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Update following the recent protests

1 December 2010

A message to staff from Derek Pretty, University Registrar. An update following the recent protests that took place this and last week.

Dear colleague,

I wanted to update you following the recent protests that took place this and last week. Our understanding is that more protests are being planned - currently, we are aware of the following days on which there appears to be a possibility of action: Friday 3 December, Sunday 5 December; Saturday 11 December.

Of course, the protests may not take place near University buildings, but it is possible that some or all of the protestors may at some stage move into one or more areas of the University. The flow of the protests has been difficult to predict, so it is important that we all remain aware of the possible risks of attempted or actual occupations of buildings. For example, please ensure that, if you are the last person to leave a building, you carry out any normal locking-up procedures. It is also important that we keep to a minimum the amount of things left on desks, particularly in open office areas. Also, given that some of the protests may happen during weekends, it is important that colleagues who occupy buildings that are routinely open at weekends remain alert. In the absence of porters during weekends, staff should call the main Security Services number (Internal tel: 11-22-33; external tel: 0117 331 1223) if they have any concerns.

As we have said previously, it is important that staff carry their University identity card with them at all times, as we may need to put in place additional security measures affecting access to buildings at certain times during the day. As was the case during the most recent protest, it may 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 route of entry or exit. We of course hope to keep any such closure to a minimum.

Should you be aware of an attempted or actual occupation by protestors, then you should inform Security Services (Internal tel: 11-22-33; external tel: 0117 331 1223). Our advice is to 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.

The recent protests have attracted a degree of media attention, so it is worth reminding colleagues that, 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.

In order to ensure we are able to provide staff with timely information, we will post updates on the 'Staff notices' section of the 'Information for staff' University website during any future protests.

I would like to thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Derek Pretty, University Registrar

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