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Student Voices: An Introduction to International Relations Societies

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Joining societies is one of the best ways to meet new people and find your tribe at LSE. Given the abnormal nature of this year’s Societies Fair on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September, we wanted to spotlight some of the best IR-related societies on campus! Here are the details in their own words:

Grimshaw Club

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The Grimshaw Club is LSE’s oldest student society, founded in 1923. For nearly 100 years, the club has been engaging students in discussions and connecting like-minded individuals with an interest in international affairs. We empower you as a member to understand key issues that affect our world, with a mind to effect change in the future after graduation.

Our main activities allow students to engage with International Relations in a variety of ways. Our speaker event series allow you to learn from academics, diplomats and professionals and pose questions about the most pertinent global and regional issues affecting us today. Our signature events include:

  • Grimshaw’s Student Delegations: academic trips to many destinations abroad for you to gain a deep insight into the political, economic, media and human rights landscapes of the country and the region.
  • Grimshaw Symposium: a full week of events in Michaelmas Term around a particular TBD theme
  • Diplomacy Ball: the highlight social event of the year to look forward to in Lent Term!

Does America’s decline and China’s rise indicate a new world order? What will the future of diplomacy look like in a more digital, post-COVID era? How can we address issues like systemic racism, gender inequality and climate change in an international affairs setting? These are all the types of questions we endeavour to discuss in our events. Our socials will be a bit more chill, we promise. We will be providing both online and offline options for socials as much as we can, through hosting Zoom quizzes as well as conducting visits and trips around London organisations relevant to international affairs or just interesting attractions to help you explore the city!

We are also running the Family Scheme to help students in their transition to university. You are put in a ‘family’ with fellow first years and more senior students who can mentor you along your LSE journey, be it through studying IR to the best place for a coffee on campus or just some friendly faces to chat to!

For Welcome Week, do look out for us at the Digital Welcome Fair on Thursday 24th and Friday 25thSeptember. We will then be hosting two Zoom calls for our Annual General Meeting at different times, once in Week 1 and once in Week 2 so just turn up to the one that is most convenient for you to learn more about the society and our activities, get introduced to the committee and to have any and all of your questions answered. Look out for more details on our Facebook or our Instagram pages!

Whether you are a student of International Relations or just have an interest in international affairs, come join us!

 

United Nations Society

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The LSESU United Nations Society (UNSOC) is one of the largest and most operationally diverse societies on campus, and at its core, aims to promote the work and values of the UN. The society is composed of three divisions, each with its unique set of activities and opportunities that members can access– Careers, Outreach and Model UN. Careers organizes career panels, including a UN Internship Workshop that hosts experts who are familiar with the application process, a mentorship scheme, and the Foreign Affairs reception wherein members can network with the London diplomatic community. Outreach is the fundraising and grassroots activism branch of the society, working with our partner charities The Blue Dragon Foundation and the UN Human Rights Commission to raise awareness and raise for social causes of global importance. Model UN, or more colloquially known as TeamLSE, is one of the top Model UN teams in Europe and trains weekly to attend MUN conferences nationally and internationally.

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In addition to the numerous speaker panels, fundraisers, and competitions, UNSOC’s main flagship events are Awareness Week, YouthMUN, LSEMUN and the Diplomacy Ball. For a whole week at the beginning of Lent Term, the Outreach Division liaises with Careers and MUN to raise funds and awareness about an important social cause– in the past, Awareness Week has been themed around Child Rights. YouthMUN and LSEMUN are UNSOC’s two Model UN conferences organized for sixth formers and university students respectively. Lastly, the Diplomacy Ball is London’s largest multi-university ball and UNSOC’s largest fundraising event.

For welcome, UNSOC Week (28th September – 3rd October) will feature a number of Give It a Go sessions so new members can meet the committee and learn more about the activities of the society as a whole. It will host our Charity Showcase with Blue Dragon and the UNHRC, a speaker panel with members of the British Association of Former United Nations Civil Servants (BAFUNCS), a virtual Model UN Training Bootcamp, and (COVID-19 permitting) a social at Lincoln’s Inn Fields! More information can be found on UNSOC’s Instagram and Facebook social media pages (@lsesuunsoc).

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International Development

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The International Development Society (InterDev) was founded in 2012 by a group of passionate undergraduate students interested in issues of development. We aim to foster a deeper and more critical understanding of international development amongst the LSE student body. Our areas of interest span economic development, human rights, social impact, and diversity – all with an international element.

Our society runs a number of events throughout the year including but not limited to speaker events, society wide-collaborations, career events, socials etc. Past speaker events have hosted government representatives from around the world and renowned economists such as Valeria Gontareva (former Governor of the Bank of Ukraine) and Paul Collier (one of the world’s leading development economists). This year we’ll be hosting weekly webinars and have invited professionals from diverse backgrounds. Representatives from the International Energy Agency, World Bank Group, the OECD Development Centre, MIT as well as various government Ministers will be joining us this year.  On the social side of things, InterDev is planning socially distanced outdoor events such as movie screenings, picnics and small gatherings under a Family Scheme.

Our largest event, the London Development Symposium takes place in February. This is Europe’s biggest student-led international development conference and will surely be returning in February 2021. With 1000 projected ticket sales among students of LSE, SOAS, UCL and more, the upcoming conference promises to be increasingly impactful by examining cutting edge issues that characterise the current development paradigm. Last year’s topics included “Financial and Business Approaches to Development Beyond Foreign Aid” and “Social Empowerment of Marginalised Groups” among others.

