A Conversation for BB NaJoPoMo

Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 1

Bluebottle

At work today we were informed that due to the 'changing HE landscape' our team needs another restructure. Well, we have been in our current structure since April so we wouldn't want to get set in our ways or know what we're doing or anything…

Today is so-called 'smiley - blackcat Friday' which means shops are crowded with people desperately hoping to save smiley - 2cents on stuff they didn't really want in the first place. So I followed my personal tradition of heading to the library smiley - shhh, the only sane space in the city centre. You get really great deals there – you can borrow any smiley - book there for free!

<BB<


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 2

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - applause for libraries! smiley - smiley

This business of copying very bad ideas from the US, fount and inspiration of these bad ideas, must stop. Black Friday, indeed. smiley - steam

The reason there is a 'Black Friday' on this side of the Atlantic is that:

- It's the day after The Great Turkey Sacrifice, and part of a holiday weekend.
- Most people have the day off. After the triptophan stupor has worn off, they are bored, but the weather is usually bad, so they need an indoor destination. This causes stores to be crowded.
- Merchants started kicking off their Christmas season on this day to make the stores even more packed, also offering ridiculous pre-dawn sales to cause people to queue for 'doorbusters'.

It is -5(C) where I am. I'm going to do my shopping online, and go play the piano. smiley - laugh

And smiley - cheerup about the 'restructure'. What is HE?

I used to work someplace where they'd email you a new 'organisational chart' every few months. I think these people are trapped in their own personal soap opera. smiley - rolleyes


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 3

Bluebottle

That sounds coldsmiley - brr – apart from yesterday we've kept in double-figures and I'm still wearing shorts when cycling to work smiley - tongueout

'HE' – Higher Education.smiley - prof
The 'Changing HE Landscape' essentially means no-one knows what is going on, particularly with Brexit and how it will affect the 15% of EU students we currently attract. How many will still come when they're no longer entitled to be here on the same terms and conditions as UK students when we're no longer in the EU? Also, the government continues to look weak, so who will be in power and what will their policies be? Even if the current government clings on to power, they're going through lots of U-turns with regards their education policy, particularly how universities will be funded.

So the best way the university thinks it can prepare for this large degree of uncertainty where it not know what is happening is to ensure that everyone who works for the university is uncertain and doesn't know what their job is any more…

<BB<


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 4

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - rofl In other words, business as usual.

Of course Brexit will be bad for HE. You'll lose students. Campuses will lose diversity, which is what makes university campuses good places to be, in my view. smiley - sadface


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 5

SashaQ - happysad

"I think these people are trapped in their own personal soap opera."

That would explain it...

Good luck with the restructure hokey cokey again... I hope you go back to a point where you knew what you were doing smiley - goodluck as you haven't been given time to get to know what it is you're currently expected to do

Yes, the U-turns are worrying, and there are reviews all over the place so it is hard to tell what will happen next week never mind next year...

"[Divrsity] is what makes university campuses good places to be, in my view."

Yes indeed...


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 6

Bluebottle

Diversity is definitely an advantage of being in a university, sadly universities are increasingly being run as a business who think of people as commodities and think everyone should be the same, and if they aren't they should be made to be. Equality and homogeneity are very different.

<BB<


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - sigh I hate to say this. But 25 years ago, I took a look at the way they were hiring all those overflow business school graduates, and I predicted this would happen to universities and colleges.

I hate being right. smiley - sadface


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 8

SashaQ - happysad

smiley - sadface That is interesting DG... The change and uncertainty continues as the Universities minister resigned over Brexit so a new minister has been appointed and the reviews are still ongoing...

"Equality and homogeneity are very different."

Yes indeed


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 9

Bluebottle

This week the university soap opera has been focussed on the Sports Complex changing roomssmiley - yawn. The university is building a vast sport building to replace the old, smelly sports hall: http://www.solent.ac.uk/about/mission-and-strategy/new-sports-building According to the VC it will apparently mean we'll have the best sports facilities in the country – which is odd because the uni doesn't have a swimming pool. Even my wife's primary school had its own swimming pool…

Anyway, this week a fierce debate has arisen regarding the changing rooms. Most are proposed to be unisex with individual lockable cubicles, and lockable cubicle showers too, with some same-sex changing available also. However there are people who have raised strong objections to this. As far as I can tell their main objections presuppose that the unisex changing facilities will be in constant use, but only by large numbers of intoxicated male rugby players (last I heard the sports building does not contain a bar and is not expected to sell alcoholic beverages) with raging 18-year-old hormones and the occasional vulnerable, isolated woman. Who is of course weak and frail and not the sort of person you would expect to see in a sporting facility (I'm not sure where all our female sports students are changing for their team sports, but apparently they're not going to be in the changing rooms together, only one at a time – but only if they are weak, frail and easily intimidated). They haven't even applied to study here yet, and already the rugby players have gained a reputation as repeat rapists…

My local swimming pool has incident-free unisex changing rooms as well as same sex changing facilities and as far as I can tell the smiley - earth hasn't ended.

<BB<


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 10

SashaQ - happysad

There is a lot of confusion around facilities indeed - I went to a session a couple of weeks ago where someone said they didn't approve of unisex toilet facilities, but I don't think they'd actually seen the unisex toilet facilities when they said that. I can't imagine what the objection would be to going into the reception area and choosing between one of two rooms with a toilet and basin and full length sturdy lockable door, each just like a home cloakroom...


Feeling Liberated in the Library

Post 11

Bluebottle

As you say, it is usually just like going to a friend's house where their toilet is used by everyone, regardless of height, month of birth, favourite colour or shoe-size.

(I should probably mention that the sports building is on the main city centre campus, but the rugby, cricket and football pitches are located about 3 miles away at the Test Park Sports Ground, where they have their own changing facilities anyway. Why rugby players would want to get changed in the city centre campus, walk 3 miles, play rugby, walk 3 miles back and quickly get intoxicated just to harass people in the unisex city centre campus changing rooms is beyond mesmiley - huh)

<BB<


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Feeling Liberated in the Library

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