Sussex House has been occupied by protestors demanding that the university take action against rape and sexual assault on campus.
Following a demonstration to mark International Women’s Day, the ‘Stop Sexual Violence at Sussex’ group occupied the building, home to the offices of the Vice Chancellor Executive Group (VCEG). The protestors had conducted a sit-in in the lobby of Sussex House as part of a ‘flash occupation’, barricading the doors of the building with signs that read ‘consent’ and ‘rape happens here!’
During their occupation, the protestors were addressed by Pro Vice-Chancellor Claire Mackie, who listened to the demonstrators and singled a willingness to discuss the issue further.
The group claim that over 200 Sussex students have recently reported sexual violence on and around campus and demand better support services for survivors of sexual assault and rape on campus, introduce better security and access to security services on campus and place notices in all Sussex campus accommodations on how to deal with sexual violence.
One of the demonstrators said: “The action we took today means we are a step closer to negotiations with the University, the Students’ Union and a wide group of any students who want to come. We are calling on the University to stop silencing survivors and to create a specific policy.”