Sheffield Hallam University ask students to snitch on striking staff

Sheffield Hallam University was accused of encouraging students to provide names of lecturers on an eight day strike over pay and working conditions.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 11:42 am

The form asked students to name the member of staff who had not appeared, along with the time, date, course and module.

It was shared by the Hallam Students Support the Strike Twitter account with a call to fill out the fields with ‘fake’ responses.

Lauren O’Donoghue, a creative writing student at the university who runs the account, wrote to professor Chris Husbands, vice chancellor, multiple times asking for the forms to be taken down but had not received a reply.

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Lauren O'Donoghue (left)

She said: “It feels really patronising and it doesn’t feel good to be used as a weapon against strikers.

“I’m pretty offended at the university’s response so far, we’re not stupid, we’re adults, we are capable of informed decision making, it’s not dangerous to let us know different sides of the issue and let us come to our own conclusions. By telling us to just sit down and be quiet and don’t rock the boat has probably done the opposite and mobilized more students to get involved.”

The university said the form enabled them to monitor disruption to students and provide ‘alternative arrangements’.

A number of people shared their mock submissions including one that told the university the ‘scabbing and grassing 101’ module of their ‘neoliberal university studies’ had been cancelled.

Sheffield Hallam University staff at a rally outside campus.

The name field has since been removed from the forms.

A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson said it was monitoring what impact industrial action was having as staff are not obliged to say they are striking.

“The form available helps us capture sessions that have not taken place as soon as possible so we can proactively plan alternative learning opportunities and minimise disruption for students.”