Cross-posted From Edd Bauer’s VP Education Blog
The guild of students have just circulated a set of photos for “alumni” celebrating guild of student’s campaigns over the years. This is part of an alumni strategy to build up a alumni network which will generate revenue for the guild. In the selection they choose to celebrate items as radical as “”No debate with the thugs in blue, Spartacist” & “General strike now Spartacist League”. Yet this is from the student union who in response to the ban on protests condemned by amnesty international said it “does not limit their freedom of speech in any way”, despite stanch criticism this statement was never withdrawn.
They are happy to market our past to nostalgic ex-students but not work and live by the same values today. Many of the campaigns celebrated in the alumni album are of great significance and value. Such as the old of photos of reclaim the night marches and the famous picket which drove Enoch Powel’s racist drivel off campus.
The guild doesn’t stand up for the right to protest anymore, it doesn’t support liberation groups either. It is belittling to reduce the history of student radicalism and liberation movements to a nostalgic kitsch to be marketed to old members as part of an alumni fundraising strategy.These protests and campaigns should be celebrated but not just as a kitsch nostalgic alumni drive but, as a living part of the union today.