What about students rights? Featured

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Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I take the form of one of those self-righteous, upper class students who think that quite frankly their opinion is of the highest regard because they’re a student of a prestigious university - blah blah blah. No, but I do think the way students can be treated is degrading and unfair.


A classic example is estate agents. Nearly every student you’ll ever meet will have an estate agent story about how they were charged £400 for repainting one blue tack mark, or being left to deal with a dripping sealing, broken door, leaking radiator, or damp themselves. The list could go on forever. We all know that if an estate agent was to treat a working individual in the same way, hell would break loose - they simply just wouldn’t dare. What I want to know is why students can be treated so differently, are we not still paying the same amount as everyone else, do we not then deserve the same rights?


I think it would be extremely interesting to study how people are treated differently, depending on what they are wearing. I wouldn't say I was a major scruff. I mean I  don’t dress like a prostitute on a bad day, or like I’ve sleeping rough for a while, so I was utterly shocked when I walked around town in my interview attire last week. Seriously the difference was remarkable. I felt like the queen. Suddenly I was being termed with lady ships left right and centre, copious amounts of assistance was offered - ridiculous. Honestly If I could offer a student any advice, If they want something doing all they need to do is whack some office attire on and you're sorted.


So here’s my issue: why are students undermined and somewhat patronised? Admittedly we may get drunk more than the rest of the percentage of the population, but what happened to work hard play hard? It all boils down to press (It usually does). students get huge amounts of grief in the press these days, which then lead to grumpy old men and women grumbling on trains about ‘the youth of today’, and how rude we all are, usually just as one student has jumped up to offer their seat to the elderly people. If the media stopped reporting stories about student drinking taking a dramatic increase, deaths from student pranks and the decrease in the amount of students getting jobs upon graduation, then maybe we’d be given a bit more of a chance. After all we are the future world leaders, teachers, athletes, lawyers.


The motivation behind this minor rant, you may be wondering, was a scam job interview I attended in Manchester this week. It seems that there is a new trend which consists of conning students into purely commission based door to door sales roles, where they are under the impression they were entering an entry level marketing training scheme. To add insult to injury, to gain the job they have to complete an 8-hour day, unpaid. Doesn’t seem fair really. We have enough to deal with already; writing dissertations, becoming an adult, paying of overdrafts, and you know everything you’ve done in your life up in till now counting towards these next few months… and now you’re also expected to avoid conniving companies trying to trick you into a bit of slave labour disguised as an interview, yay.  


All I’m saying is give students an equal chance.

Suziee Cassels

19 year old Newcastle University student

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