Thank you for your email. As you know, three of the sabbatical officers came across to the meeting last night and fed back to the other sabbs. I was unable to attend the meeting which Lil, Fran and Sarah went to (as I was sorting out the election results for this week). It is great to hear that things are going so well and as representatives of Newcastle University Students’ Union we completely support your occupation in the spirit of the protest against the cuts to higher education and what sounds like a brilliant atmosphere and a great community feel. The conduct of meetings at the occupation are a credit to all of those involved. As you can appreciate, we cannot encourage students to come down to join you because it is not an event which we have organised, however, should this peaceful and well structured occupation continue, we endeavour to support you as best we can whilst acting within our policies and procedures.
This afternoon we have been in touch with Jeanette Strachen, the Academic Registrar, to look at the heating in the Fine Art building. Lil, Fran and Sarah passed on the message that it was really cold over there! The heating has now been turned up by 2 degrees which we hope will help to keep you all warm over the next few days.
We apologise that you feel let down by the decision which we had to make and can see why it caused such distress due to the late notice. We appreciate that the trust has to be built up again with those students who have been unhappy at our actions, and from this we will endeavour to be very clear about what we can and cannot do to make sure that the kind of decision we had to make on Tuesday are not necessary. Despite the differences which have occurred over the last few weeks, we would really like to move on and work together when possible to ensure that the government hear our message loud and clear: we will not accept cuts to higher education.
We are pleased to pass on the message that we are organising a silent vigil to be held in the Quad next Tuesday at 5pm. We will supply hundreds of candles so that students can demonstrate to the University and Government how we feel about the cuts to higher education, each light will represent a student opposed to the cuts. We think that this could be a great success and would love all students from both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities to attend with us. If you would like to promote this to any of your members then we would really appreciate it.
All the best,
Tom Delamere and the Sabbatical Officers
President of the Students' Union