Labour Students

This Day…We March!

Marching for the rights of future students

Tomorrow, we march on the capital.

Tomorrow, thousands of angry students will descend on Parliament to protest the crippling cuts and fee rises proposed by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. Thousands of voices will be heard crying out for our politicians to hear our voices and listen to them. And for the Lib Dems especially, to remember what they promised in the election.

I will be there. So will over three hundred students from the University of Sussex. I have no idea how many people will be there from other universities, but I know this is going to be something spectacular.

I’d like to point out something in particular: we are not doing this for us. The tuition fee rise will not affect present students. The cuts to the Higher Education budget will, for some of us. But not for me, and not for thousands of other final year students who will be there. We are not marching for ourselves. We’re marching for the generations of students who will bear the brunt of this.

The rises are not progressive. They will dissuade the very poorest members of society from going to university, and transform Higher Education into something reserved for a rich elite. And the massive cuts to the Higher Education budget will decimate universities, resulting in students paying massively more for massively less.

This is why I’m going to London tomorrow. This is why thousands of others are doing the same. This is why I’m asking you to come.

Whether you’re a student or not doesn’t matter. You could be someone who will be applying to university in the next couple of years. You could be the parent of someone who will be applying. Or you could just care about the state of education in this country. Whoever you are, come along and show your support. If you’re interested, take a look at the NUS website for details, and get involved.

Thank you

Socialism and Socialising

This little piece of genius is not, unfortunately, my own creation, but the Twitter profile picture of the Sussex Uni Creative Writing Society

I’m a third year Law student. I’m fairly sure I should have done the whole society thing in the first year. But whatever, I’ve never been one for doing things conventionally.

Last night I jumped off the deep end, and went to two societies in the same night. The first was the Labour Society, which was a particularly enjoyable hour of debating how Labour should move forward in terms of campaigning. The debate went a little off-topic, but it was all very interesting, and had a real feel of socialist camaraderie since we were locked out of the designated room and held the meeting sat on the floor of the corridor (and offering directions to the various lost people wandering past).

But as much as I enjoyed that, it’s not what I want to focus on. After the Labour Society meeting, I attended my first meeting of Write (the Sussex Uni Creative Writing Society).

Now, anyone who knows me or who has looked at this blog before will know that I’m a writer. It’s kind of hard to get away from with me. So it might seem odd that I’ve never been to any sort of writing group before. But I haven’t. And I really hadn’t any idea what to expect. So when I found myself in a crowded, stuffy room, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

But I had a really good time. After an initial writing exercise, in which I attempted to write a morning routine in the voice of Jeremy Kyle, I kicked things off by reading out a piece of my writing. Now, this isn’t something I’ve ever done before. I read stuff out that I’d written when I was in school, but I don’t really count that. This was the first piece I’d read allowed to anyone since I became what I refer to as a “serious” writer.

It was nerve wracking. It wasn’t a particularly short piece, either. A 4,500 word short horror story, which once I’ve posted this I will be polishing up to submit to Murky Depths. It was fairly well received, which was a relief because I’m not sure what I would have done if they didn’t like it. And immediately afterwards I felt like an absolute moron for labouring over the damn thing all day to get it perfect. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was a bit rough. After all, the people in that room were only the same as me; people who enjoy writing, and who want to have a go at it.

So in conclusion, if you can find a good group of like-minded writers, with whom to meet, discuss, and trial your work on, then I would very much recommend it. Being a writer can be a lonely thing, and whilst Twitter and other social networking ideas can help bridge the gap (and there are a number of fellow writers I count as friends who I have never met in the flesh), there’s nothing quite like a face to face meeting with other people who share your interests and passions. I think that goes for most things in life, really.

And I have a whole new level of respect for those on creative writing courses. Reading your work for the critique of others is not an easy thing to do. But definitely worth it.