Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/641/10375
Campaigning Socialist Students win support
SOCIALIST STUDENTS made a great impact on Nottingham Trent University's freshers' fair. In three hours, around 200 signatures were collected in support of our campaign against the government's planned cuts to education and raising of tuition fees.
The level of support for socialist ideas is clearly growing amongst young people.
With 150,000 students failing to win a place at university this year, the reality of government cuts has already begun to hit home for many 18 and 19 year-olds.
The only other political group represented was the Labour Party who appeared unable to engage with the vast majority of students. No wonder - when tuition fees were introduced by Labour and the Browne Review was started in the last months of the Labour government!
Despite being the only stall campaigning on behalf of students and workers, the students' union was keen to silence us for the crime of not going through the 'proper channels' for booking our stall. We were told we either had to pay £1,000 for the privilege of being there or leave!
They called security, who marched us past several stalls trying to sell insurance to students, stalls advertising nightclubs and the Pole Dancing Society stall.
We pointed out that when the government's cuts put their jobs at risk we will be the only society campaigning on their behalf. Having been ejected, we continued to campaign outside.
This came a week after covering the University of Nottingham freshers' fair, where we also received a lot of interest.
AT NORTHAMPTON university freshers' fair, Northampton Socialist Students had a very successful stall. Students talked of their fear of the cap on tuition fees being lifted and how this blatantly favoured the more established universities and more well-off students. Many were justifiability concerned about the gaping class divide this would create in our education system.
Most could also see through the smokescreen of ideas such as a 'graduate tax' to shift the huge debt placed on students from one place to another. They welcomed the idea of putting more pressure on the National Union of Students (NUS) to mobilise against this and fight for free education and a living wage for all students.
A number of people joined Socialist Students and many more signed our tuition fees petition and wanted information about meetings.
KEELE SOCIALIST Students had to wait for a stall to become available at the freshers fair on 27 September but it was well worth the wait! 17 students joined in just two hours. One said: "I'm really pleased to find you. I was beginning to think that there weren't any socialists at Keele!"
FOURTEEN STUDENTS signed up to join Socialist Students at Staffordshire University. On seeing our stall, people said that Socialist Students was just what they were looking for. Many said they would come to the anti-cuts activity we organised on 29 September.
In The Socialist 6 October 2010:
Defend Child Benefits
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Health and Safety
Europe: fighting the cuts
International socialist analysis
Socialist Party review