Thursday, 4 June 2009

Art Monthly on Resonance FM

Art Monthly on Resonance FM: "Art Monthly on Resonance FM
10 April 2009
Jamie Wagg, Jon Rees and Jessica Scott
Chaired by Matt Hale
Matt Hale discusses art schools, art education and the recent student occupation of Byam Shaw School of Art with those connected to the school.
Listen now:"

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

EXHIBITION AT LCC

Byam Shaw People's University has an exhibition at the London College of Communication. This is proving to be a great outreach to other students...

The exhibtion shows work created throughout and in response to the occupation.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Charter of Resolutions

The Byam Shaw students agree to end their occupation of the Byam Shaw School of Art buildings on the condition of agreement and commitment to the following terms:

 

1. Workshops

The University will make every effort to find staff to enable a return to 5 day access; the Digital Workshop will be opened 5 days a week from 10am till 5pm and cover will be found to enable access to the Printmaking workshop on Mondays in addition to its current opening.  This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

 

2. 2 Elthorne Road

Studio opening times will be reviewed to provide appropriate equitable access.

In practice this means 9am - 8pm on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and 9am - 6pm Friday.

On occasions when ‘Byam Bar’ takes place on a Thursday in 2 Elthorne Road, and all BA Fine Art students attend, Elthorne Studios will close by 6pm.  This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

 

3. Communication between CSM and Students at Byam Shaw

Better communication at College and local level will be provided.  The Head of College will attend an all student meeting before the 20th March 2009 to discuss the ‘vision’ for the future and explain the overall budget and the budget setting process.

 

4. Revalidation of courses

Byam Shaw Alumni and Student Representatives will be involved in the revalidation consultation of the BA Fine Art course from this point onwards.  At University-wide level, at the summer term meeting of the Arts London Academic Standards and Development Committee (ASDC) decisions will be taken with input from the Students’ Union and their Representatives on the best way to extend students’ opportunities to participate in the development of courses and their documents in a timely fashion – through informal discussion and formal structures for course development.

 

5. Changes in course provision from handbook materials

The University will introduce an earlier cycle of budget building and dissemination to Colleges and Courses, with the target that this year, budget transmission to CSM (and other Colleges) will take place 2-3 weeks earlier in spring/summer 2009 than in past years.  This will enable any proposed changes in course resourcing to be considered well before implementation by the appropriate committees, with student representatives present and able to respond with their views and input to decisions. The Students’ Union will channel any complaints from Representatives who do not feel properly engaged in this process directly to senior staff at the University, who will commit to acting swiftly to rebalance the debates at course level.

 

6. The provision of cleaning and estates services at Byam Shaw

The University of the Arts London/Central Saint Martins will ensure students receive outstanding payment for cleaning services as soon as possible (based on students’ submission of information to the Principal of Byam Shaw), this is to be finalised by 20th March 2009.

The University will provide, by the 20th March 2009, any and all information available on the costs of Byam Shaw maintenance and cleaning before and after ring-fencing.

Student Representatives’ feedback and involvement will be prioritised, and influence the final decision in the estates in-house model evaluation process which is due by April 2009. The return to an in-house facilities model. will not be excluded from the possible future provision at Byam Shaw.

The opportunities for students to work within the University of the Arts London, including Byam Shaw students involvement with any cleaning contractor will be championed.

 

7. Shortfall in tutorial hours for existing Byam Shaw students

Based on a suggested stimulus ‘package’ to be assembled by the Byam Shaw Student Representatives in the following days, the University will provide support in terms of contact hours leading up to degree shows as a compromise/injection to cope with cuts in teaching budget and hours.  This ‘package’ will be assembled and agreed between the school principal and the group, its financial elements confirmed before 20th March 2009, and will not have to be refunded at a later date.


8. Ensuring the strength of the Student Voice/Student Representatives 

The Students’ Union in partnership with the University will pilot a project in the academic year 2009/2010 working on increasing participation and democratic management of its committees.  The resources for this will be built into the University’s 2009/10 funding arrangement for the SU and a project which Arts London Deans are also mounting in this area, and any pre-agreed expenses incurred by the SU in progressing this project will be separately funded. The emphasis will be on moving towards the scenario of providing Student Representatives with the equivalent of a “vote, but not a veto”.

 

9. Senior Staff and high level finance for the University

The Students’ Union will analyse financial data publicly available on senior management pay – as published in the University’s Annual Accounts – and will consider its wider relevance.  If there is difficulty in interpreting this data, the University’s Finance Department will be available to provide officers of the SU with appropriate support and guidance.

 

10. “Byam Shaw School of Art”

Throughout the revalidation process, maintaining the distinctiveness of Fine Art provision at Byam Shaw will be fully addressed.  The name of the “Byam Shaw School of Art” and the association of the School name with relevant courses here, the site in Archway and its characteristic student population, a range of programmes in Fine Art, the leading role that practicing staff play, the workshops and other learning facilities offering students continued engagement, are key characteristics that all contribute to the identity of Byam Shaw School of Art, which will continue to be core provision of courses here.  The results of the revalidation process will reinforce the future direction of fine art education within Byam Shaw School of Art.

 

11. Student Representation

In line with the Students’ Union Governance review, local Byam Shaw representative elections will be held as soon as possible, and the input of the representatives formally recognised by the Students’ Union structures.

The results of the revalidation processes should ensure the distinct provision of Fine Art at Byam Shaw, including the maintenance of the main Byam Shaw School of Art, the site at Archway and its Fine Art community.


