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Protest activities in and around campus

8 December 2010

A message to staff from Derek Pretty, University Registrar. An update with regard to protest activities in and around campus.

Dear All

We wanted to update everyone with regard to protest activities in and around campus.

As you may be aware, protests are planned locally and nationally for Wednesday and Thursday. As we have said previously, we may need to restrict access to certain buildings and so staff and students should have their identity cards with them at all times. We will try to keep any disruption caused by restricted access to a minimum.

You may also be aware that there is a sit-in within the Senate Room of Senate House. This began on Monday afternoon and has consisted of a group of up to 30 of our students.

The group has issued a series of demands and we have met with representatives from the group twice. A key point from the group is that it would like the University to allow it to have open meetings at which debate and discussion around the key issues facing the sector can happen. The University's position is that we would support a series of meetings which would be open to University of Bristol students and staff. However, in exchange for this, we have requested that the group ceases its sit-in so that we can allow Senate House to operate normally.

We will seek to continue to meet with representatives of the group with a view to reaching an amicable conclusion. Meanwhile, we have found it necessary to control access to Senate House and entry and exit is currently via the side door. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause to staff, students and visitors.

As we have said in previous communications, we do recognise the right of our students to protest peaceably and lawfully and so we would ask everyone to respect this. We also recognise that staff and students may experience some inconvenience during the period of the protest activities and we will continue to work closely with colleagues across the University as well as with the police to ensure any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

Best wishes

Derek Pretty, University Registrar

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