Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Aber Students Against Cuts



In the past we have criticised Aberystwyth University for two issues. The main one is its continuing hollow lip-service to environmental issues, whilst acting like any other selfish organisation - for example, we will soon be covering their plans to build on a huge greenfield site, even though they have a brownfield site that would serve the purpose just as well.



The second issue is the contempt that the university has for the wider community. As an example, we have contacted the Estates Department many times over the years, asking for clarification on different issues. They have never replied to any of our emails. Another example is that a lot of information is kept hidden by the university (number of trees cut down, animals killed in labs etc) unless you go to the trouble of making a Freedom Of Information request - and even then you are generally just told that the information is either not recorded, or can not be given out (if you get an answer at all). No-one is consulted about Aberystwyth University decisions such as whether or not it is a stupid idea to centralsie on Penglais Campus.

This latter culture of 'behind closed doors' annoys everyone. The university does not consult or give people the chance to influence decisions. The topic is mentioned a number of times on this new site by Aber Students Against Cuts. Our last post was about history lessons. This one is about human relations. Until openness and transparency are real outcomes, rather than just empty words, there will continue to be opposition to this apparent arrogance on the part of a publicly-funded body.

Aber Students Against Cuts are holding a 'Free University' on Friday 18th March at the Morlan Centre open to everyone. The programme of events will be running between 10am and 6:30pm. The event will also be a chance to discuss, in the company of students, non-academic staff and local residents, the impact of the latest funding cuts on the University and the wider
community.

The day will be run around three main themes:

1) "What is Free Education? What Are Our Aspirations for Higher Education?"
2) "The Economics of Cuts: Is There An Alternative?"
3) "Campaigning Beyond the University: Are We All In This Together?"

There will also be a discussion session at 1pm on the topic entitled "Effective Campaigning Against Cuts" attended by Jon Antoniazzi (guild president) and Elin Jones AM as well as representatives of UCU and Aber Students Against the Cuts.

For any queries or suggestions, please email aberstudentsagainstcuts@gmail.com.

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