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Education UCL student union bans military

Discussion in 'General' started by theevilelephant, 10 Mar 2008.

  1. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    So were the Nazi foot-soldiers. Your point?

    (yes, I did have to invoke Godwin's Law).

    Don't get me wrong - I'm NOT making a comparison between them and today's military. I'm merely saying that "just doing their job" is not a valid reason.
     
  2. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Well aware of that mate, but let's face it, the OTC run by the army, to train people how to be officers. Just because people don't have to be officers at the end of their time in the OTC doesn't change the fact that it exists to train people up to be good 2nd LTs.
     
  3. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant New Member

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    Just putting it out there :D i thought most people that left otc got the rank senior under officer... but im probably wrong
     
  4. cpu121

    cpu121 New Member

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    These aren't recruitment stands anymore than the stands of other societies are. They're run by students who are members of the UAS/OTC/URNU to attract new members. These organisations are not recruiters for the Forces: they are there to give students a taste of military life, experience activities they wouldn't normally do, and teach them many valuable skills such as leadership, public speaking, etc, which can be used in many areas. While many do go on to join the Forces (most of whom will have intended to do so before they joined) in some capacity, there many who take their skills into other careers. Although they're not affliated with the SU in the same way as other student societies, their presence is permitted by the University headshed with a committee involving university staff keeping an eye on their activities.

    The actual recruitment stands, run by normal AFCO, are normally at Career Fairs alongside those of many other companies looking for graduates (the Forces are a perfectly good career for many).

    And how many other graduates were taken in by corporate recruiters, only to find out their job wasn't all it was cracked up to be? Have you ever talked to an AFCO to find out what they actually say? When I was at school we had visits by AFCO for pupils who had expressed an interest, as well as stands at the University Fair. Indeed, one of my friends chose to join the Royal Marines instead of staying for Sixth Year. Although he was told of the opportunites the Forces could offer him, he was also told by the AFCO that there was a good chance that he will deployed to Afghanistan once he passed training and turned 18 later in the year.

    From what I've heard from students at UCL, the whole thing stinks. Students from Stop The War, Friends of Palestine and a few other like-minded societies turned out in force and shouted down any dissenting views. The Chair appeared to be the biased towards this group and when opposing students walked out before the vote, she had their voting cards counted anyway instead of correctly declaring the meeting inquorate. Additionally, the Freshers' Fair apparently takes place on University, not UCLU, property and there are doubts they're allowed to ban organisations from attending.

    Personally, I think my own student union is dominated by politcal and interest groups at the expense of other students. They claim they represent the student body but more often than not, AGMs are decided by less than 2% of the student body. SU offcials are mainly elected along political lines by the societies that groomed them. We've had more anti-Israel motions this year alone than motions meant to improve the student experience in the two years I've been here.
     
    Last edited: 10 Mar 2008
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    WWII is a popular comparison because it was (for the Allied, at least) a clear example of self-defense against a bunch of baddies. Similarly, nobody would reasonably object to the boys having gone to the Falklands, even if that did involve killing a few Argies. But Afghanistan and Iraq are very different ballgames, as was Vietnam.

    Thing is, as a soldier you abdicate your right to pick and choose. And some people may interpret obedience as collusion.

    Then you simply quit. In the Forces, that is not so simple. Desertion during wartime is still a capital offense.

    God forbid that students should develop a political conscience... But in my case, admittedly, I was too busy studying to take note of any SU shenanigans.
     
  6. kempez

    kempez modding again!

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    Bit of a shocker from UCL, but then they are considered to be a Uni that's a little radical.

    I think this is a bad decision by the SU personally, although I oppose the war itself, I don't oppose the soldiers ordered into war to fight

    I went to UCL and had a few friends who were in the SU, none would have voted for this motion though
     
  7. Will

    Will Beware the judderman...

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    Actually left the place now, graduated last June, should change my location...go back fairly often though. Hear the weather's interesting on the seafront at the moment! :D

    I found exactly the same thing to an extent during my time at uni. Student politics in my experience tends to be dominated by the radical left with various pressure groups with their associated agendas, and I have seen meetings where opposition to motions has just been shouted down, interrupted, heckled and their arguments casually brushed aside without a proper debate.

