Üsküdar University in Istanbul might be familiar to some Wikimedians; as it was the venue for the Wikidata Training Days in October 2022. The event was organized by Wikimedians of Turkic Languages User Group and participated by Wikimedians from 10 countries has inspired the students of the university so much that it paved the way for the foundation of a Wikipedia Student Club in the university.
The members of Wikimedia User Group Turkey (WMTR) visited the university and talked with the club members. Isna, the president of the club, told that the idea of founding such a club in their university has been discussed for a long time but finally she and her friends took the initiative and the club was formed in November 2022, only one month after they had Wikimedians in their school for the Wikidata Training Days.
The club was formed with 10 founding-members; four of which are her classmates from the psychology department, others are from the departments of electrical engineering, sociology and virtual communication design. “We are nine girls and a boy,” she says. “and I’m sure we’ll produce some good work to fill the gender gap in wiki projects” she adds.
Since the club was founded at the end of the fall term, so now the club members are getting prepared for the activities of the next semester as they study their finals. They first would like to develop their own wiki-skills and invite others to join them. They plan to collaborate with other university clubs by organizing joint activities. “We are talking with the Philosophy Student Club to organize an event at the beginning of the fall term,” says Isna. “We are planning to invite members of Wikimedia User Group Turkey for giving a short training on wikipedia-editing followed by an edit-a-thon on women philosophers.”
WMTR members wanted to learn if their professors know about their initiative and what they think. Isna expressed that their Deputy Dean told her that he uses Wikipedia and he likes it because Wikipedia is a “free encyclopedia.” Another instructor also said she was happy to hear students start volunteering on editing Wikipedia because there are a lot of topics not yet covered at Turkish Wikipedia.
Congratulations to the bold students of Üsküdar University for creating a club for contributing Wikipedia and its sister projects.
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