A mass walkout took place during a political theory lecture on Karl Marx after students realised that the lecture was to consist entirely of a video.
“Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas” is a module that “provides students with a critical introduction to Western political thought” and “aims to establish a grounding in some of the key ideas and theories that have shaped modern politics”. It is taken by all first year students in the department, and is available as a “discovery module” for students outside the department.
Halfway through a lecture for that module which took place on Wednesday, a mass walkout ensued. This happened as students realised that the lecture was not going to include anything other than a 51 minute video on Karl Marx from YouTube. Some of the walkouts were coordinated over Yik Yak.
A spokesperson for POLIS told The Gryphon, “This documentary is a key introductory element to the course and informs subsequent teaching, lectures and discussions. We take all student comment and feedback seriously and this issue will be a priority when we meet with course representatives at the POLIS Staff-Student Forum. We will also raise this issue at the Taught Student Education Committee.”
Speaking to The Gryphon, Matt Crowther, a politics student who attended the lecture said, “I thought the walk out was a little bit rude, especially since it was coordinated on YikYak. The lecturer saw most people leave and I don’t think that’s a particularly fair thing for her to experience, especially considering that she’s relatively new to lecturing.”
“Admittedly watching a video wasn’t what we all probably expected, myself included, but it wasn’t a bad film at all, actually was quite interesting and I think the people that walked out or chose not to pay any attention missed out a little.
“Although if watching films instead of receiving actual lectures became a regular thing I’d probably object, I don’t find this as a one off really too bad.”