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Sussex Students Set Up Protest Camp

Camp Against Cuts | 25.05.2009 11:28 | University Occupations for Gaza | Education | Free Spaces | South Coast

Students from the University of Sussex have been camped outside the main administration building since Thursday night in protest against the cutting of the linguistics course, the lack of democracy in university decision making and the ongoing marketisation of education.

The Students are camped out on the green opposite Sussex House demanding that the University administration listens to the student body that has unanimously opposed the ongoing reforms to the university over the last two years.

The camp aims to expose the university administration for what they really are, businessmen running our university like a capitalist enterprise.

We believe that education is a right not a privilege and that it should be free at the point of access so it is accessible to all. Universities should be institutions that challenge society and promote social progression not edubusinesses where students are customers buying an 'education'. We believe that education is a value in itself and that the purpose of a degree course should not be to churn out workers to feed the capitalist alienated-labour system.

The camp is a free space and invites all visitors to come and pay a visit and come help build the space up with whatever skills you may have. Whilst the camp is functioning, we do have a tat list of stuff that is still needed:
tea/coffee/soya milk
bins/bin bags/recycling bins
banner materials
soft furnishings

Come, swing by, hang out, have a cup of tea, make a placard, build a bender or come and stay for a few days. see you at Camp Against Cuts

Camp Against Cuts


Hide the following 7 comments

good job

25.05.2009 14:13

good job guys, don't give up


your choice

26.05.2009 23:59

........We believe that education is a right not a privilege and that it should be free at the point of access so it is accessible to all

Thats great, but who foots the bill? I don't particular want to pay for lecturers salaries, equipment and premises so that you can have an "interesting time". I'd rather keep that money and spend it on myself doing things that I want to do. I've got plenty of hobbies that money enables me to persue. If I gave it you so you can have an interesting time an uni then I probably wouldn't be able to do those things. So thanks, but no thanks.

Its a sad thing in life, bit is quite simple: if you want something, you got to work and pay for it. If you disagree fair enough. Wait until you earn a bit of cash and then see a wad of it taken away so it can be given to people who don't feel like working but would rather do basket weaving.

Labour encouraged people to go to university for one simple reason, to keep them off the unemployment figures. To be honest, I wouldn't blame individuals especially if it was free. Why work when you can be a student for 3-4 years to bum around?

But that doesnt make the policy right. The wonderful thing about the UK is you have the choice.
If you want to study interesting stuff then thats your choice. Just don't "demand" handouts off everyone else who have made the choice to work. Leave them alone and keep your demands to yourself.


solidarity with the campers!

27.05.2009 11:49

renne why not take your capitalist claptrap somewhere else? free education means education for all, not just those who can afford it. don't tell me "you don't get something for nothing" that's buying into a system which i have no truck with. the sun is free. the rain is free.
if the government stopped spending money on arms and the arms trade imagine how much we could plough into the nhs, cycle lanes, education, allotments, sustainable technology etc etc
renne your short-sighted, "me first" attitude is simply typical. "i don't care about cuts becuase they don't affect me" is such a bad approach... we are all in this together and anyone standing up against the marketisation of life in any form should be applauded.
here is some extra info i found about the camp-



27.05.2009 11:54

Hiya the camp is still going strong 27/5/09

Here is some additional context from our new blog:

