisation and thought. It was a perfect example of how non-violent and diplomatic demonstrations can be successful in making a stand.  To keep the protesters going through the night there were blankets, outdoor heaters, free hot drinks and a hot vegan chilli served.

The Vice Chancellor made his intentions for the vigil clear; do not turn a blind eye to intolerance and that we are all citizens of the world.