A student has explored the history of DSU with a fascinating new exhibition.
James Edwards, Researcher and Curator Frontrunner at De Montfort Students’ Union, has compiled ‘A History of DSU’, which highlights RAG (Raise and Give), charity and volunteering events from the 1930s right up to the present day.
James, who is also a third-year DMU History student, said: “Over the past five months I have been reading through handbooks and going through the archives and tried to gather as much information as possible.
“We’ve focused this exhibition on RAG, volunteering and showing achievements and awards because there is just so much to display. It runs all the way through from the 1930s to the present day.”
Over the week that the exhibition has run hundreds of students, DMU and DSU staff members plus interested members of the public stopped by to look at memories from the past as well as our plans for the future.
The exhibition features documents, handbooks and artefacts from through the years, as well as newspaper clippings of the students’ union’s involvement in the wider community in that time and has been compiled with the help of the university’s own archive and Heritage Centre teams.
James continued: “I don’t think I could choose a favourite [piece] – I don’t know if I could put it down to one thing, but looking at the journey both the students’ union and the university have taken through the years has been fascinating.
“It is really nice to see how it has changed for the better and the increasing investment in students.”
Lynette Williams, President of De Montfort Students’ Union in 2012/13, was present at the exhibition’s launch on Wednesday 24 February and said: “I think it is fascinating to see how the students’ union and the university have developed right through to now in this exhibition – I guess I am technically part of the history of DSU now!
“I think the RAG stuff is most interesting because in the past it looks like you could get away with being more ‘creative’. I’m not sure we could get away with that now!”
The exhibition also looks ahead to the future of DSU and its home on the DMU campus with the £3 million investment in a revamped Campus Centre building in the next 12 months.
Lynette continued: “I think with the new building coming up it will be a real opportunity in the history of DSU and looking back in 20, 50, 100 years time I think it will be absolutely brilliant as a stand out point.”
And for James, the exhibition has whetted his appetite to go on to explore more archives in the future.
He said: “I would definitely consider doing something like this in the future as I have really enjoyed my time researching the past.
“It is just amazing to see how much students have been involved throughout the life of De Montfort Students’ Union and it is a great representation of the university as a whole.”