‘You recognise half the people you walk past and the other half you know.’ A rural, incestuous and occasionally backwards campus we may appear but one thing SB is proud to be is a community. You only have to look at the landslide victory earned by Katie Mackay in the now invalid SU Election to see just how big an impact this ‘politically active campus’ (as described by Impact Magazine) can achieve.
Historically the SU has taken little interest in Sutton Bonington. In previous years SB’ers would struggle to tell you the name of the Students’ Union President, how to access services available on UP or in fact where to park one’s Landrover legally should they wish to visit UP. It was perhaps particularly telling that during the recent election hustings it had to be explained what SRS stood for as well as what URN, NUTS and Impact are (Impact is still not available in hard copy on SB). Communication has also been lacking from the SU. Perhaps the best example being the Communications officer on the SU Exec not knowing how to contact students on SB via email; this particular issue has now been resolved and an email has been successfully sent. Truly a triumph for cross-campus communications.
This paints a bleak picture and would lead you to believe that SB is in fact part of a completely different University. However opinions out here on ‘The Farm’ are changing; this year things have been different. Firstly SB gained a full time member of SU staff in the shape of Una Lilley. This brave woman chose to ignore the SB scare stories and took on the unenviable task of ‘bringing SB into line’. Una is single handedly achieving what many thought was impossible. Secondly, Sam Wilkinson and other members of the SU Exec should be applauded this year for making regular trips to SB, making SB a part of the SU, helping us establish SB Ents, coming to our famous Dining Ins well as providing a wealth of other assistance that has been invaluable to SB. Sutton Bonington was beginning to feel a part of the Students Union thanks to the efforts of these people in conjunction with the Guild and JCR. A public Thank You is most definitely in order.
Finally SB’ers felt like being a part of the SU was within their grasp and the recent SU Exec Elections only served to cement this view. It won’t have escaped many people’s notice that SB’s guild chair, Katie Mackay, stood for election in the recent SU elections. Her excellent campaign and landslide victory united SB in a common aim; to have SB’s voice heard within the SU and on UP. A brief look at the election demographics reveals two schools were most active in this election. These are the two schools located on SB; what an interesting coincidence. The underestimated SB proved that we are to be taken seriously and hold massive weight when compared to the apparent voter apathy on other campuses. A force to be reckoned with. SB finally an integral part of the Students’ Union; fairly represented and proud to be a part of OUR Students’ Union.
This article should end here in a cheerful and optimistic statement for the future of SB within the SU however sadly it cannot. The Welfare and Equal Opportunities post has been reopened for nominations. Technicalities and the validity of allegations aside; no explanation has been offered to the students of SB explaining why this has happened. It’s hardly surprising that a significant proportion of SB is once more questioning whether the SU is really an organisation they want to be a part of. Where is the transparency?
Unsurprisingly the previously banned ditty – ‘Oh main campus is full of…..’ has seen a revival here on SB. ‘A democratically elected group of proactive individuals who listen to SB’ – is not the next phrase of choice in this joyous refrain. That many syllables was never going to catch on.
The new Exec has the mammoth task of restoring SB’s confidence in the SU; good luck to them. In the meantime SB eagerly anticipates the announcement of the nominations for the Welfare and Equal Opportunities by-election and is particularly looking forward to ‘Question time’ for the candidates here on SB.