Signed

Alister Warman, Principal of Byam Shaw School of Art

Will Bridge, Deputy Rector, On Behalf of the University of the Arts London

Jane Rapley, Head of College, CSM, On behalf of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Kit Friend, Campaigns & Communication, Officer On behalf of the Students’ Union of the University of the Arts London

Tarek Salhany & Laura Lenander, Elected Representatives of the Occupation, On behalf of the Students of Byam Shaw

OCCUPATION SUCCESFUL AFTER 9 days 0 hours 6 minutes 41 seconds !

we will upload the list of resolutions and signed charter very soon

Arts London News

photo by Oliver Lafci

Unhappy Sudents Occupy Byam Shaw
Steffan Thompson

25th of February 2009


Disillusioned students from the Byam Shaw site of Central Saint Martin's are staging an occupation of the building, over complaints about resources. The occupation of the Byam Shaw building, which began on Wednesday, February 18, is the last resort for the group of students at the college who say they have been "ignored for long enough" regarding certain issues at the college including alleged expenditures of students' money as well as the decrease of tutorial hours.Last week, the group, whose movement is known as the Byam Shaw People's University, sent a letter to Nigel Carrington, Rector of the University, Jane Rapley, Head of Central Saint Martin's, and Alister Warman, Head of college at Byam Shaw, with a list of demands including direct employment of the students and work studio opening times to be reviewed. They also stated that unless they received legally binding written confirmation of their stipulations they would not cease the occupation of Byam Shaw.The students occupying the building met with Jane Rapley, on Friday, to discuss the demands on the letter but the head of CSM turned down most of them. Rapley however, did apologise for the lack of effective communication between the University and the students. A statement from the group read: "The students of Byam Shaw have become increasingly dissatisfied with the way that higher education is being delivered. It was felt that joining the University of Arts London and in particular our amalgamation with Central St Martin's would provide a way to preserve the identity of the school within a higher education system where independent colleges are fast disappearing. What has instead resulted is a 16% drop in teaching hours, fewer resources and less access to facilities".Jenny Cumming, a BA fine arts student who is part of the group, believes the occupation shouldn't come as a revelation to anyone in the higher educational authorities, "We feel that the occupation is necessary and we're very determined to get what we want. There seems to be a general unrest in higher education so this really shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody." The university and head of college were unavailable to comment as the protest continues.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

1000 marchers stage sit-down protest to support Byam Shaw

From www.occupations.org.uk - February 25, 2009

Earlier today Byam Shaw had some unexpected support when a march protesting over current higher education fees stopped outside the Central Saint Martins’ building on Southampton Row. The 1000 marchers held a sit-down protest in the street, and chanted 'shame on you' at the building until the police threatened violence and the march moved on.

Unrest Continues

It's now a war of words over the charter, being sent back and forth between the Deputy Rector and the Students. The Student Body are beginning to question whether this will be solved in this way or further measures may need to be taken in order to ensure the future of Byam Shaw School of Art. The fantastic place we love, in danger of extinction....

Amended Charter ... Not Enough

We were sent back an amended charter yesterday evening but what was offered clearly wasn't enough. We've been making our own amendments and are sending the revised version back to the Deputy Rector this morning.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Radio Slot

The Byam Shaw People's University is going to be featured on Riseup! Radio on 1st March. Check them out at http://riseupradio.org.uk/.

Tarek, Laura, Chris, Rob and Faye await an important email in the Concourse gallery...

Nationwide Solidarity With Byam Shaw

At midday on the 25th of February students from across the U.K., numbering close to a thousand, assembled outside the School of Oriental and African Studies to march through Central London in protest over current higher education fees. The route, which was to end at Kings College, passed by the Central Saint Martins' building on Southampton Row. As the march approached the building it was announced that Byam Shaw was currently in occupation regarding educational issues, which sent an enormous roar of support through the streets. The protesters then spontaneously engaged in a sit-down protest immediately outside the building, thus blocking all traffic through the busy intersection. The protesters stayed for around 30 minutes, directing their chant of "shame on you!" at the CSM building. Eventually the demonstrators were threatened with violence by the police and continued to Kings College.
It is now clear that this once little known arts college in northern London has become an inspiration for universities around the country. Many promises were made at the protest that if cuts continue and fees are not removed then occupations will follow. Byam Shaw is therefore the first in what will surely become a nationwide fight-back against the threats to our education.

Message of solidarity from Michael Steadman

Dear comrades in struggle. As leader of the staff side of the eight-week long student and staff occupation of the (then) Guildford School of Art in 1968, I send you my congratulations on taking direct but peaceful action in defence of your educational and democratic rights, and my warmest good wishes for a successful outcome. As history has shown over and over, nothing has been gained, neither in the educational nor in the wider industrial world, except what has been fought for passionately, with intelligent organisation and above all with the greatest of solidarity. Bravo to all those courageously involved!
- Michael Steadman

a few lovely messages of solidarity we've been getting


"I take my hat off to you and to what you are doing takes guts and sacrifice. You have my full admiration."

"WOW this is amazing, I just read the blog and i feel very moved by what you are all doing and send you my complete support. (...) I feel very strongly about the place. Its awful to see what it stands for being destroyed by a bunch of over paid managers who couldnt run a baked bean factory. University of the arts is now understood by more and more people to be an institution that is fundamentally against everything that art is about, the complex histories in each of its art schools is being shat on by ignorant bureaucrats."

"Just had a look at your blogspot. Good on you and the other students, what you're all doing makes me proud to be a part of Byam Shaw. If there's anything you need (...) just let me know..."


"Hi there,
We wish the Byam Shaw occupation the best of luck in continuing to fight the neo-liberal cuts in the education system which all of us are victims of.
We decided to end our occupation after two days after the university gave us an indication it was willing to respond to our demands, we felt we should continue our campaign outside the occupation and campaign to twin our university with an educational institution in Palestine for the benefit of the Palestinians who have to struggle to have an education there.
However, your campaign is so important as it concerns all of us and the standards of our education across the University. I hope that one day students at other colleges in the University will organise an occupation against similar course cuts and cut backs that we suffer. We hope you can continue to fight for every last right you deserve, to give hope to other students across the University to fight for what they deserve.
Thanks,
Dave
UAL Stop the War Society
UAL Palestine Solidarity Network"

Communal Eating






Thank you to everyone who made dinner last night, it was lovely.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009






Polaroids taken by Jenny over the last few days...

