18:20 Update: Following the recently released proposal regarding the Pantycelyn issue, the hunger strike due to take place this Sunday has reportedly been called off.
PROTESTORS over the potential closure of Pantycelyn have announced they are planning to go on a hunger strike before the Unversity Council meets this Monday [22nd June]. The announcement was made on the protestors Facebook page Achub Neuadd Pantycelyn earlier this week.
The hunger strike is planned to start this coming Sunday [21st June], the day before the University Council meet to make a decision about Pantycelyn’s future. This comes following the beginning of a sit-in protest on the 14th June and a month of uncertainty about the future of Pantycelyn.
“Most serious step”
The post on Achub Neuadd Pantycelyn described the hunger strike as “a most serious step” that they didn’t want to have to resort to, and went on to say:
“The students believe this step is necessary in light of the threat to Pantycelyn and the University’s unwillingness to listen to students and the people of Wales. We call on the University, the University Council and Council Chair, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, to listen to the voice of reason and ensure that the essential work on the building happens over the summer and that Pantycelyn remains open as a Welsh language hall in September.”
Despite University assurances that Pantycelyn will still be used for Welsh language services if it does close, students aren’t convinced and instead want to keep it open as a Welsh halls of residence. The University are looking at providing alternative space for Welsh language accommodation if Pantycelyn is to close following the meeting on Monday 22nd June. A statement from the University regarding any alternative future accommodation states that:
“This accommodation will be at the heart of the Penglais campus will offer generous social and communal spaces to facilitate and maintain the sense of community and collaboration among the students.”