Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Our response to the university 16/02/09

This statement is written in light of the recent letter submitted to the University of the Arts Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (UALPSC). This letter regards the set of requests given to University of the Arts London (UAL) senior staff and their response to the requests.

UALPSC recently met with Rob Imeson, dean of students, alongside two equality and diversity officers (11/02/09) . The dialogue of this meeting seemed very positive and it was felt that an agreement between UAL and UALPSC could be met. This agreement would essentially aim to provide humanitarian aid and support to the people Gaza. The requests were designed around this aim; please find a copy attached. Rob Imeson then reported back to Nigel Carrington, rector, with the promise that with the promise that a response to our requests would be sent within a week. The response was received this morning.

Upon reviewing the response during today's meeting the UALPSC are dissatisfied with the letter from Nigel Carrington pointing out that it is very ambiguous, vague and inconsistent. The letter, please find attached, does not represent the positive response we have had from the student body and we see it as a backward step in achieving our goals. We feel that the letter essentially aims to scapegoat all responsibility.

The letter barely touches upon 3 of the 6 requests made. It fails to acknowledge requests regarding: a) opening the universities investment books and subjecting it to scrutiny, b) investing in affected Palestinian students by providing scholarships and c) supporting the UALPSC in exhibiting art surrounding the subject.

The demands that it does touch upon are a very poor response and will not suffice for our campaign.

We will continue to petition and will be running events throughout the coming weeks including a talk by Tony Benn, Mark Howell (LCC alumni and photographer who has worked on the subject of Palestine and the West Bank), a student involved in university occupations, Chris Nineham (STWC) and a civilian of Gaza. These will take place on Fri 20 Feb and Mon 23 Feb.

We will also be responding to Nigel Carrington's letter explaining our disappointment.

We also wish to express our aim to promote education and not disrupt it this applies throughout our campaign and to all future events.



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