NUS split could threaten student fees campaign

STUDENT UNIONS are gearing up to Oppose the introduction of tuition fees, but some fear a split within the

ranks of the National Union of Students (NUS) wrll hamper the campaign.

Labour’s deCision that students wrll pay a contribution towards the cost of their studies, beginning next year, has sparked anger in UK universities and colleges.

'There’s a sense of betrayal that this has come from a Labour Government,’ said Bob Dalrymple, president of Edinburgh University Students Union. 'Students who voted for Labour will be very disappointed.‘

The NUS is organising a day of action on 18 October when it hopes to stage demonstrations in eleven UK cities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow

Several major Scottish Universities are

Making tissue an issue

AFTER THREE AND a half weeks of Festival and Fringe, Edinburgh punters Will barely raise an eyebrow at someone 'xreairng a rabbit suit

However, Animal Aid Will take to the streets in Edinburgh and Glasgow next week to promote their Humane Research Donor Cards, The group claim hundreds thousands of animals are bred annually for medical research.

’Far more reliable experiments can be carried out using human trssue,’ said Becky Smith, Animal Aid spokeswoman (that's her in the bunny suit) ’We are calling for a network of stomge facilities so that if people want to donate their tissue after their death, it can be used instead '

(Stephen Naysmith)


Oooh, dat wabbit: animal campaigner Becky Smith and fluffy friend

4 rucusr 29 Aug—ll Sept i997

not affiliated to the NUS, but, according to Dalrymple, the issue has united student bodies. ’It is a coalition, which wrll hopefully involve the AssOCiation of University Teachers as well,’ he says.

Dismay at Labour’s plans for higher education funding is heightened by

the fact that several former NUS presidents now have seats in parliament These include Home

Secretary Jack Straw, Lorna Fit/srrrions, MP for Glasgow Eastwood Jim Murphy and Stephen Twuig, who ousted Michael Portillo

'We will be lobbying strongly, along w'th all MPs,’ (lillllti‘il Mark Given, vice-president o" communications at Strathclyde University Union ’They've kept very guiet so far.’

However, some fear these potential


allies will back tuition fees. One senior student representative, who didn’t wish to be named, warned: 'They are rrrore interested in furthering their political career. Lorna Fitzswnons has already spoken out against the NUS. It is a disaster.’

Given added that the NUS campaign itself could be compromised by the close links many Within the union have with Labour. ’Sorne of the senior members are going to be favourable to the Government, because they are worried about their careers,’ he said.

Student representatives warn that if fees are 'ntroduc'ed, university educatzzvn '.‘.lll become the privilege of the wealthy, reversing the Gcinxev'rtment's aim of increasing part::ii>atron re. higher education.

'Cert up (parses such as rriedrcrne are likely to ire-crane a lot more expensive

and will become effectively closed to those from poorer backgrounds,’ said Luke Donnelly, president of Heriot Watt Students Association. 'It is counterproductive and socially regressive.

’We know from other countries that once the principle is introduced, governments tend to take it further. For example, institutions with good reputations will be able to charge more.’

A spokeswoman for the Department Of Education said the introduction of fees was necessary to counter funding shortages, following recommendations in the Dearing report on higher education

Despite attempts to contact MPs Lorna Fitzsirnons and Jim Murphy, they were unavailable for comment. (Stephen Naysmith)

i Stand-up row ends comedy run


AMID ACRIMONIOUS SCENES Edinburgh's comedy club The Stand has parted company with the pub which has hosted it for 150 performances over two years.

WJ. Christie’s, which was taken over in June this year by Impressive Leisure Ltd, played host to scenes which were neither comic, nor particularly impressive on Saturday 23 August, as one of the final shows in the Fringe programme came to a spectacular end.

Stand manager Tommy Sheppard claims his staff were told mid-show during the Scarlet Harlots to leave and take their props and furnishings with them. Stuart Cox, manager of WJ. Christie’s, insists the comedy club chose to evict itself.

’Comedy was born in places like the basement of Christie’s,’ said Sheppard. 'Everyone involved in The Stand is tremendously upset

that we have been forced to leave in such a shocking way.

‘Without The Stand, Christie's will become the Edinburgh licensed trade equivalent of the Marie Celeste.’

Disagreeing, Cox said: ‘The relationship is at an end, but our business doesn’t end because The Stand have evicted themselves.’

He added: 'The Comedy Club has been a success up to a point. We will be looking to promote a new programme of comedy and live music in due course.’

The Stand are also claiming that 'the show must go on’. Three remaining shows scheduled for WJ. Christie's went ahead at The Stand's second venue, the Tron Ceilidh House, while Sheppard promises a new home will be found for the regular Thursday night programme as soon as possible.

(Stephen Naysmith)

Not amused: The Stand's Jane Mackay

Mailer to help launch Glasgow book ‘superstore’

THE GRANDEE OF American literature, Norman Mailer, arrives in later this month, among a List c‘t authors invited to celebrate the opening of Waterstorte's next. Glasgi 'Superstore'

The book chain clarrrrs the shop ’prnches all the best rdeas' from l'l‘.'tllS in America and mainland Eur‘c‘pe l/larler and others including lair lrlcEwan, Nicl. Hornby and Andrea Dnoikin, ‘.‘.’|ll be expected to lure the Scottish ptrhlic along to experience a design being touted as the future of booksellzng

Since it was founded in 1982,


‘i‘.at<:rstone<, has been praised for 'i.rii"‘.<r< ff stuffy bookshop culture with itl/c'l‘ plan, tilt-ti :itl'itroned shops that a. t:\.-:i!,i wit mirage idle browsing

Tl e Sam hrehall Street branch \\|ll replace the current Union Street store and will t)llt‘l a cafe, internet access and a database for customer use 'We l:-elit‘-‘.e tiris model will become the norm in big cities,’ explained rriarketing in iltritji‘l Bot) l/lc [)evitt

‘.‘.at-;-istrrrre's once secure position in L‘K hookseiling is under threat front competitors at home and abroad. Vast US chains like Barnes and Noble

pioneered the first ‘superstores'. ‘There are rumours that Barnes and Noble are moving to Brrtarn,’ said McDevrtt. ’We want to be ready to take them on.’ Willie Anderson, Managing Director of \iVaterstone's Glasgow rival John Smith's, says he is not losmg sleep over the new shop, however. ’This is not going to change our strategy,’ he said Time will tell if Glasgow can support another large bookshop. In the short term, however, the guest list guarantees a few busy nights early on. (Paul Welsh) I See also feature, page 77.