ORG Student Meeting 3rd August 2010

This is a meeting of ORG Student. See our wiki page for future meetings and how to help out.


Printable Google Document

Date: 28th July 2010

Time: 2000BST

Location: #org-students


  • Carwyn Edwards macxstross
  • Elliot Hughes elliotjhug
  • Pete Smith ptchaw
  • James Harrisson JamesHarrisson
  • Michael Holloway mikelib


  • Syntaxis
  • Tempr
  • Alex


  • None



  • Discussion of Merits of TurnItIn campaign. No conclusion reached as more information needed.
  • Action: ptchaw to research TurnItIn in terms of possible harm.
  • Discussion of Open Courseware campaign.
  • Action: macxstross and elliotjhug to research as per Mike Holloway's suggestions and [1]
  • Action: Vote for Open Courseware to be primary campaign at start of next meeting.


  • Discussion of Marketing ORG.
  • Postive Campaigns better than Negative ones
  • Freshers packs - ORG happy to provide if we have a reasonable plan.
  • Social Networking to get numbers once we have a campaign area
  • Keep mailing lists active.


Aug 03 20:14:06 <macxstross>	cool, if that is everyone... a quick recap of last weeks minutes
Aug 03 20:15:03 <macxstross>	right, we basically agreed on a draft set of aims, and dicussed some possible campaign ideas
Aug 03 20:15:24 <macxstross>	all of which are on the wiki (link in the topic)
Aug 03 20:16:41 <macxstross>	so, anyone got any thoughts to add on the campaign ideas discussed last week?
Aug 03 20:17:31 <elliotjhug>	well, myself and later macxstross received an email from a japanese professor suggesting that the TurnItIn thing may not be a great direction to go in
Aug 03 20:17:47 <macxstross>	yep, i have to say i agreed with what he was saying
Aug 03 20:18:00 <ptchaw>	how come?
Aug 03 20:18:02 <mikelib>	Care to expand?
Aug 03 20:18:05 <macxstross>	yeah
Aug 03 20:18:57 <elliotjhug>	macxstross, you going to explain? I'm going to have to reread the email to do his points justice
Aug 03 20:19:19 <ptchaw>	could you foward the email to the mailgroup please?
Aug 03 20:19:31 <ptchaw>	just for brevity
Aug 03 20:19:46 <elliotjhug>	ptchaw, I'd rather not on the basis that if he'd wanted that he would have written to the list
Aug 03 20:20:31 <ptchaw>	are you sure he does not know about the list? feel free to remove his email if you want to make it anon
Aug 03 20:20:49 <macxstross>	basically, his point was that its the best solution to the problem, and that the points made in last weeks meeting were focused on student work being substantive in the context of academic research
Aug 03 20:21:46 <ptchaw>	i would still argue that whether it is the best method or not, it is still exploitation and probably not legal
Aug 03 20:21:51 <macxstross>	also, i think that targeting something like Turnitin will end up with us annoying a lot of academics, who could be very valuable allies in the future
Aug 03 20:23:56 <macxstross>	i think, perhaps, that there may be bigger fish to fry when it comes to campaign ideas.
Aug 03 20:24:18 <macxstross>	ptchaw: i've been in contact with him since, informing him of the list
Aug 03 20:24:40 <mikelib>	ptchaw: can you state clearly the rights infringement associated with Turnitin - i had a quick look at the minutes and not sure of the problem
Aug 03 20:24:47 <ptchaw>	possibly, but i still think we should be supporting students who do not consent to their work being used on turnitin
Aug 03 20:26:16 <ptchaw>	basically, some universities (and schools) will submit their students work, before marking it, to turnitin. turnitin then store the work in their own database, creating a searchable database of essays
Aug 03 20:26:49 <ptchaw>	when work is submitted to turnitin, their algorithms attempt to find plagiarism by matching identical wording
