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9th November 2023

Ben Shapiro, capsizing boats, and magic: University round-up

Read this issue’s university round-up for a quick insight into news from across UK universities
Ben Shapiro, capsizing boats, and magic: University round-up
Photo: Oxford

University of Oxford: Ben Shapiro protestor

On October 30, 2023, Ben Shapiro spoke at the Oxford Students’ Union.

In his speech, he discussed Israel’s right to retaliate in Gaza, abortion, and the upcoming 2024 American election.

Roughly 20 people protested outside of the event. When asked what he thought about the protest, Shapiro responded, “I say things that I think are true.”

Shapiro is an American Conservative commentator, lawyer, and columnist, who hosts a daily political podcast and live radio show.

University of Edinburgh: the Right to Protest

Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) has launched an open letter demanding protection for students’ right to protest without intimidation.

The letter calls on the University to give an immediate commitment to protecting the right to protest on campus and to protecting students from heavy-handed policies.

The letter emphasises the impact of a heavy police presence on international students.

The letter comes after a student was detained by police on campus on October 20 for smearing red paint on a campus building as part of a pro-Palestine protest.

Also in Edinburgh: Europe’s oldest student paper, Edinburgh University’s paper The Student, has been saved from closure after a fundraiser raised over £2,000.

The paper is independent from the University and the students’ association, relying on advertising and fundraisers.

The paper was founded in 1887 by Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson.

The editor-in-chief told BBC Scotland News that they did not want to lose the paper’s print history. He continued, “without that visibility we might not be able to survive as a digital publication.”

University of Cambridge: the Capsized Eight

In Cambridge, a boat of novice rowers from Clare’s College capsized into the river Cam, the first boat of eight to be tipped into the Cam in five years.

The boat tipped into the water after nearly hitting an abandoned houseboat.

“The Capsized Eight,” as the group now refer to themselves, was rescued by the women’s crew.

One rower said, “everyone went into shock, because the water was freezing cold.”

The Capsized Eight have told Varsity that they are planning a commemorative jump into the Cam on next year’s anniversary.

University of Exeter: new MA in Magic

Starting this year, students at Exeter can study magic, as part of a new Masters in Magic and Occult Science.

The course, based in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, includes the study of dragons, witches, and the legend of King Arthur.

The course also focuses on “[d]ecolonisation, the exploration of alternative epistemologies, feminism, and anti-racism at its ‘core.'”

More Coverage

Falling admissions, multiple misconduct failings, and SU suspensions: University round-up

The university stories we’re following this week involved several university staff failures, budget cuts for major universities and a second suspension for an SU President

Students in halls restricted from drying clothes in their flats

Concerns include the fire risk of clothes driers which obstruct passageways and the risk of mould increased by moisture and poor air circulation

Manchester Metropolitan University showcases new library plans

The plan aims to start development in summer 2024 and be completed by 2028

UMUCU calls for Jo Grady’s resignation

The Manchester Branch of the UCU has called for the General Secretary to resign following the failure of the UCU reballot