Sussex University is occupied

Students at Sussex University have occupied the conference centre on the top floor of Bramber House against university managers’ plans to outsource campus services.

Their occupation has received national media attention in the Guardian, Independent (as well as here and here) and THES.

Rush message of solidarity to the students at occupysussex2013@gmail.com and sussexagainstprivatisation@gmail.com.

In their statement, the occupying students say the following:

“After continually being ignored by university management and left out of all negotiations regarding the proposed privatisation plans, Sussex students have occupied the University’s conference centre.

Over the last few days the campaign has picked up widespread national press coverage and messages of support have been pouring in from Students’ Unions, organisations and influential individuals.

The management at Sussex have shown a blatant disregard for the views and wishes of the campus community in the way that they have instigated these proposals. The lack of transparency, and openness from a University that has a reputation as a ‘radical’ institution, is tantamount to a management position which is eroding the spirit of Sussex. All methods used by staff and students to engage with management in discussion are being ignored.

As a result of this top-down decision, and many others which have not involved adequate consultation with this vibrant and close-knit campus community, people are feeling indignant and feel as though all routes to ask management to listen to and act on our concerns are dwindling.

We call on the management of the University to immediately halt their plans; to undertake a full and proper democratic negotiation with staff and students about the future of campus services; and to ensure that student and trade union representatives are fully represented and informed during all stages of future processes and decision making.”

Regular updates here: http://sussexagainstprivatization.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/solidarity-statement-sign-now

Similar outsourcing plans have already been implemented in Cambridge: the University Library tea room is now run by the same company that owns Costa coffee, which is you might have noticed their prices going up.

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