Cambridge calling to arms?

There's a certain image circulating the opinion of the general public about academic institutions courageously defending the idea of political neutrality and even more so they're being presented as the safekeepers of objectivity and analytical thinking. Nothing is right or wrong, nothing is black and white and when you think you have discovered the core of an issue, brace yourselves for three additional layers of confusion and complexity.

Even though this concept of objectivity and critical approach is not as far away from the truth as sceptics often put forward, it is nowhere near impossible to find sharply articulated opinions and voices echoing from all political camps imaginable. Leave the safe zone of the lecture theatre for a minute and you'll find yourselves at the crossroads of projects, clubs and mini-revolutions being sparked at every corner, waiting for you to make your choice. My goal now is to show the sceptics that they shouldn't fear academics and accuse them of undue hesitancy to take a stand about such issues. Let's therefore acquaint ourselves with ways in which it is possible even in this kind of environment (or especially in this kind of environment) to satisfy our inner orator or revolutionary. The first and perhaps the most obvious option is to join a society presenting itself as a direct connection to an already established and known political parties. It is therefore possible to join the real world political sphere (or as real world as Cambridge can offer) quite early on, build up a network of connections and start up your political career. The effectiveness of this method can be observed from the fact that current British Prime Minister met her husband at the Conservative party society disco at our Oxford counterpart. And even if the Conservative party disco doesn't exactly correspond with your ideas of the perfect Friday night, fear not. There are other ways to work around the issue. If you're not particularly fond of the idea of joining the established political players, maybe because they seem detached from your everyday life, you can zoom in and possibly intensify your efforts. The Cambridge University Students Union (CUSU), or its smaller college counterparts, represent the interests of students in the face of the university and the general public. Racial discrimination, 'decolonization' of the syllabus of English students or negotiating cantine discounts, climbing the CUSU ladder means being able to directly influence the life of your classmates and face the issues you encounter on a day-to-day basis. Third, and now possibly the most visible option is not to choose a group and represent its objectives by association but rather pick and choose said objectives directly. Whether your heart is set on joining the human rights society or the group of LGBT+ students, the possibilities are endless. But why is this option suddenly the most visible? The answer presents itself; there is currently a visible objective. The government suggested reducing lecturer's pensions, which would amount to them losing approximately £10 000 per year spent teaching once they reach retirement. The members of the University and College Union at several universities (including Cambridge) went on a strike and many lectures and seminars have been cancelled. Many students (according to the latest poll over 50% of them) support the strike and some even chose to join the lecturers in the streets blocking the access to lecture venues. From one side you could hear shouts of disgust over underappreciating the importance of the lecturers by reducing their pensions, from the other side you can make out milder opinions supporting the objective of the strike but doubting the chosen method which causes the students to miss out on lectures. In the world, where attending lectures means crossing the picket line and inevitably making a political statement, the idea of neutrality quickly disintegrates. Rest assured that if you want your voice heard and personally stand by your political agenda, Cambridge offers more than enough ways of doing just that. It doesn't matter which way of joining the political scene (if any) you end up choosing. In the end, my primary goal was, as that of a proper member of an academic institution, to inform rather than sway or pressurize. 

Cambridge volá do zbraní?
Cambridge volá do zbraní?

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