Goldsmiths SU claim blackmail by college management

Goldsmiths SU have claimed that college management are attempting to blackmail SU President Bindz Patel over students’ current occupation of Deptford Town Hall.

An e-mail from Hugh Jones, Goldsmiths Registrar and Secretary, to Patel said that the occupation of Deptford Town Hall will cost the college around £15,000 and that these costs will be deducted from the SU’s budget.

The e-mail added: “I know from our discussions that this will cause difficulties within
the Students’ Union, and SMT [senior management team] is not insensitive to this. In the
spirit of good collaborative working SMT has agreed that we will not
in fact seek to recover the costs from the Students’ Union budget, on
the condition that nothing similar to the occupation occurs.

“If there is further occupation or disruption we intend to recover the
full costs of dealing with it from the Students’ Union. And, of
course, we will additionally seek to recover the costs of the November
occupation.”

In response, the sabbatical officer of Goldsmiths SU said on their website: “We consider this to be blackmail directed not just against the Students’ Union but against all Goldsmiths students who are legitimately taking action against the proposed rise in fees and cuts to higher education.

“We are demanding that this threat gets immediately withdrawn.”

Goldsmiths College declined to comment.

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