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Students lament the lack of storage space on campus

Societies have expressed frustration at the lack of storage space on campus

Image: Tampere Hacklab

Students have spoken to
Nouse of their continuing frustration at the lack of adequate storage
space on campus.

Storage space has long been
an issue on campus as an expanding student body, and a growing list
of student groups compete for the
available areas. Despite attempts to
alleviate the issue, prominent campus societies have told Nouse that
the problem is continuing to worsen
rather than improve, with committee members facing mounting pressure because of the lack of space.

In the January 2018 edition of
Nouse, it was reported that the then
YUSU sabbatical officers believed
the opening of the new Piazza building on Campus East would bring an
end to the issue of storage space as
new areas in the building would be
set aside for student groups to use.
The issue has not abated, however,
and student groups continue to lobby YUSU to fight for more space.

One room in Eric Milner-White
A, a block in Vanbrugh College,
hosts multiple societies leading to
concern about equipment being
moved or damaged. A spokesperson from one society which uses
the room, FragSoc, told Nouse:
“Since moving into our new block
in Eric Milner, we’ve found our society tasks far more difficult than
in our previous storage solution in
Grimston.

“It’s a nightmare to access our
boxes and sharing with other societies means we rarely see our stuff
without at least a few parts being
relocated or stacked with other stuff
to make space for storage access.
There is no coherent system. YUSU
need to change it by moving some
societies out, or sectioning the storage better. This is a mess.”

Not only have there been issues in terms of security and potential damage to equipment, student
groups have also been forced to
transport their equipment long distances from their storage areas to
where it needs to be used. A spokesperson from ComedySoc, which also
has its equipment stored in Eric
Milner, told Nouse: “ComedySoc
has gradually seen its expensive,
heavy and awkward tech moved
further and further from where we
need it every week.

“I understand there is a shortage of space on campus and lots of
societies competing for it, but getting our lighting rigs, mic stands
and box of laptops down the stairs
and across the lake is a risk every
single time. It feels like we’re taking
part in a Total Wipeout challenge
- the only saving grace being that
Richard Hammond isn’t narrating
it.”

The problem is becoming so
bad that some student group members are even being put off running
for committee. A student who has
been a member of multiple student
group committees told Nouse: “I’ve
definitely struggled to find storage
space for one of the societies I’m on
committee for. It’s such an issue that
people are being put off running for
committee because they don’t want
their bedrooms to become store
rooms.”
To the frustration of students
struggling for space, there are areas of campus which remain empty.
One example is the old Unity Health
building in the centre of Campus
West. An investigation by Nouse,
however, found that the building is
unusable because it has been scheduled for demolition by the University.

A spokesperson for the University said: “Campus Services are
working closely with YUSU and the
GSA to understand student requirements for activity space and maximise usage of on campus facilities. All
feedback is very welcome and will
assist with enhancing the student
experience in this area.”

The current Sabb team have
told Nouse that they are keen to finally find a lasting solution for students. Union President, James Durcan, said: “Providing better storage
spaces across campus for our various student groups has been a top
priority for the Sabb team. We have
formally requested the University
consider converting currently vacant buildings on campus into student storage space, in particular the
old Environment Building in Market Square.

“The University has recognised
that storage for student groups is an
important issue and that they would
like to work with us on reviewing
the space need. We expect to be able
to update students on the solution
that is being put in place later this
term and we hope it will be a significant moment for the importance of
student life at York.

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