Reporter 432, 1 March 1999
School of Computer Studies
Leaving a recently-completed lecture, while crushed unable to move in the throng variously entering and exiting the Roger Stevens block for the next hour, I fell to wondering what would happen if a fire alarm occurred, especially one of the rare ones in which flame and smoke are evident.
I am quite confident that the University is adhering to safety regulations, but do wonder if issues of comfort and convenience demand that we begin to consider some traffic flow control during the intervals of serious congestion.
Institute for Transport Studies
It appears to me that the University library is discriminating against clerical staff in its borrowing regulations. We are accorded the same lowly status as undergraduate students (i.e. 4 books for 14 days).
Almost all other categories of borrower, including academic and academic related, postgraduates, etc can borrow more books for a longer period.
I only made this discovery as a result of recently starting a HNC Course (at another college) and deciding to use the University library facilities to obtain reading materials, subsequently borrowing four books.
However, when I went to collect a book I had requested be held for me, I was told I was up to my borrowing limit. The counter assistant didn't even advise me of possible options open to me to extend this limit. I had to search the library Web pages to find these out!
Have any other members of clerical staff who are trying to improve themselves been hindered in this way? I thought the University was very keen on equal opportunities. These library regulations are certainly not according equal treatment to all!
Institute for Transport Studies
On Tuesday 23 Febuary, the refectory's evening meal service was cancelled without prior notice. Regular consumers, looking forward to their usual veg and two veg, were rather cheesed off when told that both serveries had been booked 'at the last minute' by an outside organisation. (I have no wish to carp, but the bunting had been in place since the previous day.)
A manager from catering section who had been handed the hot potato of fending off irate regulars, offered apologies and promised that such a pickle would not happen again.
This was a crumb of comfort, and there is no point in crying over spilt milk. However my beef is that this incident shows that the catering section of residential and commercial services regards profits from hiring its facilities as more important than serving the needs of its regular (custard) consumers. I feel that this policy should be questioned. Those students and staff who make use of the evening meal service generally do so out of necessity (due to working late) not out of choice.
Surely when the chips are down, the first duty of catering section is to provide a service to the University community? Or is this view out of date?
School of Philosophy
I am tempted to propose that lecturers who fail to erase their own writing from blackboards and whiteboards around the University should be subject to physical beatings.
But perhaps I should resist, since such a proposal would be thoughtless and uncivilised - just like leaving your graphic litter around for others to clean up.
I am relieved to note that there is no sign yet of any major activity planned by our university to celebrate the end of the Millennium. Rumour, however, is circulating that a large dome is proposed to encompass the campus, which will be paid for by selling advertising space on the surface of the dome itself, and by charging tourists to walk all over it. I hope this will be firmly resisted.
I am already building my own mini-dome in my back yard, and will seal myself in it until all this phoney celebratory nonsense has disappeared
How dare 'Mr Angry' (Reporter 431) suggest that we the long-suffering car owners are more interested in our complaining than 'world poverty, ethnic cleansing, global warming etc.'!!
I and my colleagues 'Mr Irate' and 'Mr Rage' agree that Mr Angry has missed the point.
The Reporter is not a forum for discussing world problems, but matters impinging directly on this university.
We would refer Mr Angry to the numerous seminars in the Reporter Events dealing with wider issues which he can attend.
(Name and department supplied)
That's enough anonymous letters - Ms Editor
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