Below is a summary of correspondence between Arts SU and UAL in response to an occupation of part of the LCC building as a protest against UAL’s involvement in the Elephant and Castle regeneration scheme.

From: Dean of Students
Date: Thursday, 25 January 2018 at 19:17
To: Arts SU
Subject: Following up our meeting today

Thank you for meeting with us.  This note is to confirm the University’s position:

Occupation issues

We expect all people involved in the occupation to be UAL students.  We have safety concerns if there are people involved in the occupation who are not UAL students.

We expressed concern about social media posts that encourage people to join the occupation.  We reiterated that we will only allow people to enter the occupation if they were one of the 14 people that began the occupation on Tuesday 23 January.  (I re-confirmed this with Campaigns Officer and some of the people in the occupation shortly after our meeting.)

We said that we would confirm other aspects of the University’s approach:

  • If you leave the building after it has closed you will not be allowed back in until the building reopens the following day.
  • After the building has closed you should use the Typo café toilets – you will be escorted there by a security guard.
  • Fire evacuation is by the front door. You will be allowed back into the Information Centre after any fire evacuation.

We requested that the phone number and email details for staff that are in a picture in a social media post be redacted.  You agreed that this will be done.

We confirmed that we respect the right of students to protest but have to ensure that everyone in the building is safe.  We expressed particular concern that people involved in the occupation had, when hanging a banner, gone onto a ledge in the Media Block where their safety was at significant risk.

We expressed concern that the occupation was impacting on the Information Centre’s role in meeting the needs of students.

Elephant and Castle development proposals

We advised that the University has been meeting with local Councillors and working with Delancey to seek a solution to the concerns about the development.  We explained that the concerns about social housing and the position of the traders have been key elements of the discussion.

You told us about the demands of the occupation group.  You agreed that you would put these in writing to us.


From: social housing [mailto:stoptheelephantdev@gmail.com]
Sent: 26 January 2018 10:31
To: Head of College; Dean of Students; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (COO)
Subject: occupation demands

We demand UAL release a statement on it’s website by the end of today which states that UAL:

  • commits to only accepting a plan that provides for majority social housing, in not just elephant and castle but any future development plan it’s a part of.
  • should use its role in any development plan to ensure genuine transparency, accountability and involvement of the community that lives and works where the development is going to take place.

RESPONSE

Date: Friday, 26 January 2018 at 18:37
To: Arts SU
Subject: Response from the University

Dear SU colleagues,

Thanks for your email in which you draw attention to the demands of the occupation. We are responding to you as this is our formal channel of communication, especially given we have made our position clear that we expect all people involved in the occupation to be UAL students for whom you are the elected representatives.

As you are aware, the University has been meeting with local councillors and working with Delancey to seek a solution to the concerns about the development they have raised including at the planning hearing and that process is ongoing. Social housing and the position of the traders have been key elements of the discussion.

I wanted to re-iterate that we have a strong position on social justice and part of this is social housing. It is important that our position is correctly represented. We expect Southwark Council to ensure adequate levels of social housing across the borough but what we cannot do is stipulate how and where the Council will deliver this provision. We expect Southwark Council to decide what levels of social housing are appropriate in the Elephant & Castle scheme in the context of its wider plan for the borough, working through its democratic process in negotiation with Delancey. It should also be noted that Southwark Council has the highest levels of social housing of any borough in London and this frames the Council’s approach at Elephant & Castle.

Lastly, I want to remind you that people safety and wellbeing remains our priority alongside the security of our buildings and we will take the necessary measures to ensure that those are not compromised.


Evening 26 January

From: Campaigns Officer
Date: 26 January 2018 at 23:15:42 GMT
To: Dean of Students
Subject: Access to the toilet in the occupation

Hello,

Can you please call me to discuss the decision to deny students not deemed to be the “original 14” access to the toilet.


RESPONSE

From: Dean of Students
Date: 26 January 2018 at 23:27:58 GMT
To: Campaigns Officer
Subject: Access to the toilet in the occupation

As advised previously, the occupation can only involve the people who began the occupation. No new people can join. When the building is open only UAL staff and students can have access to the building. When the building is closed only the original people in the occupation can use the toilet facilities.

We will not change this position.


RESPONSE

From: Dean of Students
Date: 27 January 2018 at 20:35:49 GMT
To: Arts SU
Subject: Occupation at LCC: safety and security concern

Dear SU Colleagues,

As previously stated, we are responding to you as we expect all people involved in the occupation to be UAL students for whom you are the elected representatives.

To repeat what I said in my note yesterday, people safety and wellbeing remains our priority alongside the security of our buildings.  Last night the safety of staff and students as well as the security of the LCC building were seriously compromised by those involved in the occupation.  I have received a report that a fire door was opened by a full-time elected officer of the Students’ Union and 15 people were allowed to enter the building without permission and without going through the security procedures which are mandatory at the College.  This is totally unacceptable and must not happen again.

