I called hoax on the infamous library masturbation notice the moment I read that the costs of cleaning up “excess semen…must be reflected in tuition fee rises for next year.”
Not because this is obviously nonsense, but because the University flatly refuse to give the real reason for the increase n tuition frees for rest of UK (RUK) students.
E. A. Salt deftly pointed out in The Logical Invalidity of a Tuition Hike that the argument for the raise of tuition fees for RUK by 500% is not explained by the cut in funding.
The cut per RUK student is £3,323, but fees are rising by over £7,000. The fact that the University hasn’t seen fit to explain to its students why this is the case lies at the heart of the problems with our management.
As our website points out, the decision to raise RUK fees by 500% makes St Andrews the most expensive university in Europe to obtain an undergraduate degree. This will only increase St Andrews’ (unjust) reputation as an elitist institution.
The result of this will be that St Andrews attracts fewer students from non-traditional backgrounds as access to university becomes more about who can pay and less about who is academically strong.
The University has promised a “comprehensive bursary and scholarship program” but this only papers over the cracks, and begs the question of why didn’t we have a comprehensive bursary and scholarship program anyway?
Yet the decision to make it so was not one made by the students. The University Court, the governing body of the University that made the decision, is made up 24 people but only three of those are elected by the students.
So despite the fact that every single elected student representative voted against the decision it went through. Students constitute of the vast majority of the student body, and our voice in decision-making bodies is negligible.
In light of the fact that the University Court is undemocratic, we concluded that using protests outside the ‘official’ channels was the only solution. This University belongs to you, the students, and your voices should matter. The University management wants to deny you a voice in how this institution is run. Either you can accept this state of affairs or you can protest and demand that your voice is heard.
Outdoor occupations will be put on hold for the time being. The tactics we decided to change to will aim to put further pressure on the university management, but we will do so keeping to our policies of non-violence and respecting the rights of students to their education.
The only disruption to education at this University came from the University Court, when they increased fees to an unprecedented level.
This is why the SRC has voted to support the occupations, and recognise the right of students to use this tactic. The University management also accept occupation as a legitimate form of protest.
If you object to St Andrews being the most expensive university in Europe, or the implicit argument that you should not a significant say in how your university is run, then join us in occupying and let management know we still have a voice.