Aug 03 20:26:58 <mikelib>	i get that
Aug 03 20:27:05 <mikelib>	but where's the intrusion?
Aug 03 20:27:37 <mikelib>	i mean does it also store personal info or is the info anonymised?
Aug 03 20:27:41 <ptchaw>	the problem is that the work submitted is owned by the students and storing their work in their own database would violate students rights, with respect to their work
Aug 03 20:28:08 <ptchaw>	i am aware of some universities refusing to let students opt of of the scheme
Aug 03 20:28:10 <mikelib>	its a violation of (C) then?
Aug 03 20:28:13 <ptchaw>	yes
Aug 03 20:28:23 <mikelib>	right, thought this was a privacy concern
Aug 03 20:28:35 <ptchaw>	no, just copyright
Aug 03 20:28:38 <mikelib>	ok
Aug 03 20:28:41 <macxstross>	is it a copyright infringement?
Aug 03 20:28:42 <ptchaw>	afaik
Aug 03 20:28:56 <mikelib>	so the tutor man says don't worry cos there's no alternative solutions - just deal with it?
Aug 03 20:29:09 <elliotjhug>	do students have to sign something (even if they're unaware of it) or do universities take it upon themselves?
Aug 03 20:29:51 <ptchaw>	that I am not sure of, having no experience. someone in the meeting last week said lecturers were refusing to give students a mark if they did not consent to the work being sent to turnitin
Aug 03 20:30:00 <ptchaw>	they only found this out at the end of the year
Aug 03 20:30:08 <ptchaw>	and it was too late to object
Aug 03 20:30:30 <mikelib>	ORG stands up for creators rights
Aug 03 20:30:42 <mikelib>	But a lot of the time has to fight against excessive (C) protection
Aug 03 20:30:50 <mikelib>	So it might be a bit odd for us to go in heavy on this one
Aug 03 20:30:51 <macxstross>	his point is that its the best solution to the problem thats currently out there, and that it will be very, very hard to change the minds of academics against it
Aug 03 20:31:15 <mikelib>	And we don't - unless its a HUGE deal - pick fights we won't win
Aug 03 20:31:31 <macxstross>	mikelib: that is one of the issues i have with taking it up as a campaign
Aug 03 20:31:47 <elliotjhug>	I agree with mikelib and macxstross here
Aug 03 20:32:49 <macxstross>	also, if we annoy the academic community, this early on, then we could be up a creek later with support for other campaigns
Aug 03 20:32:50 <ptchaw>	i understand, it would be primarily using copyright to tackle this, even though it may contradict some other aspects of ORGs campaigning
Aug 03 20:33:23 <ptchaw>	i don't know whether we would actually be campaigning against academics
Aug 03 20:33:34 <ptchaw>	also, you assume that academics support this; they may not
Aug 03 20:34:00 <elliotjhug>	I'm still not seeing why its more than just a principle-of-the-matter problem. TurnItIn don't republish anyones work or anything do they (or take exclusive rights?)?
Aug 03 20:34:08 <macxstross>	nope
Aug 03 20:34:16 <macxstross>	its like google, in a way
Aug 03 20:34:51 <macxstross>	im sure that its not pure text matching that it does, anyway
Aug 03 20:35:05 <elliotjhug>	I mean I'm still kinda open to be swayed either way on the problem if there is a practical implication - but I haven't seen one yet
Aug 03 20:35:09 *	Alex ( has joined #ORG-students
Aug 03 20:35:13 <Alex>	(will nose in if you don't mind)
Aug 03 20:35:22 <macxstross>	no worries
Aug 03 20:35:31 <macxstross>	basically, discussing Turnitin
Aug 03 20:35:38 <ptchaw>	they don't republish, but the whole business model revolves around storing students work, when students may not realise it, or understand the system and may feel forced to consent in order to get their work marked
Aug 03 20:36:52 <mikelib>	reckon you need more evidence of harm than that
