It’s time to make the university listen

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A LUSU general meeting generally only comes by three times a year, usually towards the end of term. The fact that LUSU President Ste Smith has called one for the first day of term blares urgency across campus, and very rarely does urgency rear its sweating, frantic head before term even starts.

It is nothing less than a crashing shame that such a huge proportion of the student body labours on under the impression that anything they don’t like is beyond their control. I want everybody reading this to know that if their voices are numerous and loud enough, they have a powerful weapon at their disposal in LUSU, Lancaster University Students’ Union. LUSU’s purpose is, contrary to popular belief, not just to promote the Sugarhouse and plaster their logo onto posters. It is there to represent the student body at the highest possible level, and we have reached the point where their intervention is vital.

Over the summer holidays, the university steamrollered through the most drastic change to our college bars ever seen. They did this not only without consultation, but completely behind our backs, at a time chosen specifically for its quiet campus and unaware student body. No-one in university house will state, either to SCAN or the students, the details of the progress that this restructuring is making. ‘Nothing has been confirmed’ for the best part of a month.

Will Furness Bar be open in time for Freshers’ Week? At the time of writing, it is seven days until Freshers’ Week starts. ‘Nothing has been confirmed.’ So, with that in mind, waiting until the last possible second before undoing months of hard work and implementing any kind of contingency plan is obviously the best course of action that Furness College JCR can take.

But it’s not just the surreptitious tampering with the student experience that will be addressed at the general meeting on Monday the 8th of October. A groundswell of disappointment with the university’s counselling service and resentment towards on-campus accommodation that increases faster than rent prices will come to a head at the general meeting, along with discussion on Lancaster’s presence at the upcoming student demo in London.

The purpose of a general meeting is simple – motions regarding university issues are proposed, and those in attendance vote on whether or not they want LUSU to take action. Alternatively, LUSU may want to implement various policies, and use the opinions of its members before deciding on a course of action to take.

Students would be well advised to attend the general meeting, which will take place on the 8th of October in George Fox Lecture Theatre 1, because such meetings are the best opportunities to work with the union to mobilise their concerns..

In such delicate and complicated measures, the student body cannot make a difference without its union, but the union cannot make a difference without the voices of its members. We have the chance to stand up to university house, and it is too important a chance to miss.