As the lecturers’ strike starts to affect fee-paying students, it’s refreshing to see one of the institutions that supposedly have our interests at heart stand up for our rights. As the University continues to say and do seemingly nothing and the lecturers hold us to ransom whilst insisting it’s all the fault of the University, the Students’ Union have decided to stand up not only to the lecturers but to the NUS as well.
Admittedly they have been actioned by the students to do so but the ambiguity of the statement could so easily have been interpreted so as to let them fall in line behind Kat Fletcher and have an easy life. Instead they are prepared to say that yes, the lecturers are not fairly paid but that students should not be forced to suffer as a result. Of course they deserve more money, but they are not the only ones. Nurses, teachers and even doctors (although maybe not every GP) are consistently undervalued and underpaid and provide a service that is arguably more beneficial to the population. Whilst the University of York bigwigs do seem to set their own salaries pretty high, cancelled exams, unmarked essays and postponed graduations costing students thousands are not the methods by which to remedy lecturers’ perceived injustices.
So let’s applaud the SU for taking this step: it can be easy to grow cynical about student politics but at least someone in this situation is taking into account what we want.