Save the Centre for Deaf Studies at University of Bristol
June 1, 2010 1 Comment
The campaign against the cuts erupted at Bristol University in the first week of May 2010. The photos said it all “Deafinitely not going” and “We dig our staff”. Between 150 – 180 staff and students, mostly from Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS) in the School of Applied Community and Health Studies (SACHS) and Archaeology transformed a lobby against the cuts into a lively and exciting event. The atmosphere was amazing as time after time, staff and students, along with sign language interpreters from the Centre for Deaf Studies, took the megaphone from the UCU President, making upbeat and confident speeches denouncing the vicious cuts of between 80 – 100 compulsory redundancies predominantly from these departments. The press were there in force and we have made the local news many times now. This was all a welcome shift in direction from the joint unions strategy, refusing to fight and concentrating on a “redundancy avoidance deal” with management where staff take unpaid leave in swap for delaying “some” of the redundancies until 1st Aug 2012. Departments in “specific reorganisations/reviews already underway” like CDS would not even be protected by the “deal”.
Despite the lobby Senate passed the package of cuts. However the protesters were not daunted and built again for another, just as exciting, lobby of University Council on Friday. Council again demonstrated the senior management’s determination to make cuts by agreeing in principle to setup redundancy committees on the say so of just the VC or the DVC, if the “deal” is not agreed. We are not giving up and immediately after the lobby of Council we met to plan next step in the campaign, where we agreed: we have to reach to the wider university; we need to maintain the unity between staff and students via a teach-in on the defence of education at Bristol; and to try and get an emergency motion against the cuts through all campus unions including the students union. Within 2 days of the original Senate decision both departments had set up press releases, web sites, blogs, and online petitions, please go to the links below to show your support. The closure of the BSc Deaf Studies degree course and the effect this will have on the Centre for Deaf Studies due to their excellent reputation in both the deaf and hearing community, has generated enormous concern all over the world with over 4,500 signatures on the petition only 5 days after being online.
What you can do to help:
1) Please write or email:
University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH
2) Please go to the links below sign the online petition and see the excellent videos & photos.
The SACHS/CDS petition at:
The SACHS/CDS website videos/photos of the lobby of Senate at:
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by staff of students from the particular campaigns mentioned. The debate is ongoing within Bristol University, along with other institutions, (not to mention the wider community, demonstrated most clearly in Greece) on how to fight the cuts and who should pay for the economic crisis. A victory for these campaigns will not only save the superb BSC in Deaf Studies, and the jobs of staff in SACHS/CDS & Archaeology, but also will give confidence to others fighting the cuts.