Occupation at Royal Holloway University
December 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Students have taken over the management building of the Royal Holloway University in Egham, Surrey.
The student occupation is in protest to the government’s cuts to education and public services.The occupiers have issued a pledge to the university’s principal, Paul Layzell, highlighting their opposition to educational cuts, university restructuring, the government’s higher education white paper, and rising fees.
In addition to the pledge, the students have demanded that free access in and out of the management building be available for all students and lecturers, and that there shall be no victimisation of student occupiers or lecturers supporting the occupation.
The protest began yesterday afternoon when around 30 students entered the management building. They took over the principal’s office and meeting room as well as the management corridor.
A spokesperson for the occupiers insisted that their protest would be peaceful and cause minimal disruption to other students and members of staff.
“The protest will be peaceful and will provide a forum for students to discuss the issues of the changes proposed to the education system,” he said.
“The occupation has been aimed in order to have minimum impact against the education of students on campus.”
The spokesperson went on to say that the occupiers would remain until their demands have been met and Mr Layzell has signed the pledge.
“Students intend to remain in occupation until the pledge has been accepted by the principal,” he said.
“We urge all students, lecturers and staff to attend the occupation. We are unsure at this time how long the occupation will last.”
Royal Holloway’s student union (SURHUL) have given their support to the protest, issuing a statement saying,
“As permitted by a motion passed at last night’s General Meeting, [we] will be supporting this peaceful protest and giving it the SU’S full political support as part of the Education Campaign and strongly encourage management to fulfil the demands made of them by the occupiers.”
The Royal Holloway occupation is one of a number of student occupations throughout the country. Similar protests are taking place at universities in Sheffield, East Anglia and Essex.