Leicester SU is a political organisation, and we centre Liberation to ensure we are not just representing students, but fighting the inequalities in Higher Education for LGBT+, women, BAME, and disabled students.
Many universities claim, that higher education provides social mobility, but this is not the reality for so many students from liberation groups. We can’t work our way out of institutional oppression using the same tools that uphold it, that is why we must be radical in our thinking and unrelenting in accepting things for ‘the way things just are’.
What is liberation?
Liberation is the act of freeing ourselves from structural oppression. We liberate ourselves with we fight against the discrimination and exploitation of students, both within the University of Leicester and within wider society. Within Higher Education, liberation is redefining education from its current confinement as a colonial legacy that reproduces oppression. We not only want to liberate education but our institution as a whole. We want our University, and the students within it, to be leading us to the world we want to live in.
Liberation and Leicester
Leicester SU has been involved in many fights against inequality and for justice for the past few years. Outside of the union, the city of Leicester has also been heavily active within liberation movements. From the Asian Youth Movement fighting against racism and fascism in the 1970s to the Leicester Fire Brigades Union’s refusal to cooperate with police operations against pro-Palestinian protests at a weapons factory in 2021, our city understands solidarity and collective action can create major societal change.
Commonly used terminology
The theory of how different types of oppression interact and impact people’s lives. Intersectionality explores the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, sexuality and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. The term was created by Black feminist scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw
The process of undoing colonizing practices. Within the educational context, this means challenging the colonizing practices that have influenced schools, colleges and universities. In the past, schools have been used for colonial purposes of forced assimilation. Nowadays, colonialism is more subtle and is often perpetuated through curriculum, power relations, and institutional structures.
A term that describes a political approach wherein people of a particular gender, religion, race, social background, class or other identifying factors, develops political agendas that are based upon theoretical interlocking systems of oppression that may affect their lives and come from their various identities. The term was created in 1977 by the Combahee River Collective, a Black feminist lesbian socialist organisation based in Boston.
What liberation campaigns have the SU done?
Do all your part-time officers/ networks represent liberation groups?
Not all of them. Our Women, LGBT+, BAME, Trans and Non-Binary, Accessibility positions are there to represent and reflect liberation groups in society and on campus. International, Mature, Distance Learning and Postgrad Officers represent groups specifically underrepresented in HE.