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Over the last 50 years SCAN has been engaged in reporting student comment and news during which it has been a front-runner for student politics and change. Like the University the paper has changed dramatically since its founding – evolving from a typewritten pamphlet in 1967 into a full-blown 64-page broadsheet by 2013. This article picks out 50 of the most noteworthy stories from the University’s rich history and is in dedication to Marion McClintock who has kept our University archives in proper and correct condition since joining Lancaster in 1968. I also personally thank her for accommodating me so kindly as I sifted through countless issues of University news. There are some real crackers in this lot, so I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
2014 – University union members strike twice over claims of unfair pay and threaten to engage in a marking boycott.
2013 – University’s global strategy stumbles as foreign campuses are reported to have poor teaching standards.
2012 – The University erects a wind turbine to reduce emissions by 30 percent over the next three years and hopes to provide 11 to 17 percent of the University’s energy.
2011 – Lancaster University collaborates with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) to set up a campus in China and to make it the first university in the world to have campuses in both India and China.
2010 – Lancaster University students join 52,000 peaceful protesters in London against the new £9,000 tuition fees to be brought in by 2012.
2009 – Controversy over proof that the LUMS Placement Office has been meddling with students’ CVs.
2008 – Outrage at summer culling of campus bunnies at the order of high-ranking University official.
2007 – University unveil £450,000,000 investment plan that includes a new sports centre and LICA building.
2006 – The Sugarhouse undergoes massive £400,000 renovation including the extension and upgrade of the sound systems in the Front and Main rooms as well as rennovations of the restrooms.
2005 – The sextet of student protesters known as the ‘George Fox Six’ are prosecuted and found guilty of aggravated trespass after staging a protest to disrupt a Corporate Venturing Conference in the George Fox Building.
2004 – After poor performance building contractor Jarvis is dropped by University Partnership Programme (UPP)’s £120 million building programme after pressure from University and Union.
2003 – Cartmel and Lonsdale College move to South West Campus upon the creation of over 2,000 new student rooms.
2002 – Student landlord sets up a ‘Big Brother’ house with cameras throughout. Students will live rent free for contracts of three-month periods and are expected to entertain viewers for at least an hour a day in footage that will be streamed online.
2001 – Students empty £30,000 pond installed by the University in late 2000 with buckets, siphons and an electric pump in protest against its safety.
2000 – 10 Lancaster Rugby players are involved in a huge fight with 12 students calling themselves “The Asian Mafia”. The fracas occurred at 4am and there were allegations that some of those involved possessed knives. 10 security members and porters are called to the scene along with eight police officers.
1999 – Campus pirate radio station ‘Phantom FM’ opens and claims to be broadcasting from Bowland Tower.
1998 – Pendle students ask, “Is the college cursed?” after cleaner catches meningitis and there are nine fires and one flood in just three weeks.
1997 – There are worries from the Student Union after a large magic mushroom crop is found in Alexandra Park.
1996 – Lancaster University opens Dental Clinic alongside the dispensing pharmacy at Bailrigg House.
1995 – Spar arrives on Tower Avenue.
1994 – Chancellor’s Wharf is opened as first Lancaster University city based residences.
1993 – Second year geography student killed in 400 foot fall from Crib Goch in Snowden as he took part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award.
1992 – Lonsdale bar is broken into by thieves who steal £1,000 cash and £4,000 worth of stock.
1991 – Student joyrider manages to burn out three cars next to the John Creed Building after trying to hotwire one of them.
1990 – Students involved in a riot at the site of an unsuccessful acid house party. At one point the 200-strong crowd trapped 15 police officers inside the abandoned warehouse and a car was overturned near the Sugarhouse.
1989 – The Sugarhouse temporarily closes as bouncers are ousted for sexist behaviour and “a long history of unnecessary and excessive violence.”
1988 – Students get their sticky fingers on college bar wares as 300 glasses and 37 bar towels go missing in just three weeks.
1988 – County College social events banned after students trigger fire alarms at six consecutive events.
1987 – LUSU Christmas party cancelled as only seven tickets had been sold with four days to go before the event. LUSU had to reach a target of 800 tickets if they were to break even.
1986 – Following recent leaks of highly active plutonium vapour from the giant Sellafield Nuclear reprocessing plant at Seascale in Cumbria, University Officials begin to voice concerns about levels of radiation on campus.
1985 – Remnants of a homemade bomb are found in Alexander Square after it exploded at 1:15am. The resulting bang was heard up to half a mile away.
1984 –Biology labs are temporarily closed as a radioactive isotope, caesium, is dropped on the floor by University Safety and Radiation Officer.
1983 – Lancaster University is invited to take part in University Challenge for the first time.
1982 – Mini crime spree reported on campus as £70 (£230 in today’s money) is stolen from Cartmel residents and £150 (£460) from County. A vicious attack was also made on a rubber plant in Lonsdale.
1981 – Students in Alexander Square set alight South African flag in an act of of protest against the repressive government of the apartheid state.
1980 – President of the Students’ Union is attacked and punched to the ground by members of the Socialist Worker Student Organisation, after voting against a £100 donation to sponsor the Right to Work marches.
1979 – Work begins on campus swimming pool.
1978 – Deputy Beadle of the University catches the “Medical School Flasher” in the act after he had been indecently exposing himself around campus for over a year.
1977 – Students place 50 candles in glass jars in a demonstration for lighting along “green lane”, a stretch of road between Galgate and Grizedale, after a postgraduate student is hit and killed by a car as he walked back to campus.
1976 – University faces plague of cockroaches that seem to be originating from the campus refectory.
1975 – Worries after Ribble Bus Company intends on raising the fares on the University bus service by over 100 percent in some instances.
1974 – Student Representative Council (SRC) spend 30 minutes discussing whether the Chairman should be given a gold watch at the end of his term. A motion a week earlier bans alcohol from being consumed during proceedings.
1973 – There is controversy over first years not being given priority to campus accommodation. Secretary for Student and College Affairs describes the prospectus guarantee as “slightly misleading”. Some things never change!
1973 – There are reports of several ducks being kicked to death around Lake Carter and their nests destroyed. Everyone is asked to keep a look out for murderous vandals in the area.
1972 – Childcare commune evolves on campus in recognition of problems affecting campus families. Mothers operate on weekly rota and cooperation of 5p weekly provides for refreshments and drawing materials.
1971 – University Radio Bailrigg hits the airwaves for the first time “on a frequency of 300 meters on the medium wave band”.
1970 – Development plan is introduced to build an additional eight colleges, several new departments, teaching blocks and lecture theatres.
1969 – Motorcycles banned from the underpass amid safety concerns. Parking bays reintroduced in 2013.
1968 – Ground floor of buildings in Alexandra Square begin to be renovated to allow for shops which will be leased to local businesses. Due to investment and the limited population, each shop is given exclusive trading rights.
1967 – Lancaster University send telegrams to the Prime Minister deploring the proposal to increase university fees for overseas students.