Student Notification by YouTube & The Student Charter.

The request was partially successful.

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

(a). On the 4th November 2020 St Mary’s Vice – Chancellor, Anthony McClaran released a YouTube broadcast to students, can you please confirm that the Vice-Chancellor said the following in this broadcast:

“while I appreciate most St Mary’s students have adhered to the local restrictions and I thank you for your self-discipline and community spirit. I would like you to remind all students as we head into this new period of national lock-down that you are expected to uphold the student charter that you signed at the start of term. In order to keep the community safe, we all need to play our part in keeping to the student charter, behavior that goes against this and the Covid-19 legislation both on and off campus can’t be accepted, we will investigate them and act through the university disciplinary procedures.”

Here is the YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/yHYBsvrzgVc

(b). Can you please confirm within the “coronavirus supplement” section of the St Mary’s “student charter” policy it states:

As a student I will: 3. Follow any direction received from University staff to help support me in adhering to the requirements.

Here is the link to the student charter: https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/policies/stude...

(c). On the 24th March 2020 St Mary’s Vice – Chairman, Dave Hartnett released a YouTube broadcast to students, can you please confirm that the Vice – Chairman said the following in this broadcast:

“The Prime Minister’s announcement last night, about the need for all but key workers to stay at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, will have a profound impact on St Mary’s for the coming weeks. In the light of this, we will be moving all non-essential services online. Put simply, we want to protect our students and staff from Covid-19 and limit risks to health on campus. For those students currently remaining in University accommodation, Public Health England have advised us that you should go home, if you can safely do so”.

This was the YouTube link that now has been set to “private” viewing only from “public” viewing and states the YouTube broadcast is now unavailable:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbIy4jHc...

(d) Can you please tell me on what date did St Mary’s University either deleted or change the status of Dave Hartnett’s 24th March 2020 YouTube broadcast to “private” and unavailable for public viewing?

(e). Can you please tell me whether any staff of St Mary’s University have been investigated through the university disciplinary procedure for behavior that goes against the student charter or the Covid-19 legislation (also known as The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020)?

Yours faithfully,

Emma Kegan

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

Hi, this is now late.

Yours faithfully,

Emma Kegan

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

I have made a complaint to the ICO.

This is an important FOI request because I want to establish St Mary's University reasons & policy why you charged students for campus accommodation to the 8th April 2020 when the Vice Chairman told students to go home in a 24th March YouTube broadcast due to the coronavirus health pandemic.

Public bodies with charitable status should be open with the release of information.

This is obviously linked to this FOI request :
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

It's not right that a public body refuses to answer questions.

It's also noted that St Mary’s have made private the YouTube broadcasts of the Vice-Chairman and it's important that the public know the reasons for this.

Here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gbIy4jHch7c
Here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0hrotQ9Ot3c

And I found this information on these Internet blogs:
Here: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/10...

Here: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/11...

Yours faithfully,

Emma Kegan

Freedom of Information, St Mary's University, Twickenham

1 Attachment

Dear Madam

Please see the attached response to your FOI requests.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Browning
University Secretary and Head of Governance
Office of the Vice Chancellor
St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road, TW1 4SX
020 8240 4267
07970 531112
[email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for your reply.

This paragraph of your reply is wholly disputed.

"It is the case that the University remains of the view that your conduct was vexatious in nature. It remains the University’s belief that you have been part of a concerted campaign with other individuals to disrupt the operations of the University. We are also of the belief that you have used a pseudonym when making your requests, Your campaign has been conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic which has been a very difficult time for all concerned including University staff and students and your conduct has only added to these difficulties. It has also caused a great deal of stress and upset".

These are important questions that are in the public interest and required to ensure transparency. The questions might be uncomfortable for St Mary's University to answer because of the broader question which is:
Has St Mary's University charge students for accommodation which they were told to vacate because of the coronavirus pandemic, therefore, obtained money from students to which you are not entitled to?

You state in your response that: 3) The Interim Vice-Chancellor outlined the government advice to students in the youtube broadcast. A copy of this video is available on request.

Can you please publish a copy of this video on the whatdotheyknow.com website for the public to see?

Yours sincerely,

Emma Kegan