As written about in one of previous articles, student ambassadors help to promote and improve Student Switch Off engagement within their halls of residence and across their campus. Ambassadors are therefore a key part of the campaign, significantly helping to boost the number of students taking part in our competitions, quizzes, saving energy and recycling.
Erk Gunce, an ambassador and Masters student of Education Management from King’s College London, shares his experience of being an ambassador so far this year.
Why did you sign up to be a SSO ambassador?
I signed up because I wanted to learn more about sustainability and ways of promoting it. I figured that there was no better way to learn about sustainability than working with a campaign dedicated to it. I was not disappointed, since a few months into my role, I have already learned so many new tips about reducing waste.
I also signed up because sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for companies worldwide. Employers would really appreciate knowing that I've been trained in sustainability and promoted it.
What do you particularly like about the campaign?
I love the fact that the campaign achieves many goals at once - it promotes sustainability, it encourages bonding between the students, it gives the students targets to look forward to (e.g. earning prizes in the Climate Change Quiz). It also supports students who live in a very expensive city by offering handy and valuable freebies, with extra rewards, skills development and opportunities offered to ambassadors.
I like that this campaign also encourages me to become a more sustainable person. Having officially signed up as an ambassador, I feel more responsible than ever towards the planet and I have become more sustainable since I became an ambassador.
SSO are also sponsored by Ben and Jerry's, a company which is inclusive of different customers since it offers vegan options. Therefore, more residents will be able to benefit from the freebies.
What you have done so far as an ambassador?
I set up a sustainability stall where I spoke to students about sustainability, gave them sustainability tips, encouraged them to sign up to the SSO newsletter and to take the Climate Change quiz. I collaborated with the KCL Community Engagement Team (ResiLife) to secure budget for this event, and thanks to their funding was able to give out snacks. The SSO team have supported me to run these events, enabling me to give out freebies such as Ben & Jerry’s vouchers and SSO cotton bags which helped to encourage around 40 residents to sign up.
Other promotion has included launching a Facebook 'Like' campaign, collecting names of residents who are interested in attending a future ambassador training, putting up posters (and recycling them when expired) and running a photo campaign where I have been taking photos of residents around my campus with a blackboard, encouraging them to write a message about sustainability. I have seen residents around using their SSO cotton bags, this is a great achievement and has showed me that they are really taking us seriously and changing their lifestyle to become greener.
What is your top energy saving tip?
'If you like the planet, you should put a lid on it!' -Beyoncé