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KCLSU negligence puts lives at risk, says KCLMC

KCLMC petition KCLSU storage space

KCL Mountaineering Club members (KCLMC), as well as other sports teams, are being put in danger due to reported negligence by the KCLSU in their handling of storage spaces for sports teams. The issue reportedly stretches as far back as 2017 but persists to this day.

In 2017, a fire caused irreparable damage to the former KCLMC dedicated storage space as well as other storage spaces for sports and activities societies in the Macadam building. Prior to the 2017 fire, various members of the KCLMC had complained to the KCLSU about there being electrical issues with the storage room, including flickering and failing lights.

Following the fire, KCLMC equipment, along with the equipment of other societies, was moved to a shared storage space in Bush House. Since then a string of failures has resulted in the situation becoming unsustainable for student sports and activities groups. There have been frequent reports made to the KCLSU of water damage, equipment being moved, and other safety concerns. According to society representatives, KCLMC has no choice other than to keep their potentially life-saving equipment which includes essential ropes, carabiners, harnesses, ice picks, and other vital and potentially dangerous equipment in a room that is not fit for use, despite having provided KCLSU with actionable alternatives to resolve these issues.

Since 2017 various gear secretaries and presidents of the KCLMC have approached the KCLSU in an attempt to find a solution – so far the KCLSU has not been forthcoming in their communication or their assistance. This represents a complete failure by the KCLSU to fulfil their own duties and responsibilities. The current president, Emma Glasser, put these concerns into writing in October 2021. At this time, initial progress was made towards a solution, with verbal promises being made in November 2021 for new shelving units to be installed and improvements to be made to the room to be by the start of semester 2. 

When no such improvements were made, KCLSU representatives allegedly stonewalled the KCLMC president, as well as three former presidents who also reached out to the KCLSU, until early March when more promises of a working group being set up to address the issue were made. During this time the KCLHealth and Safety teams have also been unforthcoming in their support when contacted regarding this pressing health and safety issue.

Due to the lack of response by the KCLSU, Emma Glasser, President of the KCLMC, has elected to call out the Students’ Union online through their Instagram account and Facebook pages. In the aforementioned post, Ms Glasser writes: “@kclsu is directly violating the terms of its Sports Agreement and its obligations of transparency and communication.” She also encourages readers to sign a petition demanding storage space improvements, which at the time of writing has garnered 117 signatures.

The situation is not limited to sports societies at KCLSU. As one anonymous source told Roar, a storage space on floor eight of Bush House has been inaccessible due to equipment littering the floor space since at least August 2021. Despite numerous requests to KCLSU Hubs to have this equipment moved, and KCLSU assurances in the affirmative, the floor space was still inaccessible as of March 2022. Included among the stored items is first aid equipment which is liable to go out of date if not regularly maintained, a fact KCLSU staff were reportedly made aware of in 2021.

Roar has contacted KCLSU for comment but has yet to receive a response.

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