Monday, March 18

Sussex University Students stand up for stupidity

My mind boggles. First the story.

It is a dispute that has radicalised dozens of students, shut down sections of Sussex University for more than a month and won admiration and support from the likes of Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and the actor Peter Capaldi.

At issue are two clashing visions of the university experience – one that sees students as consumers and another that rejects the commercialisation of learning and everything that goes with it.

Other universities are watching as students and staff at the Falmer campus, near Brighton, flex their campaigning muscles.

The trigger for the dispute is what the protesters regard as creeping privatisation on campus. Sussex is one of several universities outsourcing key services such as catering and estate management.

Student campaigners, who have occupied the university's conference centre since early February, say the move will jeopardise employment terms and conditions. "Private providers won't be bound to provide workers with the same contract terms, so there's a danger positions may be undermined," said William Brown, a first-year English student. "The university has also been very unclear about the reasons behind the decision, which is incredibly hypocritical of an academic institution."

Plans to outsource services at Sussex were "the straw that broke the camel's back", said Theadora Jean, a master's student in critical and creative writing. "Even among people like myself who aren't taking part in the protests, there is a lot of support for the campaign. Across the country universities are becoming more and more like businesses … this is about making a stand against that. It's the principle that counts."

heh, where do they think all the funds come from to run the university? the money tree in the courtyard? or the public sector fountain of money? forget about that, who do you think constructed the university? the public sector constructors? how about the electricity they use? the little public sector gnomes? how about the water? how about the beer they drink? who do they think makes that? the department of beer making?

the mind shudders at the thought of the imbecility of these idiots.

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