Socialist Students marching for free education, photo by Sarah Wrack

Socialist Students marching for free education, photo by Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

King’s College London

Socialist Students held our first freshers fair stall at King’s College London on 23-24 September, where we’re trying to establish a new society. 50 people signed up in the first hour, meaning we already have enough names to become an official student union society!

Another 50 people signed up over the rest of the weekend, giving us an excellent start to the academic year. There was enthusiasm for socialist ideas and a mood to organise: many students were keen to join us on the 19 November national demo in defence of education. There was also clear support for Jeremy Corbyn, bolstered by his victory, and agreement with our strategy to defend his anti-austerity leadership.

Mary Finch

Leeds University

Students at Leeds University showed great enthusiasm for socialist ideas this year as over 250 students signed up to our mailing list. Our focus on issues such as the junior doctor strikes and tuition fee rises set us apart from other left societies, as well as our strong history in taking action alongside discussion.

Our first meeting was on what socialism is. The word has become more widely used in recent years. We had an interesting discussion about the practicalities of implementing socialism as well as questions about Socialist Students itself. The new academic year sees multiple hardships for students including the scrapping of maintenance grants, high rents and increasing tuition fees. In the face of these, more and more students have shown a willingness to fight back as they do not want to see a future where they are buried under unpayable debt – a fact reflected in the number of sign ups we received. With a national demonstration being called by the National Union of Students (finally) against tuition fees on 19 November, there is hope that student politics will become a force to be reckoned with once more and Socialist Students will be at the forefront of that.

Maddy Steeds

Kingston University

Socialist Party activists set up a Socialist Students stall at Kingston University freshers fair on 22 September where leaflets and flyers were handed out. Students showed an interest in our ideas and asked what we stood for. They were rightfully concerned by the current government’s assault on education through cuts and rising fees and they supported our stance against such measures. Many of those we spoke to were curious about socialism and interested in learning more. We sold several copies of the Socialist and the Socialist Students magazine, Megaphone. 35 people signed up to our mailing list.

Sajid Abbas