143 Views

Judgement day is every day at Sussex

The exclusion of certain students from visiting stalls at the Grad fair is nothing other than direct, personal discrimination.

The stalls affected included Brighton and Hove Council, Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospital, stalls offering information about studying abroad simply because they were located in an adjoining room to where the more contentious Army and Exxon Mobil stalls were squirreled away.

I think the time for judgment and name calling and anonymous opinion in The Badger is over, and it is now time to take a serious look at what is happening at this University. It is far too easy to view events in isolation, get very angry about them, and then leave them alone when they leave the Comments page. It is high time for open and frank discussion about the utter, willful, breakdown of communication between the Union and the University, the University and the students, and perhaps most worryingly, between the students themselves.

‘The University ignores the doubts raised by students about companies and institutions it allows to operate on campus, and instead sends in the police. This is both immature and cowardly’

What is most important to understand is that this is no longer about individual campaigns. These are their own issues, involving different individuals and different goals. It is the handling of these campaigns by all at the University that ties them together into a bigger picture, a bigger picture that I would argue has gone entirely beyond the pale, and started turning Sussex into an institution that polices the ideas of its own students.

The University has, this term, developed a rather interesting relationship with the Police. Approximately ten police people with three cars were called to an entirely peaceful anti-URNU demonstration, comprising of about 15 people, in week two. On the 15th of October, the day of a public Smash EDO demo and march, there were police vans parked outside Barclay’s bank, on campus, waiting to transport arrestees. For a graduate fair at which nothing more ‘threatening’ than the handing out of flyers was occurring, the University called the police to back up security in restricting the movement of certain individuals, under no legal mandate whatsoever. There should not be police on campus before any criminal act has been committed.

To me, this reflects nothing but an institution that is frightened of its own students, of their opinions, beliefs and their ability to express them. The University chooses to ignore the very serious doubts raised by students about companies and institutions it allows to operate on campus, and chooses instead to send the police. I would go so far as to say this is both immature and cowardly. You may say, ‘oh but you haven’t taken your ideas straight to the University, so what do you expect?’, but these campaigns are taken to the University as motions at the AGM, where the Union acts as an intermediary between the students and the University. Furthermore, last year, ENS brought their campaign, en masse, straight to the university decision makers, and a fat lot of good that did.

There is also something to be said here for the great discontentment that has been voiced by certain students of what they seem to see as the highjacking of ‘student’ opinion by certain highly passionate and determined groups. I would argue that this is a fallacy. There is not ‘one’ student opinion which you have to fit into. We’re all adults, if certain people feel something strongly and do something about it, there’s nothing stopping you doing something if you don’t agree with them. Even this article will no doubt be mentally attributed to some semi-mythical group, but this is my opinion, and only I am accountable for what is written here. And if you don’t like it, please come and tell me to my face.

There are also many people who naturally feel they don’t need to get all het up over the treatment of campaigns they are not involved in. This seems very short sighted; we have all seen, thanks to ENS, what happens to campaigning on this campus when a greater number of students feel that they are personally affected. A few hundred people is hardly a critical mass, but it’s more than most campaigns get. Why not protect your freedom to protest should you ever want to use it in the future?

Another side to this is the argument that, ‘well does it really matter what the Uni does? I’m here for an education’. Fair enough, but the metamorphosis of the university into what increasingly resembles a bit of a police state concerns us all. It is also reflected nationally in the treatment of activists by the police and the gradual erosion of the right to protest. If you can be singled out by security and the police, to not be allowed in a room in your student union, at your university, because someone ‘recognises’ you as someone who, for completely unstated reasons, is unfit to receive certain career information, this is a very serious matter. The university cannot be allowed to operate in a legal bubble – a hybrid of University security policy and state police. And it’s happening. You might not agree with any of the campaigns that go on campus, but I’m sure there are a whole lot more students out there who do not want to attend a university that turns and discriminates – with the power of the state behind it – against certain students because of the opinions they have. It might not be your opinion today, but it may be tomorrow. Wake up.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
720 views1
Campus News
720 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
165 views
Arts
165 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
184 views
Arts
184 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
179 views
Arts
179 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
221 views
Arts
221 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
223 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
218 views
Arts
218 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
209 views
Arts
209 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
332 views
Campus News
332 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
169 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
461 views
Arts
461 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
208 views
Arts
208 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
308 views
Artist Focus
308 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
215 views
Interview
215 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
293 views
Arts
293 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
332 views
Arts
332 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
370 views
Arts
370 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
269 views
Artist Focus
269 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
281 views
Books
281 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
367 views
Science
367 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
337 views
News
337 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…