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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2022

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

over 7,000 students voted to take exams online. The university has so far refused to budge. Photo: �cole polytechnique & J Barande/CC

over 7,000 students voted to take exams online. The university has so far refused to budge. Photo: �cole polytechnique & J Barande/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Eva Eliadou Papadopoulou, Southampton Socialist Students

University management was forced to meet the student union after 95% of the over 7,000 people that participated in an all-student vote favoured moving exams from in-person to online because of the latest Covid crisis.

But the outcome of the meeting was not what we wanted. Our demands were rejected.

We have now been sent an email assuring us that in-person exams will be Covid safe. This has not done much to alleviate our concerns.

University management has now said that some exams were in fact going to take place online. That information was presumably given to students to placate us, but instead revealed the unfairness of the situation. Some of us would be exposed to the virus, while others would not.

It also calls into question how consistent the difficulty of the exams will be. Students like myself, who study modern foreign languages, will have to complete closed-book exams in 90 to 120 minutes, while other students will be allowed a window of at least 24 hours to complete an assessment at home.

The student union has sent three open letters on behalf of students. Alarmingly, PhD students are being asked to invigilate exams because many staff members who usually fulfil this role are now, understandably, refusing to do so due to Omicron concerns. The student union calls for a one-week delay to the exam period, to give time to transfer assessments online.

The student union is showing no signs of conceding. However, neither is management. We are yet to receive a response to the third open letter. Students stand in solidarity with each other and with staff in order to fight for a safer exam season.

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In The Socialist 19 January 2022:


What we think

Tories on the ropes


News

Want to fight austerity?

No trust in Tories to keep us safe

Tories hand cash to private health profiteers

Tory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

Employers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

News in brief


International news

Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

Northern Ireland: Workers fight threatened closure of women's hostel

US: Independent Socialist Group launches new paper

Eyewitness account of workers' uprising in Almaty, Kazakhstan


Public services

Mutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers' party


Marxist classics

Why are things the way they are?


Rob Windsor

Rob Windsor - remembering a tireless fighter for socialism


Theatre

Theatre: Yes Yes UCS


Workplace news

Sheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike

S Yorks Stagecoach strike results in "huge pay win"

Scunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action

Coventry bin strike continues

Bus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

Royal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

Newham college strike solid against bully privatisers

Somers Forge workers continue pay strike

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns

NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Demonstrating against the Tory anti-protest bill

Waltham Forest: Campaign unites families facing eviction

Newham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

Birmingham: Cuts consultations replaced by computer game

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

Oliver Campbell - 31 years fighting for justice

Bournemouth - angry people not represented by capitalist parties

Pauline Wall memorial meeting


 

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Related links:

Socialist Students:

triangleCampaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen

triangleWhy I'm going to Socialist Students conference

triangleGetting organised for 2 March walkout

triangleThis is students' chance to fight back - help build 2 March NUS walkout

triangleNUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Students:

triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleFighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout

trianglePerfect storm brewing in education

triangleKing's student union refuses to back staff strike and NUS walkout

Southampton:

triangleSave St Mary's Leisure Centre

triangleSouthampton West Socialist Party: The crisis in housing

triangleSouthampton West Socialist Party: British Perspectives - a report from the SP national committee

Student:

triangle'I'm dreading trying to live on a nurse's salary'

triangleSouthampton student vote for online exams must be accepted

Union:

triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

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