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InterDev also runs a journal called Voices. The journal discusses key aspects of International Development and how problems that hamper development can be tackled regionally as well as globally. Previously, the journal has discussed topics such as the interstate tax competition in developing countries, the socio-economic impact of lockdowns in sub-Saharan Africa and the contribution of public and private partnerships in the Indian education system. The latest issue of our journal can be found on our blog: https://lsesu-interdev.com/blog/.

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We are looking forward to a great year ahead!

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London Globalist

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The London Globalist is a student-led international affairs magazine, run by LSE’s international journalism society. We are part of the Global 21 Network, a network of international affairs magazines published in top universities around the world including Oxford, Cape Town, Jerusalem, Paris, Peking, Sydney, Toronto and Yale.

We aim to platform the voices of LSE’s diverse community of students in order to cover news stories from around the world. We’re always open to pitches from members of the society even if you are not part of the editorial team or haven’t had much previous experience in political writing.

In addition to publishing articles on our website the society produces themed anthologies, runs writing competitions and holds workshops and events throughout the year in order to give our members multiple opportunities to publish their work and get involved with the magazine.

Applications to join our team next year open on 20 September: https://forms.gle/rY5jcPVSGM6x321g7

If you are interested in writing for us you can pitch to us through our website at the following link: http://www.thelondonglobalist.org/writeforus/

To keep up to date with society news and events follow us on social media:

Twitter: @londonglobalist

Facebook: @thelondonglobalist

 

Amnesty International

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LSESU Amnesty International Society is the largest student charity group on campus and has won the LSESU Gold Star year after year. Our purpose is linked to Amnesty’s mission of protecting individuals wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied. We work closely with the LSE Student Union (LSESU), charities, sponsor firms, other LSE societies and clubs, and other University societies to curate a meaningful experience for our members.

The mission of LSESU Amnesty is to campaign, to raise awareness, and to fundraise for the protection of human rights both on a local, regional and global level. Our specific aims are to champion for the protection of rights of the most vulnerable communities, and to celebrate the intersectional experiences of those within the student body. We aim to underscore human rights violations around the world through a two-pronged approach of ‘awareness’ and ‘action’. This year, in light of recent events, the Society is proud to introduce its Year Against Racial Discrimination Initiative in partnership with 30 other LSESU clubs and societies, the LSESU Athletics Union and the LSESU itself.

The Society consists of an Executive Committee and 4 subcommittees. The Executive Committee consists of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Publicity Officer and the Social Secretary. Our three subcommittees are the Campaigns Division, the Fundraising Division, the Beacon Journal. Additionally, The Society also has a volunteering and career focus. Our society is one of the only ones in the LSE to provide human-rights focused careers events and panels. This year we are proud to introduce year-round volunteering opportunities that cater to a variety of the causes that our members are passionate about.

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We are an active community of students from diverse backgrounds, studying a range of subjects, and we are all passionate about creating and seeing change through. From global issues to local injustices, Amnesty International Society is perfect for anyone who wants to have an active role in addressing events across the world. We are a very lively society and hold a lot of social events every term, including pub trips, pizza nights, and not forgetting the incredible London Diplomacy Ball! Our Society is also excited to be introducing our very own Amnesty Mentoring Scheme, where our new members get a chance to socialise with our Year 2, Year 3 and postgraduate communities, who can help them through any academic concerns they might have or simply be good company to hang out with. At LSE, Amnesty International Society is a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends!

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Political Risk and Investment

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LSESU PRIS is a society that is dedicated towards hosting events dedicated to the field of political risk and investment. Throughout the year, it hosts a number of events and initiatives dedicated to bridging the gap between students and practitioners in the field of political risk and investment. Originally founded with a strategic, military-oriented focus in mind, we have grown to accommodate students from a wide range of backgrounds interested in the interplay between political affairs and economics.

PRIS events are deliberately structured to be conversational engagements rather than formal lectures, to give attendants the opportunity to steer the discussion and network with speakers. Some recent events have features speakers like Mujtaba Rahman (Managing Director for Europe at Eurasia Group), Peter Oppenheimer (Chief Global Equity Strategist at Goldman Sachs),  Menna Rawlings CMG (Director General for Economic and Global Issues at the UK FCO), and Basim Al-Ahmadi (Co-Founder of Global Risk Insights). These events strive to raise awareness amongst the LSE community with regards to the multi-faceted nature of political risk and the methodology of assessing and quantifying it. Our sessions often also feature valuable career advice about how to break into the industry.

Visit the LSESU PRIS Official Page for events and follow us on:

 

Women in Politics

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Women in Politics is a society at LSE aiming to encourage and enhance women’s political leadership and influence.

We aim to be a platform for women and people interested in politics on the LSE campus and seek to empower women to participate in politics.

We organise academic panels, networking events (with female politicians), roundtable discussions, and a variety of socials such as film screenings.

We aim to have inclusive events which offer both an international and intersectional approach.

We are also leading the Hands Off LSE campaign which was initiated in 2019. This campaign seeks to raise awareness about sexual violence on campus and to improve sexual violence support at LSE.

Please contact us via our social media:



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