Sussex sit-in gathers celebrity support

A student occupation at the University of Sussex is gathering momentum with more than 100 people signing a statement supporting its aims.

February 11, 2013

Academics, MPs and students are among those signing the statement, which calls on the university to halt its plans to outsource campus estates and catering services.

According to the group Sussex Against Privatisation, these include the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, the public intellectual and former fellow of neuropsychology at Sussex, Sir Jonathan Miller, and president of the British Sociological Association and co-founder of the Campaign of the Public University, John Holmwood.

The statement claims management at Sussex have shown “a blatant disregard for the views and wishes of the campus community in the way that they have instigated these proposals”.

“We call on the management of the university to immediately halt their plans; to undertake a full and proper democratic negotiation with staff and students about the future of campus services; and to ensure that student and trade union representatives are fully represented and informed during all stages of future processes and decision making,” it adds.

The occupation of the Bramber House conference centre, underway since 7 February, followed a student and staff-led demonstration against plans to outsource 235 jobs at the institution from August 2013. 

According to the group, other signatories to the “solidarity statement” include the columnist and campaigner Owen Jones, former Labour Cabinet minister, and Sussex graduate, Peter Hain, and The Thick of It actor Peter Capaldi.

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