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What’s this EU thing about anyway?

If we're expected to vote, we need to know what it is. And what it's becoming is something we may not initially expect


Goodbye London Student and ULU

It's a sad time for the student activist moment as ULU and its one-of-a-kind student newspaper, the London Student, is shuttered by University management.


London Student Newspaper Articles

Charges against Willetts protesters thrown out after 'shocking' police inconsistencies exposed

By London Student, University of London News

Two student protesters who faced charges of assault, obstruction and resisting arrest have had the cases against them thrown out after a YouTube video revealed, what the judge in one of the cases said were, “shocking” inconsistencies in police officers’ accounts of the events.

The incident, occurring at a protest during a talk by education minister David Willets at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in June 2011, involved the two students being wrestled to the ground by the police, arrested, strip-searched, fingerprinted and charged.

Former London School of Economics student Ashok Kumar, 29, who had been invited to interview Mr. Willetts, attempted to intervene in a dispute between a teenage student filming police and PC Paul McAuslan.

PC McAuslan claimed Mr. Kumar pushed him twice before running away, but the case against Mr. Kumar was dropped in court after YouTube footage revealed the police account to be wrong and that no assault or obstruction had taken place.

Scotland Yard have agreed to compensate Mr. Kumar, now studying for a PhD at Oxford University, £20,000 in damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution.

Mr. Kumar told the Evening Standard: “what was astonishing was I was sitting in court and there were officers there ready to testify that I had done something when it was as clear as day from the video that I hadn’t”.

The other case involved former Birkbeck law PhD student Simon Behrman, 36, who went to SOAS to demonstrate against Mr. Willett’s policies.

Mr. Behrman is also set to receive £20,000 in damages, after a court testimony given by PC Chris Johnson contradicted photo evidence of the incident. Mr. Behrman claimed he fell after PC Johnson grabbed his rucksack and the protest group he had joined surged forward.

Mr. Behrman’s defence claimed that he was then punched in the chest by PC Thomas Ashley and then being taken in a headlock by another officer

A spokesperson for the Met said it had begun an investigation, adding, “Three officers are the subject of the [Independent Police Complaints Commission] supervised investigation. At no time had we previously received a public complaint in relation to this matter. As soon as we were aware of the video evidence an investigation was launched.”

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 6 (27/01/2014)

Teaching staff take further strike action

By London Student, National News, University of London News
Deptford Town Hall

Deptford Town Hall

University academic and support staff held a second strike over pay last Tuesday, following previous action on 31 October, with student at one University of London college staging an occupation in support.

Members of four unions – the University and College Union (UCU), Unite, Unison and the Educational Institute of Scotland – formed picket lines all over the country on 3 December, opposing a 1% pay rise offer which they say constitutes a 13% real terms cut sincere 2008.

Last Tuesday’s action forced the University of London to shut Senate House Library and caused class cancellations across the city.

The strike also say Goldsmiths students occupy Deptford Town Hall, which houses university management offices, in support of the strikers. Around 100 students moved in last Monday evening, with around 30 saying until 12pm the following day.

Their occupation came after other by students in Sheffield, Edinburgh, Sussex, Ulster, Birmingham and Exeter.

In a statement, the occupiers said managers should look to their own incomes to find savings. “The university sector has the biggest pay disparity of all public sectors, with the gender pay gap widening with every new government policy of marketisation”.

In an open letter to Pay Loughrey, Goldsmiths’ warden, members of the university’s UCU brand wrote: “While salaries of lecturers and support staff have declined in real terms, the same cannot be said of the warden who has recently been awarded a 9% pay rise and benefits from a pension contribution far in excess of the annual salary of most support staff”.

A Goldsmiths press officer response to UCU’s letter by emphasising that of the four years Loughrey has been warden, he has only accepted a pay rise in one of them, making his average yearly pay increase just over 2%.

He also claimed that Loughrey was “well below average” in league tables comparing university head’s salaries with seventy others earning more than him.

Adrian Polglase and Nicholas Winchester, London Student: Issue 5 (09/12/2013)

London universities airbrushed Wikipedia pages

By London Student, National News


Two London universities have been deleting negative information and finessing critical passages on their respective institution’s Wikipedia pages, a Times Higher Education investigation discovered.

In August, London Metropolitan University’s press office deleted comments made last year by Malcolm Gillies, their vice-chancellor, in which he considered a campus alcohol ban because conservative Muslim students considered the substance “immoral”.

The magazine’s investigation also found that the University of Arts London’s press office edited passages on their Wikipedia page in May 2012. They gave a section describing staff and course cuts a more positive spin, ending with: “the university has consolidated and is looking to the future with cautious optimism”.

The first-party ‘airbrushing’ of these articles breaks the online encyclopaedia’s guidelines and the site’s administrators have since banned London Met’s account for “promotional editing”.

Sections deleted by the university have since been reinstated by other Wikipedia users, although between November 2012 and March this year, anonymous users with IP addresses traceable to London Met’s location have attempted to re-delete the comments.

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 5 (09/12/2013)

Notes on images

All main Adrian’s Word articles are works of Adrian Polglase with all rights reserved. London Student articles are also works of Adrian Polglase, and sometimes other news reporters on the paper, rights of which are reserved to the writers and the now defunct ULU London Student publication.

Images used on Adrian’s Word are either by Adrian Polglase with all rights reserved, in which case no credit is shown, or Creative Commons images. In these cases, the images are credited in the corner by viewing the full image. The license for these images can be found here. Please note that Creative Commons licenses only apply to images and media on Adrian’s Word not owned by Adrian Polglase, not Adrian’s Word actual and original content.