Tallying the SU team: Daniel Hutchinson

Daniel Hutchinson, the Students’ Union President, is almost out of time. As the academic year draws to a close, so does his term as the man in charge.

Daniel Hutchinson got the University of Lincoln Students' Union President job in the summer of 2008, taking over from the very popular presidency of Michael Beddoes. | Photo: Samuel Cox

When elected as a part-time officer in October 2007, Mr Hutchinson said he’d “have a damn good try” at changing things. That was 19 months ago, and it’s been over 10 since he became the Union’s President. The Linc had a look to see if he’s succeeded in his efforts.

Speaking of the President’s job, he says: “You never quite know what you’re letting yourself in for… you come to understand how wide the role of the president is. There’s a lot of things I wish I’d done.”

Mr Hutchinson made four pledges in his manifesto last year: to improve the university’s shop, to keep the library open 24 hours, to create an accommodation ‘league table’, and to increase SU control over the Engine Shed and Tower Bar.

He says: “12 months is a short period to do that. There’s a lot more I could have done. Most of the work I have been doing I wouldn’t have even thought about before the elections.

“There’s so much you have to do in the role of president as a matter of course.” Mr Hutchinson also blamed external constraints for preventing him from making good on his pledges. Even so, it seems he hasn’t managed to make any significant progress on these issues.

Pledge #1: Improving the shop

Improving the university’s shop, currently on the ground floor of the library, was at the top of the list. Yet it’s still in the same place, and its stock hasn’t particularly changed.

A lack of space across the university is to blame, says Mr Hutchinson: “There’s no flexibility to move the shop, either to make it bigger or to increase [the range of products].”

The only thing that can be done, he says, is “to keep it [on] the university’s agenda” when they’re considering developments on the Brayford campus. Café Resource, he says, shows how some things previously offered by the shop can be brought back.

Pledge #2: A 24 hour library

This is something where Mr Hutchinson can claim a small victory, as the library was opened for 24 hours for a short period to compensate for noise from nearby building work. He says: “The Union persuaded the university to make the 24 hours extend over a greater period.”

He says the “trials made a point” that students would use it, and that a similar number of students were using it early in the morning as in the late evening.

The problem is the amount of money given to the library in the university’s budget, he claims.

Pledge #3: Accommodation ‘league table’

Mr Hutchinson simply says he hasn’t been able to do this during his term, and then moved quickly on to say the NUS is going to focus on accommodation at a national level.

“I wasn’t stopped by anything, but like so many things there’s so [much] to do on top of want you want to do,” he says, “If I did my time again, it’s perhaps something I wouldn’t have promised.”

“That’s something I don’t like, [as it was] something I did want to do.”

Pledge #4: Increase SU control over the Engine Shed & Tower Bar

“At the moment [they’re] totally controlled by the university,” he says. According to Mr Hutchinson, discussions are taking place between the university and the Union to see what the two groups want out of the venue.

“It’s a long-term [thing], it may happen one day. Obviously the SU want to see it happen… last year’s [Students’ Union] team would have said the same thing.”

He then went on to note that there are “a lot of vested interests” in the Engine Shed and Tower Bar.

Related content:

Daniel Hutchinson in 2008 — The shape of things to come

6 Responses to Tallying the SU team: Daniel Hutchinson

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hate to be bitter and all, but the media course reps where informed that the reason the university can’t sell DV and MiniDV tapes is because the shop isn’t big enough. They where then told that Daniel had voted ‘No’ to moving the shop to a bigger sight in the heart of the Brayford Campus.

    When you look at his manifesto it seems a little odd. Why when given a chance to complete one of his manifesto pledges, Mr Hutchinson then decided to vote against it, when for a lot of students this was the reason he was elected?

  2. Anon says:

    Emma Devine, Part Time Officer, got the idea of a trial onto the University’s agenda and Education Officer, Kayleigh Turner, was involved in pushing this through and monitoring its success.

    Mr Hutchinson has done nothing on his manifesto; surely it’s time we call for his resignation?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree, but with Student Council now over how can we go about it? Also, will it now not just cause havoc for the new SU President? This said, I think that it would be good to ask Mr Hutchinson for his resignation, as this would show the new SU team and old team that the students of Lincoln have had enough!

    We will not let some one who is supposed to represent us fail us time and time again. I have personally emailed Mr Hutchinson several times over the last few weeks to ask for an audience with him to discuss important matters and I am yet to get a response.

    Also I would like to congratulate Emma Devine and Kayleigh Turner who do seem to truly have the best interests of students in mind and wish them the best of luck for the upcoming year.

  4. Just wondering; is this the first of a series? Or is just for the President?

  5. Yes, it is part of a series. More will come up within the following weeks.