Students and Parents have taken to social media to express their outrage at the University of Manchester’s lack of communication following protests concerning fencing being put around halls.
The University of Manchester has received major backlash after fences were put around the Fallowfield halls of residence, due to the second lockdown.
Despite the University stating that the fences were out in place to “highlight main entrance areas and control household mixing,” many of the students saw the procedure as tone death and patronising.
Protests took place on Thursday night in which students tore down these fences and held up signs demanding that the University “uncaged” them.
Manchester-born and former lead singer of the band Oasis, Liam Gallagher tweeted his response by saying: “Respect to the students of Manchester LG x.”
Vice-Chancellor Nancy Rothwell issued a statement saying that a full inquiry has been put in place to determine who gave the go-ahead for the fences being put up.
Students have also expressed their disappointment in the lack of communication from the University, many claiming that they were completely unaware that the fences were going to be put up, and were surprised when they woke up to see that they had been “caged” into their accommodations.
Despite the fences being taken down on Friday morning, students have continued to indicate the lasting change they would like to see from governing bodies.
Paid, Blamed, Caged!!
I am shocked at how our students are being treated.
PAID £10000 University fees for on line classes!
BLAMED unfairly for spreading the virus!
CAGED for being a student!
It's totally unacceptable!!! pic.twitter.com/OawH9S4rgK
— Cllr Sheamus Greene (@GreeneSheamus) November 6, 2020
The student action for a Fair Educated Response (S.A.F.E.R) tweeted “OUR VOICES HAVE BEEN HEARD” followed by a statement in which they wrote: “Through students voicing and publicising their anger, change has been made and solidarity has been emphasised.”
— S.A.F.E.R (@asafermcr) November 5, 2020
UOM Rent strikes Twitter page tweeted: “The protest is not just about the fencing. It is about the poor communication, and the inadequate mental health and isolation support.” In October, only a month prior to the protests, Finn Kitston, 19, committed suicide in the very same accommodation where protests took place. Students have expressed that this lockdown period has not only had financial ramifications but has taken a huge toll on their mental health and stability. There has been a call from parents and young people that the University needs to do more in supporting its residents.”
— Oliver Sprague Kelly (@osk3lly) November 5, 2020
@Lisa Reynolds tweeted:
Reminder that it took me 24 times to get through to #UoM’s counselling service and even then I still had to beg them in hysterics to give me an appointment so uhhh no they don’t care about us. #StudentsDeserveBetter #Manchester #Lockdown2 #hmpfallowfield
— Lissa Reynolds (@lissakatyrey) November 5, 2020
Although the protests and anger have appeared to create a united front, other people on social media have described the student as “selfish” and “pathetic.”
One Twitter user wrote: “Ooh a metal fence ” while we’re in prison. Thank god it’s not this generation that had to fight in 2 world wars, we’d have had no f**king chance. They had to crawl through razor wire while being shot at!!! Get a grip FFS. What a pathetic bunch. #ManchesterUniversity”
Another Twitter user said: “Why can the rest of the country be in lockdown for a month but #ManchesterUniversity can’t?? Do they honestly think the government will change its stance just for them? It’s 4 weeks to help stop the spread. Stop being so selfish. #NationalLockdown #Covid19UK #COVIDIOTS.”
Words: Salimotu Shobowale | Subbing: Sam Tabahriti