In a widely anticipated move, Loughborough Students’ Union’s Board of Trustees have approved a proposal from the Exec to create the position of Nursery Executive Officer, to be filled following a May by-election.
The Board voted in favour of the paper that was unanimously recommended by the Executive and supported by the Union Affairs Committee. There had been fears that the Loughborough University Operations Committee could block the move, but the group – four of whom are customers of the Nursery – gave the green light last month. The union are thought to be planning to fund the sabbatical post through increased Nursery revenue due to the boost in its public profile, meaning additional funding streams won’t have to be investigated.
The idea of the new position was brought into the consciousness of the student body following the controversy surrounding the Union President Bubble Debate, in which Jonathan Ako and Andrew Stainthorpe traded blows over the future of the LSU Nursery and its student staff. Current VP Democracy and Communications, Max Crawford, spoke glowingly of the development:
“Just because you won’t see little Arthur strolling to FND in his nappy, milk in hand, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve to be represented. As an Exec, we are delighted to give our younger members the chance to be heard at the top level of Loughborough Students’ Union.”
Loughborough Students’ Union opened the Nursery in 1980, and despite being rated as one of the top early years care faculties in the area throughout the decades, it has always had an issue with representation. Lesley Jones, member of the Nursery between 2004 and 2006, told Label about her experience:
“The Nursery was fantastic, but on a campus famed for its ‘student experience’, the students always felt that they were never taken as seriously as your classic 18-year-old undergrad. We might have had different priorities, but we still deserved a say.”
While the Exec and the Union Affairs Committee agreed in principle that candidates for the position should be current or recent Nursery students, this is prevented from being official policy by the Education Act 1994. This has led to widespread speculation that Action Vice Chair, George Hones, could finally seal a place on Exec with a strong campaign.
Critics have argued that LSU is attempting to run before it can walk with the introduction of a Nursery Executive Officer, given its inauspicious attempts in the past to fully engage under-18 students from the College. One thing is for sure: we’ve got another Exec Election to fit in before the end of the year.
Have you heard any rumours of anyone – Nursery student or otherwise – in the running for the newly-established position? Let us know by tweeting @LabelOnline.
Olaf dos Piraly