Leicester Students’ Union (SU) faces a budget cut due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
The SU faces a budget loss of £508,000 this year, leading to cuts in several areas, including the additional Headspace clinics and the SU reception.
The SU discussed this at the Student Council meeting, with two other proposals put forward at the meeting.
Budget loss of £508,000
Reed James, who led a proposal to scrap quorums in referendums at the meeting, stated: “it’s a real tragedy, the fact the Student’s Union won’t be able to pay for additional Headspace clinics, especially as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health.”
The SU’s budget will face a loss of £330,000 per year by 2023/24 as a new grant formula and projected growth of commercial income will see an extra £165,00 income in their budget.
The cuts to the budget this year come from a temporary reduction of the University grant, a permanent end of the five-year commercial grant, and a permanent end of project grants fund.
“It’s a real tragedy, the fact the Student’s Union won’t be able to pay for additional Headspace clinics, especially as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health.”
Rhiannon Jenkins, the SU President, stated: “In order to ensure the Union remained financially sustainable for the future, we undertook a comprehensive review of what we could afford to run moving ahead and make some necessary changes.
“While this has meant an unfortunate reduction in services – such as the SU reception and minibus provision – we have prioritised student support and representation, to maintain delivery of a positive student experience.”
Reed continued: “[the cut to campaigning is] going to reduce the impact of the SU, especially in crucial areas like being able to hold the University to account.”
Geoff Green, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Leicester, said: “The University is committed to providing the Students’ Union with a level of sustainable funding so it is able to carry out its role effectively.
“As with all other areas of the University’s operations, there are short-term budgetary challenges which we have asked the SU to manage, as a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
Reed’s proposal to scrap the quorum for referendums failed to pass, losing by 23 votes to 5. The current quorum means that the vote must have a minimum of 1,000 votes for it to be binding.
The second proposal led by Rhiannon to introduce a fact checker for referendums passed by 36 votes to 0.
Image: Ellie Fleury
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