Among the variety of events to mark Black History Month during October will be a series of lectures at the University of Glasgow. Organised by the Glasgow-based Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), the month is a celebration of the culture and heritage of the black community and its contribution to society.
There will be four lectures uncovering the ‘Hidden Legacies’ of people who have made a difference to the city.
This year’s Black History Month will have events in Stirling, Edinburgh, Dundee, Lanarkshire and East Lothian. The wide variety of events includes lectures, workshops, exhibitions, films, music, dance performances and other things. Check the website for Glasgow own CCA for events such as Seeds of Thought poetry and music – a free evening.
The full programme of events for Black History Month 2010, can be downloaded from the website www.crer.org.uk
Jatin Haria, Director of CRER said: “I hope that the month long celebrations will provide a unique opportunity to educate, document and acknowledge the positive achievements and contributions that black and minority ethnic people have made in shaping Scotland, UK and the world’s history. “
The lectures taking place at Glasgow University are:
Colour and Prejudice in British Cinema in the 1950s by Dr Christine Geraghty, Professor of Film and Television Studies – Wednesday 20 October, 6-7.30pm, Gilmorehill Cinema, 9 University Avenue.
The Archaeology of the Slave Ship by Dr Jane Webster, Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology at Newcastle University – Friday 22 October, 6-7.30pm, Room 433, St Andrew’s Building.
Glasgow’s Contribution to the Campaign to Abolish Slavery in the United States by Bernard Aspinwall – Saturday 23 October 2010 – 10am – 12.00pm, St Andrew’s Building, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH.
C.L.R. James: Marxist, anti-imperialist… and Test Match correspondent for The Glasgow Herald by Dr Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in Sociology – Monday 25 October, 6-7.30pm in Room 433, St Andrew’s Building, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH
The Court of the University of Glasgow has finalised the ‘reshaping’ of the University which has caused great unrest among students and staff.
With their budget decisions for 2011-12 made today (Wednesday 22 June 2011) Court accepted all the recommendations made by the panels that were established to consult widely with the academic schools as well as with student representatives.
This means that:
The School of Modern Languages and Cultures will maintain the teaching of the full current range of modern languages at the levels currently taught.
Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics and History will continue to be taught at the University of Glasgow.
Nursing and Healthcare will continue as normal, including admissions for academic year 2011-12 and 2012-13, pending the outcome of the Chief Nursing Officer’s review.
The Open Programme will continue to provide courses, but through an independent, self-supporting unit within University Services.
The Centre for Drug Misuse Research will close.
The University will continue to withdraw from the Glasgow School of Social Work.
The University will withdraw provision of the dedicated Liberal Arts programmes on the Dumfries Campus from 2012-13. In a statement, the University added: ‘The University is committed to a strong and positive future for the Dumfries campus as we develop our range of courses focused on environmental studies, health and social studies, and primary education, and liberal arts will continue to be a part of other interdisciplinary degree programmes at Dumfries Campus.’
Speaking later, the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow Professor Anton Muscatelli, said that the decisions made at Court meant that the University was now in a very strong position going forward: “The past few months have been extremely challenging and I want to pay tribute to everyone who took part in what was a vigorous and comprehensive consultation programme. The difficult decisions that have been addressed, coupled with the work that has been done to turn-around our finances means that the future prospects for the continued excellence of the University of Glasgow are extremely promising. We will continue to provide a world-class learning and teaching environment, and look forward to the future development and success of the University with considerable optimism.”
Students at Glasgow University will hold an Austerity Auction today (Wednesday 15 June) to help their Principal’s cause.
Said a student spokesperson: ‘Principal Anton Muscatelli and other members of senior management’s recent £20,000 in bonuses seems rather small. So we’re having an auction to raise funds.’ With tongue firmly in cheek, the spokesperson added: ‘We feel that around 20 or 30 pence will be enough.’
This action is part of a campaign leading up to the Anti-Cuts Action Network (ACAN) demonstration on Wednesday 22 June. The date coincides with the meeting of the University Court which will vote on Muscatelli’s austerity proposals.
The students are based in the Hetherington Club building in University Gardens where there has been a sit-in for 135 days. What started as a protest at the loss of the Club building to post graduate students – to whom it had been gifted – has grown to be the leading students group protesting at savage cuts being programmed by the University.
The Free Hetherington protesters were evicted on Tuesday 22 March, by campus security and around 100 police officers in a heavy handed action that was publicly condemned by many staff, MSPs including Patrick Harvie and the public. On eviction, a massive crowd of students immediately marched to the Senate offices and occupied them. Within a few hours the outcome of round table discussions with University management resulted in the students returning to the Hetherington and continuing their sit-in.
