The occupation of the Logie Lecture Theatre has ended after two weeks. The students participating in the occupation made the decision to end the occupation after a meeting in the lecture theatre on Tuesday afternoon. The decision follows the Stirling branch of the Universities and College Union’s (UCU) decision to meet with Universities UK (UUK) regarding the new deal offered to lecturers last week.
When the decision to leave was made the occupiers began to clear their belongings out of Logie, cleaning the lecture theatre and taking any leftover food and toiletries donated by lecturers away that will be donated to a food bank.
At four o’clock all of the occupiers returned to Logie and were met by lecturers who gave them a round of applause as they left the building. Lecturers thanked the occupiers for their support and held signs thanking students for their support throughout the recent strike action.
Lecturers and occupiers then took a picture with the occupiers outside of the Logie Lecture Theatre, with fists raised in the air as a sign of solidarity.
Occupiers then marched with lecturers from the Logie Lecture Theatre to Queen’s Court, some students carrying signs, pride flags and red socialist flags, and sang songs aimed at the university vice-chancellor, Gerry McCormac, when they passed the Cottrell Building, where university management offices are located.
Whilst gathered at Queen’s Court, senior members of the occupation made a speech via megaphone, saying that the occupation has shown that “collective action”, such as occupations, stalls, and petitions, do actually achieve something. The spokesperson for the occupation also spoke about how the university was once famous for “left-wing action” and that it has now been replaced with “reactionary forces.”
One fourth year occupier, took the megaphone to thank the lecturers for their support of the occupation, for bringing donations of food and water to help the occupiers. He also thanked them overall for their commitment to the students and their education.
A statement from the occupiers said: “We will now use the renewed energy and momentum in the Stirling university left to continue to campaign to defend staff’s conditions, student’s conditions, rent prices, and oppose the marketisation of our education. This battle may be over but the war continues.” The statement also read that they consider their occupation, and occupations across the country, to be successful.
The Logie Lecture Theatre was occupied by students protesting the proposed pension changes by UUK, and as a show of solidarity with the striking lecturers. Despite having an overwhelming show of support from lecturers, the occupation divided student opinion. With a motion at the Student’s Union general meeting from the occupiers having to be withdrawn, partly due to a clear lack of support, and even a petition being set up by a first year student to end the occupation, describing the occupiers as “self appointed tyrants.”
The Logie occupation was visited by MSPs, elected officials from the National Union of Students and Lindsey Hilsum, the award-winning Channel 4 International Editor. They also received support from Scottish Labour.
The occupation is over but classes are still not being held in the Logie Lecture Theatre, with a first year politics lecture scheduled for Logie still taking place in the Pathfoot Dining Hall.
The university has been approached for a comment regarding the end of the occupation.