York JCRCs receive 1% of the amount of funding given to student committees at other universities, according to figures obtained by Vanbrugh Chair Matt Oliver.
Colleges receive £1 per fresher and £1.50 per kitchen from the Student Union out of the annual block grant given by the University. This compares to the £100 per student received by halls committees, the equivalent of JCRCs, at Birmingham University. Oliver claims that York is the only collegiate University in which colleges are dependent on the student union for their funding, as opposed to receiving it directly from the University, and that the current system is “completely broken”.
In researching the spending given to halls committees and equivalents Oliver found that Southampton committees received £1,000 plus £15-20 per student. Durham colleges received £15 per student.
Oliver said: “It seems to me that the SU likes to control the amount of funding we get. No other collegiate University relies on their Unions for all of their funding.”
“I think that the sum is quite simply not good enough for a University of York’s standings. JCRCs have a huge impact on the student life and in order for us to provide the best possible experience we need to have greater resources made available to us,” he added.
YUSU Societies and Communications Officer Sam Bayley defended the spending ratio, saying “I’d love to be able to make it more but ultimately everybody wants more money. The JCRs and other areas of the union spend their money very prudently and I think that our bid system is set up so that college systems can come to us when they need it.”
Oliver has supplied the figures to Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students, Jane Grenville. Grenville would not comment on YUSU’s spending ratios but is understood to have immediately reported the findings to the powerful Student Support Committee for consideration.
Oliver added he was “disappointed” that JCRCs were not included in the recent YUSU governance report. He said: “I think that they have discounted a large number of students who put in an incredible amount of effort and the ultimately the student union exists to serve its students which it doesn’t do effectively at the moment.”