In the majority, Royal Holloway students appear to be in support of the UCU strike action at Royal Holloway, with anger over missed classes directed more towards the Senior Management Team than striking staff.
Student have braved the snow and demonstrated in support of UCU outside of the front gate, on every day of strike action so far. Students have been blocking the gate in an attempt to stop traffic and pedestrians from crossing the official UCU picket lines which have been outside Founder’s, at Piggery Gate, Spring Rise and Harvest Road.
Posters have also been seen plastered around campus and the local area by students that call for Principal Layzell to resign. The posters claim that Layzell is guilty of “theft of pensions”, “rampant sexism” and “putting his wants over student’s needs” amongst other claims.
On Tuesday, one group of students took to setting off flares in Founder’s Square. They told Orbital Magazine that it was “a demonstration against Senior Management”.
The Students’ Union took to an online referendum to overturn their stance on whether they should support the industrial action. In their biggest turnout in the last 3 years, 718 students voted, with 77.6% in support of the motion to “back UCU industrial action”.
Following the advice of Universities Minister, Sam Gymiah, as well as UCU - Orbital Magazine are aware that many students have been emailing Principal Layzell asking for a refund on the tuition that they have missed due to strike action.
The response from Layzell in the last email that we saw, stated that Royal Holloway “are not currently considering any fee compensation to students.”