Students’ Union don’t know if they’re coming or going

It’s almost as if the Students’ Union have given up and gone home.

There have been a few things happening recently that one would expect to be marked quite prominently by the Students’ Union.

To start, we have Black History Month. So, what has the SU done, and what do they have planned?

Well, er… not much.

They’re planning to hold a themed Tower Bar quiz, on the 19th. And, throughout the month, sports teams will be wearing black armbands.

Apparently other events ‘are in the pipeline’ but ‘not 100% confirmed’.

When I was asking around before the start of Black History Month, which takes place throughout October, I was asked to hold back on releasing these enthralling details until the 1st, a couple of days after I was told.

I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was not to break that embargo. (It wasn’t.)

And then we had Mental Health Week, which apparently took place throughout last week. But you wouldn’t know it.

But things get worse. For the upcoming by-election — their own event — they’re tripping over themselves with what they’re not doing. Or what they’re unsure about what they’re not doing.

The basic dates and details were put up on the SU’s website a couple of weeks ago. When I called to check the number of NUS delegates to be elected, I was told they’d know for sure at the end of the week (Friday, October 2nd), and I’d get an email on the day.

Emma Devine, the SU’s (elected) vice-president for communications, also asked me to hold off on publishing the story until the following Monday, when, I was told, they’d have more information about how they were going to promote the by-elections.

Friday, and the weekend, came and went. No news.

On Monday morning, I rang up again. They were electing the same number of delegates as last year (surprise!) and, apparently, they’d had a meeting about the whole thing.

Ms Devine said the SU weren’t really sure about how they were going to advertise the by-election, or whether they were going to make a big deal of it at all.

While they say they’re keen to promote campaigning, they clearly can’t organise themselves to promote even expected events on the calendar.

The Students’ Union seem to have no clue about what they want to do, or what they actually *are* doing.

It’s still fairly early days for the elected team, and students have only been back for about a month. But it is not an auspicious start to the year.

— Editor’s note: this a staff blog entry and the right of reply is granted by using the comments form below.

5 Responses to Students’ Union don’t know if they’re coming or going

  1. James Johnson says:

    Pipe down Mr Wells.

  2. Abdul Alim Bachani says:

    Dude, this article isn’t right!

    The guys and girls at the Student’s Union are doing a great job, and I’ll be the first to back them.

    Since I’ve been here I’ve recieved continous support with many things regarding academics/sporting events/charity work/employment information and help with setting up fundraisers.

    You should be supporting them not criticising them on newspaper articles and blogs on the internet.

    Let’s be honest, its not going to benefit anyone is it now?

    So how about supporting them rather than this?

    I think everyones doing a great job and they should keep it up!

    Abdul Alim Bachani
    Business and Marketing 2nd Year.
    President of Lincoln Futsal Club.

  3. From the Students’ Union,

    Thank you for your opinion piece Rob, we appreciate students talking about the Unions progress and take student opinion very seriously in an effort to continually improve.

    Although you have not directly quoted one of our Officers, some of the points you have raised are factually wrong and we would like to take this opportunity to correct them.

    The number of NUS delegates DIFFERS from last year and there has been a decrease in the number of delegates allowed to be elected. In 2008/09, the SU held elections for 6 NUS delegates to represent Lincoln at NUS Annual Conference, in 2009/10 only 3 have been allocated to Lincoln. This is also the first year that the SU are specifically electing an FE student to represent a quarter of our students that are in Further Education at Lincoln – Please note that nominations for the elections closes on Monday 19th Oct.

    The Union and its officers actively encourage students that have concerns regarding the performance of officers to air their views at Student Council(29th October – MB1010 AT 4:30pm) along with our Annual General Meeting (17th November) and to fully hold officers to account, as they should.

    Best wishes,

    The University of Lincoln Students’ Union

  4. Rob Wells says:

    In the November 2008 by-election three NUS delegates were elected. They were Hayley Andrews, Dan Derricott, and Tom Haughton. This information comes from a photocopy of the Student Union’s own records.

    You raised the accusation that “some of the points [I] have raised are factually wrong”, but only point to one thing (about which you are mistaken). Are there any other things you wish to dispute?

    You certainly can’t dispute the Union’s lack of activity for the mentioned events, particularly the upcoming by-election.

    As you mention, nominations close on Monday, October 19th. You’ve chosen to widely publicise this today with a 950-word long email, just five days before (and just three working days). But it’s been over two weeks since you put the election timetable on your website.

    What have you all been doing for the last 15 days?

  5. Whilst not intentionally getting involved in the debate, I just want to clarify some ‘facts’.

    The Students’ Union reply states “the SU held elec­tions for 6 NUS del­eg­ates” and Rob responds with “In the Novem­ber 2008 by-election three NUS del­eg­ates were elec­ted”.

    These are both actually true. A by-election was held last year for a higher number of candidates, but not enough people stood to fill all of the vacancies, so only 3 delegates were ever elected by cross-campus ballot. The remainder of the delegation were appointed by Student Council before each NUS Conference.

    Hope this helps clear up that point.