[ssf] Rage Against Hallam

Chris Malins chrismalins at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 17:14:33 GMT 2005

The degree of separation between universities and students' unions is an 
interesting issue. Especially since the Education Act, 1994, students' 
unions have been legally owned by their respective universities, and 
cannot, for instance, adjust their own policies and constitutions if the 
  parent universities refuse to permit them do so so. On 
representational issues, universities tend to be circumspect about 
interference with students unions, as there is still a sleeping giant in 
the students movement which ahs just not been awakened for a while. 
However, it might be worth finding out what the relationship was between 
your union and university on these property deals, and to what extent 
having the university finance and arrange the transfer of premises your 
union is undertaling is on the union's independence. Is the union going 
to pay rent on the NCPM buildings, if so then clearly it is heavily tied 
to the university and if not surely that makes the union more like a 
department of the university than a body whose key role is oppositional. 
It might be worth considering seriously whether having this new facility 
empowers your students' union or restricts it; don't forget that the key 
role of a students' union should be to ensure that the student body is 
represented to the university, and that students remain a key priority 
for universities at a time when commercial operations threaten to take 
the administrations focus away. Also, if your university generates this 
sort of resentment in the local community, it will very likely be 
reflected back at students: have you considered looking into the issues 
around the NCPM purchase thoroughly, and deciding whether as a student 
you would actually like to join the campaign?


Who ate wrote:
> Thanks for your response. You can understand my concerns as the Rage 
> against Hallam website does not distinguish between the university and 
> the students union which although not as separate as we would like are 
> two differnent organisations.
> I would be interested to know if anyone has approached the union about 
> using the new building and what the response was like.
> Hopefully see you in person on the 17th
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