SUSU finally unveil new social space on campus

Union President Ben Franklin revealed in a blog post today that the Union have remodeled part of the SUSU building to provide more much-needed social space. Franklin wrote that the […]


Union President Ben Franklin revealed in a blog post today that the Union have remodeled part of the SUSU building to provide more much-needed social space.

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Franklin wrote that the new area, in Bar 2, was made as students “wanted some more space to socialise in the Union Building that wasn’t tied to a commercial venue”.

“Bar 2 is now a social space, with a whopping 65 inch screen for watching television and playing games”.

On the purpose of the new space, he said “If you’ve got some time to kill between lectures, want to meet some friends for a quick catch up, or just want a bean bag sofa to curl up on, Bar 2 is now the place for you”.

He also said there would be no disruption to student groups who have depended on the Bar 2 space for meetings in the past saying “If you’re a student group that uses Bar 2, fear not,”

“The logic behind the bean bag sofas was that they can be moved when you need to use the space in the same way it was set up before.”

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Fear not.

Ben Franklin told the Soton Tab This is one solution, our main problem is space – there is a limited amount of it in The Union building,”

“However, there is capital planning taking place over the next year to look [into] building works on The Union that will let us better use our space to please the student body”

Joel, a second year History student, said that while the sofas looked “extremely low”, they were apparently “burst proof” and should prove durable enough to survive the academic year.

While Ellie, a second year Maths and Physics student, was more negative on the furnishings, saying “This is basically the most SUSU solution imaginable,”

“Let’s combine bean bags and sofas, to provide an uncomfortable AND logistically difficult solution

“The worst of both worlds.”

On this, Franklin told us “The thinking was that we needed space for students to sit, but we also needed to be able to quickly clear and re-setup the space when student groups who rely on use of Bar 2 need it,”

“Bean bags are easily cleaned, refilled, moved, stored… they were the best possible way to give the space multiple purposes.”

“They are also quite comfortable – less firm than your average sofa, but much firmer than bean bags.

bar 2

“Extremely low.”

The space comes just months after SUSU designated more space in the building to a new enterprise, SURecruit following on from the opening of SUSU Lettings in 2014, leading some students to suggest the Union were prioritising services for the few over mass student utility.

One commented that the move was “Appropriating yet more of our social space for a service a tiny fraction of the student population will end up using.”

Ben Franklin also confirmed The Stag’s will be getting a games console, “so that you can drink, eat and game in blissful harmony”.

What do you think of these changes? A step in the right direction or not enough to keep you on campus between lectures? Let us know in the comments below!