Leicester Students’ Union fails to address spiking at meetings

Leicester Students’ Union (SU) failed to address the topic of spiking at the Students’ Council meeting on 9 November and the Annual Members Meeting on 29 November.

The SU made a U-turn in October, which encouraged students to boycott the O2 Academy, after their original statement faced criticism from students.

The SU subsequently held a public meeting on this topic but are yet to engage with the local students who formed the ‘Big Night In’ group, made up of students from De Montfort University and the University of Leicester.

A Big Night In representative stated: “The lack of correspondence that the Union have had with us is extremely disappointing, especially when our aims as groups should be shared.”

Rhiannon Jenkins, the SU President, stated: “We are in ongoing conversations with students who came to speak to us at the forum and have also engaged with Leicester’s clubs on the issue, with the aim of facilitating a conversation between campaigners and relevant venues.

“Karli [Wagener, the SU Wellbeing Officer] has also been in touch with the national campaigning team Not On My Campus to co-ordinate the work we’ve done on a local level around sexual violence.”

“We feel as though there is more that should be done, especially in the interest of a student union who are representing the student population.”

Students were given just over 24 hours notice of the public meeting held on 25 October at 4pm.

“We are very happy with the approach that Rockstar have had on the spiking crisis after discussion with the Student Union,” said a representative of the Big Night In group.

They continue: “We feel as though there is more that should be done, especially in the interest of a Student Union who are representing the student population (the group predominately affected by the spiking crisis).”

Planned march

The Big Night In group met with local MP Jon Ashworth to discuss their plans going forward and are holding a march on 22 January 2022 in the city centre.

The SU briefly mentioned the topic of spiking at the Student Council meeting, with the meeting focusing on two new proposals and the finances of the SU.

Rhiannon Jenkins stated: “Spiking is an issue of enormous importance to the officer team at the moment, as reflected in the open student meeting we held for students in the SU Square on the 25 October.

“No other issue this year has occupied as much time or received as great a prominence as spiking. It wasn’t raised at council as no student had asked for it to be discussed there.”

Toby Cray is a journalism student and the magazine’s Vice President. You can find him on Twitter here.

You can read Toby’s satirical work on his personal blog.

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