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Raising the Bar campaign updates

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Having one less Student Union-run bar threatens service provision for students on campus in multiple

Former Operations Officer Emily Holliday wrote a well received paper raising the issue of the lack of bar provision on campus in the proposed new campus masterplan, for a meeting with university management in November 2013.

A survey was live for a couple of weeks in February 2014 and a whopping 2538 students responded during that time (18% of the student population). Many students stated that the wanted a replacement for East Slope bar, a Cafe and/or a small Union run shop.

Some even commented on how they would prefer the University to build around the current bar, and leave it standing. A campaign team has been set up which has tri-weekly meetings to ensure the goals of the campaign as listed below are carried out.

A birthday party was held for East Slope, having been run by students for 35 years. The aim of the party was to raise awareness, with '35 years' themed tshirts being sold and a commemorative webpage being set up for the posting of East Slope related memories.

We have also created a webform to make it easier for students to complete the sentence “East Slope bar’s replacement…” as well as show their support in requirements for the creation of a new family room.

On the 4/06/2014 Chartwells (the University outsourced catering company otherwise known as Sussex Food) positioned themselves outside Northfield with a stall and posted the following on Facebook, “SussexFood are over at Northfield from 4pm today with Middle Eastern Shawarmas and some beers! ...we want to know if opening up a cafe/bar in Northfield would be a good idea? I'll be handing out questionnaires so if there's a positive response there's every chance it'll happen...!!”

As Chartwells have highlighted the fact that there is a chance they may get a bar at Northfield, this raises serious concerns about the sincerity of the University’s consultation with students. The Students’ Union has inquired about putting commercial services in the Northfield social space previously, and have been denied.

The Union has also been voicing concerns about the loss of their bar, but have not yet have not been approached about a possible tender for this space. A response to this will be worked on in upcoming campaign meetings.

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