Posts Tagged ‘Education’

As students fighting for education it can sometimes be forgotten by onlookers that we don’t all just refer to our own education, we refer to education for the masses, we refer to the education our younger brothers and sisters should have the opportunity to have. Sometimes the student movement can be seen as something that people will suggest is self interested and even just an excuse to kick off about.
However, this is not, never has been and never will be the case. The student anti cuts movement is one that wants to see equality and the standards of academic institutions to be able to offer experienced supportive lecturers, who have time to spend with their students and offer a high standard of education.
An article in the guardian this morning states:
‘Universities admit ‘soft’ A-levels damage chance of top places’.
Shocking statement isn’t it? Well if you read on it actually states that this is the opinion of Russell group universities, the most prestigious universities in the country fall under the Russell group, these universities are backed by some of the wealthiest people here and abroad.

So what this article actually suggests is ‘Countries richest hate humanities and arts’.
Seems to be a continuing theme in education as of late, instead of being able to freely choose the subjects you would like and to develop your education in order to go on to your chosen career, we are all being funnelled in to specific courses like drones being trained for a specific purpose.

We all have a right to education and we all have the right to choose our field of interest!
We won’t be told that our subjects are of ‘less value’ or ‘bogus’. As a student who took Psychology at A level and is now continuing it at university, I can tell you that this ‘Pseudo science’ as suggested by many is just as valuable and just as difficult in terms of content as any maths or science degree.

The devaluation of subjects by our country’s wealthiest and ‘elite’ population is something that cannot continue, this government is ever increasing its progression towards an elitist culture in which its poorest and most vulnerable are ideologically attacked, systematically and without remorse.

When you look at this government and the things the anti cuts movement are combating, is it really so hard to believe that the systematic assault by the richest minority on the poorest majority in this country is simply a smaller piece of a greater Elitist culture?

We are fighting for your right to education, we are fighting for your right to individuality and we are fighting for your right to equality. We are fighting because we are passionate that everyone deserves these things, we are fighting for school kids, college kids, university students, mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, lecturers and the whole of this country.

We won’t be ignored and we won’t be silenced.
Solidarity and good health.

Advertisements

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.

One issue that seems to actually fit the campaign but also, fit the university as well, is inclusivity. The reason conservatism doesn’t work first and foremost is always inclusivity. If everyone is required to work, which conservatism requires, then people who cannot work, whether that is because there are no jobs or because they are disabled or too old, there are gaps in society which are not allowed for. The conservative take on this, is that the free market provide for these people but can you really see ASDA forking out a few million for people they can’t even employ on minimum wage? Not likely and with workers rights in England being some of the worst in Europe, it is not on the cards either.

Conservatism always backs up the rich and makes them richer but beyond that, it leaves key demographics unaccounted for and unable to exist at a decent level. Blame is always placed on the individual for not getting a job but the fact is, with 500,000 already unemployed directly because of this government and a LOT more on the way, how exactly are people supposed to get a job? These people will not be allowed for and the people who cannot work in the first place are hardly ever allowed for under a capitalist government anyway. If you want some examples of this, just consider them removing the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance from disabled children.

How does all this tie into the movement at Trinity, well apart from the fact that we are all part of society and should care for each other and ensure that everyone is provided for, especially those who cannot provide for themselves, there is the issue of us being part of microcosms in society which are comparative. Every social system we exist in is influenced by the ones around it and attitudes are passed along. If you consider unemployment, as people are told they are worthless by society and the government for not having a job, violent crime, theft and other directly related crimes increase. This is not because, as is suggested, criminal activity responds to more money being available but because people need to turn to crime when benefits are slashed and jobs are not available to survive. There are literally hundreds of studies which reinforce that.

It is not actually the point we are making at the minute though. As we consider things like the marginalisation of the disabled, the unemployed and everyone else being treated appallingly by this government, we also must consider the effect this has on our own microcosmic society. Devolution of ideals is a prevalent sociological theory and basically states that the people behave as the rulers do, in a diluted but related manner, so if the government are telling people of little financial influence they are worthless, that is what society does and bigotry goes through the roof.

This is mirrored in our own society. As we look at things like bullying, this is always on the increase and as society becomes more and more disillusioned with the authorities ability to intervene in things like bullying or indeed as it is encouraged by governments or management positions, it becomes the norm for everyone to achieve their daily goals, if they are being treated badly, then why shouldn’t they also treat people around them badly in return? This is one explanation for some of the disgusting behaviour we see around us every day.

