Thursday, 11 March 2010

ULU election results: springboard for mass campaign to stop cuts

I've blogged about Clare Solomon's campaign HERE and HERE. Now the result is announced - here's Elly Badcock's report, just published at Counterfire.

Counterfire supporter Clare Solomon has been elected President of the University of London Union (ULU). She now plans to use her victory as a springboard for a mass anti-cuts campaign.

In a straight two-way contest between her and Ghazi Aftab Rahman, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) student will now take office in a post that represents over 100,000 students.

Clare said of her victory “The united fight against cuts begins here. We have a lot to do: winning this elections proves that students are indeed engaged with the issues on campus and are prepared to fight back. We'd like to thank everyone across the whole University, including the Paris campus, for the tremendous amount of work that has been put in to make sure that the best team wins. Our challenge is to use this result as the springboard for a mass anti-cuts campaign”.

With eighteen university campuses coming under the banner of ULU, as big as University College London and as small as the Courtauld Institute, the workload for such a campaign seems daunting at best. Clare told us, however, that she had felt confident throughout the campaign: “Because I’ve been involved in campaigns across the University of London, from Stop the War to fighting cuts, I’m part of a whole network of people who want to engage in vibrant campaigns and struggle to change the world. ”

With fellow campaigner Ian Drummond elected as Vice President, Clare is confident that ULU will become a vibrant hub of campaigning and activity.

She promises “to transform ULU into a hub of activity. ULU is the perfect place from which to conduct our fight back. This will be done through a whole host of different campaigns, events, training sessions and much more. There will be cultural events like Zimbabwe dance bands, Korean Karaoke, theatre, poetry and we may even host one of our special Mutiny events here”.

This victory comes against a background of left wing Student Union officers being elected in London, with Michael Chessum at University College London, Ashok Kumar at London School of Economics, James Haywood at Goldsmiths, Louis Hartnoll at UAL - and more results are on their way. The new 'awkward squad' of student leaders in London point to a more combative student movement. With massive cuts looming over Higher Education, and the HEFCE cuts package being announced next week, Counterfire is glad to say: the resistance starts here.

Eleanor Badcock is women's officer in SOAS students' union and a member of Counterfire's editorial board.

Also see this report of students occupying at Sussex University today.


  1. Who was Ian up against?

  2. I haven't been on this thread for yonks - but I am back for the simple reason that I want to support Clare because I believe that Clare has proved what I wanted to prove for a long time and that is; If you have an aim, a vision and a purpose in life, don't listen to anyone else, but persue that aim and vision and your purpose in life relentlesly even when the world is laughing at you. Clare has just done that and I hope that as an adult student, a single mother like me and a socialist, she will combine the 3 and make good of this diabolic education system whose caricullum is teaching our children how to hate each other instead of teaching them practical skills. GO FOR IT CLARE - by the way tomgirl on your blog is me - Florence Nomagugu Durrant, a country girl who did not wear a shoe until she was 12 years of age. A drink on me whenever it suits you girlfriend and brilliant mother. My son calls me his queen for the simple reason that I sacrificed my life for him. XXX