This matter will be investigated under the University’s student disciplinary policy.  We also feels it undermines the trust we have built between the SU and the University.

We have made our position clear on many occasions that we have safety concerns if there are people involved in the occupation who are not UAL students. We have also reiterated that we will only allow people to enter the occupation if they were one of the 14 people that began the occupation on Tuesday 23 January.  When the building is open only UAL staff and students have access to the building and when it is closed only the original people in the occupation can remain and use the toilet facilities. Our position on this will not change.

We will continue to take any measures necessary to ensure the safety of people and the security of our buildings.  We would ask that you respect that position and cease any activity which compromises it.


29 January

From: Dean of Students
Sent: 29 January 2018 14:07
To: Arts SU
Subject: Occupation at LCC

Dear SU Colleagues,

We continue to correspond with you as we expect all people involved in the occupation to be UAL students for whom you are the elected representatives.

The University has been meeting with local councillors and working with Delancey to seek a solution to the concerns about the development they have raised including at the planning hearing and that process is ongoing.  Social housing and the position of the traders have been key elements of the discussion.  We would like to draw your attention to the statement issued today by Delancey http://elephantandcastletowncentre.co.uk

I need to advise further about people safety and wellbeing, which remains our priority alongside the security of our buildings.  On the evening of Friday 26 January the safety of staff and students as well as the security of the LCC building were seriously compromised by those involved in the occupation.  A fire door was opened by a full-time elected officer of the Students’ Union and people were allowed to enter the building without permission and without going through the security procedures which are mandatory at the College.  We have, therefore, further enhanced our security arrangements.  I have informed the SU Campaigns Officer this morning:

  • When the LCC building is open the people who started the occupation can only pass through the security gates if they show their UAL ID card.
  • The UAL ID card for the SU Campaigns Officer has been blocked.
  • When the building is open people in the occupation who cannot show their UAL ID card can use the public toilet facilities in the shopping centre or elsewhere.
  • When the building is closed the 14 people who started the occupation will be given escorted access to the LCC toilet facilities.
  • If the SU wishes to hold an event you need to make a formal request to do so which we will consider as part of our usual events process.

We will continue to take any measures necessary to ensure the safety of people and the security of our buildings.  We would ask that you respect that position and cease any further


From: Arts SU
Sent: 29 January 2018 12:19
To: Dean of Students
Subject:  Campaigns Officer  Request for Event 29/01/2018

Campaigns Officer has asked me to put together an event proposal for the Stop the Elephant Development Campaign meeting, as agreed I am sending it through to you to review.

Title: “One Day to Stop UAL Driving Gentrification”

Summary of Activity: The event will include speakers from the wider campaign (listed below) and a banner making session.

Timings: 6pm – 9pm

Event Co-Ordinator: Sahaya James

External Speakers: Representatives from –

External Attendees: There will be external attendees. We can set up tickets on our website, or have someone on the door signing people in.

Space Requirements: one large room – approx. capacity 100

AV Requirements: speaker and microphone may be required but Arts SU can probably source one and use it

I would assess that this event carries a low and medium risk level – the number of external attendees is the number one risk factor, which we can mitigate through on the door signing in of attendees and/or ticket requirements. Given the short notice of the event its likely that the ticket option may not be viable, so I would recommend having some one on the door signing people in.

Please let me know if there’s any further information you need.


RESPONSE

From: Dean of Students
Sent: 29 January 2018 14:12
To: Arts SU
Subject: RE: Request for Event 29/01/2018

In light of concerns about people safety and wellbeing, and the security of our buildings, we cannot give permission for the event outlined below to go ahead.


30 January

From: Dean of Students
Sent: 30 January 2018 12:57
To: Arts SU
Subject: Occupation at LCC

Dear SU colleagues,

The occupiers have all left the LCC Information Centre. As this was the only authorised occupation, we consider it to have ended and the original occupiers will not be allowed back into the Information Centre space.

We will continue to apply our usual security procedures whereby UAL staff and students need to use their own UAL ID cards to enter the LCC building – this applies at both the front door security check and the barriers.

When any of the occupiers leave the building, they will not be allowed back in as the occupation has ended, unless they show their own UAL ID card. They can only use LCC toilet facilities if they show their own UAL ID card.

The Campaigns Officer is aware that her UAL ID card is blocked. She can use her card to enter the front doors to access the foyer, but cannot go through the security barriers unless by prior agreement with me.

We recognise that the protest has continued in the foyer of the building but would like to remind you that no-one other than UAL students with the requisite ID cards will be allowed into that area. Once again we would ask you to respect people safety and wellbeing and desist from any activity which jeopardises the security of the building. We will take any breaches or attempted breaches of security very seriously and deal with them accordingly.