Editorial October 31st 2014

Tom Kelly & Ali Begg

The university’s recent decision to divest from fossil fuels is a testament to student activism at Glasgow. The campaign exemplifies what can be achieved if a co-ordinated group of students come together and work hard to push change on an issue. We would like to urge all students to take inspiration from this huge success, and hope that it will spur the community at Glasgow on towards further positive change.

However, fossil fuels are by no means the only questionable item on the list of the university’s investments. They also hold substantial shares in the likes of Disney and Nestlé, the latter of which was the centre of campus controversy some years ago, resulting in a ban of Nestlé products at the Queen Margaret Union. This ban no longer appears to be in place, and the university were never formally challenged on their investment. Food for thought perhaps.

Another notable name on the list of present university investments is weapons manufacturer BAE systems. Any investment in a multinational that manufactures and supplies weaponry can be considered morally questionable at best and warrants serious consideration. It is our opinion that the people of Scotland should be pushing away from involvement in armaments of any kind where possible (see page 9 for an opinion piece from Ali on nuclear disarmament and the Trident programme).

Regardless of the issue in question, it is important that the students here feel able to question the status quo on campus. If you feel concerned about anything happening at Glasgow, whether it’s connected to your academic career, the university, societies or the student bodies, it is important that you feel confident in speaking up about it.

This issue sees a follow-up on the situation at the university’s McGregor Building, the subject of our cover story last issue. The students there have suffered a difficult ordeal in trying to effect changes to their working environment, but continue to persevere. This is admirable, and we wish them the best possible outcome both in their campaign for better working conditions and in their studies.

You will also find below an evaluation of student halls pricing as conducted by the Guardian team. The rate at which halls prices have increased over the last four years, and the current gap between the cost of halls and the cost of private letting, is of deep concern to us. In many cases, the cost of studying at Glasgow is becoming unassailable, forcing people to drop out or deterring prospective students from attending in the first place.

We would urge you to speak up on this matter, and if you feel that you or someone you know have been affected by the cost of student halls during your time at the university, tweet to us @GlasgowGuardian.

Thanks for picking up another issue of your local newspaper, and as ever don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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