STUDENTS have taken over a room at a university classroom by barricading themselves in – with one claiming they are on hunger strike.

The group of mainly University of Brighton students booked out the room on Wednesday.

Once inside the campus room, called G4, in Grand Parade, Brighton, they barricaded themselves in and are now refusing to leave until their demands are met or until an ongoing staff strike ends on Friday.

This comes amid a larger four-week strike about university staff pay and conditions.

The students want the striking university staff’s demands met and also want the Student Union to show its support for them.

They also want compensation for missed lectures.

Humanities student Izzy Smith, 21, said: “We wanted to support those who are striking and so we decided we would occupy a room.

“There is a fair amount of space in here, there are windows to put banners up and it was fairly easy to barricade.

“We are well versed in our rights – they told us that they were going to get someone called Barry to get us out.

“He still hasn’t turned up, we keep saying ‘where’s Barry?’, we think he might be myth.”

The group. who call themselves The Brighton Student Lobbying Group, are taking it in turns to stay inside the room, with some sleeping overnight while others bring in supplies such as biscuits and Doritos.

One striker said she had to go to the toilet in a bottle.

The students say staff in the building have generally been helpful and the group has visited university executive staff for discussions about their aims.

They would not reveal who was on hunger strike as they believe they could be removed from the room due to concerns for their welfare.

Joanne Williams, 19, said her exams and lessons had been heavily disrupted during the strikes.

She said: “We are still paying the full amount for our lessons, £9,250. We are paying this, but we are not getting anything which we have paid for. We must be reimbursed.”

They are demanding that every University of Brighton student be reimbursed £1,321.43 each in compensation for the strikes.

They also demand the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) concede to the demands of the University and College Union (UCU) about pay and conditions.

They want the university’s Student Union to acknowledge and endorse the UCU strikes

A university spokesman said steps had been taken to mitigate the disruption to students during the strike and people offered compensation “where appropriate”.

He added: “UCEA is a national body representing 147 higher education institutions in national pay negotiations with the UCU.

“These negotiations, aimed at arriving at a fair agreement, are ongoing.

“As a responsible employer, the university is already acting locally on many of the issues raised in this national dispute and is committed to working in partnership with its trades’ unions.”

“Brighton Students’ Union have already endorsed the UCU strike action.”