Well, today should be a busy one. There is a joint union meeting between Unison and UCU at lunchtime. There will be an LTSAC meeting tonight in the office at 5, which should be interesting to say the least. There is a socialist student meeting afterwards, where Andy is going to do a lead off about how to deal with the far right and who exactly the EDL are, all welcome but please bear in mind, it will be a political meeting and not the forum for disagreement. If you want to disagree, stay around after and we will do that.

So, what else is going on? We have the office now and I think some people are seeing the triumph as a bit of a concession on our principles, which is silly, we are not going soft but how long can we be expected to maintain an occupation with limited support and limited recruitment? Not to mention, that we are one of the very few occupations that had any demands met or even acknowledged. The point of the office is start to deal with the issues of the wider students concerns regarding the cuts and to educate, inform and involve the wider student body, once we have convinced them that this is a massively serious issue that all at Trinity should be at least concerned about.
The office has a different attitude about it of course, we are much less frustrated with each other and the world in general, except the tories but that is not going away any time soon. The campaign are working on many levels now, one to try and inform people about the issues in a much more accessible way, one to continue to press our demands with management and the other to be involved in the wider anti cuts movement and start to have a presence at the wider student, worker and anti-cuts movements that are growing all over the country.

We have several thousand meetings to attend and that is only because we don’t have the people to attend several million. The meetings vary from very useful to extremely annoying but they have to be done. We are talking to LUAC (Leeds University Against Cuts) and LMAC (Leeds Met Against Cuts) about joint funding advertisement printing, so there are practical issues as well. Not to mention, the universities are a huge part of the business community in Leeds, we should be able to leaflet in the community and expect a positive response. To that end, we are talking with other wider movements about involvement in their campaigns as well.

The sad realisation is, that there are so many places facing closure, so many cuts that are devastating much needed services all over the country but without an office like this, we would not have a chance of even hearing about them all without people constantly monitoring, talking and getting involved with each other. The tactic from the government seems to be, attack everything all at once and get the cuts through before people can get to their feet, which we are not going to allow. The slow nature of the rising, suggests that people have become a little too comfortable but as we look at what is being attacked, people are being given no choice but to notice now. Travel, advice, services and many other things are all under attack, people are going to have to start saying it is not acceptable to remove basic human rights.

The office is starting to come together, with our core group setting up campaign events in order to connect better with the student community, one of our LTSAC members is beginning to arrange entertainment that will mean that the students have a reason to spend time on campus at the weekends and not spend large amounts of money going home every week.
We have contacted a few friends and acquaintances in order to arrange music gigs on campus, but we are also looking in to events such as laser tag, these events will be arranged by LTSAC and aim to improve the ‘student experience’. If this word is banded about we feel that it should be used in a way that actually addresses what the students may want from their time at university, we want the student body to be a community and to get more involved in events and societies on the campus. We encourage the student body to attend events run at the university such as society activities, a disability awareness event later on next month which LTSAC are going to be helping the psychology society with.
We would also like to inform you that there is also going to be a Psychology Society charity event very soon in aid of a mental health charity, this will raise money for a good cause and we think will be enjoyable for all that attend so please keep an eye out for that.
The anti cuts movement is still LTSAC primary focus but we are looking at ways to get students involved in any way, even if this means popping in to our office in AS46 to have a chat or even helping out with fund raisers. We would love to see our students getting more informed about the anti cuts campaign but at the same time we want every student to feel like part of a community in which their voices are heard and their opinions matter.
So if anyone has any suggestions for helping students get involved in the anti cuts campaign just leave us a message or come and see us in the office, our door is always open to visitors and we would happily consider and appreciate any contribution to raising awareness of our campaign. We want to make this campus a place that students want to stay at on weekends, not flee as if the plague is approaching.

Getting used to another situation and a new office. People are tired, annoyed and dealing with a lot of pressure while deciding how to get this new thing moving. We have all discussed the many things we are hoping to do from the office and know where we are going with it but as people are still reporting the same old tired behaviour from students on campus, it seems a daunting task. There are still parties going on till 7 in the morning that are really loud. This is fair enough but it is not fair enough when you have a lecture then next day. There are a lot of complaints that seem to be pushing out into the community but not really going where they should. People not really realising that they have a voice and it should be listened to.

