Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/646/10581
Leeds: Stop the closure of Union Books
The plans to close the student union run book shop, Union Books, at Leeds University has been met by an angry campaign by Leeds University Against Cuts (LUAC) which Socialist Students is playing a leading role in.
Ian Pattison, Leeds Socialist Students
Throughout our campaign we have only found support for the closure from the student union executive and university management. Students are shocked and disgusted and rightly ask how we can have a university without a bookshop.
Because Amazon, Waterstones, and the rest are run for profit, their prices are higher and the quality of service is diminished.
Because they are run for profit, they don't stock lots of the specialist books that so many students rely on.
Many students commented on how useful they found the second hand section, which no other outlet provides.
All staff currently working in Union Books are set to lose their jobs. LUAC completely opposes the closure but also demands that if it goes ahead, the staff must be given appropriate jobs elsewhere in the university.
The decision to close Union Books was taken over the summer when staff and students were away and couldn't voice their opposition.
The consultation failed to engage with anything resembling a broad layer of students. The decision goes wholly against the student union motto 'not for profit, just for students'.
Just shy of 1,000 people signed the petition demanding Union Books be kept open. The lecturers' union, UCU, has called on the university to take over the running of Union Books if the student union is unable to do so.
We support this proposal and believe the student union should use the widespread support to launch a mass campaign of students to demand funding from the university to keep Union Books open.
In The Socialist 11 November 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review