Funding warning to protesting University of Sussex

Students occupying buildings at University of Sussex

Students occupying buildings at University of Sussex

First published in News by

Students have been warned that if they continue to protest cash will be taken from their union, teaching and research budgets.

University of Sussex vice-chancellor Michael Farthing made his feelings clear about the activists, who have been occupying the Falmer campus’ Bramber building for nine days, in an open letter to staff.

The students responded by calling it a “pathetic attempt to impede their right to protest”.

A spokesman said: “They are trying to show themselves in a good light by allowing us to occupy the space while, at the same time, threatening us to get out or else.”

The students are occupying the top floor conference centre in protest against the privatisation of campus catering and facility management jobs.

They say that university bosses have not consulted them or workers on the plans, which will affect 235 jobs.

In the letter, Mr Farthing said the protest had distressed staff who worked in the building.

He said: “In relation to the costs incurred, aside from the Students’ Union, the only other place where loss of revenue can be replaced would be from our teaching and research funds, which are the only other main sources of revenue for the university.”

Stop spread

He added that he was working with senior staff to stop the occupation spreading to other buildings on campus – a plan he said had been discussed by students.

A spokesman for the students responded by saying that no such plans had been discussed and Mr Farthing’s comments were “nothing more than a petty attempt to cause division”.

The protest has received widespread support from around the world since it began on February 7.

On Thursday (February 14) Caroline Lucas, comedian Mark Steel and writer Will Self visited the occupation to offer words of support.

Film director Ken Loach is the latest famous face to send a message of support.

Mr Farthing added that those who work in the conference centre continue to be denied access to their place of work.

But, when asked last night whether they would use legal powers to evict the students, the university refused to say.

A spokeswoman added: “We are keeping the situation under review.”

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Comments (5)

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7:00pm Tue 19 Feb 13

risingphoenix says...

Farthing threatens to penalise those who stand up for others who are about to lose money when services are privatised...

So there is the lesson for the next generation...do what we say or suffer the consequences if you wish to point out what is going wrong!
Farthing threatens to penalise those who stand up for others who are about to lose money when services are privatised... So there is the lesson for the next generation...do what we say or suffer the consequences if you wish to point out what is going wrong! risingphoenix
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Tue 19 Feb 13

RK_Brighton says...

Is the Vice Chancellor threatening all students because some are protesting? He must be if he's saying SU, teaching and research funding will be cut if protests continue.

What better incentive is he giving to more students to join in to protest against his insane threats and dodgy running of the university.

He is being unreasonable and showing poor control.
Is the Vice Chancellor threatening all students because some are protesting? He must be if he's saying SU, teaching and research funding will be cut if protests continue. What better incentive is he giving to more students to join in to protest against his insane threats and dodgy running of the university. He is being unreasonable and showing poor control. RK_Brighton
  • Score: 0

2:17am Wed 20 Feb 13

leobrighton says...

Can't the students decide to go other universities instead? Do they have a choice? Have they already paid only to find they will be getting less than they were led to believe? Have they been duped or conned? The tuition fees they pay must be in anticipation of receiving a certain level of service - Discuss...
Can't the students decide to go other universities instead? Do they have a choice? Have they already paid only to find they will be getting less than they were led to believe? Have they been duped or conned? The tuition fees they pay must be in anticipation of receiving a certain level of service - Discuss... leobrighton
  • Score: 0

8:09am Wed 20 Feb 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Mr farthing where are you when your students are causing mayhem in communities?
I haven't heard you threaten to remove students from courses, no you just carry on taking the fees no matter how the kids who pay your salary and pension behave.
And you wonder why the general population have lost faith in higher education.
Mr farthing where are you when your students are causing mayhem in communities? I haven't heard you threaten to remove students from courses, no you just carry on taking the fees no matter how the kids who pay your salary and pension behave. And you wonder why the general population have lost faith in higher education. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

9:07am Wed 20 Feb 13

Drivel says...

"They are trying to show themselves in a good light by allowing us to occupy the space"
Is this then an occupation or an invitation?
"They are trying to show themselves in a good light by allowing us to occupy the space" Is this then an occupation or an invitation? Drivel
  • Score: 0

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