Students at the University of Manchester have passed a vote of no confidence in their vice-chancellor, Dame Nancy Rothwell, over issues largely surrounding her handling of COVID.
89% of the students who took part agreed that the student body had “no confidence” in the vice-chancellor and other leaders.
89% of students voted YES in the referendum of no confidence 🎉
Nancy Rothwell and her management have lost the referendum by a resounding margin.
Both students and staff no longer have faith in management their positions are now completely untenable.
— UoM Rent strike (@rentstrikeUoM) March 12, 2021
The university has clapped back, saying that the vote only had a 13% turnout, and that they have “full confidence” in Rothwell “to lead the university forward”.
They went on to say: “Whilst our senior leaders haven’t got everything right, where that has been the case, they have led from the front by apologising and have always taken action to ensure lessons are learnt and improvements are made.”
Students who took part in the vote commented: “It’s apparent to anyone that the mistreatment of students and mishandling of the pandemic by the university over the past year has become an exemplar of how not to run a university.”
Rothwell has been held for a number of blunders over the past year. She’s been accused of mistreating students, holding them in prison-like conditions, placing profit over mental health and logic, not giving students adequate support.
There’ve been multiple notable incidents as well, such as the Manchester Student Rent Strike, the erecting (and subsequent tearing down by students) of a prison-like fence around student accommodation, the fining of students for being in their accommodation common room, and the racial profiling and assault of Zac Adan by campus guards.
It’s yet to be confirmed as to what further steps students will take to voice their grievances against Dame Rothwell, however if there’s one thing that can be taken from their resilient protesting over the past year, it’s that they won’t be backing down without a fight.