YUSU remain split in their decision to continue campaigning against the portering cuts.
Whilst the official line remains in support of a 24 hour portering, disagreement still remains among the officers.
At the Union Council Meeting (UCM) last Wednesday, Sam Asfahani, Langwith College JCRC Chair, questioned whether it was “possible to have a return to 24 hour portering [when the majority of students] are disenfranchised from the issue.”
Tim Ngwena, YUSU President, agreed saying: “We don’t want to invest all our time in one issue.”
Asfahani suggested that the defeat of original aims was inevitable, proposing that YUSU pursue “more realistic aims”. These aims include the proposal that porters remain in Derwent, Langwith and Vanbrugh until the respective bars close, particularly on bar events nights, rather than continuing a campaign centred on the reinstatement of 24 hour portering.
YUSU’s pro-portering splinter group has voiced strong opposition to these ideas. RAG member, Anna Younger, claimed that “in order to create progress, extreme measures are needed.”
Ngwena responded that other issues also needed to be taken into consideration: “We must bear in mind [that] portering is not the only issue.” He claimed that while YUSU has been focusing all its attention on the portering campaign, other important problems have begun to fall by the wayside. Ben Humphrys, YUSU Welfare Officer, supported Ngwena, saying YUSU, “can’t ignore such issues to focus exclusively on portering”.
In reply to the continuing welfare issue, the University has given YUSU a mandate to create a dossier, proving that students have been harmed as a direct result of the portering cuts.
“If we can’t demonstrate this, aren’t we answering our own question on whether or not to pursue this campaign? If we can’t demonstrate this then we need to reconsider our position,” said YUSU Democracy and Services Officer, Lewis Bretts.
A significant number of YUSU members supported a continuation of the direct action portering campaign. This lead to what has been described as “vastly exaggerated claims” vocalised.