I'm a first-year at the University of Birmingham and am relatively new to activism. I have always been an advocate of free education, so along with my friend Danni (also a new activist), we were very keen to join the demonstration against fees in November 2014. We got involved with a campaign group in order to do this (which Louise later joined), but quickly became disillusioned with the politics and the fact that there was no legitimate left-wing campaign group on campus, beyond ordinary 'party' politics.
I attended the Student Assembly National Convention on something of a whim, and came
back very excited about the possibilities of being able to form our own group and affiliate with the national movement. I was hugely impressed by the way that the assembly worked and drew groups together to campaign on a variety of issues, and, having talked with some of the people who were key in the movement, was impassioned to make a change.
I called Danni and Louise and they agreed, so we started our branch of the Student Assembly. We have a strong core of people who form our campaign group; we don't all agree on every issue, and everyone is free to join or withdraw from any campaign, but we form a strong collective which has a nice range from across the anti-austerity spectrum. We're also currently working on becoming a 'legitimate' society with the Guild, so hopefully we'll be able to reach out to other people and create a larger group, capable of drawing together other anti-austerity groups to form wider campaigns.