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Update on the events on campus last December

To all staff and students,

This week, a court case was held concerning three individuals involved in the distressing scenes that took place on our campus on 3 December 2014. At that hearing, two of those individuals, which included one Warwick student, were found guilty of public order offences. In addition, the individual who is not a Warwick student has been convicted for an assault on a security officer. Student Support has extended offers of support to the student concerned and to those members of staff and students involved in giving evidence.

Given the attention surrounding the events on campus in December, and the following debate and discussion leading up to the Summit on Peaceful Protest on 12 March, I thought it important that I write with some reflection on the past few months.

The events on campus in December were, and are, deeply concerning to the whole Warwick community. They have led to considerable contemplation. The events of that day, and the images we saw on social media, were distressing for all of us. It is important that the parties involved continue to reflect on the facts of what happened and do what can be done to avoid this situation recurring. Our focus will remain on working closely with our Students’ Union and all students and staff to ensure that we return to a spirit of co-operation between protesters and University staff. We are committed to facilitating peaceful protest on our campus whilst also providing a safe environment for our students, staff and visitors.

This has been a difficult period. Of course, there is the Independent Police Complaints Commission process still to report, but I sincerely hope that our whole community will now come together so that we will never have to face such circumstances again.

Nigel Thrift

Vice-Chancellor and President