University Council to vote on proposal “critical” to future of Pantycelyn

TODAY the University Council is meeting to decide the future of Pantycelyn Hall. The Council will vote on the proposal agreed by UMCA, the Students’ Union and Chancellor of the University, Sir Emyr Jones Parry. 

This will be the official ruling on the future of Pantycelyn, with the proposal stating that Pantycelyn Hall should reopen “within four years in order to provide to provide fit-for-the- future Welsh Medium Accommodation and social spaces.”

Protests took place over the closure of Pantycelyn. Photo Credit: Alex Tanton.

Protests took place over the closure of Pantycelyn. Photo Credit: Alex Tanton.

The vote comes after campaigning by students led to a resolution being formed between the Chancellor and student representatives after “extensive discussions” took place. 

The Universities original proposal was to close Pantycelyn from September 2015, with no commitment to re-open the building as a Welsh-medium hall of residence. This initiated protests against the closure of the Pantycelyn, and a campaign movement that involved a sit-in as well as a proposed hunger strike.

Hanna Medi Merrigan, UMCA President 2015-16 said:

“Today is a critical day for Pantycelyn, a positive vote will be a huge step forward in terms of Pantycelyn’s long term future. We’re grateful to Sir Emyr for his readiness to listen to the student voice and draw up a proposal that is relatively acceptable to all.

“We would not be where we are today without the tireless campaigning of students and others, and so it is also appropriate to thank everybody who contributed, in any way, to the campaign to save Pantycelyn. We must remember that the decision is not final until the Council votes this afternoon, but I hope members of the Council will consider the massive support shown for Pantycelyn during the last few weeks, by students, staff and the people of Wales, and in doing so I hope every member of the Council will support Sir Emyr’s proposal in the meeting Council today. “

Out-going UMCA President, Miriam Williams, and out-going President of the Students’ Union, Jacob Ellis are to present the petition of support for Pantycelyn at the Council meeting this afternoon. The petition has been  signed by 2,500 people.

Aberystwyth Student Media will be providing coverage of the result of the Council Vote this afternoon. The meeting is set to conclude about 5/6 o’clock.