27/11/2011 17:13 GMT | Updated 27/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Why NUS is Calling on Students to Say 'I Am The Change'

It's very easy for a college or university student to feel unable to change things. They may feel like an insignificant onlooker when it comes to big issues such as global politics, social inequality and racism, or even when it comes to comparatively 'small' issues such as student housing, bursaries and career guidance.

But change doesn't have to be daunting or intimidating. If you make an effort to recycle, you're saying "I believe in a cleaner world, and I care". If you refuse to buy clothes from a company that uses child labour, you're taking a stand against exploitation.

In the United States in the 1950s, a woman one day simply said "No". She decided that she didn't want to sit at the back of the bus anymore, and she soon realised that a great many other people didn't want to, either.

Even our smallest choices make a difference, and some of them can end up having a bigger effect than we could possibly have imagined.

That's why NUS is launching a new project to encourage students to Be The Change. We've put together a new animation, linking to a website where students can upload their picture and write details of a change they'd like to make. This change could be about education, the community, the environment, personal development, health and wellbeing, careers or politics - it doesn't matter what it's about, or how big it is.

All visitors to the website will then vote for their favourite idea, and the most popular ones will be in with a chance of receiving training and funding to help deliver the campaign.

This project will be ongoing, so there will be a number of voting periods and a number of winning campaigns. And even if an idea doesn't win, our website will provide students with the resources they need to help fire their imaginations and maintain their enthusiasm for making change happen.

In this way, the website will serve as a continuing reminder to students that they can make a difference - that they can stand up and say "I Am The Change".