International News In Brief

 
 

Californian university massacre leaves seven dead

Seven people have been confirmed dead and at least three others injured following a shooting in Oikos University, Oakland California on April 2nd.

Police have stated that a suspect had been detained after the attack, which happened just after 10.30am local time at Oikos University. The suspect, One Goh, 43, was a former student of the college, expelled due to behavioural problems. He was a South Korean national, although the Korean consulate in San Francisco was unavailable for comment at time of going to print.

Police first received a 911 call at 10:33am, reporting a woman on the ground bleeding. As more calls came in from the school, the first arriving officer found a victim suffering from a “life-threatening” gunshot wound.  More officers arrived and formed a perimeter around the school.

”Potential victims remained inside the building trapped by a locked door, which officers were unable to open,” stated Chief of Police Howard Jordan. Jordan went on to say that the suspect was searching for a female administrator, and when she could not be found, began firing systematically.

Canadian Department of Defence cuts funding to universities

The Department of National Defence has begun to reduce its academic funding across Canadian campuses, although recruitment campaigns in universities such as the University of British Columbia will continue.

“At the height of the war on Afghanistan, people wanted to join the army so it was easy to recruit”, stated UBC post-doctorate fellow in Political Science and Army Reservist Allan Craigie, “But now there are more people in training that the system can handle, so there’s a backlog in the army. Some trades have shortages, but overall the recruitment drive has definitively toned down.”

UBC ties with the Department of National Defence (DND) primarily through the Liu Institute. It is one of thirteen centres across Canada with funding from the Security and Defence Forum Program. The funding is used to pay for academic research as well as student groups’ activities, with a “hands-off” approach being employed, ensuring that no recruitment is conducted during the program. The Security and Defence Program funding is expected to come to an end across Canada at the end of the month.

While DND funding to universities may be seen as a loss to its proponents, anti-military activists want potential recruits to continue questioning the role of the Canadian military.

Cambridge PhD student suspended following anti-Willetts protest

British Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has declined to offer any support to PhD student Owen Holland, who was suspended for seven terms from Cambridge University last week, following his involvement in an anti-Willetts protest last year.

Owen Holland was among a group of protesters from activist group Cambridge Defend Education who interrupted a talk by Willetts on November 22nd last year. Willetts was prevented from speaking, as several students around the hall began chanting a twenty-five-minute long poem. The protest divided opinion among Cambridge students, many of whom, including Cambridge University Students’ Union President, Gerard Tully, claimed that it had violated David Willetts’ right to freedom of speech.

The protest was followed by a week-long occupation of Lady Mitchell Hall by Cambridge Defend Education activists. Two days after the protest, the University Council issued a “Statement on the Principle of Freedom of Speech in the University”, expressing “its deep regret” that “the actions of a small group of protestors [sic]” had prevented Willetts from speaking.

A petition was soon launched by Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU), entitled “This Is Not Justice: Stop the Sentence”, calling on the Septemvirii (the University appeal court) to quash the “extreme sentence”. It has so far gathered 2,900 signatures from Cambridge students and academics.

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