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Universities During The Covid Crisis: Let’s Milk Those Student Cash Cows!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/09/2021 - 3:01pm in

Host, Ross Ashcroft, met up with National Outreach Coordinator for Pause or Pay UK, Ben Dusserre-Robinson, and the founder of Queen Mary University Rent Strike, Net Tshisekedi, to discuss how students have been treated during the pandemic.

The post Universities During The Covid Crisis: Let’s Milk Those Student Cash Cows! appeared first on Renegade Inc.

Universities During The Covid Crisis: Let’s Milk Those Student Cash Cows!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/09/2021 - 3:01pm in

Host, Ross Ashcroft, met up with National Outreach Coordinator for Pause or Pay UK, Ben Dusserre-Robinson, and the founder of Queen Mary University Rent Strike, Net Tshisekedi, to discuss how students have been treated during the pandemic.

The post Universities During The Covid Crisis: Let’s Milk Those Student Cash Cows! appeared first on Renegade Inc.

Test your CORE knowledge using Quizlet

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/09/2021 - 11:33pm in


Blog, Students

The updated CORE glossary, available in The Economy ebook and on the CORE website, has proved very popular. But our students asked for more help in learning and revising our course, and a glossary spreadsheet isn’t very useful for that.

So we have also taken the glossary for all The Economy units and broken it into pieces to make 22 flashcard sets to help you learn and revise: access them here. In addition, we made 12 flashcard sets grouped by themes, such as microeconomic, game theory, or key concepts for Units 1-11.

Besides using flashcards, you can test yourself in six additional test modes, for instance as multiple-choice questions or games in which you match the word to the definition

You will need to register for Quizlet, but it’s free and does not take long. You can also download the excellent Quizlet app for iOS or Android, so you can consult the glossary any time you want

The post Test your CORE knowledge using Quizlet appeared first on CORE.

Holme Building (1912)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/08/2021 - 8:14am in


vintage, Students

Holme Building (1912), the University of Sydney. Original home of the University’s Student Union. Designed by the Government Architect of the time, Walter Liberty Vernon, in the ‘Federation Arts and Crafts’ style, with extensive use of Sydney Sandstone and 'Sydney red brick’. The Union still operates the building, but the Student Union Bar has long since been moved to a stand-alone venue across campus. Heritage Listed. Camperdown.

Philosophy Labs: Some Recommendations (guest post)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/07/2021 - 8:00pm in

The “lonely-armchair methodology” is one way of approaching philosophy, but it’s not the only way.

In this guest post*, Joseph Vukov (Loyola University Chicago), Kit Rempala (Loyola University Chicago), and Katrina Sifferd (Elmhurst University) discuss an alternative, the philosophy lab, which they recently wrote about in their article, “Philosophy Labs: Bringing Pedagogy and Research Together,” in Teaching Philosophy.

(You can follow the authors on Twitter: @JosephVukov, @The_Kit_Effect, and @Ksifferd.)

[Aleksandr Rodchenko, “Spatial Construction No. 12”]

Philosophy Labs: Some Recommendations
by Joseph Vukov, Kit Rampala, and Katrina Sifferd

Philosophers often adhere to what we could call ‘lonely-armchair methodology.’ Sit in your chair; or take a walk; or drink a coffee. Read related work to see what others have said; stew on an idea for a week or a month or a year. Then write it up. Send it off. Desk reject. Stew some more. Revise and resubmit. Stew some more. Accepted. Submit the proofs. Repeat.

That’s a tried and true model of doing philosophy. And it is a model that we follow a lot of the time. We’re fans of lonely-armchair methodology, and we see no reason to abandon it.

In a recent article in Teaching Philosophy, however, we argue this isn’t the only way to do philosophy well. In fact, we suspect there are myriad ways of doing philosophy well. We focus on one: philosophy labs.

Philosophy labs are modeled on labs in STEM fields. No, philosophy labs typically won’t need a budget for beakers or Bunsen burners. Rather, philosophy labs follow the model provided by STEM labs in bringing together researchers at various stages of development—faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students—to work collaboratively on professional-level projects. Philosophy labs are not merely independent studies or reading groups or research assistantships. They are instead research teams that include students and aim at professional goals: publications, fellowships, grant support, etc. Experimental philosophers have been using a lab-based model for years. We believe it is more broadly applicable within the discipline.

