Yesterday I picked up the Sun newspaper from Tesco, a paper that was not available for some reason on the campus shop at Essex because of reasons I could not make out. Was there something about that paper that disagreed with the union? Well in this issue I found something that could explain why and it is also something that I have seen at the University of East Anglia as well. So what is it all about?
When I was at the Open University I didn’t have to bother about university life as there was no campus. It was just my textbooks sent to me in the post and I was reading them wherever I took them with me at the library, a coffee shop or my own bedroom. When I was studying for a degree away from a campus there was trouble brewing from a new breed of students that were brainwashed by hyper-politically correct scholars. The National Union of Students has now had it’s fair share of battles in the past with authority on education fees, student debt, world poverty, social issues and boycotts against corporations. In this day age of liberalism and freedom of thought what battles do they have to fight now for change? Well it turns out that they have now got a battle to run the school their way.
It’s not just the students themselves that are the problem, it’s the PC culture from the government, foreign students who are here with an intent to influence western culture, religious and cult movements who want recognition of their ideology in lectures and a ban on ideas that are offensive to minorities. There used to be a time when university was a culture of freedom and intellectual thinking for academic kids and a long hard party for those who were now living away from their families for the first time. Now they have become like a stomping ground for the cold, condescending kind of kid who thinks his abilities entitle him to dismiss the real world. It’s like students have become prized bigots. These kinds of students are like spoilt brats with hypocritical views on society and are much more interested in exterminating the parasites of their parent’s generation. The generation who fought for their freedom to be what they are.
When I was growing up under the New Labour years university was considered to be a necessity to uproot your own standing in society. If you dismissed a university life then you were considered to be doomed to a lifetime of the common trades and end up as an impoverished skank on a council estate. It was more about demonising the presence of the commoner than making a prosperous future. Now this intellectual way of life was going to make things bad for universities and I can now see it for myself as a full time student.
When I joined the Open University I got my own National Union of Students membership so that I could access the discounts that I could get when I didn’t have a proper student card. That was just as much value as the NUS seemed to be, a discount coupon club. As the politics of being a student well I didn’t get involved in that. I wasn’t as politically active as I am now.
The NUS has become like a woodlouse in the university library. They have even got the unions of the universities themselves onboard on mutual interests. Such as the University of East Anglia’s decision to ban sombreros from a Mexican themed cultural event. They believed it was racially agravating in appearance and discriminated the Mexican character. This didn’t agree with the British Mexican Society chairman who felt that the character of Mexico was being undermined. The University of Edinburgh has also banned Mexican outfits for fancy dress parties. The UEA even banned the sale of Tate and Lyle sugar in it’s campus shop because of issues with the company’s tax affairs. They even banned an event where UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, an alumni was due to speak at a political event on campus, which was eventually overturned and the event took place in February 2015. UKIP as always are a party that many universities with the growing illiberal agenda and leftist anarchy on campus are a prime target for student unions.
It gets even worse with the aspirations of many students. When I went to the OU I was up for a challenge to change my life from a failed writer and unemployed aspie to become a scientist and create something that could change the world. That was the intention as many people aspire to go to university for, or so I thought. When I left and went into the UEA and then later dropped out and went to Essex I found a number of the students here were not all that keen on changing the world anymore. They were not even at university to be something special, but to experience the thrill of a new life. They were more into it for the social activities, the carefree party, new friends and avoiding the job market. I got into a conflict of interests with a sports club president at UEA because of my ambitious attitude to archery. I could understand the rules but I felt there wasn’t really anything in it for my abilities. The sports clubs don’t have aspirations to play for the big games unless your already an established sports star. How pathetic is that? I was coming from a background in popular archery and had connections to the archery industry that could have benefitted the club but they were not interested in anything I had to contribute. I think this reflects the pattern of job prospects for students in today’s graduate jobs market. Many of them are more likely to go into healthcare, business internships and retail rather than invest in themselves to start a business or go into a science, education or in pursuit of a political career. Some of them are doing degrees just for the status of being a student with little desire to go into a field that reflects their course. That explains the mickey mouse degrees you see in universities. The modern student is depicted as an academic superior marking his territory on campus to run the school his own way in a patronising manner.
This attitude to life is not what a graduate employer would want. Barring ambition and freedom of speech on campus makes you look like the tyrants that you are trying to conquer. In the 1960s – 1980s a number of students would often use their voice to protest against the cold war, woman’s rights, LGBT issues, christian values, apartheid in South Africa and the banning of the nuclear bombs. Eventually they grew up and took power in office and started to influence the younger generation with their own ideas giving them liberties that became more extreme than their own. These days the issues that many unions and the NUS campaign for are against the values of democracy and liberalism that made their universities what they are today. The NUS has a new president called Malia Bouattia, an Algerian refugee who was a graduate of Birmingham. She’s the first black woman and the first muslim president of the organisation. In 2011 she wrote a paper on her university calling it a ‘Zionist outpost’ and has openly criticised the government’s anti-terror stratagies and sympathsizes with Islamic State. Her policies have offended some universities to disband their affilation with the NUS. Newcastle and Lincoln have already done so and Essex and UEA are also planning to breakaway as well.
I hope for the survival of democratic ideas that we do and if so we can set an example that universities are places for students to be allowed to think as they please, not overun and occupy campus with ideas that contradict freedom of thought. I am proud to say that this university hasn’t got it’s priorities in the wrong order. It allows all types of democratic ideas. It has societies for all parties including the Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, Greens and Liberal Democrats. I have friends in both the UKIP, Politics and Conservative Future socs. All of whom I share a mutual interest of ideas with each other and we love to listen to each other talk. At the moment I am currently engaged in the Leave EU campaign with the head of the Colchester Leave group. So I say to my fellow students take responsibility for your destiny and hold your own ground. We are the champions of freedom and intellectual individuals. Don’t blacklist those who you think are offensive, challenge them or consider yourselves cowards hiding in the rabbit holes on the green.