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STAR Meeting 9/10/13 October 11, 2013

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This weeks meeting, “How to win an argument on the asylum system”, was all about learning how to deconstruct and debunk the ignorant, and racist statements made about asylum seekers.  We covered all the basics from “They’re just here to steal our jobs” and”Asylum seekers get all nice the council houses”, to “Britians to full!” and even the, “Why don’t they just go home?”

The STAR committee also put together a leaflet that will be available here in case you couldn’t make the meeting but want a handy facts sheet!

We also discussed our choice of charity for the pub quiz!  Cast your vote here – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WSP37G8

Next meeting – We’re delighted to be inviting Morag Gillespie from Caledonian University to deliver a talk on her research for the Stop Destitution Campaign – https://www.facebook.com/events/441400529304754/?source=1


Star Meeting 13/03/13 – A Year in Review March 14, 2013

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This week’s meeting was sadly the last of this academic year!  We spent the meeting discussing and evaluating what activities, methods of education and campaigns we had taken on this year as well as thinking about what we hadn’t done that we may want to explore next year!  Here is a summary of our year in STAR.

STAR Seeking

Our first event of the semester, STAR Seeking was an interactive workshop aimed at introducing new members to the UK asylum system. At the start, participants would be given a ‘profile’ of a fictional person who they would represent on their journey through the asylum system were they were faced with cruel UKBA staff, poor housing and destitution. The workshop was received very well, and the participants said that it gave them a greater appreciation of the difficulties of the UK asylum system (which many knew nothing about before the meeting).

Bake Sale

We held two bakesales in our first semester, the first was to raise money for the Refugee Survival Trust and to try and get passers-by to sign the Stop Destitution Campaign postcards.  We made £69.28.  Our second bake-sale was on the day of the November Sleep Out to raise awareness of what we were doing, why we were doing it and to raise a bit more money for Positive Action in Housing who all of the Sleep Out funds were being donated to.

Sleep Out

Our annual November Sleep Out was a great success this year raising an astounding £920!  The weather stayed dry, and mostly mild for the whole night and as always there was plenty of food, signing, dancing and lots of chit-chat.  The Sleep Out is always a great event for getting to know other members and definitely an experience to be had!

Pub Quiz

We ran a pub quiz in November raising money for the UNHCR’s Syria Emergency Appeal.  Although the questions may have been a little hard, everyone enjoyed themselves!  On the night we also had a bakesale, and a raffle -with probably had the most raffle prizes I have ever seen.  We managed to raised £156.13 at the pubquiz!

Pop-Up Shop

In the week between the end of term and the start of the exam diet we ran a Pop-up Charity shop at the Queen Margaret Union.  We ran the shop from 10-4pm every day for a week selling donated clothes, jewelry  books and bric-a-brac.  The £116 raised went to the charity Unity who donated a lot of the stock from their charity shops.

Body Shop

This year ran our first ever “Feel Good, Do Good” night at the Bodyshop.  It was really fun, and I hope that we’ll do it again in the near future!  There were hand massages, eye and lip makeovers, cakes, drinks and a discounts on bodyshop products!  We raised £253.97 from this event and it was all donated to the UNHCR’s Syria Appeal.


Another first for this year was the STAR Trek!  We took a symbolic distance of 400 miles (which works out to 20 miles walked by 20 people) between Glasgow and Croydon (the only place where an asylum seeker can begin their asylum claim once in the country) and raised money by doing a sponsored walk for the Refugee Survival Trust, who among many other things, offer grants to those who need to travel to Croydon but cannot afford to as the government gives no assistance.  It was a hard walk, but I think everyone who came felt like they had achieved something good at the end of the day!  We managed to raise an amazing  £539.79 from the STAR trek!

Medsin Workshop

This Saturday STAR Glasgow will be presenting a workshop on “What students can do” at the Medsin Global Health Conference 2013 in Glasgow.  This will be very exciting for us!  We are going to take as many Stop Destitution Campaign postcards as we can to get them signed by the event attendees and we will be showing the campaign’s video at the introduction to our workshop.  The aim of the workshop is to inspire students to use their strengths to create projects that will be benefit the asylum-seeking and refugee communities.


Our last event of the year – and our STAR SOCIAL – is the annual GU Red Cross, GU Amnesty and STAR Glasgow ceilidh!  We are again raising for the amazing Red Cross International Tracing Service (RITS) which helps to reunite families who are separated due to conflicts and natural disasters.  The ceilidh is on 19th of March (Tuesday) – tickets are £3 before and £4 on the night!

This has been a great year for STAR and if you were involved with the group at any point this year, on behalf of the committee – Thanks! We hope to see you at our Ceilidh on Tuesday and next semester too!

