Today started off with a meeting with Principal Freda Bridge and Vice Principal Mark Shields. If you have read the previous blog, this topic is what we’ll be covering in today’s blog. We sent up Jordi and Andy, with Sam as the note taker.
The meeting began with the usual chit chat about what’s been happening with the campaign. Then, down to business.
One of the first issues is defining what we are as a student voice, as a campaign and our position with the university. We then moved on to why we were concerned with the restructure of management in the university and why students, staff and the union would like to be involved with the decisions that are made. The discussion drifted on to the ‘Student Experience’, however, it was quickly brought back to our demands.
Mark requested a short note on LTSAC and what we are exactly, in the interest of the governors. There was a discussion on the subject, one thing we managed to get clear is that we are a campaign which opposes the government cuts, although, on smaller matters things were a little less straight forward. It was accepted that people listen to us on national issues, but in terms of the university things were unclear. Mark Shields mentioned that the difficulty from everyone is that what they feel personally and professionally aren’t the same and if they can’t reconcile these issues then they need to leave. Therefore only those keen on success should stay, success being the number of students and money.
Following this, it was suggested that we should only be putting pressure on nationally. Mark specified the cuts to EMA were outrageous. There was a specific request to actually meet the most simple of the demands there, which was met with a strange resistance. Principal Bridge supports our campaign yet was reluctant to commit to confirming in an official letter, that she would not penalise people for taking part in peaceful legal protest. This is despite the fact that actually, stopping people doing this is illegal, staff and students taking days off for protest is more than legal and is encouraged by most institutions which are concerned about the effects the cuts will have.
The meeting finished on the practical matters of rooms as the time of the contractors begining refurbishment is looming closer.
So, with the meeting over and still little sorted out, we get back to our campaigning and leafleting. The petition is going remarkably well and the list of signatures is gradually growing. We’re preparing for the rally on Thursday, we hope to see you guys there!