By Simon Friend
February 19, 2009
Following a petition from students at Glasgow University with over 1,000 signatories denouncing Israel’s military action in Gaza, a meeting was held this week between the demonstrators and the university’s principal, Sir Muir Russell.
The petition came after a sit-in last week, in which students occupied the university’s computer science building, refusing to move until their demands were met.
A representative of the university said: “We could not accept the majority of the students’ demands, but recognise that there were genuine humanitarian concerns that need to be discussed.”
But after meetings between the senate secretary David Newall and Glasgow JSoc, the university will allow students to organise a day of fundraising on campus today (Friday) for the Disasters Emergency Appeal for Gaza — but there will also be a fundraising appeal for the Israeli charity, Save A Child’s Heart, half of whose beneficiaries are Palestinian children. Additionally, the university will explore how students and universities in Gaza can benefit from Glasgow’s recycled books and IT facilities.
Paul Morron, of the Northern Region Chaplaincy Board, told Campus Notebook: “No concessions were made. In effect, the occupation was a failure.
“We have been pleased with the response of the university authorities, who have largely stood out against the occupation and boycott, and reminded all students that they should be able to study in a safe and non-intimidating atmosphere.”