Reporter 405, 30 June 1997


Taking chances

Tom Taylor
Uniserv Handymen’s Section

In your article about Return To Learn (Reporter 394), you missed out some of the trades of students. Cleaners, handymen, postroom drivers, gardeners, paviors, catering assistants, plumbers and stationery storemen have all returned to study and are at present learning new skills for a better future. I personally enjoy Return To Learn because it has released me from normal working duties and has given me a chance to learn about writing, investigating, analysing and working with figures. I think that the partnership between the University and UNISON to organise R2L is a very good idea. The course is a challenge for me and the other students. Although it is hard work I am learning for the second time around whilst working for the University.

An old problem

Dr David Holdsworth
Computing Service

The printed article on the Millennium computer problem gives the impression that nobody in the University mentioned the Year 2000 problem until this week when it was spotted by Admin Computing Service. Readers may like to know that if they follow the WWW invitation at the end of the article they will find information provided by the University Computing Service which gives real advice, some of it dating from November 1996. It is still worth going to the meeting, though.

Tradition on trial

Serena Cowles
Healthcare Library

I personally couldn’t care less about whose offspring gets the job of Chancellor’s page. However, I feel I have to make a point about Dr Whewell’s letter of Reporter 404. It may be “traditional” for the page to be male, but this doesn't make it right. Many “traditions” are not good – such as fox-hunting, women being kept out of the church etc. and similar weak excuses are used to keep these alive. I am sure there are many budding fashion students within the University who would enjoy the challenge of designing an outfit for a girl. Or, if that idea doesn’t appeal, what’s to stop a girl wearing the current page’s outfit? Girls do wear trousers these days! Challenge tradition!

Jewish chaplaincy support plea

Simon Robinson, Liz Brown and John Theisfield

In recent months the funding for the Jewish Chaplaincy to students, which comes from various Jewish groups, has been under threat. We are particularly lucky at Leeds in having the services of Rabbi Mordechai Nissim. He has demonstrated the importance of a chaplaincy input from the Jewish faith, not only offering splendid pastoral and spiritual care for the Jewish students, but also linking in with the wider care networks and helping to build bridges and foster dialogue between the different faiths. In the present economic climate it is precisely such services which are seen as ‘soft targets’, even within respected faith communities. However, the significance of such a contribution to the life of the University cannot simply be measured in financial terms.

We would, therefore, urge members of the University from all faiths or none to support the case for continuing to fund Jewish chaplains in HE.

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