This is a message we are sending out to London student officers and activists about an upcoming meeting to discuss the building of a London-wide Students’ Union:
For a number of years, students and student unions across London have been engaged in various processes towards creating London-wide student representation in order to be able to co-ordinate our activities, represent students to governmental bodies and fight on issues such as housing, cuts, transport and Liberation. There will be huge benefits in uniting together: our members share some of the most acute barriers and challenges of students anywhere in the UK.
The University of London Union (ULU) is at present the only London-wide representative body for students. As many of you will know, a major review, conducted by the University of London, is currently underway regarding the future of ULU. The recommendations of that review, which will go to a vote at the University Council this Friday (3rd May) would effectively abolish the organisation from summer 2014; as part of that, we would be given a ‘start-up fund’ for the creation of a new pan-London union. Much as ULU has its failings, this would not be a positive move for various reasons (I’ve written some of them up here: http://tinyurl.com/cxhdj5t). The outcome of Friday’s meeting is very much up in the air, and we’ll be working flat out to secure the best possible outcome.
Regardless of the outcome, however, there will very soon be a pressing need to move ahead towards co-ordinating student representation in London more broadly, and looking at building some kind of formal structure.
For this reason, ULU will be hosting a meeting at 2pm on Thursday 16th May to discuss the future. This is a meeting for everyone in London, so please come along or make sure that your union is represented there. The idea for this meeting is to:
• Have a short presentation on the situation
• Digest the outcomes of the ULU Review, and talk about the need for a London-wide union
• Briefly discuss the kinds of issues on which we most need city-wide representation
• Briefly air ideas for the next stages of the project
• Appoint or elect an interim working group or committee to take the project forward and convene the next big meeting
• Have a social and get to know each other
Our postcode is WC1E 7HY
We hope to see you there.
Michael Chessum, ULU President
Daniel Cooper, ULU Vice President