Aug 03 20:37:09 <elliotjhug>	well I'd hesitate to campaign against storing information for the purpose of seaching it. I mean perhaps TurnItIn should be providing more leaflets or something to let people understand it mroe?
Aug 03 20:37:12 <mikelib>	but i'm not pronouncing or anything - you guys should choose what's a big deal
Aug 03 20:37:49 <ptchaw>	sure, i was hoping someone with experience of it would be able to help there - I have never personally encountered it
Aug 03 20:38:16 <elliotjhug>	well Meic first promoted the campaign - but he's not here to defend it
Aug 03 20:38:23 <macxstross>	ptchaw: i think we could argue this all night. I think this needs some more research done into it: would you be willing to do so?
Aug 03 20:39:02 <ptchaw>	sure, although i feel strongly about it, there are certainly more important issues, but I will do some research in the meantime
Aug 03 20:40:25 <macxstross>	cool
Aug 03 20:40:39 <macxstross>	right, moving on...
Aug 03 20:40:47 <macxstross>	recruitment...
Aug 03 20:41:18 >ptchaw<	I've added that as an action to be taken on the minutes if thats ok with you?
Aug 03 20:41:20 <macxstross>	i think this is something we should really push for, and be a main aim for Freshers
Aug 03 20:41:56 <mikelib>	hold up - no other campaign ideas? you need a cause to recruit people to, no?
Aug 03 20:42:42 <elliotjhug>	yeah - I was wondering that. We have the whole open courseware thing the professor offered us some great positive stuff on. as well as the open source stuff that might be worth debating again?
Aug 03 20:43:12 <macxstross>	i was going to discuss them next actually
Aug 03 20:43:29 <macxstross>	if people want to do that now, then thats cool
Aug 03 20:43:40 <elliotjhug>	thats the order in your agenda
Aug 03 20:43:50 <mikelib>	sorry, didn't mean to jump down your throat :)
Aug 03 20:44:07 <macxstross>	no worries
Aug 03 20:44:26 <elliotjhug>	nah - you're chairing so its your call. But it'd seem odd to think of how to market when we don't know what we're marketting surely?
Aug 03 20:45:07 <mikelib>	like the sound of open courseware - nice and positive!
Aug 03 20:45:18 <macxstross>	i just thought that if we have a base of the primary ORG campaigns to shout about and try and recruit people to the cause, so to speak
Aug 03 20:45:24 <macxstross>	then we can build on that
Aug 03 20:45:44 <macxstross>	open courseware is a good one
Aug 03 20:46:13 <macxstross>	although, with my experience of the academic world, it may be a loooong process
Aug 03 20:46:26 <elliotjhug>	the prof said there are a lot of academics who support open courseware who would probably be keen to support our cause here (and others on the opposite side :P) so it could be a nice victory. Its also something that can consist of lots of small victories so we have a lot of success to shout about
Aug 03 20:46:44 <macxstross>	yep
Aug 03 20:46:48 <mikelib>	yeah campaigning is a looooong process
Aug 03 20:47:27 <elliotjhug>	I think any campaign where we can say "Southampton released one of their maths lectures online for the first time thanks to an ORG-Student campaign" and similar things quite often might be good
Aug 03 20:47:44 <macxstross>	it would be good
Aug 03 20:48:03 <macxstross>	actually, i need to email one of my lecturers about this
Aug 03 20:48:13 <mikelib>	LIKE IT
Aug 03 20:48:49 <elliotjhug>	so I'd suggest that we try and sell univesities on the fact that a lot of american universities (who they are competing with remember?) are releasing their data and getting a lot of attention from potential students because of it
Aug 03 20:49:00 <macxstross>	yep
Aug 03 20:49:18 <macxstross>	i ran this past the japanese lecturer this morning in fact
