On Wednesday 8th December 2010 at 5pm, all students, staff and employees are invited to make their way to the galleries of the Darwin building, where henceforth an occupation of the gallery space will commence indefinitely.
The decision to occupy the gallery space has been made for a number of reasons:-
The gallery space is a space for students to express themselves, exhibit their work, a forum of ideas and the heart of the college.
The Galleries are not to be used primarily as a commercial funding vehicle for the college.
The occupation of the gallery space signifies the public presence of our protest. The gallery costs in excess of £4500 per day to hire – occupying this space signifies the seriousness with which we hold our contribution both financially and intellectually to the College.
We students, staff and employees ARE the Royal College of Art. The college could not exist without our contributions.
We oppose any rise in fees for students attending the college.
We believe all maintenance grants, material budgets and bursaries should be restored and increased year on year.
We ultimately believe that education is a right to those talented enough to participate, and not a privilege to those simply able to afford it.
Please feel free to bring along games, home comforts, food, beverages, work, books, materials, entertainment, friends and any other items you wish. There will be some modest attempts to make the space habitable.
The primary intention is for this to be a peaceful, enjoyable and well-attended event in which people are able to show their concerns and presence united against the proposed Coalition government cuts for education.
As of the morning of Wednesday 8th December 2010, there are approximately 37 student occupations of university premises in the UK.
Towards a better future for all, we look forward to your support.
RCA OCCUPATION DEMANDS
We, the students of The Royal College of Art, are occupying parts of the College in protest against the proposed cuts to education in arts and humanities: Education should be a right for all rather than the privileged few. We act in solidarity with all those facing cuts across the public sphere.
Our demands are as follows:
That all heads of departments and senior management support the students in fighting the cuts, by immediately issuing a statement condemning all proposed cuts to arts and humanities courses.
That the College uses all its influence to put pressure on the Government to oppose Thursday’s bill.
That the College drastically improves the current student to staff ratio and imposes a selection process based on merit alone and not ability to pay.
That the College issues a statement to its students apologising for the decline in the quality and availability of its facilities. We demand that the college guarantees that it will improve its current quality of teaching. For too long has the College been happy with compromising its students’ educational experience, as the rapid increase of students across the college or the hiring out of the Gallery spaces to outside unrelated institutions shows.
That the college provides complete financial transparency for all of its budgets which are to be made readily available to every student and member of staff.
Maintenance grants and materials budgets are to be restored immediately.
That the fees are decreased as an essential step in preserving the College’s reputation as a socio-culturally diverse rather than elitist institution.
An end to the situation imposed upon departments, where they are forced to be territorial over limited resources.
Anyone present in the occupation will not be arrested, fired or expelled. Immunity to all academic and security staff who show involvement or support to students.
24-hour access to the facilities and premises of the Royal College of Art.