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Student-led UCU panel event to be held next week at Bristol University

Bristol UCU members will discuss the recent strikes and marking boycott with students

A student-led panel event with representatives of Bristol University and College Union (UCU) is set to take place next week.

The two hour long event will consist of students and UCU members discussing the recent strikes and marking and assessment boycott and will take place on Monday 23rd October at 5.30pm in the Wills Memorial Building

More specifically, the members involved will explain their reasons for striking, the exact details of their demands, and what the next steps are in their negotiation process.

The UCU representatives set to talk at the event are John McTague (the co-vice president of Bristol UCU), Noreen Masud, Joe Gerlach, and Marianna Dudley (all of whom are UCU representatives for their respective departments).

With the panel being student-led, topics such as how students have been affected by industrial action, how students can help support the strikes, and what staff can do to help students feel more supported will also be discussed.

Once the panel has finished its discussion, a question-and-answer session with members of the audience will be held.

According to the sign-up form, the aim of the event is to “foster unity between staff and students” and to “make university and education sustainable and un-disruptive” by ‘providing clarity for both parties’.

Speaking exclusively to The Bristol Tab, Yi Guo, the student who has organised the event, said she hopes it will “clear up misconceptions” allowing students to “see the UCU and strikes as not only supporting academics but also the wider public.”

She added: “I think it will be helpful for lecturers to hear students’ frustrations and consequently reflect within the UCU on how certain actions impact student support.”

Noreen Masud, one of the Bristol UCU representatives on the panel, said: “I think if I could pick one thing for students to take away, it would be that, across society, we are facing a crisis.

“I worry absolutely all the time about the terrible job conditions into which my students are going to graduate… I want more for them than continuous one-year contracts on wages too low to ever buy a house or plan for a family.”

When discussing what she hoped to learn, Masud added: “I can never predict what students will teach me. It is always surprising, invaluable, and revelatory. But I hope I get a clearer idea about students’ feelings, hopes and anxieties.”

If you would like to reserve a spot at the event click here.

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