In what has been yet another docile year from the Students’ Union, our interest was piqued by a number of posters on campus which read:
‘DID YOU KNOW?
YOUR VICE CHANCELLOR EARNS £268,000 AND HAS A CHAUFFEUR BUT THE AVERAGE WAIT FOR COUNSELLING IS 21 DAYS AND URGENT CASES ARE 6 DAYS
THIS ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH’
It was a classic bit of union tubthumping, questioning why a university awash with cash to spend on giant screens and fountains, on ‘renegotiated’ contractor fees, and a football university, can’t invest in services for the students who provide more than half of its funding.
We understand that members of County JCR distributed the posters after a frustrating meeting with a senior university figure who disagreed that the current counselling waiting times are unacceptable.
The top table has not heeded the warning of Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, who has pledged to establish regulations protecting free speech on campuses. Some 60-70 of these posters were swiftly removed by officialdom without explanation. Then we remembered that ‘free speech’ is only for people who want to verbally abuse foreigners and transsexuals.
subtext also understands that the Students’ Union swiftly intervened, allegedly advising the campaigners that the issue is not exclusive to the County College and is therefore an unjustifiable use of resources. This is complete horse puckey, of course, but the campaigners are confident that LUSU intervened purely to improve the campaign, widen its appeal, and attract wider attention.
Presumably, then, we can expect the SU to mount a broad, cross-campus campaign against extravagant spending by the university at the expense of student services in the near future? We’ll look forward to that. Probably for quite some time.