Loughborough Marxist Society is proud to support striking UCU staff. Unfortunately, Loughborough Students Union (LSU) has refused to do so. They have taken the side of university management and bosses, despite the fact that students have expressed their clear support for striking staff!
We informed the LSU executive of a motion we passed at our society meeting calling on them to support the strike and in response to this, the executive said that they would be holding an online survey as “we want students to have a say in LSU’s stance this year and a survey that will help us make this decision”.
From the outset, this was deeply flawed and undemocratic for a number of reasons:
- No resources around the strike were shared with students to inform their response to the survey
- It was buried deep in a newsletter rather than being sent in a separate email
- A survey is individualistic and doesn’t allow for democratic discussion and debate, or for students to be able to change their opinion based on discussion
- Unlike a referendum, it is non-binding
Despite the lack of supporting information and the clear attempt to hide the survey, 349 students responded of whom 201 called on the SU to support the strike, with only 86 calling for the SU to oppose the strikes. Of this result, LSU said:
“Whilst the majority of student respondents were in favor of the strikes or neutral towards them, those not in support of the strikes felt very strongly about the impact it would have on their studies, particularly following the ongoing situation with COVID-19.
Whilst LSU understands why UCU have taken the difficult decision to strike and it’s clear a number of students are supportive of the action – when considering the size of the student sample and mixture of opinions noted (particularly through additional comments), we wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a Union-wide stance on this matter at this stage.”
This is an outrageous and undemocratic move from a body that is supposed to represent students at Loughborough. It’s clear the LSU executive had no intention of ever supporting the strike. They tried at every turn to prevent a majority of students from calling on them to support the strikes, and when they did, they chose to ignore it in the name of “representing all students”. As a result, we demand:
- LSU immediately hold a mass meeting where a democratic discussion around the strikes can be held
- Circulate the details of this meeting in a clearly marked email
- That meeting will take a binding vote on LSU’s position on the strikes
It’s clear that there is support for the strikes here at Loughborough and there is clearly discontent among students on campus. This comes as no surprise after the fiasco last year where students were forced into campus to pay rent and fees for online learning! The LSU have disgraced themselves and have shown that they will not build solidarity amongst students to support their own staff in this struggle. So we say to students who do want to support their lecturers: join Loughborough Marxists!
Loughborough Marxist Society