I was interested to see Lancaster University mentioned in the news today as one of 23 universities with an unconditional offer scheme and to also read that this is based in part on references. It reminded me of someone I once knew, who had not only been offered an unconditional place at medical school when he was 18, he hadn’t even had to apply. Such were the benefits of being the son of a doctor in the 1960s.
I have been following the debate over the revised Code of Conduct on Protests since criticisms were first made clear in subtext 185. I very much agree with the concerns over the content raised in that issue, and also by others such as Lancaster UCU. Despite following the debate, I still remain puzzled as to why a new, revised code is needed at all. What is the evidence that the previous version was inadequate or failing? University management’s only hint is their description of the previous code as ‘outdated’ and their saying that the revised version would be a ‘simpler document more tightly focused on… practical steps.’
While the justification for the revision is still slightly murky, one thing that is clear is a strength of opposition to the revised code. But mixed messages seem to have been given by the Strategic Planning and Governance department and no public statement seems to have been made in response. LUSU have told me that the university is now creating guidance for the implementation of the revised code (so much for a simpler document!). Meanwhile, the student collective snappily-titled ‘No to the new Protest Code of Lancaster University’ (or NTTNPCOLU for short) have revealed that Mr Simon Jennings, the Director of Strategic Planning and Governance, has ‘agreed to consider forming a committee representing staff and students to redraft the code document.’
Quite what the university is doing, if anything, as their response to the concerns, no one actually seems to know.
Former University member of staff, student and Bailrigg FM MANCOM member here…
I’m not sure what the SU have been smoking, but the OFCOM fees for a long-term RSL on low-power FM, which is what Bailrigg FM falls under, is only £140 per year. See page 16 of:
The only other saving I can see would be would be £548 per year for the PPL music licensing subscription.
Given that the studios, playout, and other costs would remain the same this would appear to be a hugely retrograde step for one of the oldest student radio stations in the UK and the first to hold an LPFM license.
I was bitterly disappointed to read your report outlining the cuts to Bailrigg FM.
Student Media at Lancaster University dates back to the 60s – with a tradition for holding the university and the union to account. Ronnie Rowlands’ piece on the importance of student media as a ‘playground’ for future journalists was spot on: but let’s not forget that student media has made a genuine impact on the student experience in its long and illustrious history. Exposing shoddy landlords, keeping students informed on strike action, questioning dubious university claims. Student media is, and always has been, a ‘pillar of democracy’ at Lancaster. Time and time again, they have shown their knack for making the university and the union sit up and take notice.
These cuts are the start of what will undoubtedly be a descent into oblivion for student media. With no FM licence, and SCAN gradually coming out of print, it won’t be long before student media ceases to be. How the full time officers allowed this to happen should astound me – but with a VP Campaigns & Comms who showed no regard for student media while campaigning, and an officer team that has a record for whiney facebook posts lambasting those that have the audacity to criticise them, I’m somehow not surprised.
That the Students’ Union stealthily made these cuts, without so much as a Facebook post for an explanation, is appalling and gutless.
Former Associate Editor of SCAN