Over the summer Solent Students’ Union redeveloped our physical space to improve access to our services. This was a response to students’ feedback and changes in retail behaviours.
The café bar, in its old format, had become financially unsustainable. People were simply not using it enough and the reduction in income was putting other key services at risk including funding for societies, the Night Bus and our Advice Centre.
We would like to reassure you that this decision was not taken lightly or quickly. As a charity, we must ensure we use our funding in a way which best meets our charitable objectives and there are often difficult decisions to make in terms of what services we can offer which will benefit the majority of our members. With the increased number of food outlets opened on campus over the last few years, a number of bars in such close proximity to campus alongside the dramatic drop in use of the café bar, the decision was made to secure the future of other services that are not so easily accessible for students.
The café bar ceased trading on June 2nd and we explored a number of different options to create access to a social space which fulfils our charitable objectives. We joined forces with Doozy who have installed drink and snack vending machines. We are in the process of installing a microwave which will mean you can bring and heat your own food. This will provide a hot food option you can bring from home if you do not want to spend money when you’re on campus. According to our annual survey, help with saving money has been highlighted by our members as what most of you want from your Union
We are also encouraging members and societies to hold student led events in the Den and to bring their own alcohol if they wish – just as you would in your own front room.
We continue to explore partnership opportunities and access to social event spaces, improve our provision for supporting societies and give students greater access to our services.
It has been fantastic to see members so engaged and passionate about influencing change on campus and feedback is always welcomed and encouraged.
For any queries you can contact one of the Sabbatical Officers or email firstname.lastname@example.org