A group of around 10-15 students at the University of Bath occupied a private suite of the vice-chancellor of the University for over 24 hours. The group were holed out in an area near to the office of vice-chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell. They were campaigning in support of staff members who are currently engaging in 14 days of strike action. The occupation is aligned with the visit of Chancellor Prince Edward, and the Annual Founders’ Day celebrations. We start with the group of students who are occupying the area…
A group of students entered the Management building, before gaining access to a private suite of the vice-chancellor Glynis Breakwell. The occupation was done in support of staff on strike, and timed to coincide with Founders Day and the visit of Prince Edward. While it is believed relations were amicable to begin with, the occupation took a more sinister turn when those occupying the room were supposedly denied toilet access. This led to some students resorting to urinating in bottles.
A pulley system however was hastily constructed, which allowed the bottles to be disposed of in a timely manner. The pulley system also allowed breakfast and other supplies to be handed over, following an overnight stay. In the morning, following heavy criticism, the University confirmed the students were allowed to access toilets.
There were also accusations that the students were being intentionally sleep deprived, following the news that lights were turned on, and loud music played during the night and early morning.
The group of students who occupied the private suite outlined the following three points – stating they wouldn’t leave the room until they were satisfied:
- Dame Glynis to condemn the Universities UK’s pension plans and urge more negotiations to take place.
- Money from lost staff wages to go towards student and staff mental health services.
- Improved senior management governance structure to be implemented, and for some individuals to immediately leave their post.
Many students have been providing support outside the building…
As mentioned above, the staff strike is ongoing. This is being done in response to planned pension changes by Universities UK.
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This has been one of several ‘occupation’ events held by students this week.