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Students at Southampton next to their question board

Questions on campus

Christian Unions have been making an impact on campus with eye-catching question boards.

Students in Cambridge were asked to 'Spot the fake news!', to plot their attitude to 'truth' on an axis, or to mark on a world map 'Where would you go to find yourself?'

In Southampton, the CU used a large board stationed in the central area of campus, with several smaller boards that CU members took in pairs to engage students in other parts of the campus. The questions were based around the day's talk titles, to begin a conversation. Southampton CU Staff Worker Chris Collinson says: 'Open questions often led to longer conversations and we always engaged people with a flyer in our hands ready to tell them about where they could discuss the topic further.'

But it's more than just a springboard to share a message or hand out a flyer. Chris says: 'These boards allowed us not just to flyer better, but they were all about engaging campus in a conversation.'

Southampton Staff Worker Chris Collinson says: 'Dozens of students each lunch time would be engaging simply because they’d spoken to someone on the forecourt outside the union who asked them a challenging question, cared about their answer and then told them about an event which they might enjoy on the same topic which also had a free lunch – it makes it easy as possible for students to come along [to an event], even if they didn’t know anyone in the CU before.'

Students in Huddersfield also used question boards to great effect. CU Staff Worker Andrea Dalton explains: 'The theme of the CU events week was "Something More", so the CU wanted get students exploring purpose and goals, and ask the question: "Do you think there’s something more than this?"' 

They used creative boards that worked well to engage a creative campus, dominated by students studying disciplines such as textiles and music. The first board (pictured above) suggested different answers to the question, and the CU asked people to wrap the wool around all the ones that were their answer, talking to them about their answers as they go. 

The second board was a mood board full of different quotes. The CU asked students to colour in response to how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the various quotes, and asked them why. 

The final board contained Jesus' words: ‘I have come that they might have life and life to the full’. The CU were asking people whether they had ever considered Jesus' take on what it means to have life to the full, and whether they thought that Jesus had anything to say on life today. 

Andrea reports that these boards, too, enabled the CU to reach students who they would not otherwise have had contact with: two students came to one of the CU events as a direct result of this question board outreach. Another student in Cambridge came to an event as a result of a conversation at the question board and now seems interested in coming to church. 

Students in Brunel have also been using question boards to spark conversation that link to their lunchtime talks.

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