Club Salvation decided to run their F**K ME! York University Night on Monday, despite concerns raised to the local nightclub by the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU).
Matthew Troll, Salvation’s General Manager, told Nouse he had received various communications from YUSU with regards to the unofficial F**K ME! student night.
“It became apparent to me that they were not happy with us launching the session, under the branding of F**K ME I’M A FRESHER! and specifically targeting York University Students.”
Club Salvation is not among YUSU’s official nights this year, despite bidding for the endorsement along with other York clubs.
Troll said: “This year due to the increased number of venues wishing to bid for the endorsement of an official YUSU student night, Club Salvation, one of York’s longest established independent operators, was invited to ‘pitch’ for the rights to retain our official Tuesday night. This had not happened in previous years, however, we recognised YUSU’s reasons for doing this, and went about putting together a pitch that we were confident with.”
Kallum Taylor, YUSU President, said that the presentations from all of the four ‘big’ clubs were outstanding; presenting secure policies on welfare provision, sensibly competitive pricing, solid themes, and sensible door staff policy.
Taylor continued, “Because of this, instead of dropping a club by default we did try to fit all four clubs into an official four night plan which would best suit the audiences on those nights; sadly Salvation turned this down. Furthermore we went ahead with the usual three ‘official’ student nights, with Kuda in on the Tuesday – it’d be wrong to leave it off the student night programme as it looks to be up there as one of the region’s top clubs.”
As Salvation is no longer an official student night and tied to YUSU, the club is now able to set their own entry and drinks prices, resulting in this year’s prices for both entry and drinks being substantially cheaper than in previous years, with drinks at 99p and entry from just £2.
But Bob Hughes, YUSU’s Welfare Officer, has expressed concern at these low prices: “As a key part of the tendering process for official club nights, we place a very strong emphasis on the safety and security of students, and on the responsible drinking policies of the club in its offers and publicity.
“Although cheap drinks can seem appealing, I believe clubs and bars have a social responsibility to ensure that drink isn’t served at too cheap a price, and this is echoed in guidance and advice from Drinkaware and other safer-drinking agencies, as well as legal drinking regulations.”
Troll stated how he explained the choice of theme to YUSU Officers: “I attempted to reassure them that this was a deliberate campaign to grab people’s attention, and that the intention was for the brand to evolve week on week, e.g. F**K ME IT’S HALLOWEEN….or F**K ME IT’S CHRISTMAS, or F**K ME I’VE FINISHED MY EXAMS and so on and so forth.”
But one James second-year commented, “I’d like to think that lots of students will find the theme distasteful enough not to go. It’s offensive and immature.”
However, Troll said Salvation thought the idea, “was no more controversial, than say fashion clothing French Connection using FCUK on their T-shirts, or F*** ME I’M FAMOUS, on the enormously successful David Guetta world tour Album.”
As a result of further communication from YUSU earlier in the week, Troll arranged to meet with YUSU last Monday to discuss the issue. A number of concerns were raised during the meeting, according to Troll, and it was decided that Salvation would pull the night in favour of retaining relations with YUSU.
But relations soured further and Troll said, “It was only later on the Monday that I felt we had made a mistake. By pulling the night in favour of maintaining relations with the Students’ Union, we would have been doing this at the sacrifice of our relationship with the students.”
Taylor commented: “As has always been the case, York offers a wide array of nightlife for our students to attend outside of our incredibly popular official Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights at Kuda, Tokyo and Revs. Monday night’s by no means different and people have tried to crack it before – so it’ll be interesting to see how it fairs alongside ‘Ego’ at Fibbers, Kuda again, Vudu, and even Willow.”
Hughes finished by saying: “In the past, we’ve seen various clubs and bars attempt to push the limits and end up going nowhere with it, and we would look unfavourably on drinks prices that operate against this social responsibility.”
Despite a number of days negotiating with YUSU, in an attempt to resurrect the contract, all negotiations for an official Salvation student night failed.”