Anger at lack of ‘dialogue’

STUDENTS UNION Services officer, Nat-Thwaites McGowan’s assertion that “dialogue” established with the University was the ultimate success of the “Save our Bars” campaign has been contradicted by several college JCRC chairs who have complained that the Commercial Services have refused to consult with them.

Micky Macefield, the Vanbrugh Chair, accused the SU of “leading everybody to believe that closures were negotiable.”

On Wednesday, a meeting attended by the University and student representatives was the first that JCRC chairs had been invited to. In it, the opening times for next term were presented and Andy Summers, the University Bars and Licensing Manager, said he was not willing to negotiate.

The finality of the news has infuriated college chairs who felt they weren’t given an opportunity to defend their bars. Sam Bayley, the Halifax College Students’ Association President, said “As I see it, the plan I have in front of me is exactly the same as the one put forward by the University a couple of months ago.”

Anne-Marie Canning, the James College Chair, said that “the university administration have handled this situation with a chronic lack of understanding and negotiation”, while Tom Stratton, the Alcuin Chair, complained that they “treat us like little kids that have to be placated, but at the end of the day do what they had always intended to do.”

The SUs report details their acceptance of the University’s proposal to continue opening on only those nights “that make a financial contribution”, with the exception of nights in Alcuin and Langwith.

In response, Matt Burton, the Goodricke Chair, said “I feel that Commercial Services have been running circles around the Students’ Union”. Bayley said “I cannot stand by while [the SU] agrees to bar closures on this scale” and threatened “a bloody good fight” before he would concede defeat.

By Nick Dingwall

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