In ignoring the democratic motion, stating that the students are mandated for direct negotiations by Student Union policy, Alan Gilbert, the Vice-Chancellor and President remains in deadlock with the occupying students.

The student occupied Simon Building has now endured to just over 18 days. Now the longest running University Occupation of all the 21 UK University Occupations so far. This comes about as the Vice Chancellor and President of Manchester University, Alan Gilbert, continues to avoid direct verbal negotiations with the occupying students. In his lettered dialogue over the past week, the Vice-Chancellor managed to concede to offering the students a chance to give a 15 minute presentation of explaining their demands providing that they would stop the occupation, followed by dialogue with the Student Union Executive.

The students have communicated over and over again that they would only leave the occupation providing they would have a sincere commitment from the Vice-Chancellor to engage in serious negotiations upon the student demands. The students replied expressing concern over the Vice-Chancellor interpretation on the motion of the emergency general meeting that was passed in overwhelming majority on the 11th of February. The motion states that the union must provide “unequivocal support for the occupation so far as it keeps the current demands, remains non-violent and maintains its intention not to disrupt the education of peers…” and also to “…support and aid the occupation in its negotiations with the university.” The students add that we act upon behalf of the student body and therefore it is the duty of the Vice-Chancellor to engage with us suitably, and that if the people of Gaza can endure warfare for 3 weeks, they can certainly stay in occupation for much longer.


1 Comment

  1. UEL Students said

    It is an absolute disgrace that the Vice Chancellor and the President refuse to enter negotiations with you. You are doing an amazing job and you have the full support of all students at UEL.
    Soon the ignorant and authoritarian actions of your University administration will have to cease and they will be forced to concede that your occupation has drawn emphasis on their totally inappropriate behaviour. If students, as the fee payers, the learners, indeed the very reason for the Universities existence, are unable to voice their opinions, are ignored by the University and treated with such contempt then the University has completely failed as an academic and public educational institution.
    Keep strong, we are proud to be associated to your incredible occupation over the past 18 days.
    Love and respect, UEL students.

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