Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/403/4878
Book your stalls for the Freshers' fairs now!
In September, thousands of young people will be starting at universities across the country. Many will be looking for an alternative to the capitalist system that creates poverty, war and terrorism. Socialist Students is currently active in over 60 universities and colleges in England and Wales and has the potential to establish more societies than ever before!
Luke Aylward and Zena Awad, Socialist Students
Freshers' Fairs are an ideal way either to build an existing Socialist Students' society or start a new one. It is the best chance we have of recruiting new members as well as trying to get across our socialist ideas.
In some universities and colleges we still have no society established but we have been active and regularly campaigning on issues affecting students. Socialist Students members should be confident that this year will see us established as a society on that campus.
Freshers' Fairs promote existing clubs and societies to the new students - the 'freshers'. They are also meant to help students launching a club or society to meet other interested students and get the required number of members to set it up. All National Union of Students' (NUS) members have the right to book a stall at the Freshers' Fairs. Socialist Students are urged to find out the dates involved and to book their stalls now, before they're all gone.
Over the last year, young people have seen the occupation of Iraq descend into chaos, terrorist attacks in London, growing instability in the world and the failure of the G8 leaders to address the issues of world poverty and climate change. They face continuing cuts and privatisation in education and the prospect of student debt, low pay, casual work and unemployment.
The NUS has failed to mobilise students on these issues, despite the anger felt by the majority of young people, while cutting democratic structures within the union. In contrast, Socialist Students have been in the forefront of taking up and campaigning on issues affecting students on and off campuses. We call on NUS to campaign against privatisation and cuts, for a living grant for all students and to be a fighting union representing the interests of its 5.2 million members.
It is vital that we build Socialist Students to provide an alternative to those millions. We will fight to transform NUS into an active campaigning union that could, alongside the trade unions, help build a movement of students and workers in defence of our services, against war and terror and for a socialist world.
Socialist Students is already an obstacle to the policies of the right-wing leadership of the NUS and we are rapidly becoming their main political challenge locally, regionally and nationally - so book your Freshers' Fairs stalls now!
In The Socialist 28 July 2005: