Response from Anticutsspace to the Assistant Manager of Accommodation Services regarding the use of the building sent Sunday 27th Feb at 3.14pm

Dear Assistant Manager of Accommodation Services,

The 11 Bedford Square Occupiers will be using the building’s teaching
spaces for anti-cuts organising. We will provide some space so that
teaching that usually occurs in the building may go ahead without
rescheduling or significant relocation.

We will keep our Monday schedule relatively light. This means that on
Monday all scheduled classes may run as usual. However, from Tuesday
we will have a fairly full programme of events and we will need to
collaborate on timetabling issues.

We don’t believe our presence here should be a problem. We understand
that Royal Holloway controls the building next door. We’ve accessed
this space: we know that it contains very good teaching facilities and
that these are used lightly, if at all.

You might suggest that your internal booking system is more
complicated than this; that the rooms next door can’t be accessed at
such short notice; that for these and other reasons we’ve given you a
splitting bureaucratic headache.

It wasn’t us who introduced the fantastically overcomplex system of
university resource management now in general operation. We don’t
accept these conditions of artificial scarcity. There’s no need to
send students and staff to Egham. You have several very fine, unused
teaching spaces about thirty metres away. Why not use them?

We are happy to negotiate both with administration and with individual
members of staff on issues of teaching space availability. We would
appreciate it if you could email us a timetable ASAP so that we can
organise in the light of it.

Kind Regards,

The Occupiers

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2 Responses to Response from Anticutsspace to the Assistant Manager of Accommodation Services regarding the use of the building sent Sunday 27th Feb at 3.14pm

  1. Robert Hampson says:

    Dear Bedford Square Occupiers,

    Like you I will be on the TUC demonstration on March 26, but I am sorry you thought it necessary to criticise what you claim is the underuse of the building. My own experience is that the building is heavily used. Tomorrow, for example, I have a meeting with the Creative Writing MA team scheduled for 1.00 in Bedford Square, a research consultation meeting with a colleague scheduled there for 2.00, a meeting with a postgraduate scheduled for 3.00, and an MA class scheduled from 5.30 to 7.30. All of the teaching on the MA in Poetic Practice – likea number of other RHUL MAs – takes place in Bedford Square. In addition, you probably don’t realise that equipment in Bedford Square is also used by the MA students on Poetic Practice and practice-based PhD students for their practice-based research – and is in constant use.

    • Dear Robert,

      Thanks for writing. The first thing we might say is that all office
      space in the building is entirely unoccupied and remains available for
      academic use. This includes two open offices in the building. We’ve
      not been sent a timetable for the coming week, despite several polite
      requests, and we don’t expect to be sent one; but we have consulted
      last week’s timetable and it’s *extremely* rare for more than a few
      events to run simultaneously. Usually there are only one or two. There
      are at least six good teaching spaces available in the building.

      The next thing to remark is that Royal Holloway also possesses the
      lease on the building next door (4 Gower Street), and this too is very
      far from always being in constant use. It’s now half past twelve —
      we’re three hours into the working day — and we’ve spoken to only one
      group of people who needed access to it.

      We’re very happy to facilitate the use of any available space by
      academics or students. We’ll do what we can to ensure they have access to the equipment they need. We ourselves usually only need two to three
      spaces at a time. We’ve made this clear to Royal Holloway management.
      Students who’ve come into the space to tell us that their classes have
      been cancelled have been told by ‘accommodation services’ that their
      classes cannot be rescheduled or relocated due to ‘liability issues’.
      We have lawyers in our occupation who think this dubitable. Should
      they be accused of bias, the students whose classes have been
      cancelled include lawyers, and they think the verbiage about liability
      is dubitable also.

      We know that during an occupation schedules can only be met on a
      somewhat ad hoc basis, and we appreciate this means some degree of
      inevitable disruption. But we simply don’t accept that there’s no way
      for our actions in the space to run conjointly with those that were
      previously scheduled. Many thanks for writing, and

      Kind Regards,
      Anti-Cuts Space London

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