This issue we lead with yet another stinging blow from the University’s relentless global-top-100 ambition artillery. To satisfy the Uni Council’s “challenge” to save millions, the Professional Services are set to undergo significant changes – and almost inevitably, a decrease in numbers. While the Professional Services Transformation might have a shiny name, like many things the University markets as palatable (changes to the teaching day, for example) the short and potentially long term effects could be devastating to both staff and students.
Our other front page story asks how effective our Sabbs have been. Clearly, they have some way to go yet. However, whilst they could make more fuss about University issues and perhaps be more vocal campaigners generally, what the story could be seen to show at this stage of their tenure is the limitations of Sabb power and that some things are beyond their capacities in just a year’s work. Progress is being made and whilst they have far wider roles than just sticking to their manifestos, some claims of completed pledges – notably puppies on campus and “preventing” seminar overcrowding – are pushing it. Having said that, the spirit of Rachael, Ben, Matt and Kate’s direction is unquestionable and admirable. And, whilst there is still some ground left to cover in fulfilling their manifestos, if they don’t make it, it won’t be through lack of effort.
Moving onto everyone’s favourite campus reform, the University have U-turned on the extension of the teaching day. No, they haven’t ditched the daft idea, they’ve decided to suddenly make it permanent – not the “pilot scheme” they sold it as all along. The incremental nature of this change is perhaps most worrying. It might only have been a 30 minute “pilot” extension before but now it’s permanent. What comes next? It appears a cunning way to reduce opposition and we await the next instalment in Exeter’s very own omnishambles – and some serious opposition to it, hopefully from the Sabbs and their successors.
Elsewhere, check out our fashion pullout; disturbing insight into Guantanamo Bay life from Moazzam Begg (10 & 11) and Arts’ chat with the West End Manager of The Curious Incident (29).
Famous Last Words
This is our final issue (some of you may be delighted to learn). So in a somewhat self-indulgent, Oscar acceptance spiel, we’re now going to thank everyone down to our pet hamsters in helping us run the paper this year. Members of Guild staff have had to put up with a number of interesting issues we’ve thrown their way and we’re grateful for their help. We are particularly appreciative of Orlando Murrish, who deserves credit for fighting our corner in some tricky situations, whilst Gareth Oughton, Becky Morris, Elli Kontorravdis and Sara Bennett are also on our little list of nice people. In trying to source interesting and big name interviews, we worked closely with Emma McFadyen from the Alumni Office and should thank her for her help and patience.
As you might imagine, our social lives have taken what we might politely call a battering this year – so thanks to understanding friends. But mostly, we owe a big thank you to our fabulous team, who have worked tirelessly to produce what we think have been some of the best issues of Exeposé so far. We’ve made great friends and really enjoyed our time – for a round up of this year’s antics and our thoughts on what’s next, do read ’Exeposé: a year in review’ (8 & 9).
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