by Ben Pook
The Guildford bus network has come underattack by angry Surrey students who arefed up of the inconsistent service and theoccasionally rude driver. As winter sets in andcold frosty evenings become an expectedgreeting at the end of each day, the last thing commuting students want is to be ignored bybus drivers and have to wait 30 minutes for the next bus.Unfortunately, this has been the case forsome students here at the University. Oneoffered an account of her experience, in whichshe queued patiently at a bus stop only to be‘rudely ignored’ by the approaching driver.This resulted in a group of 33 students having to wait over half an hour for the next bus –she was so bored she tallied the number of people waiting.Bus companies have been hit hard by the
economic downturn as rms are nding itdifcult due to the ‘nancial pressures’ in
the industry. Counties surrounding Surrey,including Berkshire, have been noted inrecent press as withdrawing or reducing some routes and services. Is the poor servicequality in Guildford a reaction to the suffering transport industry? Or, could there be a moresinister issue at play?Most individuals who haven’t experienceduniversity culture have a fairly poor opinionof students. We’re regularly perceived asunemployed binge-drinking louts, and while that might be the case for the majority of the student population, it doesn’t explain the negative reaction some of us receive byhypocritical members of the public. Can thisprejudice explain the poor service receivedby students waiting at campus bus stopswhile on their commute home? Arguably, theroute via the Stag Hill campus is proving tomake our lives harder, rather than quickenour journey home from university.There are a number of solutions to thisproblem. I chose to live close enough tocampus to walk, whereas friends who livefurther away choose to cycle. Either way, thegeneral consensus among my peer groupis to avoid public transport at all costs. Thereason? We’re all price-conscious studentsno matter the quality in service.
Students revolt against Guildford bus system
by Ben Pook
The stag statue represents freedom and vigourfor the student community at the Universityof Surrey. However, for the second time inless than a year, vandals have sabotaged theunblemished structure by removing letters fromits base.Students have found the news upsetting, withsome asking for swift action in the university’sresponse. “I enjoyed having my photos taken
by the stag. I hope the university nd whoever
did this sooner rather than later,” said Matt
Barnard, a nal year undergraduate. “Now, with
some of the letters missing, I feel as if half of the photograph is empty.”President of the Union, Elizabeth Simos, said that this occurence was ‘a great shame’;however, the University ‘acted swiftly’ to act on the incident and replaced the missing letters.The structure was installed at the start of this year partly to identify the University’srecognition of its geographic surroundings.University of Surrey and the Cathedral arepositioned on Stag Hill, an area of high-landso called because the Kings of England used
to hunt on its plains. “This magnicent new
creation will be a landmark for many years tocome,” said the University’s Chancellor. “It’s awonderful way to represent the university’s long connection with Stag Hill.”The 5-metre tall stag was created by acclaimedsculpture Allan Sly, who, at the opening ceremony, explained, “Every commission haschallenges and the main challenge with thiswas taking a small image the size of a postagestamp that is well known to everyone andmaking it so much bigger.”And while thevandalism willbe perceived bysome as minorand irrelevant, the University takes thematter veryseriously. CCTVimages havebeen recordedand theUniversity is in talks with thelocal police inan attempt to
nd a resolution
to the matter.
Vandals sabotage the stag
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Furthermore, there is already a strong drinking cul- ture in many University sports clubs and societies,including Surrey. Only a few years ago, a numberof Surrey students faced permanent expulsion be-
cause of degrading and selsh acts, fuelled by alco
-hol and presumably peer pressure, while away onan organised sport trip. This strong stance on bingedrinking by both the University and the Union is anencouraging sign for students. The union is respon-sible for the actions of clubs and societies, whether these actions take place on trips or on campus,and the welfare of the students has to remain asa top priority.The general student consensus agrees with the NUS"There is an underlying tone at all of these events,which is to drink as much as possible, as quickly aspossible” said one student here at Surrey. He con- tinued, “As the event organiser, the company has to take responsibility for the actions of the students. If students are relieving themselves over memorials, then the organiser should take part of the blame.”This argument is echoed by the judge presiding over Laing’s case, who emphasised the duty of re-sponsibility required by the company “Some mightsay somebody should be standing alongside you this morning”. District Judge Anthony Browne con- tinued by identifying Laing’s actions as “disgusting and reprehensible”.Meanwhile, as we wait for the fate of the company to be decided by universities and not us students,don’t forget to look out for notices about studentpub crawls – organised by students – you’ll surely
nd yourself inundated with invitations.