Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/737/15416
More success for Socialist Students
Exeter Socialist Students has had a fantastic start to the new academic year with over 50 students signing up.
At well-attended meetings we have discussed topics ranging from economics and theory to how we can take the lead in campaigns across campus such as Rape Is No Joke and the TUC demo on 20 October.
Recently two Spanish members volunteered to lead a discussion on the situation in Spain laying the foundations for Exeter Socialist Students to launch a solidarity campaign for young people across Europe fighting back against government austerity.
We have been invited to take part in the university debating society's Question Time event and are leading the 'yes' campaign for the student referendum on whether or not the Exeter Student Guild should take action for the NUS day of action on 21 November.
We hope to develop the Youth Fight For Jobs campaign in Exeter. We are already planning stalls outside job centres.
We are also developing a local college branch of Socialist Students that can lead the campaign on the democratisation of their student representation committee.
At Warwick we had an official stand, along with Labour, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and other political societies.
The Lib Dems thought a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Nick Clegg might entice the 2012 freshers, with their brand new £9,000 debts for the first year alone, to sign up.
We also set up two stalls outside, to talk to as many students as possible. We had a lot of positive discussions and met many potential Socialist Students members.
The only downside came from a small number of the Labour Students, who shouted "Viva Rámon Mercader" [the Soviet agent who murdered Leon Trotsky] on sight of our stalls. Two other Labour Students did apologise for this, but Labour must feel threatened by Socialist Students to make them stoop so low!
Liverpool John Moores
Holding our first stall at Liverpool John Moores University, we enjoyed the unprecedented help of the Green Party.
Two members of the Greens were outside with clipboards and some leaflets. A student, after speaking to one of the activists for nearly half an hour approached our stall with a look of puzzlement on his face.
He came over and said: "I've been told I should speak to you". A bit confused, I asked who by, to which he replied "them over there" referring to the Greens.
When I asked why they had sent him and his friend to come and speak to us, he simply said: "we asked were they about fighting back and are they against the capitalist system...he said we should probably speak to you because you want to fight back"!
At the University of Hertfordshire it was evident that a new socialist society was needed. From my experience as a student, the existing societies are inactive.
Socialist Students had already been campaigning and had enthusiastic support from students angered by the government's attitude towards young people over the tuition fee increase and the dire level of unemployment facing university graduates.
So this year we were determined to set up an official Socialist Students society within the university.
At the freshers fair we collected well over the 15 signatures required to become an official society as well as selling many copies of the Socialist Students magazine, Megaphone, and the Socialist.
Those who say that students are apathetic are very much mistaken.
Queen Mary, London
Up to 40 people attended a Socialist Students and Tamil Solidarity meeting on Monday 9 October. Frances Harrison, former BBC correspondent for Sri Lanka, read from her new book, Still Counting the Dead.
The largely Tamil audience reflected the growing thirst for political explanation and ideas in this community that has suffered such a huge loss.
Only days before a UN representative had acknowledged that the death count from the recent bloody and brutal war on the Tamil people in Sri Lanka could be 75,000.
Almost everyone signed up to help build Tamil Solidarity on campus as a political and activist-based society.
In The Socialist 10 October 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news