[dropcap] W[/dropcap]hen was it, exactly, that everything at Warwick went rather mental? At what point did it first begin to feel like this university – our university – was an institution of which it was becoming increasingly hard to feel proud?
I guess some of it started when Warwick was awarded the ‘University of the Year’ award by the Times back in September. I remember thinking it odd at the time, given the then-recent press coverage of Professor Thomas Docherty’s unfair suspension for the heinous crime of tutting during a staff meeting. But then again, it was only last month the Times awarded their ‘Briton of the Year’ award to Nigel Farage, so clearly that paper knows as much about honorary accolades as I know about the municipalities of Western New Guinea.
Whilst we’re on the topic of misplaced honours, this seems an appropriate spot to wish congratulations to our dear old Sir Nigel Thrift. To be honest, though, I must have missed the news that the criteria for garnering yourself a knighthood has changed. For the ambitious types among you, it would appear two such qualities that send old Queen Lizzy weak at the knees are the abilities to accept a £16k pay rise while your over-worked and underpaid staff are striking, as well as the gall to refuse denouncing clear and overt police brutality on your own students. Don’t forget that.
But then again, the protests that arose from that violence increasingly seem like the only reason to be optimistic about Warwick at the present. Naturally, it’s rather a shame that it needed some poor old soul getting a face full of CS spray to really rally people, but it was always going to take something rather remarkable to ignite our infamous blend of Warwick apathy. The success of this demonstration at least offers hope.
That said, the hard graft can’t all be left to the woolly-hatted and cagouled Free Education kids; us bog-standard, ‘moderate’ students need to treat this as our wake up call, too.
And if we don’t? Well, I guess things here will pretty much carry on the same. The true student voice ignored. The academics who work for us undervalued. And the wrong people at the top reaping the rewards.
I don’t think I’m Russell Brand or anything – I don’t sleep with nearly enough people and I’m a good boy who likes voting – but it does feel like now is the time to stand up and be counted.
The Warwick Twitter account proudly boasts that the University is never “afraid to upset the apple cart”. Let’s continue showing them that we students aren’t, either.