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LCO team to boycott the Students’ Union ‘until demands are met’

‘The entire student body deserves better’

LUSU’s Part-Time Liberation and Campaign Officers have published a press release in which they announce their plans to boycott the Students’ Union until their demands are granted.

Following the Union’s decision on May 26th to release a statement in support of Palestine without giving them any say in the matter, the university’s Liberation and Campaign Officers team have made the decision that they will be avoiding all interaction with the Union as of five pm on June 1st.

The LCO team includes LUSU’s co-Women+ Officers, Racial and Ethnic Minority Officer, International Students’ Officer, Students with Disabilities Officer, and Postgraduate and Mature Students Officer.

The press release states that the boycott will last “until demands are met”, and the LCO team are urging students to sign an open letter in support.

The LCO team have sent a detailed email to Misbah Ashraf, Chief Executive of the Students’ Union, in which they explain their decision to boycott, and include an extensive list of their demands.

They believe they must “take action in order for something to change for the next set of officers as well as our forums.

“We believe that not only do we deserve better as Officers who are in a voluntary role alongside full-time study, but the entire student body deserves better.”

Despite the Union’s statement about Palestine being the catalyst of the boycott, the Liberation Officers said that they have been “mistreated and unsupported all year”, but that this is “at an institutional level, not with the FTOs specifically.”

The boycott will involve a complete ceasing in interaction between the LCO team and the union “until it meets a list of demands set out by the officers.”

The list includes: “The Union’s Palestinian solidarity statement to be put back online once approved by UJS, a communication policy which requires SU statements to be passed by the executive via digital resolution or a meeting, equal benefits to those who are Full-Time Officers, excluding salaries, Forums to be treated equally to societies”, etc.

A quote from co-Women+ officer, Charli Clement, within the press release states: “As a team, we are genuinely gutted that our year has to come to a close like this.

“We have not only felt consistently undervalued, but we’ve often had to be quiet about errors from LUSU, and the incident which took place on Wednesday surrounding Palestinian solidarity was simply unacceptable in how it impacted multiple communities. We have had constant issues across the year and the impact on our mental health has been severe.

“Not only do we deserve better as Officers, but the entire student body deserves better and this has been shown time and time again.”

International Students Officer, Yu Hong Goh, also said: “This is an example of why a sense of belonging doesn’t exist for the LCOs, and makes it seem like the LCO team is against the SU. We are not treated right.

“We are always thought of as non-essential. We are students, and as working adults, the members of staff should be there to help us gain that experience of working in an organisation. Instead, it feels like we are always begging for help from people. As students ourselves, the LCOs are within the group of people the Student Union are there to serve.”

More information can be found on the Lancaster SU Part-Time Officers’ Facebook page.

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