Charter Sent to Deputy Rector, Head of College, and Principal - awaiting their response

Charter Sent to Deputy Rector, Head of College, and Principal - awaiting their response, which we wilol hopefuly have by midday tomorrow.



Workshops

The University will make every effort to find staff to enable a return to 5 day access; the Digital Workshop will be opened 5 days a week from 10 am till 5pm and cover will be found to enable access to the Printmaking workshop on Mondays in addition to its current opening. This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

2 Elthorne Road

Studio opening times will be reviewed to provide appropriate equitable access.
In practice this means 9am - 8pm on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and 9am - 6pm Friday.
On occasions when ‘Byam Bar’ takes place on a Thursday in 2 Elthorne Road, and all BA Fine Art students attend, Elthorne Studios will close by 6pm. This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

Communication between CSM and Students at Byam Shaw

Better communication at College and local level is required. The Head of College will attend an all student meeting before the 20th March 2009 to discuss the ‘vision’ for the future and explain the overall budget and the budget setting process.

Revalidation of courses

Byam Shaw Alumni and Student Representatives will be involved in the revalidation consultation of the BA Fine Art course. Effective immediately, in all revalidation of courses across Arts London, Student Representatives will be given a meaningful chance to contribute to the development and drafting of validation documents well before the final stages.

Changes in course provision from handbook materials

All future changes in teaching hours and resource allocation for courses, as a minimum, must be passed through a course committee in the academic year prior to the changes being applied, with Student Representatives present and able to respond with their input, and influence the decisions.

The provision of cleaning and estates services at Byam Shaw

The University of the Arts London/Central Saint Martins will ensure students receive payment for cleaning services as soon as possible (based on students’ submission of information to the Principal of Byam Shaw), this is to be finalised by 20th March 2009.

The University will provide, by the 20th March 2009, a comparison of the costs of in-house maintenance and cleaning at Byam Shaw (as was previously in operation), against the current/future out-sourced structures to ensure best value and service for students.

Student Representatives’ feedback and involvement will be prioritised, and influence the final decision in the estates evaluation before April 2009.

The opportunities for students to work within the University of the Arts London estates department will continue to be championed.

Shortfall in tutorial hours for existing Byam Shaw students

Based on a suggested stimulus ‘package’ to be assembled by the Byam Shaw Student Representatives in the following days, the University will act to provide support in way of contact hours leading up to degree shows as a compromise/injection to cope with cuts in teaching budget and hours. This ‘package’ will be finalised, including the finance involved, before 20th March 2009, and will not have to be refunded at a later date.

Ensuring the strength of the Student Voice/Student Representatives

The Students’ Union in partnership with the University will pilot a project in the academic year 2009/2010 working on the democratic management of its committees. It is likely this will require additional funding from the university towards the development of Student Representation and engagement, and will specifically include work at Byam Shaw. The emphasis will be on moving towards the scenario of providing Student Representatives with the equivalent of a “vote, but not a veto”.

Senior Staff and high level finance for the University

The Students’ Union will analyse financial data on senior management pay and publicise to Student Representatives. If there is difficulty in interpreting data, the University’s finance department will provide appropriate support.

“Byam Shaw School of Art”

Throughout the revalidation process the strength of the contrast between Fine Art provision at CSM and Byam Shaw should be reinforced and maintained. The name of the “Byam Shaw School of Art”, the site in Archway, the small number of students attending the school, the character of the space and studios, the broad portfolio of exclusively Fine Art courses (whilst independent from the Fine Art courses offered at CSM), the leading role that practicing staff play, the library and workshops offering students continued engagement with one another, all contribute to the identity of Byam Shaw School of Art, which will not be compromised in any way. We thus intend to safeguard the unique identity and community for future students at Byam Shaw School of Art.

Student Representation

In line with the SU Governance review, local Byam Shaw representative elections will be held as soon as possible, and the input of the representatives formally recognised by the Students’ Union structures.

Statement from Byam Shaw Staff

As staff members of the Byam Shaw School of Art at Central St Martins we acknowledge the current student occupation. This comes at the end of a series of student initiatives voicing disquiet to University management about recent cuts and decision-making processes.We respect the serious and creative spirit in which the student action has been conducted and share a commitment to the educational provision and particular approaches that shape the Byam Shaw.

23.02.09

Professor Douglas Allsop, Margot Bannerman, Sharon Beavan, Angelina Bianchi, Sylvie Borel, Jon Cairnes, Stephen Carter, Mikey Cuddihy, Paul Dewis, Adrian Di Duca, Esi de Moralis, Stuart Elliot, Deb Froome, Mami Fujita, Anna Hart, Christabel Harley, Andy Healy, Marigold Hodgkinson, Sandrine Jambert, Paula Kane, Peter Kennard, Christopher Kul-Want, Lynn Hewitt, Sophie Horton, Sarah Leontovitsch, Dave McKeran, Guy Mortimer, Steve Murray, Tim Peacock, Elle Reynolds, Helen Robertson, Trevor Shearer, Nicola Shilcock, Dave Stewart, Jamie Wagg, Eva Weinmayr and Stephen Williams

Media Project: Interviews

As a media project, linked to the documentation of the Occupation, we stared to interview students from different courses that are being offered at Byam Shaw. This project is a means to introduce an understanding of each course from a student’s perspective and also to communicate more personally to equal individuals. Furthermore we asked for feedback on their opinions about the Occpation.