In a previous post at Imperfect Cognitions and in our article at Teaching Philosophy, we argued in favor of philosophy labs and explored the model using the framework provided by Positive Interdependence Theory. Here, we take a different tack, and provide concrete recommendations for setting up and operating a philosophy lab, and some reasons you might want to do so.

Prep Work

Setting up a philosophy lab doesn’t rival the complexity of setting up a STEM lab: no need to purchase $100K of equipment or wrangle with facilities administrators to secure extra space on campus. Still, some initial leg work is necessary. Here are some steps we recommend:

  1. Survey campus resources: many campuses offer resources that are easily incorporated into a lab. Each campus is set up differently, but these could include: funding for graduate research assistants, undergraduate research programming, independent studies, and faculty research support. Philosophy labs also provide a solid launchpad for external grant applications, and—if the lab is interdisciplinary—funding streams and administrative support available to more well-heeled departments. Our suggestion: get creative in finding campus resources that might be leveraged to support a lab on your campus.
  2. Determine the interests and goals of faculty and students: your interests and goals are likely easy to determine. They may include: more meaningful interactions with students, higher-impact research, external support, an expedited timeline for your research program, and so on. The goals of your students may be more variable: admission to law or medical or grad school, a position in top internship, or training in how to become excellent teachers themselves, for example. Philosophy labs, if they are to be genuinely collaborative, must serve the interests and goals of all members. You’d be well served by reflecting on these before setting one up.
  3. Disaggregate your research process: a well-run STEM lab divides work among its members. A novice undergraduate might get participants’ consent while an advanced undergraduate oversees a simple research protocol. Meanwhile, a graduate student and postdoc might run a statistical analysis, while the faculty PI begins drafting a manuscript. A well-run philosophy lab will resemble a STEM lab in its disaggregated approach to the research process. What steps such a process will include will differ from philosopher to philosopher and from project to project. For some of us, the research process includes translation work, for others, statistical analysis,  for still others, time-intensive database research, and for all of us, the careful review of relevant literature and polishing of prose. Faculty will need to take the lead in some of these steps. For other steps, however, a student may be perfectly capable. Setting up a lab requires an initial period of reflecting on your research process and identifying the essential steps. From there, tasks can be divided up and distributed to lab members.
  4. Identify partner disciplines: philosophy labs need not be interdisciplinary in their goals or membership, but lend themselves well to interdisciplinary scholarship. You would be served well to reflect on which disciplines might be relevant to the interests and goals of you and your students. One of our labs involved faculty from the psychology and criminal justice departments; another brought in faculty from neuroscience and biology. But another still might include history or classics faculty.

How to Operate a Lab

  1. Ask students to apply: in our labs, we have found that a formal application process is crucial. Submitting an application selects for the most interested students, gives you a snapshot of a student’s background and skill sets, and gives the application more professional heft. Some campuses have infrastructure for a formal application process for student research, though we have found a less formal cover letter and CV submission to be sufficient.
  2. Hold regular meetings: our colleagues in STEM fields often hold weekly lab meetings. Weekly meetings may not be necessary. But regular lab meetings are essential to moving projects forward. And Zoom provides a convenient platform for members who are studying abroad or away for the summer.
  3. Assign tasks: you’ve disaggregated your research process, right? The next step is the painful one: assigning tasks you would have carried out yourself to capable students. Not all the tasks: that would be inappropriate, leave students in over their heads, and remove you from your own research. We have found, however, that students are fully capable of accomplishing large parts of the research process. At the same time, students may also pursue research-related projects of their own and get feedback from the lab group.
  4. Pursue concrete goals: one thing that makes a philosophy lab differ from a directed reading or independent study is its pursuit of concrete, professional goals, such as published commentaries or book reviews, funded scholarships, or the development of an article manuscript. What those goals are will differ from lab to lab, but without them, the lab loses the primary ends towards which it should be striving.

