In recent email correspondence, a representative for The Collegiate Council and the Student Advisory Group of the University of London (UoL) stated that the Council will discuss a proposal to “cease the operation of clubs and societies through Student Central” during a meeting on Thursday, July 2.
An open letter undersigned by 23 UoL societies has been released in response to this proposal, urging the Council to “not make the irreversible mistake of erasing lifetimes of past, present and future intercollegiate partnerships that will permanently devalue the University and MI student offering, diversity and wellbeing.”
Council correspondence specified that “some or all of the clubs and societies would be transferred to one or more of the University’s Member Institutions (MIs).” It further stated that “any clubs or societies that could not be transferred would be dissolved.”
The undersigned societies also expressed disappointment at how the news of this proposal and its potential implementation have been handled. It includes a call for members of the University of London Student Activities Group (SAG) to be admitted to the Collegiate Council meeting and make their voices heard to the Council. The SAG was founded after ULU’s dissolution in the 2013/2014 academic year and was intended to “bridge the disconnect and enable the Clubs and Societies to flourish with support.”
Please support our club in securing the future of all Student Clubs and Societies at @LondonU @UoLondonSC. The meeting to discuss our future will happen this Thursday with no student reps, and we were only informed about it today… https://t.co/9EEGbLat66
— London Canoe Polo (@UoLCanoePolo) June 30, 2020
At time of writing, a petition to “Protect the University of London Clubs and Societies” has received just over 1,300 signatures. While it largely reiterates the information stated in the societies’ joint letter, the petition highlights the fact that student representatives were first informed of the proposal on June 29, less than a week before the July meeting of the Collegiate Council, despite “discussion supposedly happening ‘in recent months’.”
The petition states: “There has been no prior suggestion that these clubs and societies, many decades old, were imminently under threat. There has been no opportunity for any feedback or input from the people that this proposal will ultimately impact the most.”
The UoL Collegiate Council “advises the Board of Trustees on strategic direction and is responsible for ensuring the proper discharge of academic affairs”. Its constitution states that the Council “shall ensure that it seeks appropriate information or advice from relevant individuals or bodies and this may include inviting them to attend its meetings, for the discussion on a particular matter” when exercising its duties and functions.