"We demand that the University of London ditch its plans to shut down its student union, and that ULU remains a democratic, student-run space at the heart of a union that represents and campaigns for all students in London."
On Friday 3rd May, the University of London announced that it was shutting down its students’ union. The University of London Union has been at the heart of student life in London for decades. It represents more than 120,000 students, and is the only London-wide representation that students currently have.
This decision has been taken after the outcome of an internal review. No student sat on the Review panel, and no student got a vote in the decision. The University has no right to shut down our union.
The University plans to turn this iconic building into a management-run student services centre, abolish all campaigns and representation, and shut down any democracy in how our spaces and services are run.
Under the University's plans, clubs, societies and sports will be under threat, and students will have no control over services that ULU runs – from cafes and bars to rooms and facilities. Everything would be left to the whims of unelected and unaccountable University managers.
Elected officers and campaigns would no longer exist. ULU’s campaigns, democratically decided by students, would stop. There is also no guarantee that London Student - Europe's largest student newspaper - would continue to exist.
In a climate of privatisation and cuts, this would set a dangerous precedent for university managers to attack and undermine democratic union structures.
ULU has been at the centre of the student movement and its mobilisations for many years, and is in the process of establishing a London-wide tenants union. Its clubs, societies and services serve a huge range of students, and are the cornerstone of many sporting and social activities across the University and more widely throughout the city.
These plans would depive students of a key student-run institution. ULU's services have been built up organically over decades: no University manager can hope to equal its organisational culture or the services it provides.
This campaign is not about simply defending the status quo. We want to see the ULU building - and all of its associated activities - kept on and run democratically by a union which represents all students in London.
We demand that the University of London ditch its plans to shut down its student union, and that ULU remains a democratic, student-run space at the heart of a union that represents and campaigns for all students in London.