Fees campaign breaks norm with more students, less JCR

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Engagement with the National Demonstration against cut in higher education has broken the usual model for campaign at Lancaster, with a disproportion number of none JCR Executive members taking part.

In the past it has been a stable, and criticism, of Students’ Union campaign that the majority of those involved were JCR officers. But of the 250 students signed up for a coach place to London for the demonstration on November 10, less than 25% are JCR Officers. When LUSU campaign last year against any rise in tuition fees of the 200 students who protested outside Lancaster Town Hall the majority were on JCR Execs.

Andy Barnett, president of Pendle college said: “We’ve done all we can promoting it, mentioning it at quizzes and on Facebook, all the stuff that people listen to and read”.

However, Kath Embling, Bowland College President implied promoting the campaign wasn’t a necessary action, saying: “We haven’t had to publicise it as much as it’s obviously something people feel strongly about”. Embling said that Bowland has been in talks with Robbie Pickles, LUSU President to organise a possible bake sale as a fundraiser to help contribute towards the cost of the coaches.

As with last year, all the JCRs delivered letters from the Students’ Union to flats on campus. “We’ve done a letter campaign” said Luke Anderson, president of Furness College. “Every flat got a letter”.

Matt Saint, County’s JCR President said: “By the time we could have started campaigning on it, [the Students’ Union had] already sold out [of coach tickets down to London]. We did send out emails and the JCR helped put up all the posters. Also, there’s a rally in Week Four, so we plan on publicising that”.

Finally, Matt Power, co-president of Lonsdale College appeared to make a conscious effort to promote the campaign, saying “we put the NUS Demo on our social calendar and have delivered campaign letters to every kitchen in Lonsdale”. Power added: In my role as Joint President, we specifically asked our JCR Executive to try and attend the event as I think it is a crucial campaign that we should throw our full support behind. As a result, half the Lonsdale executive will be attending the event.”

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