The car-park at Penrhyn Road was closed by security last Tuesday over fears of a large scale protest taking place.
Local police tipped-off the University about a possible sit-in, and said they had no indication as to the scale of the demonstration. The supposed sit-in was linked to the Day X2 protests by students around the country.
Anita Gupta, University Media and PR Manager, said: “The University did have contingencies in place and would have been able to call on additional security staff, should this have become necessary.”
In the event, no demonstration took place in the car-park, although several police officers remained in and around campus thoughout the day. The car park also remained closed, inconveniencing a number of staff.
Around 30 people were believed to be involved in a sit-in the John Galsworthy building – a story which was circulated in both local and national media. However it was simply Education Activist Network (EAN) members holding a meeting, and did not intend to cause any kind of disruption.
When notified by TJ Esubiyu, Kingston University Students’ Union (KUSU) President, that their actions were regarded as a protest, the EAN members seemed surprised. One said: “Is that what they said? So are we technically occupying this room, according to them?”
The EAN had originally met in the social area of the building, before relocating to a quieter venue, and were originally unaware that lessons had to be re-scheduled around them.
When questioned about the closure, KUSU said they had no action planned. A University spokesperson said: “The University supports the right of students to protest peacefully about issues that matter to them.”