Proposed by: Clare Solomon
Seconded by: Ed Emery
This Union Notes:
1) Birkbeck are hosting a conference entitled: On the Idea of Communism with big name speakers such as Antonio Negri, Terry Eagleton, Michael Hardt, Alain Badiou and more.
2) These speakers are from a broad range of schools of thought on the left.
3) This conference costs £100 for employed people and £45 to students.
4) There are no concessions for people who can not afford these sums.
This Union Believes:
1) A university should not charge, especially students, for academic conferences.
2) Charging for an event like this goes against the spirit of Communism (see comment below).
3) Charging for this event is politically motivated.
4) Students have enough financial troubles without having to pay even further to engage in academic dialogue.
5) Universities should be a place of learning and not for making money.
6) Marketisation of education will lead to a narrow output of educational programmes.
This Union Resolves:
1) Write a letter to Birkbeck expressing our disappointment and objection.
2) Invite the speakers of this conference to speak for free at SOAS on March 14.
3) Promote this conference if the speakers agree to do it.
4) Ask the Executive of SOAS SU to decide on further actions should they not.
5) Support students who wish to express their objections in other ways.
6) Fight against increasing marketisation of education.