We, the students of Camberwell College of Arts, believe that if the massive cuts proposed for education happen, it is unlikely that academies such as ours will continue to exist. Arts and humanities courses are being targeted with the largest cuts, while still requiring a great deal of funding, which even a rise in fees will not cover. In response, we have decided to occupy the Wilson’s Road building at our college.
We see the arts as occupying a vital place within society, one which benefits us all, both culturally and economically. If arts education ceases to be a viable route for students, that benefit will be lost.
An artless society is a heartless society!
We oppose the transformation of education into a market. Education should be a forum for all publics, not just those who can afford, to learn, experiment and debate.
Therefore, we call for all arts students, especially those from UAL to join this occupation, and call for more arts-led occupation and actions. We propose to use our space for a practice led resistance. We will run workshops, performances, debates and experiments, creating a collective space of generative discourse. At no point will we disrupt any fellow student’s education, allowing all scheduled lectures to continue. We wish to propose, rather than simply oppose!
We demand that UAL:
- Issue a statement condemning all cuts to Arts education, and the rise in tuition fees and defending the value (economically and culturally) of Arts education for society, and its place within government funded education.
- Put pressure on the MP of every borough that UAL has a college in to vote against the educational reforms.
- Guarantee that there be no more course closures, or course amalgamations. This includes, if possible, the re-instatement of the Ceramics course at Camberwell.
- Safeguard all jobs for our teaching, research and support staff.
- Issue a statement guaranteeing no further cuts in access time to workshops and facilities. This means no losses of current facilities, studio space or access time to workshops.
- Provide full details of the existing budgets, and any projections of how the budget is likely to be spent if cuts and fee reforms do happen.
- Provide all cleaning, catering and security staff with a full living wage package, again with no loss of jobs or hours, and that all outsourced staff and services are brought back in-house.
- Provide a more effective, regular structure for student feedback which effects positive change, in the normal running of the University.
- Do not victimize anyone taking part in this occupation.
- Allow free access in and out of the occupation for all students, staff, speakers and other visitors.
The Occupiers, Camberwell College of Arts