It is all too obvious that in this moment of profound change in our University and across Higher Education in general, a number of voices are not being heard. Not necessarily because they are being crudely censored, not necessarily because they have nothing to say, but because, at present, there is not an appropriate and viable forum for their views. Bristol Perspectives aims to tackle this by providing University of Bristol students and staff with a means to inform, educate and debate each other, free of the stultifying monotonous terms of debate laid down by those at the top of this University’s hierarchy.
The newsletter gives us all a chance to tell each other what is going on at this University. It is staff and student led: they provide the stories; they give us their take on the University of Bristol and beyond. It is an invitation to share with all members of our community what is happening.
This newsletter has 3 main aims:
• To inform. Too often the picture of this University is one which is designed to correspond to the doctrine of Public Relations. Students need to know the actual working conditions of academic and support staff; staff need to know what students think and have in common with them; colleagues and peers need to know that they are not alone in the injustices they face. We need to hear a variety of voices from around this University. We want to hear the whistle blowers.
• To discuss. At present, there seems to be a great deal of discontent with the changes in Higher Education and Senior Management’s slavish adoption of them. Yet, there is no alternative vision of the University gaining traction. We want to come to some kind of consensus of what that vision should be. Moreover, we need to look at what’s happening outside the limits of campus.
• To politicize. Too often, politics has come to symbolize the rhetoric of left and right, the attachment to party or ideology, the linking of one thing, ‘strike’, with another, ‘radicalism’ or ‘futility’. But this understanding of politics ignores the crucial point: unless we establish a vital and vigorous climate of discussion and activity at this University, and unless we come to question taken-for-granted presumptions and visions of what is realistic, we cannot begin to confront the challenges that confront us.
The newsletter is being put together by an open editorial collective, drawn from University activists. It is not the product of a party or organisation. We represent no one and welcome all comers. If you want to participate or help, please let us know. Moreover, confidentiality is our watchword; we are all well-aware of our responsibilities in this endeavour.
Please send stories, cartoons, photos, anonymously or otherwise, to:
bristolnewsletter _at_ riseup _dot_ net