Aug 03 20:49:55 <ptchaw>	really sorry guys, I am going to have to dash. will readup the logs when i get back and see what I can get about turnitin for next meeting
Aug 03 20:49:56 <macxstross>	if we take it to the outreach bits of the university, and tell them its basically free advertising
Aug 03 20:50:00 <macxstross>	no worries
Aug 03 20:50:02 <elliotjhug>	(I'd suggest that me or macxstross email the prof and ask him to post to the list in future so we don't have a two-tier system like we do right now of who-is-talking to-who)
Aug 03 20:50:08 <macxstross>	yeah
Aug 03 20:50:18 <macxstross>	i did say to him this morning to do that
Aug 03 20:50:25 <mikelib>	thanks ptchaw
Aug 03 20:50:45 <mikelib>	elliotjhug: good idea
Aug 03 20:51:01 <elliotjhug>	mikelib, what I'd ask here from you is what are the vital first steps in a campaign. I must admit I wouldn't know where to begin - or how to find people to talk to who have an influence
Aug 03 20:51:36 <macxstross>	i guess its asking the universities about their current stance
Aug 03 20:51:49 <mikelib>	yup, research
Aug 03 20:51:57 <macxstross>	see what the consensus is
Aug 03 20:52:04 <mikelib>	what are the benefits of your proposal?
Aug 03 20:52:12 <mikelib>	who do they accrue to?
Aug 03 20:52:29 <mikelib>	what is the change you want and who makes that decision?
Aug 03 20:52:40 <mikelib>	what are the barriers to that decision?
Aug 03 20:52:47 <mikelib>	those sorts of questions are a good start
Aug 03 20:52:49 <elliotjhug>	sorry - showing my intelligence here. "who do they accrue to?" <-- can you explain that one?
Aug 03 20:53:09 <mikelib>	who will get the benefit?
Aug 03 20:53:17 <elliotjhug>	ah ok
Aug 03 20:53:18 <elliotjhug>	thanks
Aug 03 20:54:02 <mikelib>	even just a few pages outlining these basic points is a strong start to reveal whether its a campaign worth taking up
Aug 03 20:54:35 <macxstross>	yep
Aug 03 20:54:37 <mikelib>	in fact i'd say necessary before you start much else
Aug 03 20:54:50 <mikelib>	then when the basics are clear you want to plan your tactics
Aug 03 20:54:56 <mikelib>	which is how you'll get the decision
Aug 03 20:55:30 <elliotjhug>	I'll wikify those after the meeting and try and research during the week myself (bit busy this week but may have some time)
Aug 03 20:55:40 <mikelib>	this site is ridiculously useful on campaign strategy:
Aug 03 20:55:54 <mikelib>	read it asap!
Aug 03 20:55:56 <macxstross>	same, as regards to research and time
Aug 03 20:56:17 <macxstross>	so, if we take this up as our main focus, for the time being?
Aug 03 20:56:21 <elliotjhug>	I will definitely read that.
Aug 03 20:56:43 <elliotjhug>	macxstross, I'd vote for that. But I'd like it if people who are lurking could put their views in as well if they're watching
Aug 03 20:56:55 <macxstross>	'course
Aug 03 20:57:29 <elliotjhug>	JamesHarrison, are you still around?
Aug 03 20:58:30 <elliotjhug>	ok then, I'd suggest we add it as a campain proposal, do some research and have it as our focus this week and have a vote on it RIGHT AT THE START of the next meeting
Aug 03 20:58:55 *	mikelib has quit (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
Aug 03 20:59:01 <macxstross>	cool
Aug 03 20:59:38 <elliotjhug>	hopefully mikelib's IRC will fix itself imminently - we were getting some high-pings for a few seconds there so its possible his internet went AWOL
Aug 03 21:00:00 <macxstross>	yeah
Aug 03 21:00:08 <JamesHarrison>	elliotjhug: I am now, sorry, got dragged AFK
Aug 03 21:00:14 <elliotjhug>	ah ok - your views?
Aug 03 21:00:28 <JamesHarrison>	Give me a tick to read the scrollback - missed 30m of stuff.
Aug 03 21:00:52 *	mikelib ( has joined #ORG-students
