Last week, impassioned Chemistry students and members of the NU:KEM society launched a petition against the booking of computer clusters by external students.
They aim to secure a cluster which will be reserved especially for them in the Bedson Building.
Many chemistry students are becoming increasingly frustrated at having nowhere to work, especially when various clusters in the Bedson Building are being booked for teaching even if the computers are not being used, leaving the chemistry students unable to work there and computers being unused.
The Bedson building is home to over 30 computer clusters but these are quite often booked by other courses and the chemists get removed from the room, even if all the computers aren’t being used
The chemistry students want either a permanently free computer cluster that cannot be booked out, or a classroom that is rarely used to be turned into a computer room especially for them.
The petition is already gathering a lot of momentum with 204 supporters on the online petition at the time of print. A further 296 signatures are needed to reach the attention of Newcastle University’s senior staff.
The issue in question has been raised in the past at various staff/student liaison committees but no progress has been made and students have finally decided to take the matter into their own hands. Even this year, the topic has been unsettled at meetings.
Luke O’Neill, chemistry student and one of the main orchestrators of the petition said: ‘It has been brought up at nearly every student ambassador meeting this year and they say they will sort something and it has never happened’.
It is not just a handful of students that feel this way, the petition website is flooded with arguments and supporting comments for the plight of the chemistry students.
One student, Luke Lewis Borrell, said: ‘There is need for radical change and this is why I am announcing today that I will lead this petition.’
Another supported, Phil Seal, said: ‘This is important because, as most of us obviously realise, chemistry is the foundation of life, and if we do not support our cluster then we are directly harming all life’.