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University Open Meeting with the Warden...

For those of you who were unable to attend the University Open Meeting with the Warden, Frances Corner, yesterday afternoon, we thought we’d share a little update about what was covered, to keep you in the loop. The meeting was supposed to be a space for you, the student body, to ask questions about the things that matter to you at Goldsmiths… 

So what was discussed? The Warden addressed the KPMG report’s findings about the University deficit (apparently caused by ‘excessive capital spending’). Students (including Programme Rep Ricki-Lee Abrams) criticised the Senior Management Team for their lack of transparency about the report and the degree to which they were acting on its findings. 

They also discussed the loss of staff jobs. The Warden stated that no one had been made redundant during the pandemic, or would be in the next year, and that several options had been presented to staff in order to prevent this, such as working fewer hours. However, when she was asked why new staff posts were being advertised in light of the deficit, the Warden responded that Goldsmiths needs staff, and that ‘people leave for all sorts of reasons’ and require replacement, and that she was working with UCU to find the best possible solution.

Prompted by Niquella, our Campaigns & Activities Officer, discussion then turned to the unsatisfactory state of accommodation buildings. The Warden opened by saying that, according to student feedback, many students were completely satisfied by the quality of their accommodation and had no problems. She also said the College had not received a complaint about mice or rats in halls since 7th March - just three weeks before. She emphasised that rodents were an ‘endemic problem’ across the whole of London, rather than a specific problem in Goldsmiths accommodation and encouraged students to report any sightings via the Pest Control page on the Goldsmiths website to keep on top of the issue. Other complaints should be addressed via the Accommodation Complaints procedure.

Students also addressed the ‘vilifying’ tone with which the Warden had previously spoken about UCU at the start of the meeting. She denied vilifying them and instead reiterated that they were fellow colleagues and that her goal was to work with them to a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

What do you think? Did you know the meeting was taking place? Do you have anything to add about what was discussed or feel those answers were satisfactory? Add your comments below and we’ll try to make sure these are fed back to the College ahead of future meetings!