STAR meeting 30/01/13 January 30, 2013

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This week we were fortunate to welcome Michael from the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) to our meeting. Michael regularly provides day-long training sessions on the asylum system, and i’m sure everyone at the meeting tonight would recommend them! Michael managed to squeeze several hours of information into a 40 minute talk and took the group through the asylum system from before the point application, discussing the flaws in the system, and giving powerful examples from his time working with asylum seekers in Glasgow.
This is the NCADC website – http://www.ncadc.org.uk/

In the remaining few minutes of the meeting we handed out tickets to be sold for our next event – The Body Shop Night! The event is raising money for the UNHCR’s Emergency Appeal for Syrian Refugees and more info can be found below!
If you were not at the meeting and would like tickets for yourself, or your friends, contact us at -starglasgow@googlemail.com

Events: Sleepout & Ceilidh February 18, 2011

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This term we’ve got two big events to look forwards to:

On the 25th of feburary, students in Glasgow will be sleeping on the streets on the 25th of February, with performances
and speakers earlier in the evening to raise awareness of the destitution faced by thousands of refused asylum seekers in the UK, who are literally left penniless at the end of their asylum claim.

All are welcome to come along and show their support for the cause.

As part of the National Student Action Week from 21st to 27th February, up to 1,000 students across the country will be sleeping out, organised by Amnesty International and STAR.

We are calling on the government to get behind more sensible rules for permission to work for asylum seekers. Allowing people to work and support themselves if they have been waiting for more than six months for their cases to be concluded, or have been refused asylum but cannot be returned, would reduce the burden on the taxpayer and allow them to support themselves and
their families while contributing to the economy.

We’re also calling on our MP, Anne McKechin, to take a stand. We want her to support the “Let Them Work Declaration”, which would allow refused asylum seekers to be allowed to work to support themselves and their families, avoiding destitution until they can find a durable solution to their situation.

You can ask your MP to sign the declaration here, and join the facebook group here.

We’ve also got our annual ceilidh, with gu amnesty and red cross, with this year’s funds going to the brilliant Red Cross Refugee Unit.

you can find out more about the ceilidh, and join our facebook group here.

Happy New Year! January 18, 2011

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Happy New Year!

We will be holding our AGM and elections for committee positions on Tuesday the 4th of February.  You can find out more about the positions here: Star Committee Positions

Hope to see you all there!

starry starry christmas party December 12, 2010

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we’ll be having a wee christmas gathering this tuesday, at 6pm in committee room 3 of the QMU.

there’ll be mince pies, a festive quiz, crackers and a chance to chat about plans for next year! 

join the facebook event here so we know how many to expect.

all welcome!

meeting 23.11.10 November 22, 2010

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(tuesday at 6pm in the QMU)

We’re really luck this week to have Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies and Maria Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in European Law, from GRAMnet  coming to our meeting; they’ll be talking about the work the do and their areas of research.

More than 1000 Glasgow asylum seekers have been told they could be removed from their homes in the city and sent elsewhere in Scotland with just a few days’ notice November 12, 2010

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The UKBA (UK Borders Agency) have cancelled the asylum accommodation contract for Glasgow City Council, without any warning, meaning that all the asylum seekers living in Glasgow City Council accommodation (around half) will now have to move to “alternative accommodation in the Scotland region.” Whilst the standard of accommodation provided by Glasgow City Council has been consistently high, the two private contractors who are expected to take responsibility for housing people are Angel and Y People, both of whom have a really terrible track record in the standard of housing provided and the quality of service given to people.
This means the UKBA is forcing people to move at the drop of a hat, with only two pieces of luggage each, pull their kids out of school, and leave their friends, neighbors, communities and church groups, which will be deeply distressing and disruptive, particularly for vulnerable people with health problems or who have been the victims of torture.  It also may affect people’s ability to contact their lawyers and make a good case for their asylum application.  
Here’s the letter sent by the UKBA to 600 families living in Glasgow, as well as the Scottish Refugee Council briefing paper, talking about who will be affected, and the benefits of staying with Glasgow City Council as an accommodation provider.
There are also two Herald articles about this which you can read here and here.
We’ll talk about this at next week’s meeting (6pm, committee room 3 of the QMU), and it’s really important that we mobilise and do as much as we can to prevent this happening.
There’s going to be a protest outside the City Chambers on monday at half past ten, I hope you can all make it down to show our support. 

In the meantime, you can contact the Head of UKBA Scotland (phil.taylor@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk ) and the head of Social Wok at Glasgow City Council (david.crawford@sw.glasqow.gov.uk ) asking them tore-negotiate the contract, or your  MP, or the Home Secretary (mayt@parliament.uk) and ask them to intervene.

First Meeting September 14, 2010

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Our first meeting of this term will be on the 21st of September, at 6pm at the Long Way Home bar on Byres Road.  If you’re interested in getting involved, or want to find out a bit more about refugees and asylum seekers, come along for a quiz and chat!

( If your not sure where that is, don’t worry – some of us will wait in the lobby of the QMU until ten past six and make our way down from there. )

Fresher’s Week September 10, 2010

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Star will have a stall at the Fresher’s Fair from nine ’till four.  Even if you’re not a fresher, if you want to find out about us, or are interested in volunteering with refugees and asylum seekers, come and have a chat.  (we’ll be at stall number 47) See you there!