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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

University Fail

I don't know how many of you know about what's been going on at Glasgow University these last few weeks, but as plans were announced to cut out most of the languages courses - including Russian, Polish and Czech, German, Italian, Portuguese and Catalan - leaving only French and Spanish in a shell of a modern languages department, several students occupied the Hetherington Research Building (part of the languages dept) in University Gardens in protest.  These cuts are part of larger proposed cuts to save the university £20 million.

The occupiers stayed in the Hetherington Research Building for 7 weeks in total, and though many of them left recently after appeals from the university, a core of about 15 people were left - until today. **[Please see comment below.]

The university, in its wisdom, called in the police to evict the occupiers, and on Tuesday morning some 80 police officers, 18 police vehicles and 1 helicopter (according to the BBC news report). 

Remember, this was to evict 15 students from the building.  The University has commented that the students had previously 'been asked to leave.'

There were reports of excessive force being used which culminated in one person apparently sustaining a dislocated arm, and one person leaving the building on a stretcher.

By the time all the occupiers had been evicted, a large crowd had formed outside the Hetherington Building in protest.  As the last of the students left the building, about 100-150 of them marched to the quadrangle in the university's main building, where they staged a demonstration and went on to occupy the Senate office.

It seems that they stayed there until late tonight, and now, after realising that they couldn't evict them from the Senate, the university has now asked them to leave the Senate office on the agreement that they can return to the Free Hetherington Building.  I think the students had a list of demands that they wanted met before they left the Senate, but I'm not sure how many, and which, of these were met before they were asked to leave.

I can't believe the force and police presence that were used at the campus today, not to mention the huge waste of resources from both the university, and the police force.  When was the last time we saw 80 police officers on Buchanan Street on a Saturday to help prevent the flurry of rapes that have been happening in the city centre?

Here are the links to a few more articles on the situation at the Free Hetherington.  Please comment and let me know of any updates, or correct anything inaccurate that I've said here.


  1. Germany is a language now is it? Didn't know that...

  2. Lots of people hadn't left, and it wasn't just a core of 15 left - we just have around that number sleeping over at night! There was only a few of us because they came to evict us in the morning. The Free Hetherington has had one of it's busiest weeks.

  3. Thanks for clarifying that, Liam.

    And 'Anonymous': it's always the bitchy commenters that don't bother leaving a name. Cheers.

  4. gahhh I dont have your email address, but going out posting shortly so can get those two things to you, can you send £4 to ruth(dot)jackson(at) and put your address in the note box?