The campaign has already built considerable momentum, with a picket inviting the Principal to quit his addiction to austerity, a stall giving away cake to publicise the demonstration and most recently, a clowning rally. (see photograph)
Cuts still likely to happen include the axing of – Social Work courses, Humanities at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries, Slavonic Studies, The Centre for Drugs Misuse Research and other research projects. DACE – the adult and community learning centre and entry point to the University for many mature students – is likely to be privatised as it generates £1.8m profit a year. Nursing has been given a one year reprieve but is unlikely to be saved as there is an over-abundance of nursing study places in Central Scotland. Courses saved include Archaeology, Classical Studies, most languages and Anthropology.
The local branch of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) recently passed a vote of no confidence in the Principal. First Minister, First Minister Alex Salmond has openly criticised him.
Commented a student spokesperson: ‘The Senate, the academic governing body of the university, has been angered over the last six months by Muscatelli’s disregard for their decisions. Issues such as £13.2 million being spent to replace a perfectly functional IT system is widely viewed as an unnecessary expenditure.’
A spokesman for the University of Glasgow said: “Following an extensive consultation process, the University Court will meet on June 22. Court will decide on the recommendations made through the consultation panels into the re-shaping exercise that is taking place across a number of areas within the University of Glasgow, in line with our strategic plan. A full range of views and opinions have been taken into account, and the aim throughout has been to ensure that the University of Glasgow continues to deliver a world class experience for our students and staff.”
On day 121 of protests at University Cuts, students at the University of Glasgow held a ‘NO CUTS’ demo on Wednesday 1 June.
They were joined by students from their Crichton Campus in Dumfries which is also under threat.
The University Court is due to make a final decision on Wednesday 22 June. And in a series of ‘Wednesday Warm-ups’ for a major rally planned for that date, around 50 gathered with banners outside the Senate to make their voices heard.
Said spokeswoman Suzanne: ‘This is the start of a month long campaign. Many students have now gone home after the exams but an impressive number has stayed behind to fight to save courses in Glasgow and at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries.’
Originally around £20 million worth of cuts were flagged up by the University. But a four month campaign by students and staff, a contentious 3000 strong demonstration and the longest running student occupation in UK history has brought much success to the campaigners.
Courses which have been saved from the axe include: Archaeology, Classical Studies, most languages and Anthropology. Nursing has been given a one year stay of execution. The department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE) which generates £1.8 million in profit annually, has been privatised.
Students first occupied the Hetherington Club building off University Avenue on 1 February this year. A heavy-handed eviction by Strathclyde Police and campus security was severely criticised by students, staff, members of the public and local MSPs. Within hours, the student protesters had re-occupied the Club premises with the agreement of the University management, to continue their peaceful sit-in protest.
Continued the student spokesperson: ‘The campaign has been successful, so far, in saving a number of courses but many are still under threat. We will intensify pressure on Principal Anton Muscatelli with our series of protests culminating in a march on the University Court on Wednesday 22 June. Our message is clear – NO CUTS!’
Alternatives to the cuts, as proposed by the students, include scrapping the £13.2 million IT consultants’ proposed spend on a website.
Said Ceris Aston a 3rd year Liberal Arts student from Glasgow University’s Crichton Campus: ‘Our website has not been updated since May of last year. But the proposal to withdraw Liberal Arts (Humanities) from Crichton is a slippery slope to closure of the campus.’ She said that 75 of the 200 students in Dumfries were Liberal Arts students. ‘We consider all the cuts are unjust and unnessary both in Glasgow and Dumfries. So we are in Glasgow in solidarity with students and staff here.’
Katy Ewing, a class colleague of Ceris’s added: ‘Our course is amazing and consistently achieves high quality passes but the marketing of Crichton Campus is shoddy.’
As well as the Crichton Campus courses, others in Glasgow still under threat are: Social Work, Slavonic Studies, Scottish Training on Drugs and Alcohol (STRADA) and several research projects.
Archaeologists from the University of Glasgow are using techniques from TV’s Time Team programme to survey Cathcart Parish Church. There has been a place of worship on the site since the 6th century, when a church dedicated to St Oswald was founded. The first record of a minister being assigned to the church is from the 14th century. The project is being managed by Peta Glew, a masters student and professional archaeologist. Peta said: “I wanted to create a project which would permit students to learn archaeology skills in an informal context. We usually have around six people on site, from a pool of about 24 volunteers.
“It’s been great, local people have stopped by to see what’s going on and have given us information and photographs which have really helped the research.
“We even got an email from someone in New Zealand who heard about the investigation.”
The team have conducted geophysical surveys of the church grounds and also used radar equipment to help understand the history of the site.
Each grave has been mapped and the dates recorded where possible. The markings on the graves have been recorded, with the earliest one being from 1594.
The project has been supported by the University’s Archaeology department who have donated all equipment free of charge. When the work is complete, a copy of the report will be presented to the current Cathcart Old Parish Church for their records.
Anyone with information or photos relating to the church can contact Peta via email at 0911253G@student.gla.ac.uk.