Student takeover in London files protest

This morning, The Times offers this round-up of current student action at various universities:

More than 300 London University students of Bedford College, Regent’s Park, NW, yesterday barricaded themselves in the top two floors of the college’s administrative block. They did so to mark their sympathy with students at Oxford, Manchester, and Warwick who are protesting at the keeping of ” political files “. The London students also claim to have found files being kept on them by the university authorities. They say they list their political activities and demand that they be destroyed. One student leader said: “Files are being kept at Senate House on students at Bedford and other colleges in the London University group. We want to see them and we expect support from other colleges in the next few days “.  Mr. L. P. Turnbull, the registrar, last night denied that any files in his possession contained such information. He said that to have conceded the student demand would have involved a breach of confidence’ because the files contained confidential medical reports and references. “If I have to break this trust I would have to resign “, he said.

More than 100 students at The Polytechic -Regent Street, agreed that a demand should be sent to Sir Eric Richardson, the director of education, that all files relating to students and the running of the college should be made available to students.

College of Art students union last night carried a motion that if Mr David Page, an English Literature tutor, was not allowed to renew his contract the union would regard this as a political and not an academic decision. Mr. Page,  a coeditor of the book, The Hornsey Affair, about the sit-in two years ago, has been a constant critic of the college administration.

At Liverpool University a meeting of students decided by 334 votes to 220 to defer the question of a sit-in over ” secret files ” and other issues until after a mass meeting in the students’ union on Monday which will be addressed by the vice-chancellor. If his answers do not satisfy the students, a sit-in will follow.

Oxford students reaffirmed their demand that all university and college files should be open for student-staff inspection. Their week-long siege of the Clarendon Building, the university’s administrative building, has ended.

Students at York University last night began a sit-in for an indefinite period at the administrative headquarters over the question of personal files.


Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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