Be the Change

Today DMU is holding a 24 hour event which will explore key issues ahead of the General Election. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday 3 May, the same day that Parliament is expected to be dissolved, it will conclude at 9 a.m. the following day. Subjects under consideration will include Brexit, education, the NHS, climate change, policing, diversity and inclusion, fake news, the arts, universities and immigration.

DMU students and their predecessors have often shown deep interest in political matters, as this 1974 Lunchtime Events programme from Leicester Polytechnic demonstrates.

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Amongst film screenings, poetry readings and concerts we find several speakers on political and social activism. In his talk “Aims of Industry” Peter Thompson discuses free enterprise and the importance of a free market economy, opposing state control of British industry. Two directors of Spare Rib magazine, Marion Fudger and Rose Ades, were invited to speak about their magazine and the feminist cause.

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The General Will, a theatre group, used sketches and songs to express political opinions on current issues. Ben Whitaker, Labour MP and director of the Minority Rights Group, spoke on the problem of discrimination against ethnic, religious and cultural minorities, while George McRobie from Intermediate Technology discussed the need to bring technology to underdeveloped countries.

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As the leaflet states: “it is well that we should from time to time sit back and give serious thought to the purpose of our actions“, which our students are being encouraged to do today as well as 42 years ago.

About Katharine Short

When I was 13 every careers questionnaire I did at school suggested I become an archivist. In rebellion I studied History of Art at Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute before giving in to the inevitable and undertaking a qualification in Archives Administration at Aberystwyth University. I worked at King’s College London Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives before becoming the Archivist here at DMU in January 2013. My role is hugely varied: answering enquiries and assisting researchers, sorting, cataloguing, cleaning and packaging archival material, managing our environmentally controlled storage areas, giving seminars, talks and tours, researching aspects of University history, liaising with potential donors and advocating for the importance of archives within the organisation. I am one of those incredibly fortunate people who can say ‘I love my job’ and really mean it.
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