Jacob: Fine Art Foundation

The course offered at Byam Shaw, is very good! This last term we particularly concentrated in life drawing and a self conducted project. We are given a lot of support by the tutors, which always go this extra mile to give support. The course is structured very freely, yet lies in conducted boundaries of research. In response to the Occupation, I think it is very good to get students involved in university politics, because they are an integral part of the system. Without students there is no need for an university. Students should be obliged to be part of discussions.

Laure, Chike and Anna: Fine Art Foundation and Art and Architecture Foundation


In the beginning of this course, students are lead through given tasks to respond and develop through to the final stage of the year where they are asked to create a final major project. This project is self initiated and is used for the final exhibition in May. We are defiantly receiving a great support from our tutors. Additionally to your personal tutors, you can see any tutor in a drop in session, even if he/she is not you personal tutor. Tutors are themselves practicing artists, so they have a lot of experience and actually are the BEST resource to learn from! It is difficult to comment on the Occupation because we have been so involved with our work, we kind of don’t know what is going on. We would like to get more involved, and agree and support this movement, mentally, not actively. “We kind of feel that we are not part of it, because we are not on the BA course.”

My response was that there definitely should be an improvement of communication with the foundation years. A lot of interaction happens during Byam Bar, but this is not enough. We agreed to pick this issue up in future and work on integrating the foundation year more to the overall college, student feeling.

Patricia, Maria, Oliver and Jenna: Fine Art Skills and Practices (FdA) First year

In short: Print making, drawing, sculpture, work based program, communication, tutor are great active, present, and filled with information.The Occupation is no hostile action. It is a creative and positive intended movement. Alone that a collaborative exhibition was created within one weekend shows a lot of potential. Via Byam Shaw! We LOVE Byam Shaw!


Peter Kennard: Visiting Tutor at Byam Shaw

Peter Kennard was a student at Byam Shaw in the ears from 1965 till 1967. He has been teaching at Byam Shaw for thirty years and has a strong involvement with the college. It is an important, amazing place. The fact of organizing an occupation is a powerful statement. The students are organized and show functioning communication skills, which are brilliant. Seeing that from written documents, no responses were received, the occupation is a result of that. Byam Shaw has an amazing history of being an independent art school. The management of the University of Arts is taking over everything. This is a modern world reality- they have no understanding of what an art school, creativity, is about. Were hours are being cut, being called and the staff has no comment to make and is left with 25% cut off their teaching hours. They are treated like fodder, they are not important. And the students are thought of like that. And now. That students step back, and do act. It is a historic moment. Within the traditions of British culture, getting all students that can create; challenging the bureaucracy of the University of Arts- they have no clue of what art school is about.

Original demands and responses from Jane Rapley, Head of CSM

1. A reinstatement of the budgets and a return to the tutorial hours as they were for the academic year 2006‐2007, when the current Stage 3 students on the BA first enrolled on their course.
Not agreed - Not appropriate in relation to the College positions on funding all students.
NB Most other areas have seen some reduction in teaching hours budgets (payrise impact) unless off set by over recruitment to international targets - not the case at BS.



2. A reinstatement of the budget for teaching and materials that was cut on the FdA course.
Not agreed - as above



3. A reinstatement of the budget for materials in the different workshops.
Not agreed - as above. Alister may have some flexibility in BS budget to mitigate 1, 2 or 3 but not to replace.



4. For all workshops to be open from Monday to Friday for a minimum of 6 hours per day.
Workshop access has been compromised by staff sickness 1 day per week since January and the lack of suitable temporary cover. Undertaken to make every effort to find staff to revert to 5 day access. Subsequent meeting between students and Alister have established that the Digital Workshop will be opened 5 days a week and cover will be found to cover the Printmaking workshop to allow access on Mondays in addition to its current opening. Alister reports students are satisfied with this arrangement and don't need Saturdays.



5. For studio opening times in 2 Elthorne Road to be brought in line with those of the BA Studios which are open from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
Studio opening times should be reviewed to provide appropriate equitable access - agreed by me.
In practice this means 9am - 8pm (not 7am) on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and 9am - 6pm Friday. On occasions when events take place on Thursdays at the main building and all students attend them Elthorne Studios would close by 6pm



6. A return to the more economical, direct employment of the students by the Byam Shaw School of Art and a cessation of the outsourcing of school staff in regards of maintenance and cleaning duties.
Not agreed: Outside College remit.



7. Adequate communication with the student body regarding matters like the allocation of funding and any proposed changes to it.
Agreed at College and local level that more communication required. Definition of "adequate" not agreed. Students requested representation and veto vote on all budget setting groups - not agreed. I have undertaken to hold an all student meeting at a later date to talk about the "vision" for the future and explain the overall budget and the budget setting process.



8. That students be represented by an elected officer for the Byam Shaw site in any forthcoming meetings about the future of their course and be given the right to veto any major changes to the way their course is run, ie. The merging of the BA Fine Art course with the other BA Fine Art course offered at CSM.
Not agreed. Explained course development was discursive and iterative not a "voting" scenario but there was and should be consultation and discussion with students as the revalidation developed and that recent graduates had representation at the validation events. Also confirmed that at the introduction of a new course they would be asked if they agreed to move to the revalidated course or remain on their current one.



9. According monetary compensation of all the already lost hours of tutorials in proportion to the tuition fees with regard to the number of tutorial hours specified in the course handbook given to each of the students when we originally joined the course.
Not agreed. specific 1x1 tutorial entitlement in both the 06/07 and 08/09 handbooks is the same and has been delivered. Explained that the taught contract could be delivered in a variety of ways not just 1x1. Final years expressed their frustration that they were getting less support in year 3 than year 1 (though I did refer to the relationsahip of student achievement and quality versus quantity of teaching and did not enter into the pedagogic strategy of progressively developing independent learning - not the time, place or temperature!

Monday, 23 February 2009

JUST TO HIGHLIGHT:

The problem is not that university managers disagree with their students' demands (which they are perfectly entitled to do), but that they view the very act of students engaging with the wider reality of their world as a subversive phenomenon to be nipped in the bud before it infects the rest of the student population.

