A united front on campus for the ‘Save the Bars’ campaign has been compromised by SU plans to take control of events away from colleges.
The SU announced in last week’s Executive Committee meeting that they would assume control of when and where events would take place, a decision which is usually made by college committees.
Matt Burton, Chair of Goodricke College, protested against the plans and has said he felt “blackmailed” by the SU in the meeting. Burton was told that if he did not comply, Goodricke’s events would not be signed off and therefore would not be authorized to take place.
The plans are part of the SU’s ‘Save the Bars’ proposal which will be presented to the university later this week. In a paper outlining their position, the SU said: “If the students want their bars to remain open, we must take an active role in their management, and take responsibility for ensuring that they remain profitable.”
A mini events planner for next term was distributed at the Executive meeting, outlining when colleges can hold small events such as bar quizzes and karaoke nights.
However, Burton and the Goodricke Committee have decided to oppose the plans which will move the Goodricke bar quiz from Sunday to Monday night. Andreas Masoura, the Entertainments Officer for Goodricke, said: “We have to serve the interests of the people that elected us, not the SU.
“They’re trying to get us to change our bar quiz, even though when we run it on Sunday the bar is packed. You can deny it, but just turn up and have a look.”
James College are supporting Goodricke’s decision, and Chair Anne Marie Canning spoke out against the SU in the Executive meeting. Commenting on the SU’s heavy handed approach, she said: “The thing that’s pissed me off is not the planner; it’s people’s conduct in this meeting. I’ve been appalled.”
SU President, Micky Armstrong, has, however, argued that coordinating events will stop colleges competing with one another and ensure a maximum turn out in all the bars. “Problems this year have seen three speed dating events occurring on the same night”, he said. “This way we can see what is right for both event provider and user”.
Amy Woods, behind the mini events planner for next term, added: “Unless everyone pulls together, puts a bit of effort in and works together for a common cause then nothing will change and we’ll continue to be in this situation for a long time to come.”