The student voice was talked about yesterday morning but it seems to have been diluted. We think this is because the political voice everywhere is largely muted. People in Britain don’t complain, well, except stupid fascists and no-one cares what they think. It is a tradition and almost an identity that the British that are too polite to complain about anything. This just seems like an invitation for people to deliver bad service, not care and still get paid. This is just not acceptable, people have a right and a duty to complain if they are being treated unfairly. People have a right and a duty to oppose oppressive government and this right and duty doesn’t change, whatever age you are.

The apathy that every anti-cuts movement is dealing with, we feel has come from a generation of people getting just enough to not want to complain about the awful conditions people work in and the gradual decrease in rights protection. The Labour party’s gradual creeping death seems to have largely worked and some of the initiatives they brought in were of value but, it was at a cost it would seem. The cost is that people don’t feel that complaining will make anything better. People feel that once they have enough to live, to an almost acceptable level, then if they complain they will lose the little they have. The working conditions in Britain are some of the worst in Western Europe and nothing has been said because people don’t complain. People are really not going to keep asking until they get a satisfactory lifestyle.

Alicia from the socialist party last night was talking about the bread and roses strike, where protestors, largely women protestors, won their demands to get their wage back and after they had won that, carried on to demand a pay increase and fewer hours for the workers. This should serve as an inspiration to people that not only is it possible to win but at the same time, every person should get involved and demand that not only they but everyone in society has a decent lifestyle, an opportunity to work in fair conditions and equality.

The student voice? What exactly is the student voice? How do we go about talking through it? Do the students even want someone to talk on their behalf? Given the chance what would they change? Would it all be self interest or would genuinely inspirational ideas come out of it? These are all questions we are considering today. After a really great rally, it became apparent that people here felt their voice would not be heard no matter what they did really. Even if it was heard, it would be ignored and this is not the attitude of a free society, surely?

What difference can really be made? Well, locally there are student elections, you can vote for the person that best represents you and your interests but is there really any accountability? Can we be expected to believe that once the deputy Prime Minister got in on lies, people in much lower positions could do the same? If the second highest office in the country can be obtained through deceit and broken campaign promises, then surely this can be the case throughout all of society? We would like to think not but at the same time, the student voice seems to be somewhat subdued. In larger institutions, you can barely walk a foot without a society, an event, a charity, a nightclub, a campaign or an awareness issue being raised in a poster. Yet, there are scarce places in the university that it is ‘acceptable’ to put posters, when you do obtain funding for posters legally, they are removed without consent or compensation, which surely can’t be right? If you are expected to believe you are part of the institution and one that matters and there is an issue that bothers you, shouldn’t there be a place where you can voice this concern to see if your fellow students agree? Apparently not but that is what we are trying to address. We want you to consider ideas of how to get everyone on campus to actually hear something you are saying, short of just using our fancy new megaphone.

We also want to start acting like a student voice. If there is an issue that concerns you, literally any issue, then feel free to drop in and let us know what that issue is. If it is something that concerns the students, then as students, we would like to know about it and if there is anything we can do about it. There is going to be a mass campaign of fun on the campus, that will hopefully spread throughout the campus. This should at least get people who wouldn’t normally stay on campus involved and doing something with each other as we have also heard complaints of there not being enough to do for off campus students.

The point of all this being, if there is something you want to arrange, if there is something you want to talk about, come up to the new office and have a word with us. We will do what we can to encourage the student voice again.

Okay, so, we are in the office and are starting to organise what is next, which is great. There are plans, many plans but most of those rely on people getting more involved than they have been in the past. There is little point running an anti-cuts campaign if we are not going to do it properly. The point of all of the campaign and our part in it, is to get the student body politicised so they can play an active part in their future and to ensure that the student experience at Trinity is not affected by the Tory cuts.

So, what is the student experience? Seriously, what is the student experience, we have asked this question and everyone seems to have a different idea about it. The general gist seems to be, the students are barely aware there is one but are largely anaesthetised with boredom or beer, the tutors seem to think it is something along the lines of becoming active thinkers in society, while getting involved in things that are going on around them and management seem to think it has something to do with buildings and deadlines.