Students must be encouraged, not quelled and intimidated, in their efforts to engage with the complex realities of the world.

whether they're right or wrong in their political positions, students need to be heard and respected, not patronised and infantilised for their dissent.


From: Student apathy is good for business
Crackdowns on a resurgence in activism highlight universities' transformation into businesses selling employable students
Hicham Yezza guardian.co.uk, Thursday 19 February 2009 19.30 GMT Article history

Press Release

Occupation of the Byam Shaw School of Art


The Byam Shaw school of Art has provided a fine art education within a stimulating community for 99 years. Throughout a wealth of shifts in cultural ideology, Byam Shaw has managed to hold on to some of the founding principles of educational philosophy; there is a freedom to learn independently through each other and the environment around us.

The students of Byam Shaw have become increasingly dissatisfied with the way that higher education is being delivered. It was felt that joining the University of Arts London and in particular our amalgamation with Central St Martins would provide a way to preserve the identity of the school within a higher education system where independent colleges are fast disappearing. What has instead resulted is a 16% drop in teaching hours, fewer resources, less access to facilities, increased bureaucracy and a lack of transparency within the decision-making process.

Throughout this academic year we have been sending letters, attending meetings and attempting to get our concerns heard. Responses have been dismissive and diversionary. We felt that the only way that we could bring about change and obtain answers to our questions was to go into occupation. This commenced on Wednesday 18th February.

After five days of occupation, we are finally engaging in discussion with the university management but a resolution to the matter is still not in sight. Pertinently, the occupation has served not only to bring out the best in individual students but also to highlight the strengths of our community, producing both widespread debate and a wealth of artwork. The experience has enriched our education immensely.

What has become increasingly clear is that the problems we are experiencing are being mirrored throughout the higher education system. There is a need for a wider debate about whether current educational policy, in both fiscal and philosophical terms, will serve to benefit the students of today and in turn the country as a whole. The disparity between political vision and the emerging outcomes of policy direction needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Letter of support from Goldsmiths SU




Dear Byam Shaw Students,

Goldsmiths Students’ Union sends its solidarity. We too have come under sustained attempts at cut-backs including attempts to close our nursery, the outsourcing of staff and the privatisation of our International Department. Your occupation is an inspiration to us and we are watching very closely. We wish you every success and will help you in any way that we can.

In solidarity

Goldsmiths Students’ Union

watch out for our fliers

video


Drumming at 3PM to welcome the Deputy Rector of UAL, the Dean of students and Head of Estates

23rd February 11am Meeting: Minutes

  • The press release was read out by Kenny. Jess went over the suggestions made my Anna Hart and Oscar suggested there should be a greater emphasis on putting it into a wider context.
  • A consensus decision was made that press should be contacted today (Monday)
  • Suggested press contacts included the Times Educational Supplement, Art Monthly, other art magazines and our local MP.
  • Jenny suggested that we could send in pictures of our occupation to “picture of the day” in the London Paper. It was suggested that we could either pick one picture through a tallying system or send lots of different ones in from different addresses.
  • Jenny also extended a welcome to people who hadn’t attended our previous meetings, emphasising that the issues we are campaigning on affect everyone and that we do not see this as an insular matter. Tarek added that numbers need to stay high if we want to see progress.
  • In terms of guest speakers, Anish Kapoor, and Anthony Gormley should hopefully be attending. Kate said she would talk to her Dad who talk part in an occupation at Guildford. Ollie also mentioned Slavoj Žižek.
  • Early studio closures in the BA studios were brought up as an issue. Tarek says that this is in the process of being sorted, including with regard to our demands about studio opening times at 2 Elthorne Road. It was suggested we could build a temporary studio in the courtyard.
  • An action plan needs to be put together for press and contact details for the press team need to be complied so that if journalists come they can be directed towards the press team.
  • Ollie mentioned outreach to other London universities in occupation as it is felt that even if our intentions are different we should show solidarity. It was also felt that we should go to other UAL sites and generally set about stimulating a debate about education.
  • The new outreach team is as follows:
  1. Jenny
  2. Hattie
  3. Jenea
  4. Ollie
  5. James
  6. Oscar
  7. Sarah
  8. Grace
  9. Teresa
  10. Richard
  11. Faye
  12. Amalia
  • In terms of matters such as fliers, it was decided that the outreach team should discuss these matters amongst themselves.

MEETING R.E. IMMEDIATE AND PRACTICAL CHANGE

Present: Alister Warman (Principal), Tim Sokolow (Academic Coordinator), Representatives of Student Body.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Agenda:
1) Studio hours – during occupation and generally.
2) Workshop hours.
3) Exhibition Space in Courtyard / Studio Space in Sculpture Yard
4) Deployment of Extra Money
5) Dave’s Wages
6) Communications
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

