Students began protesting outside Parliament against the launch of the independent review of higher education and student finance. The review considered whether tuition fees should rise from the then £3225 to £7000 per year for students at higher education institutions in England and Wales. National Union of Students President Wes Streeting believed that politicians would be “hit where it hurts – at the ballot box” and that “MPs should be terrified of the student vote in the next election”.
The Courier reported on “50 uses for a Courier”. The newspaper is shown to be incredibly versatile, and some of the highlights are listed below:
The Courier reported on inter-society scandal as it was revealed that the traditional Agric-Dental Debate left massive cleaning bills. In a letter for the Students’ Union President, the two society presidents argued that “the throwing of excrement is now out of hand and the whole function of the debate, that is the debating, is ignored”. All of the Union Society Executive Committee refused to be in any way associated with the debate which was held in the Debating Chamber. While allegedly debating whether “in the field of life it is better to suture than to sow”, the attendees started the event in a supposedly traditional manner, “with mud, excrement, water, genitals and other ammunition being freely throw around the recently decorated chamber”, though the article did not detail exactly who, or what, these genitals and excrement belonged to. After the battle, the room was “twice as bad” as the President of the Union expected it to be and left a “stench”, and, despite the carpet having been rolled up prior to the debate, it was still left “very heavily stained” and had to be professionally cleaned at a cost of approximately £100 (equivalent to about £830 now). The ceiling additionally had to be repainted at a cost of £17.
Attendee Caroline wrote in to the letters page of the Courier, where she expressed her disdain. After arriving in the Union expecting to be “greeted with the usual friendly atmosphere associated with a quiet evening out”, Caroline was flummoxed to discover a wave of students “impervious to pigs’ genitalia, lungs, viscera, rotten eggs and vegetables, and other miscellaneous crap”.
A meeting of the International Socialists in the Northumbria University Students’ Union was the subject of a bomb hoax one lunchtime. The bomb hoaxer rang the Evening Chronicle and told them that there was a bomb in the same room as International Socialist speaker Tony Cliff. The newspaper rang the police, who arrived at the Union and evacuated the building, but a thoroughly search of the Union yielded no suspicious items.
That week, an American Black Rat Snake was discovered in a kitchen in Jesmond wrapped around a jar of flour. After the Faculty Assistant who discovered it rang the Environmental Health Department, it was revealed that the snake had actually been bought from a pet shop in Newcastle three months previously and has been “mislaid by its owner”.