Image Credit: DS Pugh
YUSU’S STUDENT ACTIVITIES Officer Ollie Martin’s fight for more storage space for societies contin-ues this week with the introduction of additional storage lockers and cupboards. While there are no official timescales for this option as of yet, there is also the potential for some extra storage containers to be kept outdoors.
Increasing society storage space was a key part of Ollie Mar-tin’s manifesto for Student Activities Officer as it has long been a problem at the University, particularly with the growing number of societies. Societies have long had to share rooms with each other leading to unfortunate competition be-tween groups as well as a growing concern of equipment being damaged and moved.
If societies feel unable to leave equipment in a shared space, their only option is to transport valuable and sometimes heavy equipment across campus with the risk of damaging it.
In his manifesto, Ollie Martin stated that he wanted to “ensure spaces on campus are used to their full potential and are as accessible and versatile as possible.”
His manifesto mentioned making Planon and room booking easier to use and to guarantee that the University will consider societies in its expansion plan. Looking at how the University’s venues can be used as effectively as possible is a key way to improve space on campus.
Ollie Martin also aims to have a full storage audit complete in the next few months via a Google form sent to student groups. This will help student groups be more aware of the storage spaces that are available to them on campus.
Consequently, the closure of certain buildings around campus could prove to be a problem for society storage space. The former Unity Health Building next to the Exhibition Centre is being considered for storage for societies but the building is due to be demolished in the next few years in order to create new postgraduate accommodation. This is mainly due to the building’s demand not only for storage space but from sev-eral University departments meaning the attitude of the University is that it is easier for no one to have use of it. The closure of Central Hall is also a massive setback, particularly due to the confusion surrounding the issue but Ollie Martin is work-ing to gain clarity on the subject and hopes that in the future, there will be strong communication links between YUSU and Room Book-ings, so that student groups will know with more certainty when venues and rooms will be closed and why.
Nouse asked for a comment from Ollie Martin, and he told us: “I’ve been working with the estates team to find any additional storage for our student groups. We’re looking to repurpose a pair of containers to provide addition-al storage, we know outdoor container storage doesn’t work for all student groups so we’ve been pushing to find smaller solutions around the campus.
“We’re working on a review of student groups storage to ensure all of our available space is used to its maximum effective-ness. We’ve been applying additional pressure for the use of the currently empty old Unity Health building. These temporary fixes will hopefully relieve some demand for space in the short term but we need to ensure that future estates developments actually factor in students need for storage space.