Oxford sit-in

by Micah on January 27, 2004

I just received an email from a student at Oxford with this announcement from the University’s administration:

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE PROCTORS
The University regrets that it is unable, on health and safety
grounds, to make the Examination Schools available for lectures
and classes today (Tuesday 27 January) because there is a
student occupation of the building.
Students and staff should consult the Examination Schools page of
the University web-site for information about arrangements for
Schools lectures and classes from tomorrow onwards.

There were a couple well publicized cases of fee resistance when I was at Oxford a few years ago, but nothing this substantial. The Guardian has more on the student protests, which are still fairly small, here.

{ 9 comments }

1

Conrad Barwa 01.27.04 at 6:48 pm

Waste of time really; I think they should get on with their normal studies and divert their energies towards more fruitful areas. but then I tend to be a bit jaded about this kind of action these days.

2

Nasi Lemak 01.27.04 at 7:43 pm

Very similar occupation of the Sheldonian in ?2000 or thereabouts in the previous round of fees. Not that big a deal, really.

3

micah 01.27.04 at 7:56 pm

I don’t remember the occupation of the Sheldonian, and I was definitely around then. The real surprise this time around, I think, is that the number of protestors is so small. You’d think that the leaders of a student protest could organize in higher numbers.

4

Nasi Lemak 01.27.04 at 8:48 pm

May have been elsewhere in the Bod:

http://www.oxfordstudent.com/2001-04-19/news/3

There was also an occupation of schools in MT98, but can’t find reference to that publicly online.

5

john b 01.28.04 at 12:06 pm

No, it was HT 99 (I only remember because I was there – and there were definitely closer to 140 of us than 60). Here‘s a link.

There was a more hardcore 3-day occupation of the University offices in Wellington Square later in 1999, which I didn’t go on because I’d decided by then that fees were probably right…

6

Iain Murray 01.28.04 at 2:59 pm

I can think of an effective 1980s remedy: send in Hugh Lloyd Jones to lecture to them on Aeschylus. He’d also reprimand them for not wearing gowns in Schools…

7

Josh 01.29.04 at 12:17 am

Ah, Hugh Lloyd Jones! They don’t make them like that anymore …
I didn’t see the occupation of the Schools Building here. But today, when I went to the mail room in Balliol to check my pidgeon hole, I did see a copy of the notice Micah quotes up on the door. On it someone had written, in blue ink (very good handwriting, too): ‘Lectures should not be cancelled’ (or words to that effect); and, right below this (same hand): ‘Support the fight against top-up fees!’ The combination of the two demands/assertions seemed to me, if not quite contradictory, at least a bit unreasonable. But maybe the author really wanted, on some level, to be chastised by a Lloyd Jonesian figure?

8

Nasi Lemak 01.29.04 at 12:16 pm

I believe the students involved in the occupation claim that they wished lectures to proceed as normal meanwhile, and are upset that the university cancelled the lectures for the day. So the anonymous writer is merely following the party line.

9

edd 01.29.04 at 3:29 pm

This is correct, I believe. The occupiers invited all the tutors to come and give their lectures in any case. I don’t think many actually did, but the thought was certainly there.
At one stage there were 150 odd people, but many went to London to lobby the following day.
there was also an occupation of the Bodlian in 2000. Check out the newly up dated http://www.oxfordstudent.com for more details.

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