Reasons to Set Up a Lab

  1. A pedagogically-rich experience for students: as teachers, we pursue moments in which students own the pursuit of philosophical questions for themselves. Philosophy labs don’t guarantee those kinds of experiences, but in our work with labs, we have observed them with greater frequency. We also believe philosophy labs are based on best pedagogical practices, and refer you to our article in Teaching Philosophy for the argument.
  2. Attract students to philosophy: if you are like us, you regularly bemoan the relatively low number of philosophy majors at your school. We all would like to see more philosophy majors, both for the intrinsic goods that philosophy confers and also to help make our annual requests to the dean a little more convincing. But there’s a stumbling block to wooing majors away from rival departments. Other departments provide students with concrete opportunities as part of departmental life: biology students can work in a lab; business majors can pursue an internship; education majors can teach at local high schools. Philosophy majors are more rarely granted these kinds of opportunities. Philosophy labs provide one concrete opportunity for philosophy majors to pursue (no doubt there are others as well), and thus another reason to choose the major.
  3. Increased research productivity: allow us to describe one way a well-run lab might look. You, as the faculty PI, identify a potentially interesting research project and a tentative thesis. You assign some undergraduates to background reading. Two weeks later, they share a well-annotated bibliography. You read through it, and learn quite a bit. You hone the direction of the research. From there, a graduate student begins developing a manuscript. The draft hits a hiccup. You step in, and move the process forward. The grad student finishes the draft. You then hone it into something more polished.  The entire lab then reads through the draft, and an undergraduate identifies an important objection. You work it into the manuscript, along with a reply (formulated by the graduate student). The manuscript is finished. You submit. It is as good (or better) as something you would have developed on your own, and you were able to get it under review in half the time it would typically take. Generally, we have found that philosophy labs increase research productivity, without loss in research quality.
  4. Running a philosophy lab is a blast. Lonely-armchair methodology works but can be, well… lonely. Philosophy labs are many things, but they are definitely not lonely. If they are run well, and if you’ve selected excellent students, philosophy labs provide a meaningful experience for both faculty and students who are involved. Think of the best conversations you’ve had in the philosophy lounge. Then, make those conversations regular and add in the possibility of publishing the results, and you get a picture of what working in a philosophy lab can look like.

Should we completely ditch lonely-armchair methodology in favor of a more collaborative research? Easy answer: no. Moreover, philosophy labs are not for everyone. We believe, however, that the model we have described provides a valuable model for philosophical research and pedagogy, and would welcome broader implementation of it in the field.

click to learn more

McMasters Animal Health Laboratory (1930). Originally part of the Institute of Agriculture, now...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/06/2021 - 9:12am in

McMasters Animal Health Laboratory (1930). Originally part of the Institute of Agriculture, now incorporated into the School of Veterinary Science, the University of Sydney. Remains operational. Camperdown.

Part of the officially-sanctioned ‘Graffiti...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/05/2021 - 8:58am in



Part of the
officially-sanctioned ‘Graffiti Tunnel’. Where students at the
University of Sydney have been outdoing each other since the late 1960’s.
A shadow of its former self. Camperdown.

Rent Strikes: Organisation and Action

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/05/2021 - 7:41am in


UK, Students, tenants

image/jpeg iconrent_strike_new_york_times_1919.jpg

Article about the Bristol University Rent Strike from a participant and member of Leeds SolFed.

The parasitic nature of landlordism means that once you withhold your rent en masse, they’re suddenly struggling to survive, so it gives you significant leverage over them. This is the power of a rent strike.

read more

Strike against Scomo to save our planet

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/04/2021 - 9:49pm in


Students, Students

Solidarity student bulletin Sydney Uni

We are in the midst of an ecological crisis which is without precedent in human history. Warming locked will see the great barrier reef destroyed. Australia is already experiencing conditions expected of 1.5 degrees of warming – with frequent extreme weather events and deadly heatwaves, mass biodiversity loss and extinction. The earth is on track for at least 3 degrees of warming by the end of the century. This conservative estimate would see mass carnage – hundreds of millions displaced, hundreds of millions killed,  whole parts of the Earth – including on our own continent -becoming uninhabitable.

