Just a few pics and some excerpt from the correspondence that we have had with the University Administration. And then back to the nice warm yurt. Hopefully there is more to follow........ ;-)
Here is the first formal response we have had:
Dear One World Yurt Group,
Thank you for this e-mail. Unfortunately, no permission has been granted for the yurt to be in Alexandra Square this week, and I must therefore ask you to remove it. The Environment Committee approached the University about the possibility, and the Safety Office explained that because of safety issues which could not be resolved in the past, it would not be feasible to have one this year. This remains the case. I am surprised and disappointed that, although you claim to take a responsible approach to issues such as health and safety, you have not sought to have any discussions about the University's concerns.
We do not permit tents on campus unless they are made of fire retardent material, and when in the past the yurt was permitted as an exception, there were conditions that there should be no source of heat in it, and that no-one should sleep in the yurt. None of these conditions were met and consequently permission has not been granted subsequently. I suspect that you would not be able to meet any of these conditions, but if you can, I would be willing to consider a request for permission for the yurt to stay for the rest of the week.
From: [Sent: 08 March 2004 13:41
To: // Subject: "One World Week" notice.
Dear [University Secretary],
We are pleased to let you know that we have set up a Yurt in AlexandraSquare as an intregral element and central gathering point of One WorldWeek. It is essential for the success of OWW that we can offer this social space. [we were told] that it is within your remit, and thus we thank you for your cooperation in this experimental project. It is very much appreciated.
Apart from the obvious relevance for a wide range of academic disciplines (economy, philosophy, sociology, engineering, anthropology etc.) one of the purposes of the 'Public Yurt Sphere' is also to provide an inclusive space that welcomes all. As such the Yurt delivers the promise that the University unfortunately is yet to fulfil: an all-inclusive space that does not exlude anyone who may hold religious, cultural or other sets of beliefs that prohibit them from entering pubs, bars and cafes on campus.
As you are aware we have in previous years collected more than threehundred signatures in support of the Yurt from university members, including Senior Lecturers, Professors and Head of Departments, and we have at occassions counted more than Eighteen nationalities inside atonce. As in previous years, the group that under the motto 'freedom under responsbility' have put up the Yurt, is composed of both students and staff members and between us we have many years of experiences with alternative forms of dwelling, sustainable living and social work; and these experience include a very responsible and aware approach to health and safety issues. Our response-able awareness to health and safety issues obviously includes a very conscious view on fire hazards. We will take all and any necessary safety precautions.
There is a rota drawn up to make sure that a group will always be present in the Yurt. In other words, there is nothing to fear and we will handle the project in a manner that we are sure that you will find satisfactory. We have not had any problems before. Thank you very much for your cooperation, and please do join us in Alexandra Square during the week for a cup of tea or coffee; or just fora chat. We would be very happy to show you around the Yurt and explain some of the interesting implications of this academically very relevant experimental project.
The One World Week Yurt Group