www.london-student.net ·1stMarch 2010
UCLU votes to‘oppose cuts, closures and redundancies’
•AGMsays no to language departmentmergers, but the London LivingWage is off the agenda
By TOBIAS CHAPPLE
was not presented during the AGM. TheWelcome GeneralMeeting in
University College LondonUnion's (UCLU) Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday February 23rd, passed a motion resolving to op- pose the restructuring of UCL's modern language departments and 'all cuts, course closures and com- pulsory redundancies wherever they are in UCL'.
Presenting themotion, founder of
the campaign ‘Save UCL 2010’, Michael Chessun said “it's not a merger, it's a cut” and warned that other cuts would follow, quoting a previous statement by UCL's provost that “this was just the beginning”. The proposedmerger of UCL's six
modern language departments into a single department had previously beenmet with strong student opposi- tion; an online petition against the proposals attracted 1,150 signatures, and 200 language students also met with the Dean of the Arts & Human- ities Faculty on the same day as the AGM. The motion was passed with 318 votes in favour out of 380 total. UCLU will now 'demand an exten- sion of the consultation period' and 'generally publicise the campaign', including plans to protest on the 3rd ofMarch in UCL's main quad. But controversially, a motion on
the ‘London Living Wage’ (LLW), passed in a previous generalmeeting,
October had passed a motion in sup- port of the LLW, which proposes bet- ter wages for the college's cleaning and catering staff, with 215 votes out of 250 in favour.However themotion was deemed “unconstitutional” by UCLU's Government Committee as it was seen to concern “establishment matters” andmatters relating to “stu- dent staff remuneration” that could
“Itwas amistake for themotion to have been presented to
UCLU Council in
the first place”
not be discussed in a GM. The deci- sion came after the UCLU Council voted to reject the living wage for its own employees in November. Andrew Caddy, who had presided
over the Government Committee and had lead the opposition against the motion during the council meeting, explained during the AGM that “it was a mistake for the motion to have
NEWS IN BRIEF
Students face charges forprotestingIsraeli speaker
Eleven students were briefly de- tained, and may now face criminal charges or expulsion, for interrupt- ing a speech by the Israeli ambassa- dor at UC Irvine.
The protestors stood up at various
points during the meeting to accuse speakerMichaelOren of “propagating murder”. Student unions at several universities have condemned discipli- nary actions against the students.
UN report suggests violence against uni- versities is increasing
been presented to UCLU Council in the first place”. He later commented to London Student that this motion would “have such wholesale implica- tions for the function of the union that a three minute discussion in an GMwas not tenable”. Environment and Ethics officer
Craig Griffiths, who had proposed the motion in the council meeting, said: “There is no way now for stu- dents to influence this policy”. Grif- fiths further commented that “the motion was blocked because they knew they there was a good chance they would lose”. The AGM also passed the first of
two motions needed to incorporate the union and become a charitable- company-limited by guarantee. The principle change would be to limit the liability of trustees to 1p and that changes to its constitution require one meeting with a 75% majority, rather than two with 66%. The meet- ing additionally resolved to increase UCL's library opening hours, with 24 hour service during intense periods, and to pressure UCL into renouncing its current contract with company Eden Springs UK which is “illegally appropriating” water in the Golan Heights, an area subject to “illegal” Israeli occupation.
A report by Unesco has shown a sharp rise of attacks targeting schools and universities in the past few years.
The report citied thousands of
cases of violence since 2007, including bombings and kidnappings, and over 100 academics and students killed in Iraq within two years.
Saudi Arabia to intro- duce student loans for both sexes
LondonStudent is establishing an ’Investigations Team’ towork on long-term
stories involving research and analysis.
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A new scheme by the World Bank and a SaudiArabian bank could lead to an increase in students able to access private university educations – including women.
The scheme will see students able
to borrow the costs of their university education in certain subjects, but only those which will be of benefit to the Saudi economy.
Dutch studentsprotest over possible end to grants
Lecture theatres across the Nether- lands have been occupied in protest at proposed replacements of student grants with a loans system.
Themovemay be introduced in re-
sponse to the economic crisis but over 1,000 students have joined protests in favour of the current grant system.
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