2019-20 Campaigns: #RaiseTheBarARU
Campaign update and success:
The final proposal paper has gone to the university. I am hoping to have a final decision and response from them by January!! WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!
WE DID IT! After 3 years, we finally did it!!!! This campaign started as an idea suggestion that I put on the SU website back when I was a student! I then came into this role with the promise on my manifesto that I was going to make the Cambridge permanent bar happen. It was a lot of work and a lot of conversations. We then did research, we surveyed, we protested, we occupied and we did a social media takeover. I and Matt Hayes (Your SU President) worked in partnership with the university in a working group and the working group used my original proposal to collectively write a proposal to take to the university governors. Here I am 3 and a bit years later with the news!!!
ARU raised the bar and we will have a permanent bar on the Cambridge campus!!
THANK YOU to everyone for getting involved and making this campaign such a success. Also, thank you again to ARU for working in partnership with me to make this happen. I can not stress enough how impactful and important your student voice is and can be to make a change at ARU. Please keep giving us feedback, fill in surveys, get involved in SU activities and more!! We can make more massive change like this in the future!
This campaign is one that is close to my heart. As a student I worked tirelessly on what was the SU ‘pop-up’ bar in The Academy for all 3 years, and also worked in pubs in Cambridge alongside.
It came as no surprise to me that even after 4 years of myself complaining, students were still complaining about a lack of a permanent bar on campus.
Last year for the Bar campaign I took a subtle approach to raising the issue with senior staff and colleagues at ARU. I felt like I didn’t get anywhere and was just being passed around. This is why this year I decided enough was enough things really needed to change, hence #RaiseTheBarARU was born. Students want tangible and concrete actions. This is why this year I am so focused on getting written commitment from the university.
What’s been happening so far??
One of the actions from the campaign so far has been regular weekly protests in the Helmore canteen on the Cambridge campus, the first protest was a fantastic turnout of students shouting, singing, and making their voices heard! We gathered a lot of attention from other students and staff across the university.
I can not thank all these students enough for their continued support and commitment towards helping with this campaign from creating banners, coming to the occupations and getting students to fill out the bar snap survey. A massive thank you to you all, this campaign couldn’t happen without you all!
Our demands to the university:
-That any students who take part in any activity to do with the Raise The Bar ARU campaign will not face any sanctions from the university.
- We want the university to give us written commitment for a Students’ Union led restaurant/bar space on the Cambridge campus NOW. We do not want to wait for this to happen in 5 years’ time or when the masterplan happens.
- We want the university to give us Coslett Café (or other alternative space of our choice) including the student common room above, in written confirmation.
- We want the university to give us funding for the SU student bar//commercial space, in written confirmation.
Social media takeover
Students have been creating signs and taking over social media! Using the campaign hashtag, tagging myself and the university in their posts! This has really helped with the progression of the university meetings and them taking the bar situation more seriously than ever!
What are the next steps??
The university caught wind of my decision to host an occupation, they very quickly set up a working group. Since the 4th Sep, I have been in a weekly meeting with the university known as the Café/bar working group. This group consists of myself, Matt and various important people from this university. This working has no decision making power but the idea of the group is that we have conversations and come up with an agreed proposal that is then sent to a group known as Vice-Chancellors Group (VCG). This is the decision-making body that will then decide whether to take forward the proposal or not.
The first meeting I submitted my bar proposal that I have spent the past summer writing, taking in all the research I have been gathering the past year. The working group were very pleased with this paper, but felt that more needed to be added to it in terms of exploring wider options, But want to use the updated version of the proposal as the one we send to the decision-making body. We’ve been having productive conversations and I have been updating my original proposal paper as much as possible in order for it to be submitted VCG soon enough!
This is why student voice has and is so crucial! The more student’s voice and comments from students online and written to me has been making the BIGGEST impact!