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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone