Students on the University of Manchester have torn down fencing put up round their halls of residence “with no prior warning” on the day England’s new lockdown began.
A protest was held on the college on Thursday night, with photos on social media displaying no less than a part of the fencing had been pulled down, hours after college students awoke to search out they have been surrounded by the obstacles.
The college stated the fence – which was put up across the Fallowfield halls of residence – could be taken down on Friday amid backlash.
It was in response to issues about non-residents accessing the positioning, and was not supposed to cease college students from coming and going, the vice-chancellor stated.
However, a number of college students instructed The Independent they’d no thought what was occurring once they noticed the fencing round campus on the day England’s new lockdown got here into drive.
“It’s making us so distressed because we’ve had no communication,” Katie Hassell instructed The Independent on Thursday afternoon.
The first-year scholar stated she requested staff what was occurring, and was instructed gates have been being launched on campus.
“We’ve heard nothing and we’ve been crying,” she said. “It’s adding stress.”
Megan Richards, another student at the University of Manchester, told The Independent she had not received an email before noticing the fences either.
“We feel it is inhumane and the lack of communication is really bad,” she said.
The first-year student told The Independent: “It is making everyone anxious unnecessarily.”
“I sincerely apologise for the concern and distress caused by the erecting of a fence around our Fallowfield Halls of Residence today,” the university’s president and vice-chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said on Thursday evening. “This was not our intention – in fact quite the reverse.”
She added: “The fencing was intended as a response to a number of concerns received over recent weeks from staff and students on this site about safety and security; particularly about access by people who are not residents. There was never any intent to prevent students from entering or exiting the site.”
She stated the fences could be taken down on Friday morning and various safety measures used.
Isabelle Barnes, a first-year scholar, instructed The Independent she woke as much as discover fences going up with out realizing what they have been for, and feared college students had been locked in.
“Everyone is incredibly stressed,” she stated on Thursday afternoon.
Another scholar, who wished to remain nameless, stated college students had “no idea at all” what was occurring.
“Everyone just started sending pictures to group chats from their windows asking what’s happening,” they told The Independent.
Responding to a tweet about the fences, the University of Manchester tweeted: “Regrettably the fencing began to be installed ahead of the message being received by halls students.
“We apologise for any worry that this has caused and would like to reiterate that all students who live on site can continue to come and go freely.”
The vice-chancellor has additionally apologised “for the issues caused by this incident”.