University's survey on future of ULU criticised

University of London Union Building on Malet Street

University of London Union Building on Malet Street

A University of London survey released this month asking for opinions on what should replace its students union, which is set to close next year, has been condemned by the students’ union itself.

The questionnaire is meant to find out from students which services they currently use at the University of London Union (ULU) building and which they could do without. The university has voiced an intention to turn the premises into a ‘student centre’ from 2014, apparently removing its elected officers but keeping some services.

There is no option on the survey students can select if they want to see the building continuing to be run by elected officers.

Moreover, anyone can fill in the online survey, launched on 12 October, since no university password is required. By using a different browser, a person can participate in it multiple times.

Michael Chessum, ULU president, said that the survey placed students “in the absurd position” of filling out a survey “in which they can say anything except what the vast majority of them must be thinking: that we want democratic control of the building”.

At last Thursday’s meeting of the ULU senate, the student unions of Birkbeck, Goldsmiths and the School of Oriental and African Studies said they would “definitely not” be sending the survey to their members.

Chessum said ULU will run a referendum to rival the university’s survey next month.

At time of going to print, the university was unavailable to comment.

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 3 (28/10/2013)