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Campus Politics in the UK?

18YearsASlav18YearsASlav 101 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hello,
I am considering an offer to study Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology at St. Andrews (also, if you have any info or opinions on this, feel free to share). In considering, I was wondering what the campus politics are like on UK universities in general, or more specifically at St. Andrews if you know. I am a full-blown Conservative/Libertarian and was just wondering how I might fit in.

Thanks!
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Replies to: Campus Politics in the UK?

  • 18YearsASlav18YearsASlav 101 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Note: I can't foresee myself being active in UK politics; that is, though I am vocal when it comes to my opinions, joining political organizations there would hold little appeal for me.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6590 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's not so much campus politics as it is the exceptionally high profile of American politics, and the genuine astonishment in much of the rest of the world at what is going on in the US right now.

    So, as with most things, it depends what you mean by being 'vocal' and 'full-blown' in your views. Can you handle hearing negative opinions about America in general and the current political situation in particular, remembering that you are guest in their country? Do you feel a need to stand your ground until you can make people agree with your perspective?

    Or, perhaps more usefully: do you have any good friends who have different political views than yours? ime, UK students are much less polarized about political divisions- they socialize much more naturally with people of different political perspectives, and there isn't the rancour that you see in the US.

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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @collegemom3717:
    "ime, UK students are much less polarized about political divisions- they socialize much more naturally with people of different political perspectives, and there isn't the rancour that you see in the US."

    Sounds like the US 20 years ago.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41770 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2018
    However, the meaning of 'conservative' is very different in the UK as a whole and in Scotland the meaning of 'liberal' also.
    Read up about devolution, as some very basic understanding of the Scotland/UK/eu marrer will be expected.
    Finally, if 'conservative' is used as a euphemism, beware that speech is more restricted in Europe than in the US for ideologies they've actually encountered and suffered from.
    edited March 2018
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6590 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree, @PurpleTitan - and it's our loss
    Relevant and v useful point, @MYOS1634
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3368 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are lots of societies for UK political parties as well as Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad. There is a very active debating society, I believe it may be one of the oldest in the world that host debates on all sorts of topics. However if you don't want to get involved in any of those and pretty much just live your life you really don't have to talk politics at all. Currently there is a lot of polarization between students to support the striking lecturers and students who don't. But that's likely to be over after this year.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6590 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, @VickiSoCal...St Andrews was first (1794, but intermittent until formalized in 1890), though Cambridge (1810) claims to be the longest continuously running. Slow out the gate Oxford (1823) has to settle for being the most famous ;-)
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  • Capricancer1Capricancer1 31 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You should also check out the Lafayette Club at St Andrews, hosts some great speakers for politically interesting debates (e.g. they've hosted Hilary Clinton's campaign manager, two heads of state and a Nobel peace prize winner) and the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights will be giving a talk later next month.

    And as @VickiSoCal said, there's a lot of societies to get involved in. The Socialist and Labour society are very supportive of the strikes whilst the Conservatives Associations/Republicans Abroad are perhaps less so. The Republicans Overseas Head is a student at St Andrews and seems to be giving a lot of talks to the British Media about American politics.
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