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In May, the University of London announced that it was shutting down its students union – ULU – from August 2014, and replacing it with a management run services centre.
We are calling on students and activists from across the country to mobilise for a demonstration on Wednesday November 13th to fight these proposals and present an alternative vision for our campuses and our education. Assemble at 1pm.
ULU will also be running a referendum for all of its members on the future of ULU. We will be challenging University management to be bound by its outcome.
1. Defend student union autonomy
The University of London has no right to shut down its students’ union. No student got a say in the decision. Under it, ULU’s iconic and vibrant campaigns – on education cuts, housing, workers rights and liberation – will cease, and vital activities and services will be lost.
Student unions only exist because we fight for their existence. If ULU is closed, it will send a green light to university managements all over the country that they can get away with slashing student union funding and taking over student-run services.
We want to see ULU’s building and activities continue as a student union which represents all students in London.
2. Decent working conditions for all campus workers
Outsourced cleaners at the University of London go without proper sick pay, holiday pay and pensions. This is a disgrace when the combined salaries of the Vice Chancellors of the University is over £4m. This demonstration is likely to occur during a strike organise by outsourced workers in defence of their jobs and conditions.
The question of democracy on our campuses cannot be separated from broader questions, including how staff are treated. There is only one unstoppable force on any campus: students and staff fighting together.
3. Reclaim your campus
Students and workers at the University of London are being attacked and undermined. In July, the University management called the police on students protesting for cleaners’ rights and had one of them arrested and prosecuted for chalking; they have since tried to ban all protest at their main building.
In universities and colleges all over the country, unelected managers are attacking working conditions and cutting courses and services. This isn’t a coincidence, it’s about their vision for education – one in which market forces and managerial power can shut courses and services, and do away with the social mission of education.
We are marching not only for ULU, but for a different vision for education, one that is a public service, accessible to everyone, and run democratically by students, staff and the community.
See you on November 13th!