It is heartening for the campaigning student in all of us (ok, some of us) to see a member of YUSU take an active stance in something they truly believe in. Ok, so I’m not talking about the top-up fees demonstration (although those who made the trip to London should be congratulated even if the disappointing national turn out is sadly indicative of students’ indifference acceptance of the rise), but LGBT officer, Rose Rickford, who, along with other members of ‘Plane Stupid’, occupied the runway of Nottingham East Midlands airport to protest against short-haul flights. The sit-in, designed to raise awareness of the damage caused to the environment by air travel, led to Rickford and others allegedly being held in solitary confinement for 36 hours and having their houses raided. The case is due to be heard later this year, but whatever the outcome, Rickford is a rare breed of a student still following the 60s protest ideals.
As the kitchen saga continues, students are growing weary of making a fuss and are instead beginning to contemplate the effect that having to cook their meals in a microwave will have on their health. With many justifiably pointing out that they should not pay the same accommodation costs as those in other colleges with access to far superior facilities, perhaps now is the time for the University to really examine what each college is providing. We don’t want a campus where those who can afford it live in luxury, while the rest reside in the cheaper slums; there ought to be a reasonable standard which every student should demand.
Congratulations must be passed on to Louise Moody, the University of York philosophy student. Moody, who suffers from severely impaired hearing, was shocked to discover that her Incapacity Benefit was being cancelled because of an “administrative error”. Thankfully, the City of York Council have come to their senses and reinstated the benefit, yet this only came after a concerted campaign by Ms Moody. That she had to go through such lengths to gain a financial necessity is a disgrace.
The death of Robert Ailwood is a tragic end to a life which showed such promise. Those who knew him have said he was fun, kind and simply a genuinely nice guy. Our thoughts are with his family and his friends at what can only be described as an incomprehensibly difficult time.