The Return of the £300k Gaddafi Payment
In February 2011 the Student Union successfully led a campaign to obtain a commitment from the university to return £300k to the people of Libya, that an independent investigation would take place over their links to Libyan regime and that all relations with the Libyan Gaddafi regime would cease with immediate effect.
The Student Union used a variety of techniques, including face to face organising of students, lobbying and maximising press exposer, to ensure the student voice was heard by the university and the wider world during the campaign.
Along with securing the return of the £300k to the people of Libya, the campaign also led to student participation in how the money should be returned. A decision was made that the money should be given in the form of a scholarship, which directly allows young people in another country to come and study at LSE.
Freeze the Fees
In 2011 the Student Union led a priority campaign with the main focus on freezing the fees for all students at the LSE and to ensure that LSE remained a progressive institution, in-line with its founding principles of social justice.
There were weekly campaign meetings to help mobilise the student population and to give them the chance to develop their own skills. There were also a number of campaign tactics used, such as videos, a 35ft banner drop and interactive street activities, to get the attention of the student body, the University and the press. Along with this the SU also forged a number of links with Further Education colleges, providing resource, support and joint campaign sessions to show solidarity in the face of cuts affecting their institutions and prospects.
The campaign resulted in a number of quantifiable victories. The students of LSE became very involved within the campaign, which was organised around a broad local demand that politicised student about national issues. At a local level the university was forced to make a public statement against privatisation, even though many decision makers within the university were keen to look at pursuing this route, and through their work with FE colleges the SU made a strong campaign network outside of LSE.
Although the campaign did not succeed in stopping the increase of tuition fees at LSE as a whole, it did ensure that the university did not raise its tuition fees to the full amount of £9,000. This was a direct result of the Freeze the Fees campaign and not only did it have a positive impact on future LSE students, but it also made it harder for vice-chancellors at less renowned universities to justify such high charges.
The Living Wage Campaign
In 2007 LSE Students' Union successfully mobilised hundreds of students to campaign alongside low paid staff at the university to ensure the School adopted the London Living Wage, which meant all staff were paid a minimum of at least £7.20.
This particularly benefitted cleaning staff who had been struggling to survive on minimum wage, but it also sent out a strong message to other institutions that poor practice would not be tolerated.
As a result we joined London Citizens and continue to campaign with them to ensure the Living Wage is adopted for lower paid staff outside of LSE and across London.
Save Our Nursery
The Save Our Nursery campaign saw LSE students join forced with parents and toddlers to ensure that the much loved LSE nursery was saved from closure, despite the university’s plans to do so.
Children, parents and students campaigned on Houghton Street and met with Howard Davies, the Director of LSE at the time, to demonstrate their concern over the issue.
The campaign was successful and the nursery was saved from certain closure, providing a considerable win for the students and staff alike who had felt passionately about the issue.
Way, Way Long Ago
LSE SU has a long history of successful campaigns. From being at the forefront of campaigning against the Vietnam War, to organising mass sit-ins in order to make Houghton Street pedestrianised after two students were hit by a car, LSE has always been proud to take a stand over the issues that matter.