UWESU’s VP Education challenges overly enthusiastic student satisfaction report

Featured picture from JJ Clark’s 2014 video campaign statement on Youtube.

On the front page of the WesternEye’s September 2014 issue, Philip Mansell signed an enthusiastic article entitled ‘UWE student success and satisfaction soars’. The article is also available online here.

However, on 21 October 2014, Mansell’s enthusiastic piece was fundamentally challenged by UWESU’s VP Education JJ Clark on his blog.  Clark wrote that “the discussions I’ve been having with staff and students over last few months paint a rather different picture than the one outlined in Philip Mansel’s article” and stressed that, actually, “UWE has slipped 2% in overall satisfaction of their students to 84%, which is 2% lower than the sector average.”

To read Clark’s post, click here.

 

Student whose foot was “run over by a car” during peaceful protests against ‘UWE arms fair’ describes lack of support from UWESU and UWE

Featured image from southerngeekgirl blog.

Almost a year has passed since the repression of peaceful student protests against DPRTE aka the ‘UWE arms fair’ on campus on 20 November 2013, and the launch of the campaign for an independent review into those events.

We’ve sent an open letter to UWE’s Vice-Chancellor and to the Board of Governors and both have ignored us. The university’s spokesperson even claimed that UWE had no information about student concerns after we sent the open letter to the VC, and that he received no information about it from UWE Students’ Union (UWESU) even though the five elected student presidents did receive a comprehensive account of those events from participants on 21 November 2013.
We have asked our student newspaper to relay our story and arguments but the Western Eye — UWE’s self-proclaimed “totally independent student newspaper” — have dismissed our campaign even though we have had local, national and international media coverage. Like the student newspaper, our Students’ Union has silenced us, making it  very hard for us to reach the wider student body. On a more positive note, we have recently learnt that the local branch of the University and College Union (UWE UCU) wrote to UWE to inform them that they are now supporting our campaign and that  they too are demanding an independent review. However, UWE has also been ignoring them so far.
As a further step in this campaign, one UWE student who participated to those protests agreed to anonymously share the witness statement s/he wrote.
When arriving at the arms fair, early at around there was already somebody trouble occurring with the peaceful protesters and the police, causing one person to be arrested. This however did not stop the peaceful protesting and things did not become tense because of this. Many issues arose that day, one of the biggest ones for me being the lack of help and protection from the UWESU.
I was unlucky enough to get my foot run over by a car, with the UWE security turning a blind eye to this. Me and a few others were peacefully holding a banner from one side of the gate to another, when the man in the car become inpatient and frustrated. This then led the man in the car to attempt to drive very very close to me, which I then quickly realised was becoming unsafe for me as he showed no sign of stopping. I then tried to move out of the way when his car was almost touching me, but I could not move my foot in time which then led it to be ran over. I then approached the mans car, asking him why he didn’t stop. He stated that ‘he was in a rush’ and ‘I was going to damage his car’. I am in no way someone who would damage someones car and I certainly wasn’t giving off the signals that day that it was my intention.
Following this matter, the police took my details and asked what happened. I was very upset and concerned that even though the event took place right in front of the UWE security desk at the north entrance, not one member of staff from UWE or UWESU approached me or showed any concern for my wellbeing.

Photo report of #reviewUWE and #GDAMS day of action at UWE Bristol

We had a fun and instructive walk around campus this afternoon.
Map_review_UWE

This little action also already proved quite effective since UWESU, the Deputy Clerk to the Board of Governors and the Editor of the student newspaper stopped ignoring us, and all got in touch shortly before or after the action!

We’ll be posting more updates about this campaign soon but, for the time being, we’ve put together a short photo report of the afternoon. Please join our next coordination meeting this coming Thursday (17 April) at 5:30 in Core24 at UWE Frenchay if you want to get involved. Please also don’t forget to sign the petition if you haven’t done this already.

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Students and supporters gather at UWE’s bus station at Frenchay. Some students came from as far as Portsmouth for this day of action!

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In the corridors of UWE’s Frenchay campus.

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On the way to the Farmhouse, the office of UWE’s Vice-Chancellor and the building where UWE’s Board of Governors meet.

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Activist arms factory: today we’re making paper airplanes.

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Those paper airplanes are to bombard the farmhouse with messages and requests to hold an independent review.

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This may seem small but this is the first time ever that there is a student protest at the doorstep of the Vice-Chancellor’s office (not that there aren’t many reasons to do so!)

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Trying to communicate with UWE’s Vice-Chancellor (who ignored our open letter) by aiming our paper airplanes at one opened window (which they soon closed).

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The Farmhouse: bombarded

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A message from UWE students and their supporters for UWE’s Vice-Chancellor and the university’s Board of Governors

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Inside the entrance of Thales

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We were followed by the police who were more gentle than last November.

If you haven’t already, please consider signing, sharing and promoting our petition to #reviewUWE. To be continued …