A reply to the notice from the Vice-Chancellor

Two notices were issued by the University authorities on the morning of 19 March. One was from the Vice-Chancellor. The following leaflet was issued from the occupiers of Senate House in response:

A reply to the University notice concerning the occupation of Senate House

The leaflet issued by the University authorities and signed by the Vice-Chancellor contains so many half-truths and distortions that it is difficult to know where to begin.

Their policy of mystifying and confusing the issues has been present all week, as they attempt to defend an institution which manifests racism and secrecy in all its spheres of operation.

Today they finally decided to issue statements calling 10 students from amongst the occupation for discipline procedure. Why ten, or why today, is not clear and such decisions we cannot be expected to divine from the tortuous legalised brains of the university administration.

The leaflet mentions several points which we would like to answer in order to clear up any confusion that may be present.

The payment of staff wages has been ‘hindered’, not by the occupiers who offered every facility to the university staff and the unions involved, but by the university authorities who last week declined to pay certain overtime rates to some employees. We lay the blame for any difficulties caused to University employees squarely at the door of the University. They have shown no concern before or during the occupation for the interests of their employees. We, the students of the occupation, have time and again told the University to come and get the information they need, but they refused. We have also expressed our whole-hearted solidarity with the University employees in their attempts to get their just pay.

The examinations are in no jeopardy. Exam timetables have been out for days now, and papers have been printed long ago.

All forms and letters were cleared out of the building before we entered, so no problems should have arisen in that direction.

The question does remain unanswered – if the University was aware of the intended occupation and had established interim means of administering the University which they seem so proud of, why did they not take precautions over the matters which they now bemoan?

Also, why does the University now claim the interests of its staff, when for years it has been paying them pitiful wages?

We accuse the University of hypocrisy and deceit. We remain united.

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