Sunday, November 28, 2010

students dance and students shout


I spent a lovely night on Friday with my dear Joanna. It was my first time visiting Leeds and we replicated the many dinnertime noodle routines we enjoyed when we traveled around America together in the Spring and got incredibly excited about the nighttime snowfall on our way back from a long night of dancing. Joanna has been so brilliant at involving herself in various groups and societies since starting University and this morning we went along to an action meeting at the University about the proposed rising student tuition fees (she's been involved in  occupying a lecture theatre there over the last few days (as many groups of students across the country have been doing) and had stories to tell about sliding around beautiful empty university buildings in the middle of the night. She sent me back home armed with a recommended read (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman) and renewed sense of drive to take a leaf out of her book and to scream and shout more about the Higher Education cuts. I think it's very easy to passively go about your daily routine and for some to fall into the trap of viewing the tuition fee protests as some kind of political agenda pushing, but the truth is this is something that will affect everybody and after attending the meeting it was reassuring to feel the sense of unity amongst students and the wider public too.

this tuesday sees more walk-outs and demonstrations in opposition to the proposed rise in tuiton fees. I know missing lectures and seminars to be involved can take it's toll but have a word with yout tutors and see if they're willing to reschedule. They're all on our side!

8 comments:

Coco's Tea Party said...

The student fees thing makes me so angry. So much so that I'll probably be bribing primary school kids to bunk off in protest soon.

Ally said...

It's great to see people, especially students, actively getting involved in politics. Since living in Paris and seeing so many strikes/protests I've realised how important it is for the public to have a voice. Especially since I come from Australia where so many people are generally too lazy or don't care until the policies and decisions start to directly affect them. Even then people tend to complain rather than campaign. Thank goodness there are still some who stand up for what they believe in.

Ania said...

You're absolutely right, even though I'm graduating next year, so the increase won't affect me. I wouldn't mind the rise if I thought the quality of teaching justified this, but my experience with UK higher education system so far has been entirely disappointing - I don't even think the fees now are appropriate.

Catherine said...

I've been following your blog for over a year now and it's quite an odd sense of de-ja-vu to see photos of the Rupert Beckett lecture theatre on it... I'm a Leeds Uni student too but I'm on an Erasmus year in Turin. The same sort of protests are happening out here too, it seems that everywhere universities are getting hit by cuts, despite the fact that they are educating the future workforce... Keep up the good work with your blog! x

leilani.e said...

I wrote a piece for our paper earlier this year about the uk increases when they were just rumours -- basically worrying that Dexter could do the same here in Nova Scotia... and now it's happening. I love what you've written about getting involved, it's so important!!

Maybe if you can force change we'll start doing it too. Unfortunately we're not yet at the point where students are mobilizing. We'll catch up, I hope. It's grotesque what the government thinks they can get away with!

EIGHT LONDON said...

I recognised the Rupert Beckett straight away too! I'm a student in Leeds, and though I'm all for visible protest, I can't help but be against for the Michael Sadler building occupation. That lecture theatre is the most used at Leeds, and occupying it over several days is only preventing teaching from going on; if fees are set to rise, we should at least be able to access the education we've already paid for. We're opposing the government, not the university, and definitely not other students who have their lectures cancelled as a result. Let's go occupy Westminster instead.

Jessica Kayll said...

YES!!!!!! love this. i'm occupying Brighton University!

My best mate is at leeds and we've been in skyping each other from different occupational protests!! THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY.

Big up to all those students occupying lecture theatres all over the UK.

Brighton love xxx

Curiouser and Curiouser said...

I recognised that lecture hall! How very sad! haha,