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The University of Winchester erects Greta Thunberg statue


News from the academic ivory tower: The University of Winchester has given itself a life-size bronze statue of climate protection activist Greta Thunberg. “As the University for Sustainability and Social Justice, we are proud to honor this inspiring woman in this way. We hope that your statue will help to inspire our community and to remind us that we can change the world for the better, no matter what life throws at us,” said Vice Chancellor Joy Carter proudly at the unveiling.

The position of the figure also fits perfectly in terms of time, emphasized the professor. "The statue is a symbol of our commitment to the fight against the climatic and ecological emergency in the run-up to the United Nations climate change conference, which will take place in Great Britain later this year."

If so much good happens to you, it would actually be worth exuberant gratitude - one would think. But student representatives didn't want to be too happy. The President of the Winchester Student Union, Megan Ball, criticized the action on BBC: "We are in a Covid year, many students did not really have access to campus, many are trying to study online and urgently need support. Instead of spending almost £ 24,000 (around 28,000 euros) on the statue, the money should better be made available for student support services across the campus."

University wants to become climate neutral
That the university administration countered that no funds had been used for student support or staff did not seem to convince the disgruntled students. The process shows where the priorities are in Winchester. According to its own statements, the English university has set itself the goal of being climate neutral by 2025. The climate emergency was therefore declared in 2019.

With the statue, the University of Winchester joins the series of remarkable flowers that have recently been sprouting at Anglo-Saxon educational institutions. The University of Oxfort recently announced, also because of pressure from “Black Lives Matter” , that it would question “white supremacy” in the curriculum and reform the orientation of the courses. Incidentally, the first victims of these measures are said to be the composers Beethoven and Mozart, as their music reinforces “colonialist patterns”.

Columbia University in New York is offering special graduation ceremonies for students of a certain origin so that every ethnically defined group can celebrate their degrees in a "more intimate setting" in the future. In addition, people with low incomes or members of the gay and transsexual community may wish to have their own celebration.

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