We need working washing machines, not more parties

Cartoon: Sarah Jilani

Cartoon: Sarah Jilani

The phrase ‘money down the drain’ pops easily to mind when considering Commercial Services’ most recent fruitless endeavour.

The Commercial Services department has thrown itself into the role of Campus Chief Party Planner, organising social events for the new freshers this year.

While this alone doesn’t sound like a terrible plan – I’m not one to complain about an extra campus party or two – the timing and financial viability of these events is questionable to say the least.

Some of Commercial Services freshers’ events will clash with College freshers’ events which the various JCRC’s have dedicated months to planning and organising. You may wonder why Commercial Services are trying to entice freshers away from College events which the University itself has asked the Colleges to arrange? The answer comes back to that time-enduring impulse: money.

However, one would be justified in wondering how Commercial Services intend to make any money when the events they are holding have free entry. Indeed, when this question was put to the cheery chaps over at Commercial Services, the answer was probably something along the lines of: “ermm well I don’t think we’ll really be making much money. Actually I think we’ll be running at a loss.”

The plan, one can only presume, because Commercial Services didn’t seem too sure, is to continue holding events like these until they start to become profitable.

An admirable plan, but I see a problem. The Commercial Services events will be starting at 19:00 – have you ever been out partying the night away, downing the sherry’s at 7pm? And ending at 23:00 – most of us are still choosing an outfit and drying our hair at this time, not getting ready to go to bed again.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that their cunning plan to become the new source of York’s raving nightlife is surely destined to be a failure.

Its website page says it promises to “respond to customer needs”. But, it’s hard to accept their statement once you remember that this is the same Commercial Services who decked Derwent bar out with such heavy tables that an expensive forklift truck was required to move them to allow Slag and Drag to get underway.

Shouldn’t this incompetent department focus on improving the jobs it already does rather than throwing much-needed University money down the drain? In these times of financial hardship, the University should not be throwing events which can’t break-even.

Whilst I’m sure that Commercial Services do have the student interest at heart, it seems fairly foolish to organise events in competition with the events already organised by the Colleges.

As a fee paying student, I’d like to think that Commercial Services was spending my money more wisely, like on a few more washing machines rather than frittering it away on uneccessary events that students are very unlikely to attend.

College Chairs have rightly voiced their frustration: one purpose of our JCRC’s is to promote college unity via social events. Let’s support our colleges and ask Commercial Services to gracefully withdraw and stick to what they’re good at.

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