£150,000 of student funding withheld… for a room?
The occupation had previously said to management that the ‘Principal’s Meeting Room’ was available for use if booked in advance. It should be noted that this agreement was made before the management decided that in place of negotiating and debating with students over the future of the college it was simply easier to seek legal action to evict us from our own campus.
This morning, we were forwarded an email from the Students Union’ (as management have refused to even email us anymore). This email informed us that management require the use of the room for a discussion of Royal Holloway Alumni, the AAG, to discuss the Annual Fund and its allocation. This was ostensibly because they were unable to use the previously booked room in Huntersdale, but comes at a convenient time when management are looking to disregard our arguments by tarnishing our conduct.
We replied that they would be able to use the meeting room, but that students would be in the room studying whilst the meeting took place. This is due to a lack of study space on campus, our need to secure the occupation, and that there are numerous other meeting rooms available on campus for them to move to.
Management entered the occupation approximately two hours before the meeting was scheduled to start, and refused to negotiate with us. They have demanded to use the room, and stated that if anyone remained in the room, then the meeting would not be relocated or rescheduled, but instead, management said that the annual fund would simply not be allocated. We obviously will grant the meetings full access to the room, with no students inside, given management’s outrageous demand.
We vehemently condemn their decision to make an ultimatum, which could impact so many students significantly, over so petty an issue as which particular room they hold a meeting in. In the 09-10 academic year, the Annual Fund allocated £150,000 in bursaries, scholarships, and other student support. That management were prepared to forsake the allocation of these vital funds is disgraceful, and reveals their real priorities: that they would rather win a trivial victory over the use of a room, than facilitate aiding students who wish to study at this university, supposedly their core objective.