The Autumn term has already provided us with many a ‘that’s so Goldsmiths’ moment, ample reason to let out a dejected sigh and plenty of ammunition for rants with friends. Just in case you need a refresher, here’s a round up of the delights that have occurred within the Goldsmiths community so far this academic year.

31 tons of… carrots?

Late September saw the dumping of approximately 240,000 carrots outside of the Goldsmiths CCA, which, apparently, was art. While this is perhaps not the strangest thing many students have encountered around campus, especially in the vicinity of the art department, the installation piece certainly sparked outrage. 

A group of students quickly mobilised in retaliation, setting up an Instagram account @goldsmithscarrots through which they raised money by rescuing carrots and turning them into soup and cakes to sell. As their Instagram posts point out, 40% of children in Lewisham live below the poverty line, making the ‘artistic’ dumping of food tone deaf and shameful. The students ended up raising £1604.46 which was donated to foodbanks in Lewisham, Peckham and Deptford. Meanwhile, the artist, MA student Rafael Perez Evans, claims the exhibit was supposed to remind people where their food comes from – perhaps he should have read the room first.

(N)online learning 

October brought the start of term, which began with hordes of students missing something pretty essential: their timetables. Obviously, it’s rather difficult to attend classes when you have no idea when or where they are. To vigorously rub salt in the wound, the issue hasn’t yet been fully resolved and it only cost you £9,250. What’s hard to ignore is the fact that senior management had seven long months to make the transition to pandemic appropriate learning a smooth one. 

The UCU and Students Union made calls to close campus entirely and end all in person teaching, claiming that to reopen campus was dangerous. In a statement, the SU warned that Goldsmiths senior management need to go beyond government advice in order to protect the wellbeing of students. As campus remains open throughout the second lockdown, Covid cases on campus and in halls remain largely unknown.

The Haunting of Surrey House 

Students in Surrey House and Surrey House Annexe have reported a host of problems in their halls of residence, from rats and black mould to no hand sanitiser and Covid outbreaks. Second and third year students will likely be familiar with the fact that this is nothing new for Surrey House residents; the rats moved in last year around about the same time that brown water started overflowing from bathroom sinks – it’s clear that these are long-term issues that just haven’t been fixed. 

The Haunting of Surrey House dates as far back as 2016, when students successfully collectivised *nudge-nudge-wink-wink* and won £650,000 of compensation for enduring noisy construction work, infestations and broken doors. Calls from the SU for senior management to offer refunds and compensation appear to have been ignored. Freshers stuck in abysmal living conditions during lockdown, or self-isolation, paying an average rent of £800 a month clearly isn’t quite enough to pull at the heart strings of those who can do something about it.

What happened to Crushsmiths?

One of the few things that gave us LOLs and light relief appears to have disappeared. Although crush culture is dead and gone for the time being (how can you tell you fancy the stranger walking down the halls in RHB when they’ve got a mask on?) we can certainly still come through with the weird confessions and niche meme game. So, Crushsmiths, please come back. We need you now more than ever.