On Saturday 30th September, Shades of Noir held a stall at Central Saint Martins UAL Freshers Fair. Myself, Tiffany, Julie and Michael all attended to represent SoN, and encourage new students to sign up and take part in – what could be – an imperative part of their time at university.
I never bothered to go to any freshers fairs when I was at university, it never really crossed my mind, I guess because of the preconception I had with the idea of freshers. What I heard from my friends who went to university before me, freshers was cheap drinks at pop clubs, a free pen and maybe a couple of badges. But this one at CSM completely transformed my perspective. The building was loaded with a plethora of stalls lined down the main center, offering numerous activities and societies to get involved in, from aikido to netball and art store memberships to joining the African Caribbean society. Hundreds of eager students filled the floor and the energy from that was super exciting; everyone was getting involved with the different things on offer and making new friendships.
The Shades of Noir stall gained a massive interest, people were constantly gathering around inquiring about who we were and what we do, and most importantly were eager to learn more once they found out. There were also a few people who briefly knew what Shades of Noir is and stands for, and they enquired about how to take part in future events so we informed them about our upcoming Terms of Reference publications and how they can contribute. One person told us how excited they were hearing about something like Shades of Noir as “there are no other spaces within education where students have an opportunity to express their personal and political opinions”.
Over 500 people signed up to our weekly newsletter and all of our goody bags and merchandise had ran out before the fair finished. It’s definitely encouraging to hear and see that so many new voices and faces want to be a part of what Shades of Noir does – it can only get better from here.