Almost 5 weeks ago, a group of Warwick students set up camp on their campus piazza. They stated that they would stay there until their demands from the university were met. So far, they’ve held their word. The group is called Protect Warwick Women, and they are sitting in to protest the treatment of sexual assault victims within the university.
They have published a list of their demands, and over the last 5 weeks, they have repeatedly met with and been let down by their university administration. For anyone looking to learn more about their specific demands, check out our earlier article on their sit in, or their Instagram.
Since the 1st of April, the group have been continuing to work towards their goals for a safer, secure campus for men, women and non-binary people. They’re working to reform security, introduce training and consent focus, and overall fix all the issues they believe are evident in the way the university has handled sexual assault over the years.
In a video posted on Friday 16th April, the group updated their following on Instagram with a summary of what has happened so far. Here’s everything you need to know.
The longest protest on campus
Sitting at nearly 5 weeks now, this Protect Warwick Women sit in is the longest protest to ever have happened on The University of Warwick’s campus.
During this time, they have only been approached by 1 member of staff. This was on day 28, and it was said member of staff, the university’s new Director of Operations and Wellbeing’s 4th day on the job.
What meetings have been had, and how are they going?
As mentioned in our first article, the group have had a series of meetings with administration officers from within the university. They have had varied responses during these meetings, from feeling unheard, ignored, to listen to and excited. Overall, it seems that there is a general feeling that the university doesn’t care about the group and it’s concerns, and it instead presenting its pre-existing but evidently ineffective systems of support in order to counteract the claims of Protect Warwick Women.
The group spoke about how the meetings have all featured very non-committal responses, and even when the university did say they ‘agreed’ with demands originally, in the PDF which was distributed to students, this wording was changed to ‘support’.
Over the Easter holidays, the camp has stayed at the piazza. They spoke in their video about how this was a tough time, as everyone else was going home and they stayed on campus, in tents, with zero contact from staff who were all on leave. They waited for over a week to hear back from Helen Knee at one point.
In one of their meetings, Helen had explained that the university is working on a review of security to analyse the need for 24/7 security officers on campus. When the group contacted her for more information, her belated response was vague, with very little information in it whatsoever.
The group intend to stay put until their demands are met, and are still considering other forms of protest. But for now, they are demonstrating their point through art and the sit in.
If you would like to support the sit in, check out their merchandise on this site here. The group are also holding regular events to support those involved and keep up the sense of camaraderie. One of which, on April 24th, is providing support to women on campus who may be afraid of the Tik Tok Hoax ‘National Rape Day’. This event is running from 12 to 12, and is a comfort day for all involved.