    I went to a George Galloway talk in my second year and got heckled for asking him a difficult question which I didn't even get to finish, nor did he answer, where as the fawning members of the 'Respect' party always got a good hearing - I wasn't the only one one ignored and disrespected on that night for asking questions going against the majority present. Student commitees might hold a vote but that doesn't mean they're conducted in a truly democratic manner. You're sometimes only allowed an opinion if it agrees with the majority of those present. If you read about this vote it seems many in opposition left the meeting early without voting after it was clear that the chairperson intended the debate to be truncated and only give appropriate time to those proposing the ban.

    What if you're a pharmacy students but the SU bans any presence at recruitment fairs from mostly drugs companies as they're deemed to use unethical practices? Physics/engineering students suddenly denied the chance to speak to any employer at a large recruitment event related to the oil or motor trade as they're poisoning the planet?

    My real issue is that the student council of any establishment should (in my view) function primarily as a means to further the wellbeing and prospects for the *majority* of its own students, not to serve the moralising agendas of any particular focus group. The actions of the SU here only serve to disadvantage and limit the range of choices available to students by proscribing a perfectly legal and legitimate organisation.

    My 2p
     
  8. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant New Member

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    @will yah the weather is.... interesting here :D i havent actually dared leave the house today :p
     
  9. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Yeah man, 82MPH winds. Shut your curtains and don't dare go out, or it'll huff and it'll puff and it'll blow yer house down!

    Southerners..... :p :D
     
  10. Mother-Goose

    Mother-Goose 5 o'clock somewhere

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    So is this one, on principal, but the real problem they are having here is they are fighting an enemy (in afganistan at least) they can't readily see.

    Personally I never think we should have intervened, but then again, if we didn't, would they be focusing on more 9/11 style attacks rather than the troops that are out there.

    The delusion that democracy can be bought to the region in a short time scale is ridiculous, we could pull out now or in 5 years (at the costs of billions of dollars and pounds) and they would still fall into civil war :(
     
  11. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    If the choice was killing some faceless soldier (who was probably trying to kill me) and having my family executed as was the case with many foot-soldiers then yeah i'd be doing that job.

    Your average German wasn't an evil person who wanted to rain fiery death on all they were a proud beaten people who were sold on a dream to matter again. Obviously that's no excuse for the mass murder of the jews or the horrors of the concentration camps but lets not fall in to the trap that the al-qaeda would have the afgan people believe, not all the Germans were nazis not all there soldiers were proud of auschwitz, not all westerners are evil war mongers and not all soldiers were proud of abu-ghraib.
     
  12. Khensu

    Khensu likes to touch your special places

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    They do what they signed up to do. I signed up to freeze my arse off on a construction site to chase away burglars for £5.80 per hour, so that's what I do. I hate it, but I said I would do it - so I do it. They signed up to be soldiers following politicians' orders (as did any soldier who was not drafted before/during/after WWII or any other war for that matter), and that's what they're doing.

    Personally, I cannot blame the soldiers for doing what they said they would do. I blame the politicians who have only their own interests in mind and gladly use the proletariat to gain said interests. (i.e. money money money - it really isn't funny in a rich man's world *bada-ching*).



    Nexxo, as for the Allies fighting the baddies... I think this is the first time I really have to disagree with you there. To me it sounds more like England and (weeping) France not being able to accept Germany as the dominant European power (back when England wanted to be European...). Ergh.

    As I've said a few times before: politics suck. Politicians can suck my scarred (unrelated, but a good tip for the guys: if you ever need surgery on your nads, do not under any circumstances accept directions to the stairs - you want the elevator!) balls.

    Just to be clear (and to get the attention away from genitals): I have nothing but respect and sorrow for the soldiers currently serving in Iraq/Afghanistan/anywhere - they are doing exactly what they promised to do when they joined up, and that commands respect. Maybe I've met too many people who love to take advantage/slack off, but still. It takes a lot of guts to not run away when you get a letter/call saying you're going to end up shooting at real people in two months.


    As for the students' union: lawl, just lawl. I loathe students (then again, I quit university after one week and chose to make money instead of spending it on courses etc) in general; but especially those with an opinion - I cannot wait for them to get out into the real world and see how hard it is to get a job, even with a fancy degree (is there anyone who doesn't know a university graduate who doesn't work at one of the major retailers/superstores?).

    I don't believe one bit in the sheer feces that are the words "freedom" and "democracy" (though, granted, it is my freedom that allows me to express this opinion), but these soldiers are still out there - once again, I know I'm repeating myself - doing what they promised they'd do if it ever came to it. It's come to it, and they're doing it.

    In summary: soldiers doing their duty > students living off parents and loans.

