University of Kent student, Emily Rollerson, on how her university jumped from Third Class to a 2:1 in People & Planet’s 2019 University League.
People and Planet has opened my eyes to the ways in which universities are complicit in human rights abuses and environmental destruction. So finding out that the University of Kent’s electronics supply chains were not being monitored for workers rights abuses felt like a huge betrayal to me.
NUS Vice-President (Society & Citizenship) Zamzam Ibrahim shares some of the discussion from a panel event she recently chaired called ‘C02lonialism: climate change is a racist issue'. Organised by SOAS Students' Union, speaking on the panel was the formidable SImmone Ahiaku from People & Planet and the ever-inspiring Asad Rehman from War on Want.
Found that your university management are sometimes uncooperative or even belligerent? It’s likely that staff are just as tired of them as you are. The forces that students are fighting against are the same ones that led to pay cuts for staff and increased workloads and zero-hour contracts. We have far more in common with our lecturers than we might initially think.
Discussions of climate change go hand in hand with issues of justice and distributive fairness, this is because the burdens of climate change disproportionately affect the poorest areas of the world where its inhabitant are the least equipped to deal with its impact, due to geographic vulnerability and poverty. Therefore, it seems logical that the international response to climate change, in the form of international agreements; aim to avert the climate crisis whilst being sensitive to questions of justice and fairness.
People & Planet groups across the country are participating in 48 Hours of Action this October, calling attention to union busting in Samsung and other major brands in the electronics industry. Kicking off in Cardiff outside the Samsung Experience Store on Queen Street, we filled the Welsh capitals streets with chants of “What do we want? Workers rights! When do we want them? Now!” and “Union busting? That’s disgusting!” whilst distributing flyers and collecting signatures for People & Planets petition asking Samsung to end their no-union policy.
The actions of Loughborough People & Planet secured meetings with the Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, and these discussions have been ongoing since the Easter break in order to bring about a binding motion at University council and secure this victory.