- Where workshop time has been missed out on, there is the possibility of some Saturday opening times for students to catch up.
- Maybe put money into print = Monday opening when Adrian Barron is involved in FdA.
- Friday opening for digital (= Mon-Fri, 10-5) confirmed. Possibility of earlier opening hours? Deemed unnecessary... Print opening on Monday preferred?
- In the event of closures advance warning is required.
- Studios over the road are currently closing early?
- Shortage of staff due to Occupation..? Health and Safety concerns necessitate early closures.
- FdA Studio opening hours to be same as BA studios? To be investigated… Issue of Work Based Learning and different student patterns according till term. Proposed investigation prior to Winter Term 2009.
- Foundation studios to stay as they are due to Health and Safety constraints
- Late opening on Thursday evenings – to be reinstated? Issue of J. Wag(g?), to be fine-tuned with him
-“We will try to make what we have go as far as it can” – AW
- Extra money – deployed how? Barren workshops, materials run out – metal, wood plaster.
- Little to no money to play with…
- Possibility of subsidised materials? Students willing to pay as best they can?
- Used to be a shop here – to be reconsidered, reopened if there is certainty of sufficient trade.
- AW looked at course handbooks r.e. tutorial time and Douglas Alsop has agreed to more tutorials with final year students? This was envisioned to happen about now anyway.
- With regards to other year groups and courses, AW does not wish to promise too much, but recognises the need for a shift.
- To arrange meeting with Steven, Lynn, Douglas, Margot and Elle (possibility of two parts to meeting – FdA and BA)
- Mention of informal lunchtime crits, as set up by Elle and Hannah Sharpe for FdA – student led but tutorial presence.
- AW spoke of rethinking aspects of teaching to create in terms of powerful influence. Powerful used not in context of authoritarianism, but of dynamism and creativity.
- In this context student input is highly valuable.
- How to communicate?
- Value of integrated communications network – ref. to UCS at Cambridge.
- UAL should acknowledge the need to work towards more efficient and streamlined communication
- Dave McKeran (caretaker) has worked 8 hours extra time… Not yet paid, nor any talk of rates of agency staff = time and a half.
- AW aware, troubled and on the case.
RESOLUTIONS:
- New Digital Openings = Mon-Fri, 10-5.
- Print – Look into Monday opening.
- Workshop into temporary studio space – NO.
- Courtyard into Exhib. Space – speak to the WAG.
- Meeting with Course Directors - Lynn, Douglas, Margot and Elle – time TBC. Value of CDs having some time to think about options.

***SEE POST BELOW FOR OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION OF SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION WITH COLLEGE ADMINISTRATION***

Minor resolutions following meeting with Alister 23/02/09Minor

Support From Tony Benn

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tony Benn <tony@tbenn.fsnet.co.uk>
Date: 2009/2/19
Subject: Re: Byam Shaw Occupation

>


Thanks and I wish I could but this week is jammed solid.
I do hope it goes well
Please pass on my support
Tony







http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2009/02/19/art-students-occupy-against-cuts

Sunday, 22 February 2009

From the front.

Guardian: 'Student Apathy is Good for Business'

This Guardian article (by Hicham Yezza, 19th February 2009) looks at recent crackdowns against the resurgence of student led activism. It highlights universities' transformation into businesses selling employable students...


...just some of the artworks being made in the Concourse Gallery in the School


students sleeping in the basement
A beautiful poster by Faye Winslade and David Underwood

work on the press release gets underway...


Media Meeting Minutes

-meeting facilitator was Jon

• Jon begins by drawing attention to the previous consensus decision (Friday) that the media were not to be contacted until a meeting had taken place with the Rector of UAL (Nigel Carrington)
• Marian suggests that the media group should prepare something for a Monday morning.
• Matthew suggests that we contact a free-lance journalist with our press release instead of us sending it directly to papers.
• Suggestion that Friday’s consensus might be overridden. Disagreement and strong reservations voiced.
• Nicole proposes writing a press release and organising visits to other universities.
• A consensus decision is reached not to contact media before a meeting on Monday (more students can be present and therefore a fairer consensus reached).
• Suggestion to write up a press release in preparation for the possibility of media contact: consensus reached to work on release (please note: media contact has not been agreed upon, this is merely preparation).
• Someone (?) suggests hosting a private view of the work being made and curated in the Concourse Gallery as a way to draw support/highlight our activities.
• Press release brainstorm begins…
…..(Holly backtracks: The rector has failed to contact the students. She feels this warrants the press release being sent out immediately to gain his attention and therefore a meeting with him. Disagreement.)
• Suggestion that the prepared press release be sent to the Rector before it’s issue to press (mere threat of media may gain his attention).
• …Back to brain storm:

--Should contain national context of educational struggle
--Call students of other universities to act
--Request that the press release states we are not affiliated to any political groups (as opposed to erroneous suggestion that we are ‘apolitical’—Marian believes that everything is political)
--Stress must be put on the Byam’s uniqueness as a specialist art School
--Stress should be put on the fact that this occupation is purely student led
--The press release must be exciting, capable of grabbing the reader’s attention quickly.

• Suggestion that the students should warn CSM/UAL that we will re-occupy the School if signed assurances aren’t fully met after a period of time (note: the students have constantly felt that any demands that are met by the university must be written down, signed and be legally binding).
• Practicalities of contacting the media are discussed.
• Suggestion that artistic activities must be continued, so that we are not labelled as lazy, cliché art students.
• Art displayed at free art fairs to raise awareness of us (is this awareness of current occupation or awareness of the School itself?). Suggestion that we make art outside of the School, in Archway, etc)
• Suggestion that we look at recent educational articles concerned with budget cuts, etc and perhaps contact their writers with our press release.
• Proposal that a draft press release is begun this evening: agreement of all present.
• Suggestion that we send the press release (if it is indeed to be sent at all…) to art magazines as well as papers (does term ‘media’ need defining?) and that it be tailored to suit them.
• Tarek emerges from the kitchen with a peeled potato in hand to say he has an exhaustive list of media contacts (email addresses, names, phone numbers). Interest is shown by the group (or is it interest in the lovely curry smell emerging from the kitchen?)
• JP, Chris Lane, Chris Percy, Nicole, Jess and Lewis volunteer to work on a press draft press release, to be presented to the students for discussion in the morning (Sunday).
• Meeting adjourned, a warm feeling of relief washes over the group.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

MEETING WITH JANE RAPELY (CSM Head Of College) 20/02/09

.On points 1, 2, 3: (1. A reinstatement of the budgets and a return to the tutorial hours as they were for the academic year 2006-2007, when the current Stage 3 students on the BA first enrolled on their course. 2. A reinstatement of the budget for teaching and materials that was cut on the FdA course.
3. A reinstatement of the budget for materials in the different workshops.)
With regard to the appropriate deployment of budgets; Sources include: government, research activity, tuition fees, holiday courses, trust. 80-85% of which comes from tuition fees. Unfortunately Byam Shaw’s income doesn’t match its expenditure, is being cross-subsidised. Giving you more tutorials would involve taking money away from other students.

