Sepia dildos. Photo: Chanel Beck / Flickr

Student stories from around the globe: October 18

Chiara and Sarah report on issues affecting students around the world: this week’s news comes from India, Australia, the USA and Mexico.

India: students take to the streets in support of equality between the sexes

University students in India have taken to the streets to fight for equal rights between male and female students.

After successfully protesting for women’s rights to a higher education 50 to 60 years ago, young Indians are now protesting the sexist practice of curfews for women in University hostels across the country.

Some 60 or more protesters of both sexes marched against the discriminatory curfews imposed on young women staying in University hostels (the equivalent of dorms in the UK). These curfews prohibit them from being out after 7 pm.

The Pinjra Tod (Break The Cage) campaign battles the restrictive measures taken by hostels attempting to keep female University students safe.

Participants in the campaign have argued that these measures wrongfully propagate patriarchal values rather than achieving progress towards creating a safe environment for females after dark.

Delhi’s University alumni have shown solidarity with this struggle and have joined in chants such as “We don’t need no false protection, you can’t cage half the nation” during marches which have taken place over the past month.

As the campaign gains traction, its Facebook co-ordinators invite users to sign and share a petition against hostel’s curfews.

Australia: students demand divestment from fossil fuels

Melbourne’s University students held a ‘Fossil Free’ Summit in response to the World Academic Summit’s neglect of the pressing issue to divest from Fossil Fuels.

The World Academic Summit took place in Australia and gathered together key figures in academia.

The campaigners awaited the Summit’s attendees with slogans and posters at the Melbourne University Quadrangle where the drinks reception would be held.

However, the reception was re-located last-minute to avoid confrontation.

The students refused to give up and marched onto the Academic World Summit’s venue the following morning carrying an enormous clock displaying their slogan: “Get with the times Divest”.

The Summit’s participants were then surprised by the student’s ‘Australian Fossil Free University rankings’ mock-ceremony satirising the announcement of the World University Rankings.

The University of New South Wales was awarded a gigantic cheque by ‘polluters’ for their deplorable efforts, and the winning Australian National University, a small Polar Bear toy.

Over the past year the Fossil Free campaign has reached a 2.6 Trillion $ value of divestment across 451 institutions either fully or partially committed to divestment.

Worldwide, there are over 400 active divestment campaigns – including one in Warwick University, whose Council committed to the divestment this summer.

USA: students fight guns with dildos

Thousands of Texas students will be strapping dildos onto their backpacks in protest against a gun carrying law passed earlier this summer.

Under the law, enacted by State Governor Greg Abbott last June, anyone can carry a concealed gun on campus, provided they have the proper licensing.

In protest of these laws, thousands of students have signed up on Facebook to carry dildos onto campus.

“You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO,” announced Jessica Jin, the event organiser, on Campus (DILDO) Carry’s Facebook page.

Dildos, concluded Ms Jin, are “just about as effective as protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

Just about as effective as protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

Although the display of sex toys is banned under the penal code and can carry a fine of up to $500, 8,700 people have already signed up to the campaign.

The concealed gun carrying law will be take effect on August 1st 2016, on the 50th anniversary of engineering student Charles Whitman’s gun massacre from the campus clock-tower.

While private universities may opt out, public institutions will be permitted to designate “gun-free zones.”

Concerned at the potentially negative effects fear of gun violence may have on free speech on campus, hundreds of academics have signed petitions to refuse guns inside the classroom.

Mexico: Government makes public investigation into missing students

Just over a year after the tragic disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in Mexico, the Mexican Attorney General has released an 85-volume file about the investigation via her Twitter page.

The disappearance, which sparked mass-outcry and protests across the country, has raised doubts over the way in which President Enrique Peña Nieto is handling the investigation.

Official reports claim the students were kidnapped and murdered by a local gang, who then burnt their bodies beyond recognition. However, relatives and opponents dispute the government’s account and argue that state police were likely involved in the abduction.

An expert panel from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have called the official version physically impossible and concluded that it downplayed the presence of the local police and federal troops.
The Commission have not been permitted to interview the soldiers.

IACHR will be conducting an “official hearing” of their report on October 20th.

Comments (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.