As part of the national Day of Action against educational fee rises and cuts (Wednesday 24th November), 60 of us have begun a peaceful occupation of the Fine Arts building of Newcastle University, from 5.30pm.
We occupy in solidarity with all other universities across the country, condemning cuts to Higher Education, Education Maintenance Allowance and against a rise in tuition fees.
Our occupation of the fine art building is in recognition of the devastating cuts to arts and humanities that have been proposed.
That there be no victimisation of the students involved in this occupation nor disciplinary action taken against them, and that they be marked as present at the lectures or seminars they miss as a result of this occupation.
· That the University send out a statement of support for all pupils/ students from schools, colleges and Universities involved in this protest and occupation requesting that they should not be penalised for these actions.
That the University release all documents regarding education cuts at this establishment to students and lecturers.
That the University release an official statement rejecting the Government proposals for Higher Education, condemning any education cuts or rises in university tuition fees and acknowledging the current breakdown of democracy that has lead to these student protests.
That the Vice Chancellor, Chris Brink, write and send an open letter to the Government appealing to them not to implement cuts and to call for Vice Chancellors across the country to unite against cuts in the education budget, any rise in tuition fees and the removal of Educational Maintenance Allowance.
That all teaching staff devotes some teaching time over the next week to discuss the impact of these education cuts on students, staff and society.
That other Universities, schools and colleges release statements rejecting the cuts to higher education, tuition fee rises and the removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance.
That lecturers are free to voice their opinions on the issue of cuts without the fear of reprisal from the University.
After 7 days in Occupation, sharing our knowledge and building for today’s second national day of action we have agree on a set of additional demands of our university. These demands are in line with our stated goals that the University should oppose education cuts and tuition fee rises but also demand changes to our University structure so that our University echoes the feelings of the student body.
That all asylum seekers wishing to study at
Newcastle University are treated as home students following the example set by London Metropolitan and Manchester Universities
Greater student representation in University management, thus we demand ten
students are involved with running our University, each with a vote on senate or council. In addition, that students are included in the Vice Chancellor’s meetings with academics concerning fees and cuts, due to take place in the coming weeks. Newcastle
We demand that the University provides a large lecture theatre for a community anti-cuts coordinating assembly to take place weekly.