    I have spoken.
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2008
  13. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    I don't see the problem here to be honest - the student union is lead by popular vote as laid out in it's rules. The popular vote lead to this decision. You may disagree with the result, but that's hard cheese really. Just like people who don't want the war might feel about being lead to a war they don't support.

    Personally, I see that not all military personell are responsible for the war - or even have a choice. But I also agree with the point being made by the union. In the end, I think you can't go in to a situation and claim you were blind. If you go into the military then you have to accept you may be pushed into a war you don't agree with and you have to accept that other people may not agree with your participation - you have to deal with that and the fallout of that. It's part of growing up.

    The way I read this, cadets aren't being stopped from going to the uni full stop, just from setting up stalls and being involved in the union. That's completely fair if the majority of the students object to such a thing. Personally, I would have voted in support of this too - I don't think the military should have an active, vocal role in univerisites or any stage of education. Especially after seeing events like this when I was at Uni:

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/news/story/0,,1578572,00.html
     
  14. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    Heh, the SU havig a political conscience here is a laughable matter, they are all just out of themselfs (well not ALL, but quite a few). Its like they were born for the job - they promise the world and deliver stuff nobody really wants then boasts about it afterwards (even though its rubbish). They they go on to go fight all these causes people vote for at AGMs where, because they are so ****, less than the required amount of people needed to vote turn up.

    So the amount of people needed dont vote but instead of going on to simply do what they were put there to do, help students, they go on and fight the government on everything they can reasonably put on their CV afterwards to become the next MP of <insert place here> for the <insert political party here>.

    God I hate the edinburgh university student union :(
     
  15. bahgger

    bahgger New Member

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    Sorta makes sense, it being UCL and all, right? :worried:
     
  16. cpu121

    cpu121 New Member

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    But in this case, AIUI, the vote did not occur according to the rules laid down (see the facebook group for more). Nor was it by any stretch a majority of the students either.

    I'd also disagree about the military not having any part in education. The Armed Forces are one of the biggest employers and training establisments in this country. They have decades if not centuries of experience as well as the facilities and skills. In many cases they have learned the hard way what works and what doesn't. Surely they should give others the benefits of their experience. It shouldn't be limited to those in the forces either: for example, the Royal Navy run commercial courses to teach private sailors basic firefighting at sea, damage control, and other essential skills using their training staff and facilities (how many other places in the country can simulate fires or flooding on a ship?). In the case of the URNU/UAS/OTC they often combine the opportunities provided by several societies (adventure training, sailing, gliding etc).

    Although (a minority of) members going on to join the forces whether regular or reserve is obviously useful, just as important is giving (hopefully) future captains of industry and politicians a positive understanding of what the forces do. Witness the current crop of senior New Labour politicians: very few if any of them have an understanding of the forces and that has contributed to the sorry state of forces over past decade, where the defence budget has been cut and equipment not provided or maintained despite fighting two medium-intensity wars on top of other interventions and standing deployments.

    I don't quite see the relevance of your link? I see from the google that they were convicted of trespass but I don't see how any of the companies mentioned or the armed forces can be blamed for that: just because they weren't violent, doesn't mean they weren't peaceful (going inside and disrupting a speech isn't 'peaceful' in my book). Personally I have no problem against BAE Systems, GSK, Shell or the Royal Bank of Scotland (the main target around here) from working with and funding esearch institutions and universities to develop new technologies and equip students with the skills to help the economy. Some of their activities may be a bit dodgy but I also think of the many thousands of people employed in this country by these companies (and those who depend them), billions paid in tax and the many other worthwhile activities they do.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Exactly.
     
  18. D3s3rt_F0x

    D3s3rt_F0x New Member

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    Thing is as a UCL student union spokesman said it isnt representative, most people who take part in these things I find pompus, shout people down and if you arent with them your against them.
     
  19. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Then do something about it. Like I say, it's part f growing up and, because we exist in a kind-of-democracy (""One vote every four years for a choice between three arseholes isn't a democracy, it's a delusion" - Hugh Laurie), it's part of your basic rights.

    Honestly, I get fed up with people who whinge and whine about things like this but who will never do anything to act on it. You act or you sit down and shutup.

    And yeah, here you'd have an incredibly valid arguement for not acting: "I'm not a student, this isn't something I can easily or diretly involve myself in." Of course, that also brings up the argument of why do you care in the first place and what right you have to tell them how to run their own organisation. Let people look after themselves. The military certainly can.
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Bit like our foreign policies then. :p
     
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