A protest organised by Put Warwick Students First (PWSF) took place on campus on Wednesday 6 October, demanding in-person lectures.
PWSF, a student-led protest group, launched a campaign against online lectures at the beginning of the academic year, and recently created a petition, calling for a return to in-person lectures which garnered over 2000 signatures. Their recent protest consisted of passionate speeches for the return of in-person lectures, with personal anecdotes shared by predominantly STEM students.
Speaking to The Boar News, a spokesperson for PWSF commented on the relatively low turn-out saying: “Students can be forgetful, we ended up with 100 students, but we delivered our message, and the speeches were passionate.”
When interviewed, one of the protestors commented on the aims of the protest, saying: “We want the right to access in-person lectures, and we came here today to deliver and unite behind a voice”.
I think people have become complacent and comfortable behind a screen, and there is no drive to protest in-person
She added: “I think people have become complacent and comfortable behind a screen, and there is no drive to protest in-person. We have passionate supporters behind our cause, as you can see from our petition”.
“I only have one hour of contact a week, how is that blended learning?”, and “I want the ability to choose whether I go to an in-person lecture” were just a few of the quotes from the protest on Wednesday.
Adding to their comment, PWSF said: “We want to encourage everyone to fill in the SU consultation on their blended learning approach so far. “It’s incredibly important to voice your thoughts about the teaching you have experienced.”
The University of Warwick was contacted for a comment in light of this protest, and they said: “We are always working alongside our students, and greatly value their feedback so that we can continue to improve. As recognised by the National Student Survey and The Sunday Times naming Warwick as University of the Year for Teaching Quality, we can reassure our students that teaching and teaching materials at Warwick are of the highest-standard.”
They added: “Online lectures may be used to supplement the overall learning experience, alongside a focus and emphasis on personal tutorials, face-to-face seminars, practical workshops, and employability opportunities as part of an overall campus experience that enables our students to engage directly with teaching staff.”