Union President speaks about VP Postgrad in reply to Label Online

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Label are keen on allowing volunteers to air their views through journalism. Whilst at most times we endeavour to present readers with a balanced view, sometimes people like to express their views more explicitly. There are always opportunities for people to reply, and if other journalists disagree with the points raised, I’d be more than happy to help facilitate their ideas and in fact this helps create discussion which is excellent moving forward for Label and the union.

You can find all Postgraduate coverage from LSU Media here.

Union President, Jess Excell, sent Label a reply: 

“The last few weeks have seen numerous critical articles released regarding the Union and the LSU Executive. Most recently, an article titled ‘VP Post-Grad plans axed: LSU fail to put money where their mouth is’, to which I would like to reply.

The VP: Postgraduate position was put forward to the Union Affairs Committee and Board of Trustees as a way of improving the Postgraduate representation and experience on campus. As President, I truly believe that the VP: Postgraduate would serve many purposes in line with the Unions’ strategic vision. However, despite its suspected success, we are simply unable to fund this position due to the state of the Union’s finances.

The article suggests that the Union will not fund the position as we aren’t concerned about prioritising our Postgraduate students. The reason the proposal has been created is because we care so much about our Postgraduate student community. As you will see in my strategic plan, one of my goals as President is to raise the importance of Postgraduate students in our Union priorities, so to imply LSU doesn’t care is hurtful.

The article has resulted in students deducing that LSU is all about making money and solely on commercial income. It is no secret that LSU has struggled for the past few years with financial difficulties. James Bowker, VP Finance & Commercial Services and I would have been happy to provide details of the reasons why we cannot budget for the position, had we been asked to comment.

Loughborough Students’ Union is regarded as a representative body; an educational charity working in partnership with our students. We currently raise around £10m every year, the majority of which goes back in the Union so we can continue to deliver all of our amazing activities and services – 28000 hours dedicated to the Community from Action volunteers, over £1million raised every year in Rag, over 100 societies, to name a few. Most of the money that comes in goes back into funding fantastic opportunities for students.

The Students’ Union runs independently from the University, although we work in close partnership to ensure that we are delivering the best all round experience for our students. For this article to describe the University as a ‘stumbling block’, without offering a chance for them to respond, is disreputable.

Instead of focusing on the positives that the LSU Executive have made by proposing this position, not to mention the extensive background work researching the requirements with PGT and PGR students and consultation with the Graduate School and Senior University Management, the article questions the work of the LSU Executive, only concentrating on the negative aspects.

The only way to pursue this proposal would be to make significant cuts in other areas of Union activity, something which as President, I would be unwilling to do. However, once the finances of Loughborough Students’ Union allow us to do so, I would like to continue pursuing an Executive Officer dedicated to our Postgraduates.”

If you have any opinions that you’d like to share please email LabelEditor@lsu.co.uk to find out how to get involved. 

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About Author

This is Katie’s third year involved with LSU Media. Last year she was Label Features Editor and LSU Media Head of News (Content Coordinator). As Label Editor, Katie sits on Senate and also plans on increasing Label’s readership, quality and connections with the other sections of LSU Media. Katie was awarded three LSU Media awards at the end of last year for her work with Label, Features and News.

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