Reporter 442, 8 November 1999


National problems

Dominic Watt
Linguistics and Phonetics

Penny Robinson and Keith Elliott might wish to consider that the absence of the National Anthem from degree ceremonies may come as a relief to many around the University. For atheists and adherents of faiths other than Christianity or Judaism the constant references to God are obviously problematic. For pacifists, ‘send her victorious’ and ‘scatter her enemies and make them fall’ is worrisome. For diplomats and internationalists, ‘confound their politics,’ and ‘frustrate their knavish tricks’ smacks of paternalism and xenophobia.
For republicans, the ‘long to reign over us’ is a dismal prospect. And for people from north of the border, the line in one of the original verses - now customarily omitted - about crushing rebellious Scots is downright offensive, and hardly inspires feelings of British camaraderie. Add to this the ponderous, dirgelike musical theme, and you've got a combination that I for one would quite cheerfully agree never to hear again.

Envelope enquiry

Lisa McNeill
Earth Sciences

I have recently been receiving my copy of the Reporter in an envelope. There were periods when the Reporter was distributed simply with a name/department sticker, and with no need for an envelope. This seems to be a needless waste of materials, particularly when considering the number of envelopes used. Is it possible to distribute without envelopes?

We will always distribute without envelopes where possible, but when there are inserts we inevitably receive complaints about them falling out. Our rule is no envelopes unless there are two inserts or more. We use the cheapest envelopes available and believe people recycle them. Unwanted envelopes can be returned to the press office - Editor

Park and ride please

Stavros Iezekiel,
Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Rather than add yet another complaint about inadequate provision of car parking on campus, and without wishing to stir up the pro- or anti-car arguments yet again, may I suggest a partial solution?
Space on campus is at a premium, but the University must surely have enough land off campus (at Bodington and Weetwood for example) that could be developed into a ‘park and ride’ car park?

Early birds park free

Vic Rogers-Gentile
Textile Industries

Car-commuting staff who lack an annual car parking permit are continuing to be barred from entering the University car parks before 9.45am, each one thus wasting at least 45 minutes of his/her useful working time. Assuming 100-200 so-called 'casual' car park users daily, each having a salary in the range £20-25K, this waste represents a cost to the salaries section of around £250,000 a year. I propose that ‘exit permits’ should be issued to these unfortunates to prevent them from leaving the university before 6.00pm to make up the lost time. The permits would be scrutinised by the barrier ‘heavies’ before permission to leave is granted.
The alternative is to increase parking charges to a commercial rate of £8-10 per day, or part thereof (no pass-outs or refunds) to offset this loss.
Actually the best solution is so beautifully simple: scrap all parking charges. This will enable a free-for-all as early starters deserve and get the parking spaces, and the sleepy late-comers don't (tough cheddar!). The slow funeral-like processions of cars at the check- ins will be a thing of the past.

One way to grow

Alan Slomson Mathematics

The recently introduced one-way system for the central staircases of the Roger Stevens lecture theatre building is welcome, but only scratches the surface of the problems of adequate teaching space for larger classes of students.
I would be grateful to know, through your columns, whether there are any concrete plans to provide more teaching space to meet the evident need.

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