In an email sent to a Senior Union Officer, some ICU Clubs and Societies have been advised that they cannot book rooms for external companies to come in and talk about career opportunities. The email specified that careers events should be interactive, involving the student officers in the design and implementation of activities and should not just involve companies giving presentations about the jobs they have on offer.
Live! has been informed that this follows disagreements with the Conference Office about the use of college space. External companies operating through College's Careers Advisory Service would have to pay high commercial rates to book the rooms. Clubs and Societies however often enter into sponsorship agreements where companies are then invited to give recruitment presentations, taking advantage of the free room hire that Clubs and Societies enjoy. In addition the Union has lost the ability to book rooms such as the Bessemer Cafe in the RSM Building which is a popular venue now reserved solely for Conferencing rather than Student Activity.
The Union is currently in negotiations with the College about careers related events that are organised through its many clubs and societies. Deputy President (Clubs and Societies) Lily Topham refused to comment except to say that 'there is no story'. However, students have confirmed that the Conference Office have attempted to cancel room bookings through the Student Activities Centre for SCC Consultancy who have been described, along with other SCC Clubs such as Finance and Bright Futures, as a 'Careers Club'. SCC Chair, Peter Mabbott is extremely concerned by any precedent that could be set following this decision. Speaking to Live! he said "Banning Graduate Recruitment Talks would seriously impair the activities of several of my clubs. Which is of course a bad thing."
The effect this could also have on Departmental Societies is particularly worrying, especially given the popularity and frequency of Graduate Recruitment Talks in most departments. Consequently, societies may find it a lot harder to fulfil their aims and objectives. Forcing student officers to take a more active role in organising these events is likely to see less involvement and less activity from our DepSocs whose volunteers' time is finite.