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University freshers fairs: Students seek out socialism
Without doubt Socialist Students made a great start in establishing ourselves as a vehicle and voice for students to fight for free education for all.
Socialist Students were out even before the fair, handing out well over a thousand leaflets. We were the only left group with a stall at the fair.
Many students expressed their disgust at the hypocrisy of the government and big business, saying: "the taxpayers bailed out the banks, but they won't even give us basic things like a decent free education."
Several students came along to find out more at a Socialist Students 'meet and greet' session in the evening including international students from Nigeria and Cyprus. We discussed the role of the Committee for a Workers' International.
Lenny Shail and Sunara Begum
University of Hertfordshire
Socialist Students are trying to establish a group at the Hertfordshire University. While it is very easy for companies trying to sell products to get official stalls at the freshers events, it appears to be much harder for students to act politically on campus. Nevertheless we set up nearby the freshers tent and attracted over 30 supporters, sold ten papers and received a very enthusiastic response.
Many students, having studied socialism on politics courses, had seen the value in these ideas when they had gone to work over the summer. Students wanted to know our position on many crucial issues such as women's rights and the USSR. We met students from Nigeria and Egypt, and some who had been involved in the protests against the war in Sri Lanka who were keen to take up the issue of the detention camps which hold thousands of Tamil-speaking people.
This year Socialist Students in the south east had a presence at a record seven freshers fairs. We met almost 400 people interested in joining Socialist Students and sold 42 copies of the Student Socialist across the two weeks. People were particularly interested to hear about our record of dedicated campaigning such as with 'save linguistics' at Sussex last year.
There was also a lot of enthusiasm for the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign with lots of people expressing an interest in coming to the demo on Saturday 28 November. Each freshers fair is being followed up with a 'what is socialism?' meeting.
In The Socialist 7 October 2009:
War and occupation
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis