In this political WhatSoc we speak to Josh Asker from Socialist Students.
So what exactly does your society do? Give us a quick summary?
Talk about Socialism, read about Socialism, make steps towards Socialism, laugh about Socialism, eat Socialism and drink Socialism.
Why did you set up the society?
The society is older than anyone remembers and contact with the person that started it is long lost… We can only assume that it was set up for the same reasons that we keep it going; that is to develop our own understanding of what is going on around us and to try and change that for the better!
We have been the only group at the university talking about Socialism and bringing it into the minds of students. Ultimately we meet people who want to get involved in campaigns and we do make gains from these campaigns. At the height of the student demonstrations in 2011 we were able to link up with school and college students across Southampton to lead a demonstration of a few hundred young people through West Quay shopping centre and around campus all calling for free education! There are no other political organisations at the university that would support that or organise it.
What’s the best thing about the society?
This might be quite a boring one, but for me it has given me the optimism and method to change society so that it is run for the 99%, not just the 1%.
What is the most fun you have had and why?
Probably touring Portswood, the Hobbit and the Edge dressed as a bunch of revolutionaries. There’s nothing like seeing Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky and Rosa Luxembourg strut their stuff at The Edge karaoke.
Winding up other political societies is another favourite past-time.
Does your society have any weird traditions or stories?
What are you doing at the moment?
With the lack of a real national student movement then things are locally focused at the moment.
Our members have been involved in a successful campaign to keep some of the cities youth clubs safe from the Labour councils axe. There are the upcoming council elections in Hampshire where we will be actively supporting the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition and some members have recently visited the inspirational occupation at Sussex university.
Jesters or Sobar?
Neither! We want to bring them both into public ownership and run them under democratic control (ok, maybe not yet).
Wessex Scene or Soton Tab?
Soton Tab has given us some stick in the past, Wessex scene is pretty boring… Nothing compares to The Socialist! “