A tiny number of giant companies are responsible for this mess – 71 per cent of global emissions between 1988 and 2015 were caused by just 100 companies. These criminals have trillions of dollars worth of investment sunk in fossil fuels – they will not give these up unless we force them.

With the election of Joe Biden in the United States, many are hoping we are about to finally see genuine action. But despite committing to much higher emissions reductions than under Obama, his plan still relies on failed market mechanisms,  mythical carbon capture technology and is yet another ‘non binding pledge’ consistently undelivered by successive presidents.

In Australia, Morrison isn’t even pretending to be reducing emissions in line with keeping warming below 2 degrees, and his key economic policy following last year’s slump is support for a whole series of new gas projects.

It did not have to be this way. In 2019 millions of students struck around the globe for action on climate change. Climate change dominated newsfeeds and politics. The Federal election in Australia was dubbed ‘the climate election’. 

Yet it returned the Liberal government to power – despite promising only minuscule reductions in emissions with no plan to achieve them.

This is because of the way the Liberals divided ordinary people on the issue of climate. A study produced by the Australian National University found that while 80 per cent of voters think more action is required to tackle climate change, voters were more concerned with issues of economic security. The Liberals won the election by relentlessly posing climate action as a threat to jobs – and the climate movement had no serious response.

But genuine climate action – a rapid rollout of publicly owned renewable energy – could generate hundreds of thousands of good paying, union jobs. 

This is why we must insist that the climate movement put demands for public renewables and climate jobs front and centre. 

However, this is not simply to win the majority to vote left in the next election. It is to mobilise behind us the power to force genuine change – by winning over workers – who have the power to bring the fossil fuel addicted system to a halt. We saw a small glimpse of this when wharfies at Port Botany walked off the job to join the 2019 September 20 climate strike. To see this kind of action on a wide enough scale to force change, we will need to show workers across the country that climate action will also addressi the unemployment crisis, lower electricity prices, and come with a more secure future economically. 

Once again Morrison is touting fossil fuels as a solution to the real issues around jobs, electricity prices, and economic uncertainty – in the form of the Liberals’ so-called ‘Gas-led recovery’. This is unlikely to deliver either the cheaper gas prices or the jobs that Morrison is claiming. But unless the climate movement fights for its own solutions to these issues we will once again play into Morrison’s hands.

More importantly, this would help build real power behind our movement. We are facing down the most powerful corporations in the world. We need more than protest: we need to bring the system to a halt. This can only happen if workers strike across the economy.

As students we can shut down our university with a mass strike, showing in practice that mass strikes are possible, and that we can achieve a mass strike with demands that put workers first. This could provide the inspiration needed to spark strikes by workers, and build real strength on our side. 

This begins with mass organising in the here and now. We brought hundreds to the Student General Meeting by meeting students, doing announcements in every lecture we can, arguing, convincing, and persuading more students to become activists. We need this again on a much larger scale for the climate strike on Friday 21st of May. 

And we need every climate activist at the May 1 action this Saturday. Showing we support workers who are willing to fight is key to building the trust and solidarity we need to build workers’ power in the climate movement.

Mass strikes capable of winning jobs and government spending on the scale needed to deliver serious climate action could also lay the basis for the movement going further. Workers need to take control of production ourselves as part of a revolution that overturns the existing system which subordinates our very existence on this planet to profits.

Solidarity is a revolutionary organisation that has been at the heart of building the climate strikes at usyd and putting class politics at their centre. We need this kind of organisation at every university, and in every workplace, to gather momentum everywhere, until we build the power to rid ourselves of this system for good.

The post Strike against Scomo to save our planet appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Write a great essay in 12 (easy!) steps!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/09/2020 - 11:39pm in


writing, Students

A couple of years ago I jotted down a step-by-step guide to help my son get started on his university essays. That’s always the most difficult bit of writing – starting – and it never gets any easier. I thought some other might find it useful as well, so I’ve put it on a short video. Have fun! Beware, last minuters: the first step is ‘start early’.

I hope this helps avoid a few essay crises. If you like it, pass it on! PS: you don’t have to go to the bar in step 12 if you don’t want to.