So if I want a Union card, I trundle out of my office, out the building and then over to Beit, fill in a form, hand over a photo (of me unfortunately) etc and bingo I have a Union card. And I bet you’re now asking why I am ranting about such stuff.
What if you’re at Wye of Silwood? You can’t really take the day off to travel into London just to get a Union card. Okay, so they don’t have a Union card, but this year, there has been a clamp down on membership of all clubs and societies. All members of any club or society must have provable Union membership, whether full student, life, reciprocal, associate or temporary (i think exec have to approve the latter). No Union card? Sorry, you can’t join. This clamp down has been the bane of most chairs/captains of clubs and societies, so not being able to sign up students away from the central London campuses has been irritating to say the least.
I know of at least one example of a student at Silwood, who would like to join a club based in London to go on the training trips that are frequently organised. Of course it’s cheaper for her to join the College club than a non-university club – a small matter of a huge subsidy for training, trips and equipment, all of which outside university is almost extortion for this particular sport.
An email conversation with her has revealed that union cards and their importance with regards to joining clubs hasn’t been made clear by the Union to them at all. They seem to be completely in the dark with regards to Union cards. Any enquires about getting Union cards have resulted in being advised to go to the South Ken campus to get one.
ICU boasts the largest number of clubs and societies for any UK students' Union but it hardly seems fair if a small but significant number of those students find it so inconvenient to join.
One big happy family?