All entries for January 2005

January 28, 2005

Roll on reading week

Now that week four has finished for those of us blessed with a more enlightened timetable (ie. one which never, ever places anything on a Friday), we can look forward to the fact that we only have one week left until the glory that is reading week. A whole week of no lectures! Bliss! And it'll be even better if I manage to get all my work done beforehand, although I suspect house-hunting this weekend may make that slightly tricky. However, reading week does bring with it a slightly scary prospect: we'll be half way through this term and this academic year and I'll be half way through my degree (already), and it only seems like a few months ago that I first got here. Not to mention the fact that every passing moment brings the assessed essay deadline and exam time closer. Still, always look on the bright side…

January 23, 2005

Warwick blogs hits the big time

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4194669.stm

According to this article I just found on the Beeb's website, blogs are becoming an increasingly important part of university life and our humble community here is cited as an example of this. Just goes to show you never know who may be watching.

ITS will also doubtless be pleased about this bit:

The blogging project at the university [this one], which started last September, is arguably the largest of its kind in the academic world with some 2,600 users.

January 22, 2005

Union AGM: exam timetables, reading week, Palestine

The Union's AGM is on Tuesday at 7pm in R0.21 (Ramphal) – for those who went, it's in the same place as the last one. Apart from the boring but necessary legalistic things we have to do, on the agenda are:

  • Exam timetables: should they be released earlier?
  • Reading weeks: should they be scrapped?
  • Palestine: should the Union express solidarity with the Palestinian people and condemn Israeli settlements etc.?

The papers for the meeting, including motion documents, annual accounts, and annual reports from various parts of the Union can be found via the Union homepage and then Democracy>Browse Council Papers>AGM-UGM>04–05>AGM250105. Please come along as we need 200 people to reach quorum and make any decisions made binding. Also, if you have any questions to ask Union officers, now is the time. Every Union member is welcome and can vote and speak.


January 21, 2005

Union Drinks Prices, a follow–up

Follow-up to Union drinks prices from Luke's blog

Doubtless many of you will be pleased to know that after lengthy discussion last night during a three-hour meeting, Union Council decided not to pass the contentious clause of the Drinks Policy under discussion (which involved ending promotions on spirits and pricing drinks according to strength). Although there were great health implications to consider, we ultimately decided to delete that section for two reasons:

  1. We felt that Union members would be strongly opposed to such a move and would therefore go elsewhere, leading to:
  2. The Union becoming a less popular venue causing people to be more likely to go to clubs etc. with a lesser emphasis on safety and ultimately doing great harm to the Union's finances and thus crippling our ability to deliver other services such as AWS, societies, clubs, etc.

Overall I think we made the right decision on that policy; however, we do still need to think very carefully about our policy on drinks prices especially with relation to welfare issues. Any ideas, suggestions, or comments are welcome, either via this blog, or direct to the Union via the Commercial Development and Communications Officer's e-mail: cdco@sunion.warwick.ac.uk


January 19, 2005

Barclay's hit by €1.1mbn bill

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1393325,00.html

According to a story in today's Guardian, Barclay's have been sent a bill for €1,100,000,000,000,000 as a result of a court action in Spain. One wonders how they'll manage to pay it.

January 18, 2005

Union drinks prices

Writing about web page http://www.warwickboar.co.uk/boar/news/union_council_votes_on_price_hike/

Doubtless many of you have heard about the policy on drinks prices in the Union up for debate at the next Council meeting. I have to cast a vote on this on Thursday in my capacity as an Arts Faculty Councillor and I don't really know what to think, so I'm inviting people to put arguments one way or the other on how I should vote (in the spirit of representative Democracy). The full text of the policy can be found here and all views are welcome.

Unveiling of Warwick University's Fair Trade status

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/newsandevents/intnews2/NE1000000100519/

This is my first media diary entry for a while and I thought I would make it on something of local interest. Our own dear university has managed to acquire official Fair Trade status, which will be presented to it in a few weeks' time. This essentially means that Fair Trade alternatives will be available (and advertised) in all Warwick Hospitality outlets (the Union is already 100% Fair Trade in tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and sugar). For details of Fair Trade, look further back in this media diary or at the website of The Fair Trade Foundation. Fair Trade products are identified by the Fair Trade mark:

January 06, 2005

The confessions of a degenerate materialist

I've finally bitten the bullet and bought a DVD rack and was shocked to discover that I have 53 DVDs (number does not include any ones I may have temporarily forgotten the existence of), the vast majority of which have somehow found their way into my collection since I started university. In addition to this, in the past week I have bought 11 books in the past week and, I suspect, rather more than 100 in the last year. Please tell me other people do this too and I'm not some sort of freak.

January 02, 2005

Virgin train fares rise by nearly 10%

I've just checked The Trainline website and a saver return to London with a young person's railcard now costs £21.30 (up from £19.60, a rise of 9.7%). Now, is it just me, or is this taking the piss? The service is not so good that a 10% rise is justified; instead, we pay even more of our scarce money into the bulging pockets of Richard Branson and the other businessmen making a fortune by running pisspoor train services for extortionate amounts of money. The next time I get stranded in Leighton Buzzard, I'll feel more entitled than ever to swear violently and moan about fat cats getting richer on the backs of we poor fools who have to use the railways.

January 2005

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