The SOAS Freshers’ Fayre
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 30th September, 2007
Yesterday was a busy day of London campaigning, from Orpington to Enfield. But during the afternoon, I spent some time on the LibDem stall at the Freshers’ Fayre in SOAS (where I will start teaching again tomorrow). Jo Shaw, the parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras, was there as well, alongside Mark Gettleson, Chair of Liberal Democrat Youth and Students (LDYS), and Mohamed Hassan, who has been the stalwart of LDYS on campus. The two campaigns LDYS is running nationally — Save Darfur, and countering homophobic bullying — both proved attractive to the milling throng of keen new entrants, though sadly the Boris Johnson (free) merchandise seemed to be doing rather too well on the Conservative stall over the other side of the room!
As ever, this year’s intake is multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-everything, which is why SOAS is such a stimulating place to work (even if I am there only two-and-a-half days a week). And given the LibDems’ stance on Iraq, extraordinary rendition etc, it’s not surprising that many students are drawn to the party. On Tuesday, Chris Huhne will be coming to the Junior Common Room, as the first of a series of speakers lined up for this autumn. He’ll be talking on the environment, naturally; not only was this the underlying theme of the latest party conference, but it’s rightly a big issue with younger people.