These demands were drawn up in discussions by activists on different campuses involved in Student Strike Solidarity.
Get in touch with what the issues are at your university via @occupation_hub Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As students, we call on Vice Chancellors across the UK to take urgent action to ensure students, staff and the wider public are kept as safe and secure as possible in the context of COVID-19. We also call on our student unions to join us in making the following demands.
• CANCEL FINAL TERM RENT
Many of us face extreme financial hardship due to loss of work, or the cost of last-minute flights home. Some of us are still paying for halls, despite having returned home. We demand our universities cancel rent in student accommodation and lobby private companies to do the same. Many have done this already, so we know it is possible.
• EXPAND HARDSHIP FUNDS
As students, we are not entitled to Universal Credit. Our universities must urgently expand hardship funds, as this is the only form of financial support many of us are entitled to.
• FAIR ASSESSMENT
New forms of assessment, mitigating circumstances and decisions regarding late graduation must be developed democratically with students. Assessment should be cancelled for foundation, first and second-year students.
• STOP MONITORING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Stop attendance monitoring of international students, and extend visa sponsorship. The hostile environment is now a public health risk and all universities must end their participation in it.
• FULL SICK PAY, GUARANTEE WORKERS’ RIGHTS
Guarantee full sick pay for all, including outsourced, temporary and zero-hours staff. It is impossible for staff to isolate properly and safely without full sick pay and without guaranteeing this Universities put us all at risk. There must be no sacking or redundancies. Universities must guarantee two years’ work at the current rate or above to all casual staff, and commit to ending outsourcing and casualisation.
• WAGES FOR NURSING AND MEDICAL STUDENTS
Nursing students on the front lines of the crisis must be paid for the hours they work.
• SUPPORT STUDENTS WHO STAY
Students who are unable to return home must have access to crisis support, including mental health support, provided by the University.
• USE UNIVERSITY RESOURCES FOR GOOD
Use University resources to assist in the fight against coronavirus, for example by housing homeless people in empty halls. Universities must recognise their responsibility to the wider public and do everything they can to help in this crisis.
• NO DECISIONS WITHOUT US
Currently, many students and staff are left in the dark as to what will happen with our assessment, accommodation and employment. We demand democratic Covid-19 crisis management bodies are set up on every campus, with trade union and student union representation.