Following the occupation in November, students have reoccupied buildings on the University of Manchester campus in protest against the treatment of students since September. The occupiers have written an open letter to the Vice Chancellor, Nancy Rothwell, which details the reasons of the protest and the demands they’re making.
Who is involved?
The protest is a culmination of numerous groups within Manchester, namely:
- Rent Strike
- Nany Out!
- Cops off Campus
- Student Staff Solidarity UoM
The groups have announced that they will remain in the Samuel Alexander building on the main campus until their demands are met. They will not block any students accessing study spaces and will remain quiet and respectful to said students.
What are the demands?
The demands of the occupation are:
- A rent refund of 30% for Semester 2 for any student living in halls
- Introduction of elections for Vice Chancellor and leadership positions
- Increased student representation in university structures
- Diversify the Board of Governors
- Cash rebate of £1500 for all UoM students
- No more police patrols of the Fallowfield accommodation campus
- No compulsory redundancies for library staff
- No punishment for occupiers and rent strikers
What has the response been so far?
A spokesperson for the university has said: “A small number of students are currently occupying an area in one of our buildings without permission. Staff are on site to ensure safety and welfare. We would ask that the students leave. We understand that some of our students have concerns and we are continuing to work closely with their elected representatives.”
What support has there been?
So far the open letter has been signed by over 100 supporters, and their social media accounts have plenty of support in the form of followers. Their Twitter has over 5k followers and their Tik Tok has over 16k followers.
So far, the university hasn’t mentioned the demands specifically, but we’re sure that the group are found to make headway soon.