‘This was no mistake’: University edits out student’s protest at graduation ceremony

Ludovico Caminati Enström wore a sash supporting striking UCU lecturers

A top Scottish university has been accused of trying to “silence” one of its students after a recording of their graduation ceremony was edited to remove their protest against the university’s handing of the marking and assessment boycott.

Stirling University student, Ludovico Caminati Engström, attended his graduation ceremony on Tuesday where seconds before crossing the stage and shaking the vice-chancellor’s hand, he put on a pink sash synonymous with supporting striking UCU members.

The act of protest was swiftly edited out of the recording which was uploaded to the university’s website the following day. 

However, after Stirling’s UCU branch spotted the edit and released the clip online where it quickly went viral, the university was forced into an embarrassing climbdown and has now reinstated the full unedited video. 

Stirling University then apologised on Twitter a day later, saying: “Yesterday we posted edited footage of our graduation ceremony in error and we apologise. Footage of the full ceremony has now been restored and we would like to congratulate all students who graduated.”

Ludovico however doesn’t believe the university’s apology. The international politics student told The Tab: “Obviously, that is just a way for them to save face.” He revealed to The Tab he hasn’t received any personal apology and “definitely didn’t feel like taking their apologies like that [via a Tweet], since I think it’s a sham”. 

Despite the university claiming that the edited footage was a mistake, Ludovico believes that the uni erased him from the video to silence his peaceful protest. He told The Tab: “Why else right? They published a video of over an hour and a half. The only little moment that they managed to by mistake edit was the moment where I was on stage and I put on the UCU sash.”

He said that he was disappointed that the uni would even try to get away with something like that, and found it “ridiculous that we go to such lengths to silence even the smallest act of solidarity like this one”.

UCU president Jo Grady came out against University of Stirling and the UCEA on Twitter, saying: “The truth is this footage was edited to remove a student showing solidarity with the UCU.

“Embarrassing. Just get back around the table UCEA.”

Ludovico’s sister also expressed her upset at the uni erasing her brother from the recording.

She called out the university on Twitter, asking: “Why did you cut my brother from the graduation video for respectfully showing solidarity with his professors’ strike? I was in the audience & can confirm he stepped on the stage. Your representatives’ speeches mentioned values that you do not seem to uphold.

Despite his shock at the uni’s actions, Ludovico did point out that other students may have been more negatively impacted by the marking boycott, saying:”I can recognise the fact that you know, I’m happy that at least I graduated receiving a grade compared to other universities such as Glasgow Uni where they didn’t even get that, which I think it’s appalling. And I would say, I would say overall, maybe better than other universities, but you know… you can still feel it, and it definitely has impact.”

Since the footage was released, Stirling graduates have appeared on the picket lines holding signs saying: “You can’t cut us all out.”

A University of Stirling spokesperson told The Tab: “On Wednesday, footage from one of our graduation ceremonies was published in error. The University apologised and the full ceremony film was published on Thursday.”

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