Nearly 100 Kingston University students came together to march on Wednesday against government plans to raise tuition fees, yet many were left bewildered and segregated as Kingston Student Union failed to unify the protesters.
Initial plans to meet at 9:30am and 11:00 at Charing Cross before joining the march at Trafalgar Square, were undermined as students divided into several groups.
Student Union President TJ Esubiyi was present but took little initiative in directing the Kingston University student. Consequently the protesters split into several factions, some assuming that the vocally charged Kingston Socialist Students Society had authority and others who took it upon themselves to design their own route through the march.
“The whole thing was confusing. There was absolutely no unity. It was a lazy effort by the Union” said Becky, 19, Graphic Design and Photography.
Kingston’s disorganisation compared poorly against other universities, some of whom all marched in the same colours, or under the same posters, or with big university banners and managed to stay together.
Although it was not a great turnout by Kingston University students, the early mood was boisterously optimistic, with many first time marchers making their presence felt.
“I think it’s admirable that students are missing lectures to come here” said first time marcher Josh, 20, Creative Writing. “It shows a personal idealism that education shouldn’t be just for the privilege”.
Fellow first timer Becky, added: “Education is a necessity. If these changes go through people will suffer. I had enough trouble convincing my parents I should go to University this year, if fees were £6,000 there’s no way I would be here.”