Student news round-up: Oxford Union, Swansea office furniture and the importance of not being Nick Clegg

The stories you missed this week

1. AC Grayling criticises campaign against Oxford Union president Ben Sullivan

The fallout from the arrest of the Oxford Union's president on rape allegations continued this week as several prominent speakers, including the secretary general of Interpol and the president of Human Rights Watch, withdrew from planned appearances at the society.

But AC Grayling, the philosopher, has criticised the campaign against the Union and its president, Ben Sullivan, who has not been charged and denies the allegations. In a letter to Sarah Pine, the Oxford University Student Union women's officer who is leading the protest, Grayling said he sympathised with her motivations but explained: "I simply cannot, in all conscience, allow myself to act only on the basis of allegations and suspicions, or of conviction by the kangaroo court of opinion, or trial by press – the means too often employed even in our own society to condemn before the evidence and the arguments have been properly examined."

2. Miliband: "The most important thing to do is to not be Nick Clegg"

Ed Miliband visited the University of Nottingham on Tuesday to speak about university education, youth engagement in politics, and Labour policies ahead of the European and local elections.

In an interview with student magazine Impact, Miliband, who has pledged to reduce tuition fees to £6,000, spoke of his concerns about the "marketisation of education" and explained why he thinks young people should be able to vote from 16 provided they are properly educated about politics.

Earlier, during a public Q&A, Miliband told the audience that "it is not right that people should start their lives in tens of thousands of pounds in debt" and remarked that "the most important thing to do in regards to tuition fees is to not be Nick Clegg - in other words making promises you can't keep". He said it would be difficult to reduce fee prices for students already paying £9,000, however.

3. Student anger as Swansea spends £3k on office furniture

In Swansea, the School of Management has been criticised for spending £3,277.55 to furnish the dean's office - including a sofa costing £2,220 and £498 for a glass whiteboard.

The costs were revealed through an Freedom of Information request by The Waterfront, which also reported that Management students at Swansea are no longer assigned individual dissertation tutors but instead have to meet in groups of 20. Many students expressed their discontent with the spending, with one student union officer calling it "an absolute mockery of the university and its principles". Swansea University had not responded.

4. Woman from Kent Union posters that "legitimised rape" speaks out

The woman featured in the Kent University Union summer ball posters that appeared to promote rape has come forward and criticised "rape culture" and the Union's "faux-pology".

Kate Wilson, 22, told The Tab Kent that she thought her picture was going to being used as part of a rape awareness campaign. Instead, the poster showed her standing alone in a car park leaning against a column, with the words "Someone will lose their friends #loveitKent".

Wilson said she was confused about how the poster had passed a review process. "This went through stages of creation and nobody looked at it and thought this might make women feel unsafe. That no one in the production team saw this speaks to rape culture, because people don’t appreciate the threat of rape to women."

She also expressed her disappointment with the Student Union's response: "The thing that rubbed people the wrong way – me included – was when they issued a statement and it was a faux-pology. It was a 'we're sorry that we offended people' and obviously that, in and of itself, isn’t an apology. It’s not saying 'sorry for what we did.'"

5. Mumps epidemic at Oxford

More than 15 students at Brasenose College, Oxford have been diagnosed with mumps over the past week, with 10 cases still described as "live". 

The patients have all either gone home or been quarantined in the college. Those remaining have been confined to their bedroom and a toilet on their floor, and are being provided with free hot meals each day. One student told The Oxford Student: "Life in quarantine is less frustrating than I imagined – room service, Skype and Netflix are keeping me in good spirits."

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Year 6 Teacher

£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunity for Key Stag...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ma...

Geography Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + TBA: Randstad Education Reading: Geography Teacher neede...

***Sports Graduate***

£50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: This role has arisen due to inc...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past