Before the appeals hearing, a number of those who participated in the occupation signed a statement that they were equally responsible for actions taken during the sit-in, and that the ten who have been disciplined should not therefore have been singled out. Today, The Times has this:
No disciplinary action is to be taken by Liverpool University authorities against 171 students who took part in a sit-in at the Senate House at the end of last term, for which 10 students have already been punished […]
The other 171 wrote to Mr Trevor Thomas, the Vice-Chancellor, stating that they were each ‘equally responsible for any action taken in accordance with the wishes of the corporate body of the occupation’.
Mr Herbert Burchall, University Registrar, announced today that he wrote to the 171 students asking whether they intended by their statement to admit that they were guilty of the charge of ‘conduct detrimental to the discharge of the duties of the university’.
His statement said: ‘It is understood that at the hearings before the board of appeal it was claimed that the statement…was merely a ‘solidarity statement’ and not an admission of guilt. Although the university does not entirely accept this view of the statement, it does recognise that, having regard to the circumstances in which it was written, it may not have been intended as an admission of a disciplinary offence…It had therefore been decided not to proceed against the 171 students, in almost all of whose cases the statement is the only available evidence’.