Defend LSBU! Defend Our Education! first wishes to reiterate, as stated in Pro Vice Chancellor’s last statement, that we are a legitimate protest in defence against the cuts and the rise in fees. Not only this, but we will continue beyond the occupation to campaign and organise on campus to raise awareness and fight against fees and cuts. We condemn the actions of security on Wednesday 17th November in banning our meeting and hope that Phil Cardew will ensure that this does not happen again. We are pleased LSBU management recognises our legitimacy and that there will be no repercussions of any persons involved in the occupation of the Language Centre.
In response to the closure of the Language Centre, LSBU management have cut the right of students to access language facilities without looking into alternatives. One alternative to a language centre, which most other universities offer, is to integrate language provisions into the main structure of degrees, teaching students one additional world language, for instance Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish or French. This structure not only provides credits to students who wish to learn a second language but enriches their university experience and their post-graduation employability. We ask LSBU management to openly consider and discuss alternative routes for language development within the University, including the full consultation of students.
Despite appreciating the opening of communications between management and Defend LSBU! Defend Our Education!, we feel that written communication is failing to provide an open forum for discussion of students’ disagreement with current and future job losses and closures at LSBU. We therefore demand that the Vice Chancellor arrange a public meeting in which he can discuss how cuts and rises in fees will affect LSBU students and staff. This will not only provide space for students to air their views and concerns but also ensure that the Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor can openly justify their previous statements.