Chancellor not impressed by student ‘trial’

This morning the Daily Post has a report on yesterday’s ‘mock trial’ held in the Students Union:

Liverpool University authorities, including Lord Salisbury, the Chancellor, were found guilty at a mock trial in the Students’ Union last night.

An audience of about 300 students formed an unconventional jury and judgment was passed by a panel of three wearing academic gowns.

If the charge was unusual – that they had incited students to occupy Senate House – then so too was the sentence.

Lord Salisbury was banned from the Students’ Union for the rest 0f’ his natural life.

Mr Trevor Thomas, the Vice-Chancellor, Mr H. H. Burchnall, the registrar, and Mr H. B. Chrimes, the treasurer, were ”suspended from the union for two years.

On being told the result, all of them except Lord Salisbury, declined to comment.  He said: ” They are entitled to hold a mock trial, but it doesn’t mean that I have to pay the slightest bit of attention to it and I won’t.”

One of the accusations made by the students was that he was a racialist. ” I have never held racialist views,” he said.

It was an assertion never made at the trial.  Only the case for the prosecution was heard, presented by student Oliver Swingler wearing an academic gown.

A few points were made in defence, but they were half-hearted.  As Mr Swingler pointed out later: ” We were attempting to explain why we sat in.  The information we gave was serious, but wearing gowns was a bit of comedy.”

After 90 minutes the students moved on to condemn the disciplinary board which decided to expel one student and suspend nine others after the 12-day occupation of Senate House last month.

A University spokesman commented: “It must be borne in mind that this action has been taken by only a small proportion of the 6,500 students at the University.”

The students are to hold a mass meeting this morning to discuss their next moves. Meanwhile the ten students wait to appeal.

See the leaflet advertising this event here


Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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