The Groovy 1970s…
Swansea Students General Strike of 1970
Students in Swansea decided to strike due to the college authority which was supported by Jack Straw; NUS president at the time. The strike was lobbied and aimed at getting the college to accept the demands of the union, which included: an enquiry into the situation in Beck hall and the reinstating of the Executive of the student union. Jack Straw told Swansea, ‘The actions taken by Swansea Students have the full support of NUS, the suspension without proper procedure of the executive is without precedent since the war’, this was taken from an article written in Crefft– Strike edition 1970.
Swansea University Counselling service, 1972
A student counselling service was setup to help students to use their own resources in limiting and working out problems. Mr David Lewis was appointed to lead the scheme set up by the college. It was to give students help in reducing tension, coming to valid decisions and cope with emotional conflict and social academic difficulties.
Crefft Celebrates 25 Years in 1975
Usually 3p, Crefft, the student newspaper, decided to give away its 25 year addition with more free papers to come. Since it had first begun Crefft had changed from the simple paper it once was to a magazine style in 1971/72 when it came under competition from SSA News. SSA News was a rival newspaper which was only printed for one year. There are no copies to be found in the archieve but Crefft does document well its rival paper.
Student relationships with the townspeople of Swansea were tense, the union needed to maintain its policy of seeking better relationships with the town in order that the university could become an integrated part of the community.
In a 1970 copy of Crefft it claimed that ‘landlords seemed to prefer third year students since the second year is recognised as the one for running riot!’ ‘the most important thing to do when finding a house is establishing a good relationship with your next door neighbours’. Good relations between Swansea students and residents were encouraged greatly in the student press.
After extensively analysing the data available in the Richard Burton Archives, it became increasingly difficult to gather a good amount of information for the 1970s as there were only a small amount of newspapers available to view. When referring to the archives, the Student Union Minutes were an extremely helpful source which supplemented the information found in the newspapers perfectly. From the newspapers which were available, the articles found in them were fascinating. Learning a vast amount from the decade, it became apparent that the 1970s was a decade full of protest. The ‘Researching and Re-telling the Past’ module, which has newly been made available to second year history students this semester, has been highly useful in helping to understand Swansea University further.
[Sion Durham, Kate Godding & Victoria Bodington]