We think that the student experience should be everything everyone expects it to be when they first arrive at Trinity. Whether that is active societies to get involved in, sports teams and clubs, a vibrant campus you don’t spend your first year counting down the minutes until you never have to set foot on it again except for lectures and some facilities that meet the needs of everyone that want to take a part in anything, within reason. This seems pretty simple, though really costly and that seems to be the problem, everything has a price tag on it and we don’t like it. If you want to run a society, there are rules about how much money you take, how many people you have to have, what facilities are available and things like that. The main facilities on campus are always busy and no t really open to student use but it is OUR campus isn’t it?

So, we are suggesting that actually, there should be so many activities that they cannot not book us in as we will just flood the campus either way. There are stories from everyone about the shenanigans of their uni days being filled with really hilarious things that sound unreasonable but may have happened and that should be the case for us too. Everyone should feel that they can have a well funded society, that is built around them actually getting to do things but there is very little money going into the union and even less coming from it. By the union we don’t mean LTU, we mean NUS. They don’t send any money here, for anything, they are not even providing the means to support their own initiatives but they are expecting a hell of a lot of student satisfaction forms with marketable information on them. So, what are the NUS for? Well, they are an easy Labour seat for anyone that runs it and they are a discount store card for stores that are mostly owned by tax dodgers and the banks that caused this problem in the first place. Cahoots is an awesome word, don’t know what made me think of that….

We have now been delivered 6 chairs, a computer chair and one of the desks, with another desk due to be delivered at some point during the week (we hope)! Today has been mainly organising, tidying and rearranging furniture but it’s all good fun.

The first campaign being set up is the fun campaign, where we will be setting up different event to get everyone involved, but that’s all to come! We want to show people that we are engaged with our student body and people can come up to the office and talk to us, we are not that scary, honest. The next campaign is linking in with the psychology society (of which a few of us are on the board of), where sometime in March the psychology society will be a holding a day long, campus wide fundraising and awareness event. We have a lot of events planned out in our on going campaign and we will continue to be active in the anti cuts campaign because at the end of the day this government is crippling this country and ignoring its citizens

So there is all sorts coming up and of course it will all link in to the on-going anti-cuts campaign in general, busy, busy, busy!

Just a short one for now, but keep checking for the upcoming events!

Please also have a look at our amazing friend’s sites:
http://hullisotherpeople.blogspot.com/
http://www.anniebritton.wordpress.com
http://occupyca.wordpress.com/
http://leedsucu.wordpress.com/
http://reallyopenuniversity.wordpress.com/
http://emancipating-education-for-all.org/
http://natebearart.com/
http://gazaybo.wordpress.com/

After leaving Occupation with a victory on some of our demands it is some what a odd transition to not be living with all the occupiers and working a 20 hour day. However, we are not just stopping because we are out. The office we have aquired as part of our demand means that we now have a official space in which to operate from, more than anything it means that everyone is less on edge about imminent eviction.

Our office in AS46 will now be the base of operations on a 9-5 Mon-Fri basis, we may have people in the office in evening and weekends but it will not be an occupation environment so people get to once again enjoy the luxuries that you take for granted. These include privacy, a warm comfortable bed at night, showers (oh how we have all missed showers) and a cooker. This is great for the vegans (and vegetarians) as veganism is something that should ideally be done properly, it also means the level of take away pizza by the carnivores will (potentially) be reduced.

We will have many campaigns in operation in the coming weeks and months including a community campaign, this is basically planning events such as music gigs, comedians, food events and workshops. We hope in doing this we can get students, lecturers and the community not only bonding but also interested in the anti cuts movements.

We are due to have some office equipment delivered at some point this week such as a office desk and some office chairs just to make operating easier, but we are also operating a 9-5, mon-fri drop in service open to anyone so we have a few comfy chairs and a more homely feel to part of the room.
We are already scheduling lots of events and meeting of other anti cuts movements in and around the area so as you will all know, There is no rest for the wicked.