In 2006 a new Vice-Chancellors Executive group were appointed at Sussex, and in 2007, a new Vice-Chancellor, Michael Farthing came into office. This administration, since Farthing came in, has been dedicated to a complete restructuring of the university along pro-market, pro-militarist lines. They have used underhanded methods to subvert the long established democratic proceedures at the university, and have put the future of the institution at serious risk.
Sussex has long been known for its reputation for ground breaking research and critical analysis, and the politically and socially engaged culture that this generates amongst the student body.
But all these features of our university are under threat from a management team that cares nothing for university democracy, and only for the interests of corporate power.
2007-8 saw the Sussex Not For Sale campaign, an explicitly anti-marketisation campaign that held the largest demonstrations and mass meetings on campus for twenty years. Though the campaign did a lot to educate students as to what was happening to their university, and to lobby members of university Senate to stop the restructuring proposals from being adopted, this campaign was not backed up by any form of direct action, and failed to present a serious challange to the management.
The restructuring proposal was adopted at the end of the 2007/8 academic year, and the 2008/9 year has seen many of the fears of the Sussex not for Sale campaign realised. Support Staff have had their pension schemes altered, Associate tutors have had their labour contracts downgraded and made much less secure, and whole departments are facing closure, such as Linguistics, one of the best such departments in the world.
There have been many demonstrations throughout the year in response to each of these crises. But no mass movement on the scale of Sussex not for Sale in 2007/8 has emerged to tackle all these issues head on.

camp against cuts
- Homepage:


27.05.2009 12:39

The government spends too much money and part of this waste is paying for people to study rubbish to keep unemployment figures low.

How things used to be:
A Degree used to be indicative of "Talent". It indicated the top 5% of people, whether in business, Academia or the Arts. People who "earnt" the right to be there via their ability, qualities and their drive to being the best. It cost nothing and the only access requirements was ability.

How things are now:
The changing of "ability requirements" to a "free access to all" approach has simply diluted that so that we have people doing a "Degree" who really arn't capable of doing one. Since more people are going to university, the funding is an issue. So students now have to pay their own way instead.

This is what typically happens to 1000s of students who just go to university for "something to do":
They study a less-than-useful degree (beckham studies, philosphy, fine art etc). They go into this with open eyes and they've made the choice freely. Then, when they leave university (if they actually stay the distance). When no-one employs them they suddenly realise that the only jobs available are working in a call-center or other deadend job with poor prospects.

One of two things then happen:
a) This quickly leads to a: "its not fair" attitude and "why are there no jobs? Lets protest at G20 and march for jobs etc"
b) Or, they go travel for 2 years and then come back and can't fit into working life because "its too boring"

Its their choice to do something for personal development rather than career prospects. To then moan that they can't get a job afterwards is laughable. Its like listening to someone hit themselves over the head with a hammer and saying its hurts! There simply arn't 100,000s jobs in Philosphy / Fine art / Sociology / Basket Weaving.

This is my ultimate point:
The government funding of people to "study what they want, when they want" comes back and DOES do damage to the community. We end up with people who are incapable of working in skilled areas, are demotivated and are destined to become exploited from working call centers for the next 5+ years because that is all they can do.

I'll give you a real life example from my work of a "graduate" I once witnessed trying to place a telephone call:

They rang through and got through to an answer phone. It went something like this:
-- "Hello!? Its John. I'm calling about such-and-such. Er..... can you call me back? thanks"
He then realised what he done and rang back and said this:
-- "Its John again. Yeah, i forgot to say. Im calling from . Err can you call me back sorry i havnt got the number but we're on the internet - the number is on there. Thanks. Bye"


report from camp today

28.05.2009 22:02

i was just at the camp for twenty four hours. i had a good time and hope to be back soon. it's a pretty strange protest camp in that it has a 24 hour library, toilets, showers, shops and bars all within a few minutes' walk! as mentioned above, the university administration is making some spurious claim that we are bringing the good name of the university into disrepute - well, obviously we are not, we are upholding the fine tradition of student activism at sussex and further we could argue strongly that in doing such things as awarding farthing, the vice chancellor, a 40% pay increase (he is earning over 200 grand now!!) and trashing the linguistics program, the administration might itself be considered to be bringing the uni into disrepute. all the feedback we have had was positive, although sadly most students don't appear that interested, even if it is exam period there is perhaps the feeling that this protest doesn't concern them. yeah right. not now it doesn't maybe, but it will. the commodification of life continues on many levels and we have to fight it wherever we can. see you at the camp! all are welcome (and it would be nice to see more linguistics students down there, since for them there is at least a direct link, if one is required!)

Ovuman Haminoid


31.05.2009 01:11

well you keep it up armchair posse and i will keep up actually doing stuff..