Guildford School of Acting students occupy management building in protest over course cuts
Students from Guildford School of Acting have occupied management offices in protest at the axing of courses and vowed to remain until a series of demands are met.
It was revealed earlier this month that GSA was closing both its BA (hons) in Theatre and Performance and BA (hons) Dance, creating uncertainty for both staff and students.
Now, about 30 students have occupied the Nodus building on the campus, which houses the GSA management.
All are from the Theatre and Performance course and they have issued a series of demands to management.
One of the demands calls on bosses to address the “misinformation” of whether the courses are suspended temporarily or closed permanently.
They also ask that there be no “further redundancies” to lecturers and to ensure this year’s graduating students will be represented at the graduation with a “relevant guest speaker”. They want assurances that the University of Surrey, which the drama school is part of, will be clearly written on certificates.
One student, who did not want to be named, said there had been a lot of “miscommunication” around the courses, with no further contact from management since news of the course closures emerged.
She claimed the university had sent out offers to students for 2019, and then emailed them to tell them the courses would not be taking place from September.
The student said she and her course mates would be sleeping and eating in the offices, until management meet with students.
Another said: “Prospective students had their confirmed offers revoked, continuing students have not had reassurance of their module options, staff remain in the dark about their position at the university. We demand clarity and transparency from GSA and University of Surrey management.”
A spokeswoman for GSA said: “The University welcomes open and reasoned debate and we respect the rights of our students to hold a peaceful protest. We have suspended recruitment to the BA Theatre and Performance and BA Dance courses for next year due to falling applicant numbers, and as part of the regular process of reviewing the viability of all courses. We are committed to ensuring existing students will be able to complete their degrees. The rest of our GSA courses remain oversubscribed.”
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