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Dear Prof. Gaskell and Kelly,
As Students’ Union representatives, we are writing to express our concern with the lack of representation of both the speakers and the content for the LSE400 lecture series. In addition, the timing of the lectures excludes a number of Muslim students as it clashes with Friday Prayers. On behalf of our diverse student body, we would like to know how this came about and what actions will be taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
To have only 2 women but 13 men speaking and to have no evidence of an intersectional approach sends out a negative message to students and portrays a narrow view of what social science is and who social scientists are. After open meetings and discussions about the importance of changing the culture of LSE this year in a way that is more supportive of women students and academics, it is disappointing to see that commitment to representation and diversity has not been translated to the classroom.
The timing of the series goes against LSE Religious Observance Policy, which states:
As far as practicable, teaching and assessment or School-wide events should not be scheduled at the following times:
LSE prides itself on being a progressive institution, but unfortunately this lecture series represents the opposite: it fails to challenge gendered and religious power imbalances in society and epitomises a reductive approach to the social sciences.
In light of the Why Is My Curriculum White Campaign being launched, as well as the schools own ‘Black Faculty Initiative’ and ‘Equality and Diversity Review’, this is the time to act on issues like these.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Mahamid Ahmed – Postgraduate Students’ Officer
Gee Linford-Grayson – Women’s Officer
Thomas Maksymiw – Education Officer
Samiha Begum – BME Officer
People seeking asylum in the UK have often been forced to flee their own country because of war, persecution or violence. Leaving behind their families, friends, homes and jobs they come the UK in order to seek safety and to start a new life.
The bureaucratic and unfair nature of the UK immigration process means that asylum seekers wait an extremely long time for the Home Office decision that allows them to stay in the UK permanently; sometimes the Government takes years to process an application for asylum. Whilst waiting to hear back from the Home Office asylum seekers do not have permission to work and are reliant on inadequate government financial handouts. This leaves asylum seekers facing serious economic hardship.
During the application process young people are allowed to attend education in the UK up to A-Levels but they do not have equal access to university. Asylum seekers are not considered to be “Home Students” so despite having no financial resources and no right to work they have to pay very high upfront fees and cannot apply for student loans or bursaries.
These rules make it nearly impossible for asylum seekers to attend university as the costs are way too high and there is nowhere they can go for financial support.
Over the past two years LSE STAR (Student Action for Refugees) successfully campaigned for LSE to offer £20k of financial support to asylum seekers. Building on this success we will be campaigning for the government to change the law so that all asylum seekers and refugees are considered to be Home Students. This would ensure asylum seeker and refugees have equal access to an university.
In the run up to the UK general election, we will be lobbying the government to introduce and enforce legislation that ensures that home fees and student finance are available to young refugee and asylum seekers wanting to access higher education.
General Election info on lsesu.com
You Don’t Have to be British to Vote
Missed the hustings last week? Here’s another chance for you to hear from the LSESU Elections candidates before you make up your mind this week.
If your hall or society is running hustings this week, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
Monday, March 2
LSESU LabourWhen: 2-3 p.m.Where: NAB 2.16
Women in Business Society, Women Leaders of Tomorrow and Feminist SocietyWhen: 6-7 p.m.Where: STC.S221
LSESU African and Caribbean Society and Islamic SocietyWhen: 7 p.m.Where: Tower 1 G.01
Tuesday, March 3
Hustings for AU President and AU ExecWhen: 11 a.m. - noonWhere: Exercise Studio, Sixth Floor, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Bankside Hall: Part Time Officers, Trustee Board and Democracy CommitteeWhen: 7 p.m.Where: Bankside Bar
Wednesday, March 4
Bankside Hall: Special General Secretary Candidates Hustings
When: 7 p.m.Where: Bankside Bar
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