10 things we’d rather have than Essentials

Essentials is useful, but what about something we actually need? From a second Popina’s to a laser quest arena, here are 10 things we’d rather have than essentials.


The Union are always trying to convince us that Essentials has its place and we’ll agree that, yes, it’s sometimes handy.

But lets face it, Essentials is overpriced. We’ve come up with a list of 10 things we feel would be a better use of the space:

1. POPINA’S

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Most students won’t discover the joy of Popina’s until their second year. It makes up for the mistake of choosing to live in Hyde Park and regularly saves many from the dreaded hangover.

But what about those students living on campus or when you’ve got a 9am start? Popina’s can be the only ‘essential’ for student survival.

2. STUDENT-MADE CINEMA

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Where better for budding film-makers to showcase their talent than right in the heart of campus?

From film studies students to prank videos this would be the hub of student-made media and could even be cheaper than the Hyde Park Picture House.

3. POST OFFICE

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For those campus-dwellers sending a package can be a nightmare. Who wants to travel down into the depths of the town centre or trek through the terraced wilderness of Hyde Park to do something as charitable as giving?

Nobody wants to trek all the way to Sheepscar for a package!

This can all be avoided with the introduction of an on-campus post office: convenient and essential.

 4. CONFERENCE ROOM

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In an attempt to boost our Union, what about transforming Essentials into an adaptable conference room that could host University society events or be used by external businesses.

This is our attempt at a ‘serious’ suggestion…

 5. A PROPER SUPERMARKET

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The only way to truly guarantee that a Union supermarket is to be the cheapest is to have one that is recognised in the real world. We all know that Asda regularly wins the award for being the cheapest mainstream supermarket although, as students, we can manage better than that.

For those unwilling to venture to Chapel Allerton to save your money (and who can blame you, it’s nearly an hour’s walk away!) we should bring the joy of a 59p bag of wedges to you and replace Essentials with a Lidl.

 6. LASER QUEST

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We all know the University grading system is irrelevant when looked in the context of the grading of life. How else can you prove yourself worthy of a degree than by the skills needed for laser quest?

You need stealth, strategy and stamina to name but a few. Differences could be settled here and once the lecturers find out, it won’t be long before laser quest becomes a Leeds institution. Game on!

 7. CAREERS CENTRE

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While at University the Careers Centre can be one of the most intimidating of places… if you can even find it, that is.

How about moving the Careers Centre out of that hidden house to somewhere we can’t miss it? Although we may not want to think about ‘the future’, which isn’t so distant any more, if it were thrown in our path many would stumble in – especially if it appeared more student-friendly.

 8. SPA

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Amidst the stress of deadlines and living away from home there should be a place to unwind.

Yes, we thank The Edge for providing us with a sauna and steam room, but for those second and third years that have opted out of purchasing gym membership there needs to be something we can access.

Note: This should be for both professors and students, but maybe not together.

9. MAZE

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When you’ve got deadlines and lectures, or even if you just don’t want to bump into someone you know, the maze is here to help.

Apart from being heaps of fun it could be made using the shelving currently used in Essentials. That’s recycling for you!

 10. 24-HOUR OPEN MIC

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As a student we are often encouraged to ‘find ourselves’ while at University and there can be no better way to do this than through freedom of expression.

Lets build a stage with a microphone, giving us the freedom to rant, sing, recite, whatever. Do whenever you fancy to an audience of whoever will listen… and don’t worry, we can soundproof the walls.