University of Exeter

Student occupiers in Northcote House are being forced to wee in bottles after being denied access to the toilets

Security also blocked access to a fire door

The student protesters that have occupied the John Usher room for over 48 hours have now been joined by a second occupation, where protestors have been denied access to the toilets by security.

Initially, security were saying that if the students chose to use the toilet they would not be allowed to re-enter the lobby, forcing some of the occupiers to wee into water bottles in order to relieve themselves.

The students were told that, along with being blocked from using the toilets, they were also going to be denied access to food and water by the university's Registrar, Mike Shore-Nye. He also described the occupation as "intimidating" when he was addressing the protestors.

The university has been using these tactics in order to try and force the students to give up on their protest. However, during their time occupying the lobby several people, including the VP for Welfare and Diversity, have donated food and drinks by passing them through the windows.

Food and drink donations along with notes of support from supporters, including lecturers.

The second protest, which was inspired by the original occupation of the meeting room, sprang from students who had attended the march in solidarity for the original occupiers and were able to gain access to the meeting room.

There were initially seven students in the lobby, however this number has dwindled slightly to four.

The occupiers of the lobby in Northcote House

The students have now all been granted access to the toilets, but they are only allowed to go in groups and only when security lets them "every couple of hours".

There have also been several other student occupations across the country, and the occupiers in Exeter have been in contact with students at Bristol and Bath uni. Students at Bath uni were also denied access to the toilets and security were blocking their attempts to get food and water from supporters as well.

As a result of successful negotiation with the university, students are now being allowed to swap people out, meaning that they "are able to keep the occupation going longer and stronger".

A spokesman said: “The University supports the right to peaceful protest, so long as it is safe and legal. The University’s priority is the welfare of students and staff. A small gathering of students in an administrative building has been given access to toilet facilities, water and food.

"They have 24 hour access to toilet facilities, and the option to be escorted to other bathrooms should they choose. Staff have filled up their water bottles personally, delivered them food and have been checking on their welfare.”