EXCLUSIVE: Lancaster uni students WILL protest during open day in response to 7 pm finishes
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Lancaster uni is one of several institutions proposing to extend teaching hours to 7 pm to cope with growth. Full-time elected officers are planning to protest the change in the upcoming open day. The university plans to extend teaching past 6 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, leaving Wednesday afternoons free, in order to cope with added demand for teaching space. However, according to the students' union, the move is likely to affect student union clubs, societies and sports teams as well as disabled students, students who work part-time and those with caring responsibilities. LUSU ran a poll on its Facebook group asking students for their advice on the best way to deal with the demand for space. Just under 400 people voted in favour of live-streaming lectures. Bringing in temporary classrooms was the second popular suggestion. LUSU full-time sabbs then met with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Andrew Atherton on Friday, 31 August, to discuss the situation, but were met with a 'disappointing' response. In a statement on the LUSU website, they said: "The message we’re receiving seems to be that although everyone accepts extending the teaching day is going to be bad for students and bad for lecturers, it’s happening and we’re just going to have to get over it." The officers have decided to escalate the matter, announcing in a blog post that they would stage protests at the next university open day on 15 September. They also published a table highlighting all the modules affected by the change. Some classes are expected to finish between 8 and 9:30 pm. In one instance a 3-hour lecture for a Chinese language module will run from 6-9pm. Speaking to the National Student, LUSU President Rhiannon Jones reassured students that the protest would not disrupt the open day, saying: "The protest will be peaceful and adhering to the Code of Conduct of protesting policy, and will simply be raising awareness of the issue to prospective students and not used as a tool to scare students." "If we want bold changes at times we need bold actions. If the university does not listen to the concerns of the students, sometimes you have to force them to listen." More to follow - Contact news.editor@thenationalstudent if you have late teaching hours Featured image courtesy of Xbxg32000
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