The far-left "student staff solidarity group" does far more harm than good



Epigram is an independent and neutral newspaper, aiming to publish opinions from across the student body. To respond with an opposing opinion, please contact or join our writers group

An anonymous student laments the student-staff solidarity group arguing they hinder, rather than help, the cause.

As the strike continues into its third week, I've had a lot more time on my hands to 'self-study' but also reflect and take a step back from my habitual uni routine. I want to make one thing perfectly clear though, I fully and unquestionably support my lecturers. I sympathise entirely with their reasons for going on strike and am appalled at the total lack of respect of Universities UK towards staff.

"One thing that I think is holding back the success of the strikes here in Bristol is the supposed 'Student-Staff Solidarity Group'"

Teaching staff are the pillars of the university and students are the stones they are made out of. I'm sure we are all aware of the reasons for the strike and the frankly offensive proposed pension plans so I won't repeat what has already been spoken the past few weeks. One thing that I think is holding back the success of the strikes here in Bristol is the supposed 'Student-Staff Solidarity Group'; or perhaps Soldier-arity is more fitting given their unnecessarily militant and persistent intrusive behaviour all over campus.
The group have a list of lectures, where they are, what year group is there, what subject the lecture is for and when. The purpose for compiling such a list is so that group members can organise attending lectures across campus to talk to students and heckle them for crossing the picket line. The extreme leftist group, whilst their aims for helping lecturers seems sincere, is really not helping the whole situation. The worse thing is though, is that they think they are the ones with the power and voice to mobilise the student body into joining lecturers on the picket line.

The very reason the group was founded is also the reason there is such a division in support for our lecturers. The perception of an extreme-Marxist anti-establishment group is proving detrimental to student sympathy towards the strike.

"Bringing half my kitchen along and making a racket in lectures isn't the way forward."

We need to unite with our lecturers, but bringing half my kitchen along and making a racket in lectures isn't the way forward. I admit I have gone to the library (I know, lord forbid, I've engaged in self study because I kind of care about doing well in my degree and I really enjoy what I study), but I have also taken part in the protests. What I have not done is made students who have not boycotted university feel guilty about it. I'm not making my fellow students feel bad for going on campus or attending lectures that have not been cancelled.

Student-Staff Solidarity have taken measures too far and I feel like they are getting swept up in the momentum of left-wing politics, latching on to anything they can to pursue their Marxist dream of toppling the establishment and going down in history. This is 2018, not the 1960s. Stop clinging onto the nostalgia of the 60s and 70s, take a step back and realise, this is about our lecturers and their pensions, not the marketisation of higher education.
Let's focus on one battle at a time and not declare war on the entire higher education establishment. As my grandmother often told me, don't bite off more than you can chew.

Featured image: Epigram

What do you think? Let us know...

Twitter / Epigram Comment / Facebook