Letters

Please send your comments and complaints to letters@nouse.co.uk or by mail to: nouse, Grimston House, Vanbrugh College, University of York

Galloway Defence
I was most surprised by the news article on your last front page – the incidents seemed so insignificant to be hardly worth reporting. The article was a complete distortion of events. I attended the public meeting and witnessed none of the “heckling, intimidation and angry scuffles” your reporter suggests took place. When one question decended into a lengthy name-calling shouting attack on George Galloway, some people in the audience told her to be quiet, which seemed fair enough in the context, which you completely rip the incident from. Likewise you play down the provocative gesture of raising an Israeli flag to Palestinian students – and their remonstrating with him afterwards is made into a terrifying ordeal. I think if people want to play politics they have to expect disagreement.

Parts of your article were clerely contrived to attack George Galloway himself in the cheapest way possible. When you said “Galloway also hit back, spoiling with his critics: “I’m a former amateur boxer and I’ll go a few rounds with anyone.” “I’m no pacifist”” – this was said at the very beginning of the meeting before any of the ‘incidents’ took place – your reporter implies it took place after as if Galloway was simply threatening the audience. This is an example of the worst form of unscrupulous journalism possible, and reflects very badly indeed on your newspaper.
Ciera P. Smith, Langwith College

Snow Sculptures on Campus
During the recent snowfall my friends and I decided to try and build the biggest snowman we could. Upon completion, after numerous comments from passers by, we wondered whether it was, in fact, the biggest snowman ever to be constructed on campus. I have included a photograph of the snowman, and as a reference point, Alex (standing on the left hand side of the picture) measures 6ft 2in.

Unfortunately we awoke the next morning to find that our monster snowman had been destroyed by townies! However, a large pile of snow did remain. We just thought that our snowman was of such importance that it should be paraded in its full splendour in front of your wonderful newspaper’s readers.
Dave Klein, No college given

Top-up fee brawls
Considering the huge opposition the Government faced when it pushed and shoved its proposals on Top-up fees through Parliament, I am surprised less was made on campus of the events. There were protests in London, MPs were lobbied and the national media went in for the kill. However, as soon as the spotlight turns away we see the Government let off the hook and students badly let down.

The breakdown of proposals you printed in your last edition were enlightening to me, especially as attention was always focused on the Blair – Brown battle, with little emphasis on the policy itself. Why can’t politicians concentrate on the issues, and not the personal feuds and petty battles that nobody outside the ‘Westminster Village’ cares about? While Mandy Telford at the NUS has not always been the best president, it is significant that students all rallied round and supported her in a just cause, while the politicians fell to back-stabbing and bickering, ending up looking divided and weak. Despite what everyone says about students now being apathetic and apolitical, its good to see some life left in them!
Ed Harris, Halifax College

Music Open Lessons
My name is Anna Maciuk and I am the new concerts secretary for the university Music Society. Our society has about 400 members and yet, due to the previous committee’s lack of P&P, we have low audience attendance for the two lunchtime concerts we put on each week. Part of our problem is the assumption that the concerts are music student orientated, when the society is an entirely separate entity to the department. As part of our publicity campaign to override this assumption, we wondered if nouse could help publicise the concerts. Maybe you could mention a few of our concerts in the MUSE section? We realise that most of the concerts feature mainly classical music which doesn’t quite fit the student stereotype, but recent concerts have featured a Samba band and Lisa Moore who ‘is arguably THE pianist in New York these days’. I feel our concert programme is that bit more impressive than a grade 5 flautist struggling through a Mozart Sonata which is what other university’s Mus Socs have to offer! Concerts cost only £2 to attend and are free to Music Society members. They take place every Tuesday and Friday at 1pm.
Anna Maciuk, Music Soc

AU:another expense
I am writing to express my disgust at the ridiculous ticket prices being charged by the AU for the 40th Anniversary of Roses event. Whilst I believe what they’re saying about the £31 being calculated on a break-even budget, doesn’t it occur to the organisers that a lot of students can’t afford to pay that much for a night out every few weeks? I’ve already shelled out close to £30 at Christmas for my college ball last term (and that was just the ticket). Then next term there’s another college ball and the AU do another high-cost event. And of course the finalists have Grad Ball. People ram the publicity for these things down your throat, so you almost feel like you have to go – especially if everyone you know is going.

If you ask me, expensive events appeal mainly because of their snob value. The same people that defend them as worthwhile are probably the ones who complain that they can’t pay the tuition fees the government has deemed (through means-testing) that they can afford. Cheaper, more inclusive events would go down just as well with the majority of students. They’d also give the AU more time to campaign for better sporting facilities – which, as the Barbican’s closing – is now paramount.
Jeffery Walker, Alcuin0

Security Lapse
In reference to your article ‘Student break-in highlights wide security failures,’ I have been able to wander into the Roger Kirk centre in the middle of the night. Am I liable for prosecution? The doors were open and there was no problem going in. But I wasn’t quite as intrepid as the two students featured.
A Goodricke Student