‘This will be an excellent opportunity for JCRs to return to being representatives and not simply events groups.’
On Tuesday evening, Vice President Union Development announced on Facebook that JCR presidents had agreed for JCR’s budgets would be cut by 80% in the next academic year.
This comes following the announcement of the possibility of Central closing, the Purple Card being pulled and the LUSU budget being cut by up to a third. These losses come in as the Union claims to be facing “falling numbers” and the “financial difficulties all businesses are facing” giving the current climate.
The JCR are student bodies representing each college, with officers focussing on different aspects of college life. With budgets being cut by 80% it will massively restrict their ability to deliver events and supply resources to colleges, including their ability to host Welcome Week. However, with substantially less in-person events being held currently due to the pandemic, it will be less costly on the whole with most events taking place online.
The statement from Atree Ghosh reads:
“On Monday, JCR President’s agreed to an incredible 80% cut to their budgets for the coming year, as part of us filling the massive hole we have in our budget in line with a potential cut to our block grant by the University and inability to operate some of our commercial services. Delivering the events that they do, will only be more challenging this year given circumstances, and particularly Welcome Week for new students. Especially more so now with reduced budgets.
“However, this is an opportunity for the Students’ Union to work with and support its officers on the ground for the engagement they help with. We will support the JCRs with all the challenges they face in the coming year, and I can only request students to be understanding of their new financial constraints. This will be an excellent opportunity for JCRs to return to being representatives and not simply events groups. How we’ve come to this is not ideal, but hopefully there are some positives.
Them being as understanding as they were on Monday, will only help us prioritise the areas of the SU that already don’t get enough funding from being cut too much. In these incredibly tough times – we will have to prioritise welfare in every way possible, and the large cuts taken by the JCRs will help us avoid inflicting large cuts on societies that support mental health and liberation groups.”