Aug 03 21:01:04 <macxstross>	welcome back
Aug 03 21:01:38 *	mikelib waves
Aug 03 21:01:58 <JamesHarrison>	Agree with all the above, essentially
Aug 03 21:02:05 <mikelib>	phew
Aug 03 21:02:06 <macxstross>	cool
Aug 03 21:02:23 <JamesHarrison>	Certainly agree that positive campaigns work a whole lot better than negative ones
Aug 03 21:02:40 <JamesHarrison>	And that's something worth thinking about in terms of trying to recruit people - people think twice about joining negative campaigns.
Aug 03 21:03:00 <macxstross>	a fair point
Aug 03 21:03:27 <mikelib>	can i make a suggestion then?
Aug 03 21:03:39 <elliotjhug>	please do
Aug 03 21:03:59 <mikelib>	pull together some research on open courseware and be clear about what you want to ask
Aug 03 21:04:08 <mikelib>	do that in the next fortnight
Aug 03 21:04:23 <macxstross>	sounds like a plan
Aug 03 21:04:24 <mikelib>	then you've got a chance to build more of a network before the freshers are back
Aug 03 21:04:40 <mikelib>	which is when you want to do your recruitment and get some numbers into the campaign
Aug 03 21:04:51 <macxstross>	yep
Aug 03 21:04:59 <elliotjhug>	so a meeting date in 2 weeks time?
Aug 03 21:05:25 <mikelib>	well who's going to do the research?
Aug 03 21:05:31 <macxstross>	i'll do some
Aug 03 21:05:34 <elliotjhug>	I'll volunteer and I think macxstross did
Aug 03 21:05:45 <mikelib>	jolly good
Aug 03 21:06:01 <elliotjhug>	we've worked well in tandem on aranging meetings so that might work well
Aug 03 21:06:04 <mikelib>	one of the main UK advocates for open courseware is a good friend of ORG
Aug 03 21:06:05 <JamesHarrison>	re freshers, I know that the pirate party have been organizing freshers packs and such for interested students to try and get things going in fresher's week
Aug 03 21:06:16 <JamesHarrison>	Might it be an idea for ORG to do something similar?
Aug 03 21:06:31 <macxstross>	that was what i wanted to discuss
Aug 03 21:06:43 <mikelib>	check out (ed: tinyurl'd due to overzealous spam filter)
Aug 03 21:06:51 <mikelib>	can do
Aug 03 21:07:03 <mikelib>	tell me what you want in said freshers packs and we can get it produced
Aug 03 21:07:14 <mikelib>	and - fingers crossed - distributed
Aug 03 21:07:26 <mikelib>	um - no beer
Aug 03 21:07:27 <JamesHarrison>	Flyers, posters, badges and stickers etc - posters usually require cooperation of SUs but I don't see that being a problem, flyers are great for handing out at freshers fayres, can be distributed to relevant societies for their members
Aug 03 21:08:04 <JamesHarrison>	Stickers are great potentially - lots of people have laptop stickers and such which gets good visibility in lectures and libraries
Aug 03 21:08:09 <macxstross>	a point that was raised in ORGcon was having a table outside on a main concourse or outside the SU
Aug 03 21:08:18 <macxstross>	somewhere with a lot of foot traffic
Aug 03 21:08:33 <mikelib>	you guys want to design?
Aug 03 21:08:35 <macxstross>	plus, freebies always attract attention
Aug 03 21:08:50 <mikelib>	i've got badges
Aug 03 21:08:54 <mikelib>	don't got posters
Aug 03 21:09:10 <mikelib>	should prob promote the open courseware campaign and push people to DO STUFF
Aug 03 21:09:16 <mikelib>	same with flyers
Aug 03 21:09:34 <mikelib>	easy enough to put together once you've got your campaign idea down and worked out some messages and tactics
Aug 03 21:09:42 <mikelib>	production turnaround can be pretty quick too
Aug 03 21:09:58 <mikelib>	when is freshers exactly?
Aug 03 21:10:12 <mikelib>	maybe a problem that i'm on honeymoon for 2nd half of September :(
Aug 03 21:10:20 <macxstross>	although, i think it would be a big chance for ORGs message to be pushed out at the same time: maybe if we include the leaflets that you guys were giving out at ORGcon
