Activism not Slacktivism

student protestors

My good friend Adam Ramsay had a piece in the Guardian the other day about student activism, putting forward his view that the main job of students is to save the world and have fun. Despite what many people think the two are not mutually exclusive.

I credit my time at university, and the people I met in that period of my life, with shaping my politics quite substantially. The groundwork may have been laid earlier – by compassionate parents and dinner table discussions – but uni was the time when I became more able to articulate what I believe in, and why. Continue reading

Student Journalism: Just Another Story

You know how some writers shove a manuscript in the back of a drawer, convinced that it’s worthless drivel, then return to it years later and discover that it’s actually bloody brilliant and it secures them a six figure advance with a major publisher…

Well…

I’ve just had the opposite happen. I’ve spent the last ten or so years convinced that my student journalism days were golden, that I had spent my time at university effortlessly churning our several charming and original pieces of writing every week; from hilarious reviews to insightful interviews and ground-breaking news stories.

Sadly, when I recently unearthed a box full of old Student papers and peeled apart the curling, yellowing pages to read my first attempts at a writing career, it turned out that they were nearly all crap.

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The Right to Education

I saw a wonderful piece of news today about people using social media for good. Take a look at this story about a demonstration of Israeli-Iranian solidarity – started online by ordinary people – that has really taken off.

It has warmed the very cockles of my heart, and provided a very useful reminder that behind almost every news story – good and bad – there are ‘ordinary people’. Every conflict, every crime, and every Government Bill has an impact on folk that more often than not are just like you and me.

Palestine Israel Separation Wall

I haven’t blogged about this before, but a few years ago I was lucky enough to visit the West Bank – part of the occupied Palestinian Territories. At the time, I was President of my Students’ Association, and the student body had voted to twin our university – Edinburgh – with the University of Birzeit near Ramallah.

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