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Update on ongoing protest activity

13 May 2024

An update from Patrick Hackett

Dear colleagues,

The protest tent encampment in Brunswick Park has remained in place over the weekend, with Campus Support and Security continuing to be on site.

Further to the attempt to disrupt our Making a Difference Awards last week, we have seen an escalation in attempts from protesters to cause disruption today. People have attempted to place large volumes of calls to IT Services and Estates and Facilities as part of a 'phone blockade’, and there was a protest held in the Kilburn Building which has meant the IT helpdesk there has closed.

However, IT Services is operational and you can still contact the IT Services Portal online, and Estates here, so your request will be dealt with in the usual way. We’ll return the phone and office services to normal as soon as possible.

You may also have read our earlier notice today about the criminal damage caused to our Queen’s Arch and Museum overnight which police are investigating.

As this is the exam period, which is so important for our students, we are urging people involved in the protest to be respectful and considerate.

If there is significant escalation of disruptive and/or illegal activities by the protestors, we will take proactive and reactive measures to intervene to mitigate impact of those activities on our business and other staff and students, working with the police as required.

In general, there are a few practical steps we would ask colleagues to continue to take:

  • Avoid out of hours working in campus buildings where possible, particularly where lone-working is involved.
  • As we would always recommend, operate a clean desk policy – safely securing any confidential or sensitive information.
  • If you need to access a building, for example to check on an experiment, please use card access and, as ever, be aware of who is around you and might try to access the building behind you.
  • Be aware that if someone tries to engage you in discussion about the protest or the ongoing conflict, it may be being recorded.

If you or someone you know, whether a member of staff or a student, has experienced or witnessed any form of harassment, or has a safeguarding concern, I would urge you to report this to the University’s Report and Support Team or the Students’ Union Advice Centre, both of which have trained advisors ready to provide support.

You can also download and use the SafeZone App to help keep you safe on campus and to access help quickly. Members of the Campus Support and Security team will also remain onsite at all times for the safety of our staff and students. To report an incident to the Campus Support and Security Team, you can contact the 24-hour Control Room on 0161 306 9966.

Our employee wellbeing services are also available to all colleagues.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Patrick Hackett  

Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer.