As I sit here writing this column, dressed up in my best D.I.S.C.O. outfit and ready to go to what seems like my millionth Club D, I am finding it increasingly difficult to write a piece that fully encapsulates everything that has happened already this term whilst also looking forward to what is coming up. How do you sum up the Freshers’ Fortnight that left most of us reaching for the Nurofen and a quilt by the start of week three; the kitchen saga that I have lived and breathed for the past month and the first major NUS National Demo in three years in so few words? I guess the answer is you cannot, so I won’t try. Instead, I will touch on the NUS Demo – something that has far wider-reaching implications than everything else.
The National Demo on October 29 was a great day; thousands of students marching in London in an attempt to ensure that everyone has fair access to education. The York contingent numbered around 135 – significantly more than other larger institutions in the North. For most, including me, it was their first demo or protest, yet the York crew took to it like ducks to water. “Òggy Oggy Oggy, York York York, Fees Fees Fees, No No No,” became the choice chant of our students as banner waving and whistle blowing stirred the streets of London. Tourist and media cameras flashed as students snaked their way to Trafalgar Square. Despite the carnival atmosphere, it was impossible to get away from the fact that in five years or so, students could be paying £15,000 for every year of their course. If the students of today fail to make a stand, the sad fact is no-one else will.
It’s weird to think that, for most students, term only started 28 days ago and that there are only 42 days left. With so much already gone by and so much coming up, it is easy to get lost in a world where one day blends into another. I think now is as good a time as any at University to take stock and say, “what next?” At the moment, there are the Union Committee elections open to everyone, Student Action week is in full swing, the JCRC elections are just around the corner and so many societies and clubs are already into action-packed terms. What next is whatever you want it to be: if you don’t try, you won’t ever know. What’s the worst that could happen?