Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/787/17691
Huddersfield students say: Save our bar and café!
The bar and café at Huddersfield Student Union is set to close when the union moves to the university's new learning and leisure building, with around 100 jobs to go.
The closure has been blamed on a 'change in student culture' and entertainment services losing £100,000 a year.
However, when staff suggested a solution in closing some services at quieter times, this was slapped down with the response that the bar and café are open to provide services to students!
Currently the union is housed in a university-owned building. A lower rent is promised for the new premises.
The union leadership say the savings will be invested in other services, including campaigning and support for societies.
The new building will also include more facilities for societies. All of this is to welcomed. However, if student unions need extra facilities then the funding for this should be campaigned for, rather than trading away one set of services and facilities for another.
Socialist Students organised a meeting to discuss protest action against the closure. Our meeting elected a delegation to meet union representatives to express our concerns.
While making it clear we disagreed with losing student control over the bar and café, we also queried the exact nature of these services.
Democratic student union control means that, for example, the union café is the only place on campus that serves nut-allergy safe meals.
Staff have been guaranteed interviews for jobs, but we suspect all will be casualised rather than some permanent full-time jobs as at present.
We are sending an open letter to university management. If we don't get satisfactory answers we will be organising protests on campus.
Jake Lawley, University of Huddersfield Socialist Students and Iain Dalton, Socialist Students Yorkshire organiser
In The Socialist 6 November 2013:
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