‘Water and electricity cut off’ during Senior Room protest

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PROTESTORS at the University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus have claimed they have been cut off from access to water, food, electricity and toilets in an attempt to force them to abandon their campaign.

Students and other campaigners have been occupying the Senior Common Room in a protest, now into its third week, against the closure of the service.

They claim the space will be converted into “a corporate dining suite” which students would not be able to access.

Neil Moore, who is playing an active role in the campaign, stated: “The university management seem to have absolutely no consideration for the tenants inside.

“The exits were boarded up around 8am (on Wednesday), followed shortly by water and, since about 10am, the power has now been shut off.

The protestors claim the plans for the Senior Common Room are a sign of further “privatisation and marketisation” of universities.

A University spokesman said: “The university is disappointed that a small number of people - fewer than 10 - are trying to prevent improvement work to facilities at our Coleraine campus.

“We should make it clear that the Senior Common Room on the Coleraine campus is not a facility which is open to all staff and students. It is a private club charging a fee for membership.

The protestors are calling for the Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry to intervene.

Police say they are aware of the ongoing protest and are monitoring the situation.