Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/781/17478
Socialist Students gains new members
University of East London
At the University of East London (UEL) over 70 people have signed up for Socialist Students. The university's draconian attendance policy was beaten last year through a campaign launched by Socialist Students.
The stall was inundated by lecturers and students congratulating us. One student said that despite privatisation and also anger on campus nothing ever seemed to change until Socialist Students started the campaign. It is a brilliant example of how, if students organise, they can win.
Campaigning against zero-hours contracts at Manchester University we sold 24 copies of Megaphone, the Socialist Student magazine. On the second day, we increased the number of signatures on the petition and sign-up sheets to 98 sign ups and 132 petition signatures.
On Friday Socialist Students national chair Ian Pattison spoke at a well-attended meeting on socialism and what we stand for. All present said they intended to attend regular meetings on campus and join the 29 September NHS march. Some even volunteered to support the Hovis and FBU pickets - not your average freshers' week activity!
Manchester has two universities, so this is only the halfway point. If we repeat this week's performance, we will have a strong basis for a fighting student organisation in the city.
Tom Simpson and John McFarlane
Over two days 30 people signed up to Socialist Students Society at Westminster University. We sold the Socialist and the Megaphone magazine to people impressed by the recent success at UEL in defeating the attendance policy there.
They wanted to learn more about how Socialist Students helped students organise the campaign. Labour Students want to hold a debate on the link with the trade unions which could take place later this term.
In just one short day campaigning so far at Kingston we have given out 300 leaflets and signed up 30 people to Socialist Students. Students wanted to talk about the trade union and Labour link, they spoke about anger towards the Labour councils pushing through the bedroom tax and raised the question of an alternative being built from the trade unions.
Socialist Students at Derby made a fantastic start to the academic year. We were the only group campaigning and over 60 signed our 'interested sheet'. Our informal meet and greet was well attended. With the freshers fair still to come we hope to become an official society and to build Socialist Students as a campaigning force on campus.
Matt Whale, Derby Socialist Students
80 people signed up to Sussex University Socialist Students. Our group was popular among freshers, but second and third year students were also often keen to sign up. Clearly, the massive campaign against privatisation that took place last year has helped create a big layer of students hungry for ideas to change society.
As one student put it - "after everything that's happened on this campus, I think I have to be interested in Socialist Students now".
Megaphone: Magazine of Socialist Students
2013 edition includes articles on NUS, fighting the EDL and zero-hour contracts.
To order phone 020 8558 7947
In The Socialist 25 September 2013:
Socialist Party NHS feature
What we think
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reviews and comments