Praise for our Prospectus

April 24, 2008

Our Deputy Head of Prospectus Management, Angela Topping, was quick to respond to recent claims by the new Government-run student juries that some university prospectuses were "misleading" and "woefully inadequate".

She insisted that the full-colour spread in the present prospectus showing a group of mixed-race students playing volleyball on a sunlit beach was intended as a "purely symbolic" way of illustrating the sort of good times that students might have at Poppleton if the university enjoyed an intake of mixed-race students, owned a volleyball and was located near a sunlit beach.

She also defended the decision to use professional models for the group photograph of academic staff on page 26 of the prospectus (see above). "This is simply a case of following commercial imperatives. When Marks & Spencer wish to show the attractions of their stores, they don't typically use pictures of spotty, overweight, lumpily dressed down-at-heel customers. We've adopted the same marketing perspective in our prospectus."

Topping also claimed that the choice of the term "deceptively spacious" rather than "very small" in the prospectus description of students' rooms in the halls of residence was "conventional usage".

She did, however, concede that the prospectus's reference to Poppleton's nightlife as resembling "downtown Las Vegas" was, following the closure of Razzles Disco and the decline in standards at the Bide-A-While Eaterie, "somewhat over-enthusiastic".

'No such thing as a person' - Targett

In a shock move this week, our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, announced that academics would no longer be permitted to act "in a personal capacity".

He explained that the move was in response to the publication in the Poppleton Evening News of a letter from Professor J.W. Oswald of our Statistics Department claiming that the recent campus survey of students showing a 97 per cent satisfaction rate was "a dog's dinner".

When challenged over his letter, Professor Oswald claimed that he was writing "in a personal capacity". But Targett, in justifying the university's decision to suspend Professor Oswald until further notice, described this claim as "dangerously individualistic".

"I'm all in favour of freedom of speech," he told our reporter Keith Ponting (29), "but from now on all academics who wish to exercise this freedom must do so through the official channels. As a modern university, we can't tolerate a situation in which academics abuse their right to freedom of speech by speaking freely."

Parking Space

Following the sudden death by viral infection of Doctor L.J.K. Ames (Biology), a space has become available in the departmental bicycle shed. Applications including a brief CV and two recent passport photographs should be sent to the Deputy Controller of Parking before Friday 2 May. (Sorry, no tandems.)

May Day Rally

Mr Ted Odgers (Media and Cultural Studies) e-mails to announce that next week's May Day march has been cancelled because of lack of class-consciousness.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm"

(My thanks to Jamie Targett for this little gem).

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