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Students need space to solve pan-London issues

Why should we ‘Save ULU’? There’s been a lot of debate over the lastfew years about whether or not ULU is the beneficial to students within the University of London (UoL), and the report published earlier this year wasn’t the first to question it.

The rationale behind closing it appears pretty convincing- individual unions are set to benefit financially from money that would otherwise have gone to running it, and whilst it has some unique clubs, many of them are duplicates of those that other unions have.

I’m not proposing these clubs should go, but in some ways it’s easy to see why management think this will be in the best interests of students. I mean, why should we be paying thousands of pounds a year for services we already have?

For me the problem with closing it is simple. It isn’t really about ULU. It’s about the space: space for students to get together and decide how to address issues that affect people all over London- things that can’t be confined to a specific campus. Issues like low standards of housing and rising rents. ULU only represents the students within UoL- 120,000 out of around 400,000. There are also 32 boroughs in London, and students don’t just live in one or
two boroughs.

We need to all get together, and when we do, we need somewhere to do that. Somewhere we can create a base that can represent all students from all over London. Somewhere we can have elected democratic representatives from each higher education institute, who can co-ordinate campaigns and activities that affect all of us, not just those of us here at UoL. But if we don’t stand up and say that actually, this is not ok, we want to keep ULU, then the building will be turned over to management in August next year.

And if we don’t have a base, the idea of a more efficient, democratic pan-London union of students that can actually create change gets further and further away.

Writer: Grace Wilcock – BA Study of Religions

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