The Students’ Union Executive Committee has defended itself over its decision to spend four days at a conference center at the expense of the SU. In June, the Exec undertook a two week training regime, including the four days at the picturesque conference centre of Barleythorpe in Rutland. Whilst there, the Exec worked on team building skills through exercises such as crisis management training and talks on how officers should conduct themselves in public life.
However, questions have been raised by some close to members of the SU Exec regarding the proper use of SU funds to pay for such a trip. Rumours that the four days away cost the SU up to £4,000 were not denied by the Finance and Services officer Alex Allan when asked about the price of the trip, who instead said, “I can’t comment on individual things”. He did however refer to the training budget as a whole, which shows that the amount set aside for SU training is very much in keeping with previous years spending. Allan also defended the training program, saying, “Officers are basically memebers of staff at the head of the organisation of the Student Union, and they do need to receive a lot of support in order to run this organisation effectively.”
However, he was adament to stress that the SU were spending money productively: “It’s not about us just going on jollies or anything like that…we have training for members of staff so that they can be more effective.” Yet, with the SU already having to alter its financial plans due to less University of Nottingham funding than anticipated, those close to the SU are already raising concerns about the overall benefit of these potentially expensive programmes.