There is a culture of bullying at Trinity that is not being dealt with in a manner that is even approaching suitable. While people are in place, there is a growing need to keep students in university or risk losing money but if these students are actually destroying other students lives, then why should they be allowed to benefit from an education? The education they surely deserve is an expulsion and some serious time to think about themselves as a person. I don’t think there is a single person on campus that can’t remember at least once where another student has gotten away with something that in the working world would be automatic dismissal. At what stage does the cost to another student’s life stop equalling the money cost of a bully? Surely, there should be a place for the students’ union to deal with these people in the way each of us would expect them or someone to do if people are behaving in such a way as to deserve expulsion or at least public shaming.

Please also have a look at our amazing friend’s sites:

http://hullisotherpeople.blogspot.com/

http://www.anniebritton.wordpress.com Is one of our new friends, check out her blog.

http://occupyca.wordpress.com/

http://leedsucu.wordpress.com/

http://reallyopenuniversity.wordpress.com/

http://emancipating-education-for-all.org/

http://natebearart.com/ – awesome artist who designed a poster for the occupation and is literally one of the nicest people on the planet! We love Nate Bear! He also resulted in Tanis being referred to forever as Scarfy

http://gazaybo.wordpress.com/

Its day four and the general mood of the community has a determined aura to it, despite the group being spread out today- with several members attending a protest in Leeds. Nonetheless, the growing passion of the group against the cuts is in correlation with the stench filling the room- the stench of progression, one Nick Clegg will have long forgot. Now there’s increased activity in the letter campaign and the political humour of us all becoming dryer than a celibate’s… Mouth? Yes, mouth, because celibacy is thirsty work.

This is furthered by such recent updates as the Government’s climb-down on the banking levy (Link at bottom of page.) This cheeky little bill was passed through right under the countries noses, when we were all in a kerfuffle about this education lark, the government- the cheeky little minx, passed through a bill lowering the amount the banks will have to pay back to the tax payer after our generous bail out during the recession. Instead of the £3.5 billion the banks were supposed to pay back per annum, it has decreased by a billion to £2.5 billion. Despite this appearing  minimal you have to take in an account this was on the very same day the government tried to convince us that education cuts were a necessity and that there was no money elsewhere. Well, personally, we see some money right there- in fact; we see an approximate billion pounds sterling right there.

Yet, moving away from this and turning to the solidarity of us and other occupations- A word that makes like everyone here the physical personification of cool and making it completely acceptable to call people you’ve never met before ‘comrade.’  As we’ve received lots of support from other occupations, from Skype, Twitter and Facebook (Links below) it only seems fitting for solidarity reasons to give a commemorative shout out to those supporting the same cause elsewhere around the country: Goldsmith University Occupation, Manchester College Occupation, Newcastle University Occupation, Brighton University Occupation, University Central London Occupation, Bristol Occupation, Bath Occupation, York Occupation, London Met Occupation, University College London Occupation, Cardiff Occupation and any others currently going on. Solidarity…comrades (Damn, it sounds awesome.)

Finally, we have a press conference with Yorkshire Evening Post on Monday about the campaign and the occupation, we will keep you informed on the movement of this so keep following our blog posts.

Thank you for your continued support.

Links: http://thefeelingsmutual.org.uk/issues/issues_and_topics/details/20

http://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_171023912916462

http://twitter.com/OccupiedLTUC

Also, big shout out to UCL occupation for this absolute gem of creativity, congratulations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fvZmyQVryQ

 

As the occupation goes into the third day, the mood has lifted this morning (Mainly due to a first change of underwear since the occupation began and the delivery of hours of entertainment in the form of Futurama DVDs thanks to our supporters.) After a long day of petty banter from the House of Commons and the most disturbing news for students this year being announced, there was a meeting to decide what action would be taken. Initially the mood was down and people were shocked with a feeling of disappointment, especially those whose vote was obtained on false promises. After discussion however, the mood lifted and a new-found determination for the campaign was apparent straight away.

With this new-found enthusiasm the group has democratically decided to have a day of leafleting, outlining how this is by no means the end of the fight, despite the recent news and that we have to move forward and progressively develop the campaign as a community. Moving forward, the letter writing campaign is well under way with contributions from many members. Ranging from the hilarious witticisms of the group while staring a bleak future in the face, to some expressing sheer anger caused by broken promises and then many thanks, to journalists full of support and those MPs who kept their pledges.

There will be a press release coming from the community in the occupation today. There are a list of demands from the occupation, for the government, local councils and Institutions that provide Higher Education. As we begin to gain support from the university, the community, staff and students, the rebirth of determination has allowed these actions to gain strength, information and commitment.

Generally the mood is good; despite some late night interruptions from people we can only assume were sent by Cameron, Clegg or a brewery, the night was a much more peaceful one. After some rest, the energy levels are on the way back up and we are acclimating well. While people prepare for final exams, the year continues to be a positive one, in the face of discrimination, prejudice and ideological assault, everyone is much happier with coffee and tinned goods.