our Impact / Campusalam
You’re 19. A few minutes ago you were chosen to come up on stage, in front of 300 people, and speak for ten minutes on a controversial topic.
Only fifteen minutes to prepare. Then just three minutes in, a man in the audience jumps up and starts yelling at you. He’s incoherent – and he won’t stop.
Happen to you? No?
That’s because you’ve never been at a Campusalam event, facing an Embedded Heckler.
But you’ve had to deal with some very difficult people, whether you’re 19 or 39. And when you were at university, did anyone teach you how to communicate in difficult situations? How to prevent those difficult situations happening in the first place? All those things that a BA just doesn’t give you. Like how to create a team from people who dislike and mistrust one another, then motivate them to achieve a challenging goal.
This is what you’ll need for the rest of your life.
Campusalam aimed to equip Muslim students and staff with resources, skills and advice to make their vision of change a reality. Not a campaigning project or a single-issue campaign; it is a vision that aims for the things we value, such as integrity, respect, peace, and justice. It is an approach - a range of skills with a particular style, for example, in managing conflict. It is the opportunity - the skills & information resource and the social network - that you can use to achieve your unique aims and vision.
Stories of success
Innovative student event formats that let students lead: We have worked to develop events that are planned and organised by students, but also make students the stars of the show instead of passive observers.
Comedislam – We worked with three British Muslim comedians to develop a comedy quiz show a la Mock the Week about Muslim student issues. Students on three campuses have organised the event this term and put up four representatives to join the comedians in witty banter on issues students face, from Islamophobia to parental expectations.
Rumble in Westminster – This event held in June 2009 let students create an argument and be the speakers in a crowd filled with embedded hecklers. A panel of experts served as X-factor styled judges and supporters of the students’ communication skills.
Vlogging for Change. Realising the power of video to communicate ideas and the new technology making it easier for anyone to use, Campusalam has created an online module on our website to empower students in shooting and sharing video of their projects and events on campus.
Viral Video Experiment - Hijabis vs. Skinheads. We created an original advert depicting Muslim students responding creatively to a potential conflict with right-wing “extremists”. The video has received hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and sparked positive discussion on how to deal with stereotypes.
Real-Time Resources. We’ve posted over 300 pages of resources on our Campusalam website, with toolkits on communication, event organising, vlogging and problem-solving.
What’s your vision?
This is the question we start with on every campus. Then we work out how to help students achieve that vision together.
A shared vision, founded on collaborative work and collaborative dreaming, is the one that will become reality. If you want to go far, you have to take people with you. It is the first step to convert ideas into real impact.
To see our student debaters coping with embedded hecklers onYouTube, click here.