What has happened?
- Costs escalated last year, partly due to the unpredictability of oil, gas, electricity prices. Tutors income has actually gone up (nationally negotiated salary increase) though this has been apparently under the shadow of the credit crunch / money munch.
- Teaching hours at Byam Shaw in relation to other sites across the University are higher and over the years, for the fairness of all UAL students, we have tried to level the hours on all courses on all sites.

What is being done?
- We have to redeploy cost against income in response to the nations current financial climate.
- The new rector is trying to bring the deadlines, for the grant of money from government sources, forward.
- “If we had the money we wouldn’t have cut it in the first place”
-“I can only apologise on behalf of the university and its staff for the lack of this communication of these changes” says Jane Rapley
-In the course handbook, tutorial hours “contact time” consists of group tutorials and seminars as well.

In conclusion; the answer in no.

Points 4 & 5:
(4. For all workshops to be open from Monday to Friday for a minimum of 6 hours per day.
5. For studio opening times in 2 Elthorne Road to be brought in line with those of the BA Studios which are open from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.)
They are both issues that can to an extent be dealt with by Alister and meetings will shortly be held to decide their outcomes.

Point 6:
(6. A return to the more economical, direct employment of the students by the Byam Shaw School of Art and a cessation of the outsourcing of school staff in regards of maintenance and cleaning duties.)
Jane empathises, she doesn’t have authority on the mater, it is a matter of Estates, which are currently under review due to a lack of operational inefficiency. Estates are controlled not at the individual collages but centrally at the university, Jane agrees, for efficiency. “I doubt that it will come back to individual college management, due to expense.” The person to talk to is Russle Cherrington, “local man responsible for cites at CSM”

Point 7:
(7. Adequate communication with the student body regarding matters like the allocation of funding and any proposed changes to it.)
Jane agrees and has apologised for the lack of communication so far. The use of Blackboard as a tool for communication is difficult and Jane has expressed her frustration at her and other staffs lack of privileges with regard to use of blackboard. Kit has discussed with us the creation of a new computerised resources to be built in the near future; meetings about this issue are to commence shortly.

Point 8:
(8. That students be represented by an elected officer for the Byam Shaw site in any forthcoming meetings about the future of their course and be given the right to veto any major changes to the way their course is run, ie. the merging of the BA Fine Art course with the other BA Fine Art course offered at CSM.)
“You can’t preserve the past and you can’t veto the future. Evolution is necessary for improvement. We will involve students in meetings after we have gathered a bit of shape to our intentions after our meetings. This merging of the BA Fine Art course with the other BA Fine Art course at CSM WILL happen, the question is are you prepared to except the change or do you want us to wait until you have finished your degree?


Point 9:
(9. According monetary compensation of all the already lost hours of tutorials in proportion to the tuition fees with regard to the number of tutorial hours specified in the course handbook given to each of the students when we originally joined the course.)
“NO, not one of our principles” “More hours don’t mean a better quality of education” “we feel that the quality of the education is adequate, and according to the course handbook the tutors deliver.” Though the quality will change year by year / tutor by tutor.


What The Group Said In Response

General Meeting Minutes.

General Consensus was called about delaying the meeting with Mr A
Meeting was pushed back to 16.00. This was good news

Agenda.
1. Minutes from last minutes led out – Thank you Jess
2. Press - Put forward by Oli, Well done!
3. Working Groups - In need of organisation
4. Mass Email - Look out those at CSM
5. SU Reps
6. Continuation
7. Weekend - Art ARt ART…(and maybe some aerobics!)


Minutes
- First point brought to attention was the merging of Byam Shaw BA Fine Art with CSM BA fine art courses at Kings Cross, the Byam Shaw building is remaining however Kit mentioned that Byam Shaw was being referred to as “CSM archway” in meetings. The reason for merging the fine art courses was to lift weight off CSM at Kings Cross; this would implicate that the size of the course at Byam Shaw could increase. This raised a concern in the potential increase of students at Byam Shaw. We have heard many different contradicting statements, Kit added however that Jane spoke at the college academic committee meeting of a 15% reduction in student intake.
- In regard to the issues surrounding the budget it was decided that we must go higher up the ‘slices’ as it was felt it was beyond Jane’s control.
- A meeting with Nigel Carrington (rector) hasn’t been scheduled but there is a possibility of meeting with either him or deputy rector William Bridge.
- Communication across the board had already been brought to the attention of staff at CSM and the idea of a new interweb called Portal is in its pulmonary stages. Kit stated that it is being set up and relies on student input. A notice board will be put up within Byam Shaw shortly and students are urged to contribute ideas towards this.
- It was made known to us that the loss of associate lecturers was due to standardising across CSM.

Press

- The positive and negative effects of the press where discussed and the concern of being cut off from CSM was mentioned. Kit mentioned that with the plans CSM have for Byam Shaw and their involvement already, it was highly unlikely they would separate. The general consensus was that these implications needed to be researched.
- Using the press could be a very positive thing, engaging other people to get involved, including a call to other universities, guest lecturers, and workshops.
- Being aware of how we could be used by the press.
- The proposition of sending a group of people to represent Byam Shaw at other universities, promoting what we are doing through our reasons including the love we have for Byam Shaw!!
- The idea of getting the Arts Group within the SU and having a statement in Representing Art specialist institution magazines was discussed and the consensus was to write up a draft Press Release.

Working Groups

- It was decided that there needed to be a new group born for publicity at other universities and a research group.

