As the start of the new university academic year gets closer Marxists all over the country are preparing all sorts of activities, from meetings to campaigns, on campus this term. Below are a selection of reports from some of the Marxist societies affiliated to the Marxist Student Federation.
Glasgow University Marxist Society
This year in Glasgow University Marxist Society we’ll have one or maybe two stalls at our freshers fair, where we will be selling books and papers as well as signing people up to our mailing list and hopefully the MSF. In our introductory meeting we’ve decided to take a slightly different approach from usual. Rather than a general ‘What is Marxism?’ topic we are thinking instead we will discuss ‘What is going on with the world?’ as this seems to be the question most young people are asking themselves when they see Trump, ISIS, Brexit etc. on the news and on social media. This is a great opportunity to put forward the Marxist explanation and solution to these things. We are also obviously planning to have a meeting on Scotland and its ongoing individual political situation in which we can put foreword a Marxist perspective on the SNP, Scottish Labour and the possible second Scottish Referendum.
De Montfort University Marxist Society
After a successful first year, the De Montfort Marxist society is ready for another year on campus. Last September, at the Fresher’s Fair we had nearly 80 people register for our society, and this next year we plan to get an even bigger following, however challenging that may be. We will be working harder to engage more with new and current DMU students that hold the same thirst for more radical, socialist-inspired change on campus and across the city of Leicester.
Some grand plans we have lined up include, a Marxist weekend away in Scotland next spring, more weekly lead-offs (and debates) on key theoretical concepts, and we will be aiming to be more active in campaigns and demonstrations all across the country. As a society, we strongly support Corbyn and aim to empower students on campus to support his movement too. Overall, our key aim is to remain optimistic, regardless of what the Student Union will throw at us again this year and to stand ready for radical political and social change, even if it may only be presently at a small scale.
Reading University Socialist Students
The first priority for Reading Socialist Students is to try and build on the successes of last year’s regular meetings and increasing awareness of the society as a whole on Reading Campus by having a stall at the freshers fair. Reading campus is a traditionally right wing university with one of the biggest Conservative societies in the country. By having a stall at freshers fair we will making ourselves available to the growing number of left students. We will aim to have a weekly meeting with either a lead off and discussion or planning meetings to organise weekly activities; for example attending one of Reading peace group’s weekly peace vigils.
Some ideas for lead offs would include the Spanish civil war, psychology, Black Lives Matter movement and reading small chunks of Marx’s writings followed by discussion. We aim to increase co-operation with the Reading Trades Union Council and other left wing/radical groups in Reading to allow the society to be active in Reading town not just the university. Although we are not too sure on what campaigns people will want to organise something that definitely will be on the agenda is the fightback against PAS.
Southampton University Marxist Society
Southampton University’s Marxist student society has been growing rapidly, becoming one of the largest in the Marxist Student Federation. To keep the society alive and growing we have planned events such as ‘What is Marxism?’ to introduce new members of the society to the basic ideas, and ‘Defend Corbyn, Fight for Socialism’ to link up with what’s going on in politics right now.
Sheffield Marxist Society is now entering its 5th successive year. This wealth of knowledge and experience is reflected in the a diverse committee of dedicated members. With 3 undergraduates, an international postgraduate, a PHD student and 2 workers, Sheffield will be well equipped to intervene and inform in political events in the area.