Student 'day of action': staff briefing
23 November 2010
A message to staff from Derek Pretty, University Registrar, about the planned student 'day of action' tomorrow (24 November).
As part of the protest, students have been encouraged to stage a national walkout from 11am. Our understanding with regard to our University is that there is likely to be a walkout from 12pm followed by a protest on the grass opposite Senate House at 12.30pm; the latter may also involve students from UWE and possibly other local colleges and schools. This is likely to be followed by a march to the Wills Memorial Building where a further demonstration is expected to take place.
The University is working closely with the police to ensure any such protest and march is peaceful and limits the amount of disruption to us and our neighbours as far as possible.
Please note that it is essential that staff carry with them their University identity card at all times as we may need to put in place additional security measures including access to buildings at certain times during the day. It may also be necessary to close certain entrances/exits to buildings at very short notice. Should this be necessary, security and portering staff will assist you in finding an alternative entry or exit. We of course hope to keep any such closure to a minimum.
The national 'day of action' also calls for building occupations; so far we are not aware that any are planned here, but it is possible that they may occur. Should this happen in your building, then you should inform Security Services (internal tel: 11-22-33; external tel: 0117 331 1223). It should be noted that in the vast majority of cases, occupations, if they occur, are peaceful and cause minimal disruption. Should an occupation occur then please do your best to work around the situation, while, of course, avoiding any potential conflict. Security Services, in liaison with senior management, will seek to deal with any instances of occupation in the most appropriate way.
Please note that we recognise an individual's right to protest and therefore any gathering outside of buildings which does not block entry points and is not deemed a risk, intimidatory or disruptive, should be allowed to continue. Again, please do call Security should you have any concerns on the day.
The national day of protest may attract media attention; so, as is normal practice, if you are approached by a journalist and you are not sure about what to say or feel uncomfortable in any way, please do put the journalist in contact with the University’s Press Office (tel: 0117 928 8895) who will then help the journalist with their enquiry.
Should we need to update staff, we will do so via email and via the web.
Derek Pretty, University Registrar