Mass Email

- In two weeks time a mass email will go out headlining the Byam Shaw’s’ Occupation. Kit will talk to SU to try to push date this forward immediately for release this week.

SU Reps

- A Byam Shaw student representative was voted on. We can proudly state that Laura and Tarek are our new spokespeople!! Way!!

Continuation over the weekend will go on as per norm!






Friday, 20 February 2009

a post from Zelda

Three days of the Byam Shaw occupation: Seventysix hours and eleven minutes


A buzz of voices, ideas and movement is tingeling in through the halls of Byam Shaw. Something is different then the usual encounter of this Art School. One finds groups of students, gathered at reception. They sit on the floor quite causually, working on projects asthough they were sat in their studio space.

Images please...

If you have images of the Byam Shaw occupation you would like to share, please upload them to the new Facebook group for images and discussions:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=53001878957

Some photos and quotations might then appear in this blog...

Thank you,

The Occupation

Today's blackboard (20th February 2009)...

Minutes from meeting w/ A. Warman (Principal) and R. Imeson (Dean of Students) – 15:04, 19th February 2009



- Dean of students (R.Imeson = RI) here to listen, relay information between students and administration.

- RI – Jane Rapley (senior resource manager - JR) has suggested meeting for group of 5 representatives on Tuesday morning (24/02/09) at Southampton Row. Alister Warman (AW) and course directors to be present.

- RI advises representatives to take this opportunity.

- There is a new rector as of recently who is concerned with the adequate funding of courses – undertaking thorough analysis of funding.

Acknowledgement of certain issues r.e. course management – these are issues which UAL as a whole is dealing with, not just Byam Shaw.

Laura suggests that ‘validation reports’ are counterproductive in the adequate allocation of funding.

RI understands – asks for key points of concern from reps =

1) Budget
2) Student voice

These issues are intertwined, and letters written by students to administration have been met with unsatisfactory contextual waffle.

There has been an inadequate verbal transmission of tutorial cuts and material shortages.

Today’s technology (i.e. Blackboard) renders this situation even less acceptable – such information should be transmitted online, as well as in the form of written bulletins in common spaces in colleges.

AW – suggests student forum as regular occurrence over the course of the academic year as a means of resolving issues.

Nicole speaks of represenative officer at CSM Student Union, although the Student Forum such as it is there does not seem to be taken seriously, i.e. issues are raised and then ‘ignored’.

COURSE HANDBOOK – drastic changes to courses have been made without warning or consultation.
Reference to caveat in handbook by which UAL reserves right to make minor alterations to course structures.
The alterations we are experiencing are not small – specific reference to tutorial time.

AW suggests saving money by freezing the appointment of a PA, and also will look into issues raised i.e. workshops, tutorials etc
- concern amongst representatives regarding why he should have to take such a course of action. Where is the money?

Specific workshop issues

- digital: was Mon-Fri, 10-5 – not on Friday any more, problematic given volume of demand, requirement of technological assistance, esp. around assessments.
- Print – closures due to technicians doubling as tutors on courses: two technicians are run off feet, students wait to point of total distraction and abandonment of work – why be there?

Budget – yearly plan, money passed to college heads by UAL, then distributed to courses.

Money into UAL ‘TOP SLICE’ (!) = IT, Estates, HR, Computing…

Regarding 3 year courses – why is there no 3 year financial plan

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council of England) decided on budgets on yearly basis.

*Possibility of UAL trimming budgets of ‘TOP SLICE’ (!), funding redirected into “bottom” slice of student body?

Money going into focus groups and validation reports…
- Why this wasteful, unproductive practice? Student body is premium, available and willing ‘focus’ group, whilst also freely at the disposal of the university. This is evidenced by the current Occupation of Byam Shaw.

RI – acknowledgement that this validation reports are an archaic way of treating the issue. They are, however, the normal and accepted channels for such analyses.

Students are ‘unit of resource’ – funding is generated here…

RI – acknowledgement of issue of how the University hears the voice of the students.
Problem that UAL is a multi-sited, federal institution concerned with retaining the individual identities of institutions. This is hard, esp. in London and creates resource implications.

HE in UK – small institutions tend to go under

Representatives ask for advice on the next step in terms of progress and Occupation.
- RI says decisions will be determined by the course of this Occupation

AW will open discussions next week into how to ‘tweak’ situations – the budget is gone, although he will investigate ‘extra money’

AW will speak to Lynn next week, as well as course directors…

Agrees to Q+A session tomorrow (20/02/09) at 15:30 to hear and respond to concerns of whole group.

Concern r.e. studio times for FdA, (PG and MA), and Foundation – health and safety implications.

EMPLOYMENT OF STUDENTS –

Achievable? Students used to be more readily and easily employed in positions (cleaning etc) in college – general acknowledgement that this is good system, financially (student wage = £5.80/hr), as well as in terms of community, art work and time spent in college.

Students used to be only cleaners, the positions are now outsourced to agencies at higher rates.

RI – this is news… he is pushing generally for greater levels of student employment within UAL = lower level administration, seasonal jobs etc.

To be achieved by summer?

LOVE FOR BYAM SHAW

Unanimous agreement that Byam Shaw deserves love! Desirable place, sense of community. We as student body recognise this privilege but…
- Why drop us to level of less satisfactory courses at Southampton Row?

Provisional meeting arranged with AW tomorrow afternoon at 2pm – TBC with body of Occupiers.
AW to speak w/ course directors and arrange consultation at some stage next week TBC.

Minutes of this meeting to be initially forwarded to r.imeson@arts.ac.uk, a.warman@arts.ac.uk. RI to forward them to Jane Rapley.

Media – solidarity? We want to be in contact with other Occupations nationwide- there is strength to this movement to pressure government to reform education policy. The media will strengthen this movement?

RI – in his view, postpone media decision until after meeting with Jane Rapley –

“Read CONTROL sensibly” – what?

End of Meeting.