Aug 03 21:10:29 <macxstross>	mikelib: congrats!
Aug 03 21:10:40 <mikelib>	indeed, yum
Aug 03 21:10:46 <macxstross>	freshers depends on the uni, really
Aug 03 21:11:02 <macxstross>	late september to the middle of october
Aug 03 21:12:03 <mikelib>	so either we distribute 1st half of September or one of you needs to take it on - or we entrust to someone else in the office
Aug 03 21:12:07 <mikelib>	anyway, can be sorted
Aug 03 21:12:35 <JamesHarrison>	1st half of September is probably safe to cover most people
Aug 03 21:13:14 *	elliotjhug misses his college diary access. That would have had dates for a hell of a lot of unis
Aug 03 21:14:11 <macxstross>	i think one of the problems we have to cover is where to distribute to... cardiff is well covered for people to give stuff out/run a stand
Aug 03 21:14:18 <macxstross>	not sure about everywhere else
Aug 03 21:15:00 <JamesHarrison>	Well, I can do RHUL
Aug 03 21:15:10 <elliotjhug>	I reckon I might struggle since I will be trying to do freshers week stuff + DTUS stuff
Aug 03 21:15:29 <macxstross>	yeah, thats understandable
Aug 03 21:15:48 <JamesHarrison>	Doing Pirate Party and the radio station already, but I'm a keen multitasker and I have underlings who have volunteered to help with PP stuff, ORG stuff they'd be happy to help with too :)
Aug 03 21:15:55 <macxstross>	coool
Aug 03 21:15:58 <mikelib>	we won't try and be comprehensive
Aug 03 21:16:12 <mikelib>	just the places where people have identified - that will get the ball rolling
Aug 03 21:16:16 <JamesHarrison>	Yeah
Aug 03 21:16:18 <mikelib>	5-10 would be a strong start
Aug 03 21:16:41 <elliotjhug>	5-10 may even be optomistic based on numbers of active people
Aug 03 21:17:12 <mikelib>	if we shout loud about it - twitter and facebook and our mailing lists when we've got the materials together - then we'll get that easy
Aug 03 21:17:16 <macxstross>	well, Cardiff, RHUL, there were a few people from cambrige in ORGcon, and that dude who was head of the Termisoc who was from... somewhere
Aug 03 21:17:21 <macxstross>	thats 4
Aug 03 21:17:28 <mikelib>	he was plymouth i think
Aug 03 21:17:33 <JamesHarrison>	Can always poke SUs directly and have them pass on info to members
Aug 03 21:17:39 <macxstross>	yeah
Aug 03 21:18:01 <elliotjhug>	how can we encourage people who were at ORGCon but haven't shown up on lists etc to join in?
Aug 03 21:18:48 <macxstross>	keep the mailing lists updated: they may be reading, just not posting
Aug 03 21:19:08 <macxstross>	and as mikelib said: twitter, facebook etc
Aug 03 21:19:55 <mikelib>	yeah once there's a clear ask then people will get excited
Aug 03 21:22:26 <elliotjhug>	good stuff - so do we need any action on recruitment right now? or do we want to wait for 2 weeks after we have campaign research?
Aug 03 21:23:27 <macxstross>	well, i suppose if we put the word out soon-ish, see if we get any takers
Aug 03 21:25:59 <mikelib>	i need to eat
Aug 03 21:26:03 <mikelib>	going to leave you guys to it
Aug 03 21:26:07 <elliotjhug>	OK
Aug 03 21:26:09 <mikelib>	seemed useful though
Aug 03 21:26:13 <macxstross>	cool
Aug 03 21:26:14 <macxstross>	thanks
Aug 03 21:26:19 <macxstross>	will keep you updated
Aug 03 21:26:51 <elliotjhug>	macxstross, do we want to leave the rest of your agenda till we have research or shall we continue through? (skills available might be worth a mailing list post?)
Aug 03 21:27:32 <macxstross>	yeah, why not
Aug 03 21:27:54 <macxstross>	shall we bother posting the log, or just write up the minutes?
Aug 03 21:28:34 <elliotjhug>	I'll do both. Logs are good - unless anyone has an immediate objection? (mike seemed to be happy with the logging)