Approximately 40 students have staged an occupation of the Victorian Corridor outside the Picture Gallery in Founder’s Building.
Watch Principal Professor Paul Layzell addressing the students here.
A live feed has also been set up here.
Beth Bridewell reports the following on the ‘Royal Holloway Anti Cuts Alliance’ website:
“Royal Holloway Anti Cuts Alliance have gone into occupation in a corridor of the prestigious founders building. After an initial plan of congregating and occupying the Principal’s office, the group were forced by a security presence to abandon this plan.
“The group of students gathered in a common room to discuss the options. Debate was centred around the decision whether to proceed with action or to reschedule. It was decided that momentum should be sustained and the occupation proceed as planned.
“As the students gathered in the new location of planned occupation, the Principle and Vice-Principle emerged from a meeting. The students proceeded to hand out a list of demands. These included a call “for the management to implement full transparency and consultation with the student body in a public meeting before considering any cuts” along with demanding that there be no cuts made to any departments, courses or welfare services on campus.
“A forty minute discussion ensued. One Alliance member stated “we will sit in here as a show of support, in hope that you will change your position and to show that we are behind you when you do”. Paul Layzell responded, “we’ve been very clear here, you have a right to protest and no one’s going to stop you doing it.”
“The students thanked the management for their time and the Principles stated they would read the list of demands and be in touch. Students plan to occupy overnight and are asking other students on campus to join them.
“Representatives from the Students Union arrived an hour after the occupation was initiated. They were handed the list of demands. Beth Rowley, Vice President of Education and Welfare and Victor Garcia, Vice president of Student Activities stated that they did not actively support the occupation of a college building however they will be looking out for students’ welfare and ensuring there are suitable conditions for occupants. They also delivered the news that Steven Bland, Head of Facilities, was happy with the way things had gone. He commented that the students were peaceful and polite and together with security have come to the decision that students can come and go as they please.”