COLIN CHANNON: Don’t university students fight for anything now?

C130482-4 Chi Colin phot kate
C130482-4 Chi Colin phot kate

I think I’ve hit a winner here – I told you that if you didn’t send in your own column, you’d have to make do with me.

That was enough for Christopher Joyce, the author of The Creatures of Chichester ( to quickly put pen to paper.

Who will fill this space next week? Get in touch.

Christopher writes:

Rumour has it we have a university in the city of Chichester – but you wouldn’t know.

It is even whispered some of these secretive students are studying creative writing and media studies – but don’t tell anyone.

Perhaps these reclusive individuals are too busy playing with their iPhones or iPads to ever read inky, paper-based tools of communication like the Observer to ever make a comment. But where are they?

As a student of the 70s, I found time to shout about the things that made me mad at the time. I went to university in Lancaster and every week students wrote to the local paper outraged about whale hunting (we marched on London), the rise of the National Front, (still got my Anti Nazi League badge somewhere) and for peace in Ireland, (another march on London).

We could be seen on street corners with petitions, handing out leaflets and making our voices heard.

I have yet to read a letter or response to any of the issues impacting the students in our city.

What do they think about the lack of housing? Do they think the city is rubbish at night? Or are they just too bored to even think about it?

And don’t even think of replying that it’s all about getting your grades now. I studied for my A-levels using candle light, as the lights were turned off during the coal strikes, and left university in the huge recession of the late 70s, but I still had a view and wanted to be heard, even if jobs were scarce.

If they are not willing to occupy the council chambers over beach pollution, couldn’t they at least try to join in anything the city does?

The summer of 2012 saw schools kids, dancing ladies in grass skirts, and brass bands marching through town. Where were the students?

Why was there not a float of boisterous and flag waving nutters chanting from the university bus?

Where were the martial arts squad, the roller-hockey team (okay, back to me in the 70s), the rugby club, the lesbian/vegetarian society, and the communists?

Does the university do a rag week?

It was our aim in life to drive the good citizens of Lancaster mad by doing a mountaineering climb up the high street and selling rag mags with tasteless jokes from every corner. Too dangerous? Need to get sign-off from health and safety. Or just so, so busy on that iPad?

So come on, students of Chi, let’s hear more from you this summer and dust off those keypads. You must care about something – we just don’t know what!