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CX and Wye Bars "performing poorly"
With projected losses of over ?10k each, the future of the Charing Cross and Wye bars has been questioned.
Rather than openly calling for the bars' closure, the report actually says that the trading figures call into question whether these bars represent a commercial venture or a student service.
I'd say there is no question.
We're a student union. Our aim is to serve the students. Even the MoU- agreed by our own dear College- says that, while commercial ventures should be run officially, profit motives should not be followed at the expense of student needs.
We are here to make money damn it! If we don't how do we continue to serve our members, money doesn't grow on tree and you are an agric you should know this. There needs to be a balance of filling a black hole with money in the name of student interests, obviously offering them cheap booze is such an important part of our remit, killing their livers whilst there is still chance!
We are not here to make money. We ARE here to further the social interests of our students.
If the losses were to be sustained indefinitely and ICU were struggling to cover them, then the question would need to be raised. As it stands, a lot of the accrued losses are from years when student numbers were a lot lower; numbers are still rising; and efforts are being made to generate more revenue from less-heavily-drinking students (a trend hitting student bars nationally, exascerbated in Wye by the rural to urban shift in students' backgrounds). Furthermore, in a couple more years Wye students will all be registered with UKC, and so presumably WCUS will be under UKCU. So this is not one big, unending black hole, it's maybe another 10K- which would not all go directly to every student's own personal favourite club in Wye's absence. And closing it now will not earn back any money lost in the past.
Other places offer drink- Wye has a Co-op, frequented by villager youths in search of white lightning, which is a far more cost-effective means of liver damage. What the Union offers is a social space that is the students' own, where they can hold their own choice of events, do their own thing, on their own terms, in the company of fellow students.
And if you really want to support something as drastic as cutting off the only social facility of its kind accessible to these students you should at least be bothered to give your real name. Or if you genuinely enjoy screwing Wye over from a position of complete anonymity, might I recommend a job in the Blue Cube or KCC?
Defending Wye used to consist of allaying real concerns about Imperial's academic standing. Now it increasingly feels like fending off a circle of greedy vultures. Unfortunately for those vultures, and in spite of College's best efforts, it isn't actually dead yet. (And if you want to say otherwise, say so face to face with the 500 students still living and studying there.)
There is more than one bar/lounge area at Wye as you well know Nicola (not all run by ICU). Perhaps a more prudent option would be to consolidate social/bar space at Wye so that at least one bar remains financially viable!
I don't see why a failing bar should remain open when there are other spaces available for student use.
We are here and they are not, £10k is certainly a lot of money which would go someway in funding college scholarships to worthy students rather then providing a source of social amusement in a time of top-up fees and rising costs, if you think providing cheap alcohol is all that Wye needs, I propose turning it into a brewry!
With respect to my anonymity, I earned it damit, and I shall use it to my full capabilities, there is a reason why Live! is so successful, its because it allows people to rant at issues that don't necessarily affect them in a incognito fashion. Just because you are proud of being from Wye doesn't mean we can't rant at them being rubbish, freedom of speech etc.
Council need to make a decision on this, and I have been calling for this at the previous 2 trading meetings.
Are CX and Wye Commercial operations, or are they services?
If they are commercial then they should at least break even. If not then they should be closed.
If they are services then they should not be bailed out by the SK trading operations, but should be subidised by the college / union from a different source.
Ultimately I suppose it could be classed as a pointless argument because all the money will come from the same place in the end, but if they were services then maybe college would consider giving additional money to ensure they remain there to provide a student service.
OK, so we'll hold all our ents in the SCR, shall we? Or tell the students, 'Never mind, you've still got a lounge!'
Even if Wye wasn't there, I can't imagine ICU spending its SK bar surplus on "college scholarships to worthy students"! 'Dear employer, my time at college was sponsored by the Union bar...' Sure, people can think of a hundred other ways to spend 10K- but we're not talking about hundreds of lots of 10K, only one.
And how many more ways must I explain, it's not a question of subsidy to allow Wye students to purchase more alcohol for their money, it is to provide a valuable social facility.
'Whatever'- these issues don't necessarily affect you, you're right there; as for "We are here and they are not," Wye students can say the same about you.
'Oh, a loss- let's just close it all down, then' is hardly a constructive attitude. The same could have been said about SK Union catering in the past. These shock, horror, loss figure headlines ignore a lot of work being done by various people- SSP prevents us from taking this discussion much further except to say that not all changes take effect overnight. It is certainly not a decision to be taken by a few opinionated ranters without the full picture.
And please don't start bring general 'Wye is rubbish' comments into this. This debate is not about academic standards and you know it.
Yes, there are arguments for the money to come from other sources. For a start, I'm sure College would have trouble attracting so many fee-paying students to a campus that didn't even have a Union bar/ student ents venue. But that could only be resolved by thorough negotiations with College (which longer-term means UKC), not by a few 2-line threats in Council papers.
Whilst Tim may sometimes be a man of threats, he was told by Trading Committee that the issue needed to be addressed, an d that he should being it to council...
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