The recently established Socialist Students at the University of Gloucestershire are celebrating their first victory in their ‘Students Before Profits’ campaign. The campaign aims to combat the influence of corporations on the university and improve the university facilities for students.
Although there are cash machines on every campus, they charge £1.25 for each transaction, shoppers at Tesco can access their money for free!
During the first day of petitioning over 200 signatures were collected in less than two hours, and almost instantly saw the free cash machine issue raised at a campus meeting. Our campaign was garnering the support of the students, and the university felt compelled to investigate into what exactly the Socialist Students wanted. After a second successful day collecting signatures for the petition we were asked to meet the Chief Executive of the Students Union who informed us that the university was in advanced negotiations with the company ‘yourcash’.
In the following week we took part in a Free Education activity. Socialist Students meet at the FCH campus on the last Tuesday of the month at 8 pm (December excluded). The next meeting in January will be on the topic: Was Marx a feminist?
Full report to follow …………
Marking boycott by University and College Union
The University and College Union (UCU) representing lecturers has called a marking boycott in 69 universities from 6th November as the first step in their campaign to defeat proposed pension cuts. The attacks will see staff in pre-1992 universities receive lower benefits and less guaranteed income when they retire. If the employers are victorious, some workers will be left tens of thousands of pounds worse off in retirement. Roger Gray, Chief Investment Officer for the USS pension scheme in dispute, awarded himself 50% pay increase this year, taking his total salary to £900,000.
Victories against sexism in Leeds
Report from Mary Finch, Leeds Socialist Students
Following a successful Reclaim the Night protest in Cheltenham on November 25 it was encouraging to see that Leeds Socialist Students had successfully blocked misogynist comedian Dapper Laughs from performing in Leeds. Leeds Socialist Students began a petition and got 80 signatures in under an hour. At that point the entire tour was cancelled showing that by mobilising opinion and getting active we can change things. Thousands signed a petition to ITV2 demanding that they cancel his show ‘Dapper Laughs: On the Pull’, which was quite literally a compilation of footage of Dapper Laughs following, verbally abusing, and sexually harassing women in the street. Dapper Laughs, and other misogynist comedians, reinforce the idea that it’s acceptable for men to behave this way, and that women just have to put up with it. Socialist Students have been using the Rape is No Joke campaign in Leeds to tackle these issues across campus.
Rape is not funny. Sexual harassment is not funny. Intimidating and abusing women is not funny. We should all have the right to feel safe. We should all have the right to walk home at night alone, without having to keep your hand in your pocket, thinking about how to use your keys as a makeshift weapon.