Investigation launched into Cottrell occupation

3 mins read

THE university has launched an investigation to determine whether the students who occupied the Cottrell Building in late November during the UCU strikes, violated the student discipline code.

The students barricaded the main doors and rear doors of the C-Block of the building, which houses the management offices and the University Court.

During the occupation the group, who called themselves the University of Stirling Solidarity Network (USSN) were issued with a letter from the university regarding the blocked fire exits, which led the students to remove the barricades.

A new letter was sent to the students who occupied the building informing them that they are being investigated to determine whether their actions violated the student discipline code.

The investigation will look into the blocked doors, including the university’s main entrance and the fire doors, the refusal to remove all barricades after the first letter was sent to the group, disrupted the normal running of the university by preventing staff access to their offices.

One incident that is being investigated is when the group “did not agree to reasonable requests” for staff to remove items from their offices, including medication, car keys, mobile phones and a laptop.

The letter from the investigating officer states that a staff member was allowed access to retrieve a “limited range of items” but was caused anxiety after being watched by eight members of the group.

USSN have criticised university management over the discipline process, a statement previously issued by the group said,

“Students of the University of Stirling Solidarity Network are disappointed by the university management’s decision to pursue disciplinary action against student protesters.

“Once again the university has shown a lack of respect towards students, treating us with contempt despite our cooperation. Even though barriers obstructing one of two fire exit routes from the management building were respectfully deconstructed after discussions with university management, disciplinary action is still being pursued with extra charges tacked on.

“These disciplinary letters arrived with a number of c-block occupiers, stating that their actions may represent offences in the university’s code of conduct.

“These letters summon students to meetings arranged for less than a week in advance, at a time where most are heading home to see their families and enjoy the holidays.

“Previous threats from management have suggested that they will be pursuing Level 2 disciplinary action, which is the same level at which offences such as sexual assault, theft, fraud, and firearms offences are tried.

“The university have made clear that they will not respect the calls from students and staff to make the university a better place and will instead silence any criticism.”

The occupation of the Cottrell building was held to support the striking UCU lecturers and lasted for two weeks.

The investigation could lead to disciplinaries for the occupying students.

+ posts

Freelance award-winning journalist | Best Journalist SPARC Scotland 2021 | Stirling Uni Class of 2021 | Former Deputy Editor - Brig Newspaper | Bylines in The Scottish Sun, The Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser, The Barrhead News, The (Renfrew and Johnstone) Gazette, Brig Newspaper, The Oban Times, Stirling Today and Tales From Lockdown.

1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: