A different angle, fund raisers, charity events, society involvement and other things. The occupation is becoming a deeply political place a lot of the time this morning one of the friends of the occupation was discussing exactly how we are going to ride out this difficult financial time and we were riffing about how we would handle the situation were we to rule the world. It is not all about that however, while we take what we are doing very seriously, it is not all about politics all day and we realise that actually, it is pretty boring to discuss all the time.
We want then a careful balance between discussing the finer points of socialism in the 21st century and having some fun while raising awareness. So, we are looking at ways of getting people involved in the occupation that is not just protesting, campaigning, signing petitions and working on stalls but is out there, talking to people, having a laugh and enjoying ourselves. While occupation is hard, we are not working 24/7, sometimes we even sleep occasionally. Rose spends her evenings emphatically killing zombies, some of us are getting work done, some doing research and others generally being social networkers for the occupation and personally.
There are some ideas brewing with the union about how we are going to get the students of this campus co-operating, talking, socialising and generally actually being a part of this community and student experience we have been hearing so much about. The difference here between the student experience and at other larger institutions is huge when you actually compare the activities available, the days or events put on and the general lifestyle. The union do an amazing job at getting people involved and the bar are constantly coming up with new ideas to get people into the building and doing things with the resources they have but due to the student voice being subdued significantly in recent years, that is on the decline and if not, it is definitely not even meeting inflationary rises.
Requests for things like an increase in the money available for societies might seem controversial to some people in a difficult economic time but if this money were invested in promoting the societies, they could then go on to raise money for activities, provide events and act as ‘proper’ societies. The societies take from the institution but they all put back in and a reduction in the funding available to them, creates a competition that is not useful for them, the students, people who want to support them or anyone except the people not funding something that is entirely indicative of the ‘student experience’.