SOUTHAMPTON Solent University recently decided to ditch their SU Bar and Kitchen.
Renamed, ‘Doozy at the Den’,students at solent have started a petition to bring back the student union bar.
With many past and present students outraged, claiming it was the ‘social hotspot’ – change does not seem to suit everyone.
The petition, began by Solent student Hayley Edwards who claims in the petition’s letter that the university is “cashing in” by letting corporate companies such as Starbucks and costa operate on its premises.
In the petition letter, Edwards states: “Closing down the Student Union Bar negatively impacts the social aspect of the student experience.”
This is forcing students off campus for a drink – many have stated that the SU still resembles a bar, but is empty for most of the day as students would rather go elsewhere for the same experience.
The Student bar at Solent University isn’t the first to close with Bristol University closing its Union bar in 2009, after losing £40,000 because of a drop in students using the facility.
This follows a trend of union bar closures around the country, with The University of Huddersfield closing their Union bar in 2013 due to losing more than £100,000 a year since 2008.
Student union bars have always been run by students for students. It is thought that the Student Union team have closed the bar because it wasn’t making enough money.
We tried to get in contact with Southampton Solent’s Student Union team, but after many attempts, each member refused to comment.
To take a look at SSU’s official statement, visit the link.
It is thought that the drop in attendance to Student Union Bars are due to students often drinking at home before going out. Other evidence suggests that the majority of student night’s out revolve around food not alcohol.
Sarah Coward, a recent transfer student to the university said: “I moved from University Centre Weston to Solent to get a real university experience, I feel like an SU bar is a space for people to come together to chill after a day at uni , without it there is a social element lacking”
Hayley Edwards spoke to us about the real reasons behind starting her own petition: “Everyone keeps mentioning that the SU is gone, it’s such a shame, but no-one was actually doing anything about it. If i’m honest the final straw was I got an email by our lecturers to tell us to use the space. Something was definitely wrong, I wanted to see wether it was just me, or uni wide. At over 500 signatures so far, we just want to see how far this’ll go.”
We spoke to Ryan McMaster, an ex-barman at the Southampton Solent SU about how the closing of the kitchen and bar at the start of term has affected students: