YUSU’s Societies Committee has hardly hit the ground running. Hailed as a key part of increased representation, the golden phrase of the recent Democratic review, it now stands as an embarrassing symbol for the lack of interest and notice the student body has taken of these laboriously laid-out reforms.
The planned responsibilities of the committee were not without their controversy, with a number societies fighting against the role the elected members would be given in granting funding for the largest and most expensive societies on campus. The complete lack of any even tepidly interested students in running for any of the eight positions serves again to highlight how flawed it was to give this committee, which had yet even to be trialled, anything other than temporary responsibilities.
Yet it reveals an even more serious flaw in the system. Even societies, who tend to come into much closer contact with YUSU than most, perceived Societies Committee so irrelevant or separate from them that none felt it necessary to run. Blame lack of publicity, blame essays, exams or the weather, it shows an inherent problem with communication between YUSU, and the students and societies it is there to represent.
And what of the Committee? After all, it is rendered useless if it doesn’t fully represent all sections of society. It appears, for the time being, the Student Activities Officer will have to bear the burden on their own.