So, the past few weeks has not been without disruption for myself. Compared to some of peers studying other subject, us sociology students had the many ‘cancelled’ lecture, seminars and open office hours. For instance, out of my nine contact hours in the week six of those hours were ‘cancelled’. But, I guess this will all pay off hopefully as the pension cuts that our teaching staff are striking against does not only affect those already teaching but also heavily impacts those who are just starting up or possibly thinking about a career in academia.
During these last three weeks one of the positive things that has come out of these continued strikes is how united the students of our university are. On the first day of the strikes, students gathered on the VC’s lawn (in the cold and rain may I add) and chilled out with music and food. All in support of our university’s teaching staff.
A couple of weeks in, when it seemed like negotiations were not going anywhere a group of students occupied the corridor outside the VC’s office (UoL students were not the only students in the country to take such action). They were there for a couple of days and nights but by taking this drastic action were able to secure a productive meeting with senior members of the leadership team and put forward main student demands such as getting some form of compensation from all the contact time students have missed out on and getting views across about the appointment of our new Chancellor, David Willetts.
Though the past month or so may have been turbulent for staff and students alike, we have seen an incredible amount of solidarity within staff and students but also between the two groups. At university it is very easy to feel distanced from those teaching you but at times like this we are shown that we all have one goal and we are all there to achieve that.