Student Showcase: Daniel Fisher

During Freshers, Hype worked alongside Co-op Insurance and Student Watch to create a fantastic new student safety campaign. We were lucky to have had some incredible students work with us on writing some insightful articles, as well as working on campus to promote Co-op Insurance x Student Watch.

For this month’s showcase, we wanted to spotlight one of our fantastic students Daniel, who wrote a fantastic piece in the Student Lookout Magazine, and also distributed them on campus. We sat down with them to talk about their article, as well as some top tips from Daniel on creating a safe environment for students as well as how to find your safe space in your city.

Hype: Hey Daniel, could you briefly introduce yourself to our showcase readers?
Hi, I’m Daniel Fisher. I study Contemporary Culture, Literature and Theory at King’s College London, and I freelance write on the side. I’m early in my career but the goal is to be one of those glam writers who can expense a liquid brunch at a chic bar as “research.”

Hype: How did you get involved with us and what are some of the campaigns you’ve worked on with us?

I first connected with Hype back in March when I applied for a content writing role. I didn’t get that particular gig, however Hype got back in touch with me shortly after to commission me to write two pieces around queer inclusion in the work place. It just goes to show that there’s never a downside to applying for work that excites you!

Hype: This month you’ve been working with Co-op on their Student Watch campaign. Tell us a bit about what you have been up to?

Sure! The Co-op has put together a cracking squad of student writers and commissioned us to write a range of pieces aimed at educating and empowering this year’s cohort of uni freshers. Since publishing the magazine, we’ve been going around UK campuses to promote the magazine in person.

Hype: Student Watch empowers students to support each other on campus and in their community to create a safer, happier environment. What are 3 ways a campus can be a safe environment for its’ students?

The safest campuses are those with a palpable sense of community. Three ways to foster that spirit that come to mind are:

1) Socialising. Get to know your course mates, the people in your halls, even get on first name basis with the baristas at the campus coffee place! Uni can be isolating and isolation is never safe.

2) Getting informed. This is where Student Watch comes in! There are a ton of resources in the magazine that simply being informed of will make campus a safer place, such as helplines for people struggling with depression, and an article on how to fight racism on campus.

3) Being proactive. Being informed is just half the battle, the other half is putting that knowledge into action. This can be as simple as inviting your flatmate who hasn’t been themselves lately out for a hot drink and a dmc (deep meaningful convo), or as daunting as sticking up for your queer friend when someone says something disrespectful. Both are important sides of the same coin.

Hype: The Lookout is a free termly magazine written by students for students that features advice on safety, wellbeing and how to get involved with local community initiatives. Within the magazine, you wrote an incredible piece titled ‘The Big Queer Guide to a night out’. What are some ways that people can protect their LGBTQ+ friends on a night out?

Thank you! I think the important thing when it comes to protecting your mates on a night out is to be open to one another and trusting with one another. This means keeping each other in the loop about how intoxicated you’re feeling; if you notice anyone acting dodgy; if you want to go home or go somewhere else; etcetera. We’ve all been guilty of an Irish exit (leaving the party without saying goodbye) and I’m no saint, but you’re far less likely to have a bad experience if you have your friends around watching your back (and you theirs).

Hype: In your article, you wrote about the importance of finding safe spaces. How would you advise students, new to a city, to seek out safe places?

Part of my article is explaining how even our “safe spaces” don’t offer full protection from the unfortunate realities of the world. I’ve recently come across a term that is much more fitting which is “intentional spaces”. This would mean the difference between a bar that thinks simply having a rainbow flag makes it an impenetrable sanctuary, and a club that *intentionally* only hires staff and security who are well informed on LGBTQ+ experiences and issues.

My advice for finding these places is to first find your queer course mates, house mates, neighbours etc and go from there! Joining a society could be a good route into this, be it the LGBTQ+ Society, or something more general like a sports or interest society, because queers are everywhere!

And once you have a few LGBTQ+ friends, you’ll find these intentional spaces through word of mouth, or even have created one yourself just through having built a little bit of community spirit.

Hype: Finally, what is your top tip for students to stay safe on a night out?

My top tip- that’s a hard one! I think all of the advice in my piece is equally valuable, but I can say what advice seems most needed in terms of my recent experiences and that is: find safe transport. With the night tube in London still not running, and a surge in taxi-app prices, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get home after a night out. Being stuck in Tottenham Hale at 6am on a November morning in little more than a mesh shirt and eyeliner, well its not a fun experience!

In light of this, lately I’ve been making sure to go out with a bunch of people, or make sure I know lots of people who are going to the event/club so we can travel home together. Splitting the uber costs makes it *almost* affordable.

Finally, I want to recommend Home Safe, a new non-profit org that helps cover the cost of your uber if you’re worried about getting home safe. Drop them a follow on Instagram @HomeSafeLDN (they operate across the UK!)

To read Daniel’s article, click here.

If you believe in working towards a better-connected and safer student campus, be part of the Student watch! Students are invited to register their interest in joining the new Student Council by visiting www.studentwatch.co.uk.

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