Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/708/14097

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2012

NUS elections - Vote Socialist Students for a fighting student leadership

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser

It's election time for Britain's student unions and once again thousands will be asked to vote 'Joe Bama for president (yes we can!)' or 'Ben Johnson for education - BJ for satisfaction'. But amidst all the ridiculous sloganeering and silly outfits a serious battle is taking place. It's a battle over what student unions are really about.

Are they to be serious, fighting bodies, with students in control, campaigning to defend education and young people generally? Or are they to be stagnant pools of careerism engaged only in passively accepting, or worse, actively furthering, the aims of vice-chancellors, external trustees and pro-big business capitalist parties?

Socialist Students says we need to take back our student unions. We need them to be fighting bodies run from the bottom up with genuinely democratic structures. The National Union of Students (NUS) and local student unions should be at the fore of leading the fight against fees, cuts and privatisation.

This means they need to have principled policies, arguing for education that is universally free, fully funded and publicly owned at all levels. But simply having these policies isn't enough. The old adage is correct: actions speak louder than words!

In the past, students have been let down by their 'official' leadership. In 2010 NUS failed to organise or even support the mass protests which took place against the tripling of fees and scrapping of EMA following the initial NUS-backed demo on 10 November.

More recently, they have taken the welcome step of organising a student walkout for 14 March. But so far they haven't done what's necessary to build for there to be mass participation in this action.

Record of fighting

Socialist Students is fielding several candidates in this year's student union elections. All of them are standing on the basis of a record of playing a leading role in the fight against cuts and fees in their area. All are standing with the programme of Socialist Students behind them.

We fight against cuts, fees and privatisation and call for the immediate reinstatement of EMA, expanding it to be available to all college and sixth form students.

We campaign for NUS to call and build for mass action including walkouts, demonstrations and occupations against the government's attacks.

Locally, student unions should be campaigning for university managements not to implement cuts and fee rises on behalf of the Con-Dem government. Local unions should revive union general meetings and student assemblies to give ordinary students the opportunity to have a real say in how their union is run.

Socialist Students is standing Jack Poole in Brighton University for student union president. For national positions on the National Executive Council we are standing Edmund Schluessel, of Cardiff University, and Lizi Grey, from Newcastle College. Liat Norris from Staffordshire University is also running for a full-time officer position. Vote Socialist Students for democratic, fighting unions.


Building for the walkout at Leicester

Rebecca Christiansen, Leicester Socialist Students

The student union executives at both the University of Leicester and De Montfort University (DMU) are refusing to support the NUS-called walkout. DMU has gladly said that all lectures are off when the Queen visits on 8 March but the student union is afraid that students "will miss too many lectures if they walk out on 14 March."

At Leicester, we issued an emergency proposal to the student union parliament calling for them to support the NUS campaign and build for it on campus. We asked the student union to use its authority to make sure that the students walking out are not penalised and to organise pickets outside academic buildings. However, the steering committee denied this emergency proposal and made it into a white paper which is due to be processed on Tuesday 13 March - the day before the walkout!

Students at both University of Leicester and DMU have been seriously let down by our student unions, so we have to do the work ourselves. We will leaflet for the walkout and try to connect it to the Youth Fight for Jobs and Education campaign to bring back EMA so that college and university students will walk out together. On 14 March we will arrange a demo either on campus or in the city centre.

We held a meeting titled "a socialist alternative to cuts, fees, job losses and workfare". The response was good and the questions asked showed that people have started to be critical towards capitalism and look for a socialist alternative.

What we do after 14 March is equally important. We need to continue with the meetings on cuts to education and the socialist alternative. We are also looking forward to next term's freshers fairs where there will be potential for Socialist Students to get many more members as next year's freshers will be the ones paying 9,000 fees.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 7 March 2012:


Fighting the government's attacks

On 28 March: Strike back against the Con-Dems

Trade unions must build mass party

NHS: Axe Lansley's bill!


International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2012

Socialist Party International Women's Day schools


Socialist Party youth and students

Workfare

No cuts, No fees, Bring back EMA

NUS elections - Vote Socialist Students for a fighting student leadership


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kirklees marches to save child centres

Leeds Tenants Federation opposes Welfare Reform Bill

Become Coventry deputy mayor? Thanks, but no thanks!

Attack on pay defeated at Manchester's NHS Trust

Stop prison guards housing asylum seekers - stop G4S!

Party/campaigns news in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

MMP workers step up action

Unison: Delegates gagged

Anti-blacklisting battle continues on building sites

London election candidate named in employers' blacklist

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Quebec: Students engage in 'indefinite' general strike action

Spain: Thousands in student protests against education cuts

Revolution through Arab eyes - the Factory


Socialist Party news and analysis

A4e - The inside story

Cops and big business robbers

Them & Us


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 March 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

NUS:

triangleHow students can fight and win

triangleLincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

triangle'Reforms' hollow out the NUS

triangleReject the rotten NUS 'reforms'

triangleSocialist Students LJMU victory

Students:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleWhat would socialist universities look like?

triangleA socialist programme for schools

triangleTV: The school that tried to end racism

Socialist Students:

triangleLondon Young Socialists & Socialist Students: We won't pay for the crisis with our futures

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

Socialist:

triangleNHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

University:

triangleAfter Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

Fees:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can Corbyn's policies be implemented?

EMA:

triangleCorbyn's alternative for young people

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/8/20

Young Socialists

After Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

10/8/20

NHS

NHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999