University confirm they will not honour library referendum result

A university representative has confirmed even a “No” vote from students will see the library open 24 hours for the planned period.


A university representative has confirmed that the results of SUSU’s upcoming referendum on the 24 hour library will have no impact on the implementation of the trial period.

Jane Savidge, Director of Library Services, told the Soton Tab “The University works in partnership with SUSU to respond to issues which are important to the student community. Where a referendum is taken forward by SUSU we will consider the information gathered, alongside operational, strategic or resourcing considerations when deciding an appropriate response.”

She also pointed to SUSU’s historic support for a 24 hour library, and that the trial period this year is in line with agreements made with SUSU in the past, adding “This is the third year that Hartley Library has piloted 24-hour opening following a campaign by SUSU in 2013.”

“The 24-hour opening will start on 2 November and run through to 3 June 2016 with breaks at Christmas and Easter. This is in line with the original proposals agreed with SUSU in 2014, which indicated an increase in the number of weeks of overnight opening in each year of the pilot.

“As this is the final year of the pilot, we will review the opening hours for next year across all the library sites, including the number of weeks we open the Library overnight.”

Although a “No” vote from students on the 24 hour library would not change University plans, Savidge did say the results of the referendum would be considered as “feedback … to help inform this discussion”.

However, she added “[The University’s] main aim continues to be, as far as is practical, to provide our students with the space to work when and where it is needed.”

The referendum, which is due to cost the Union £2100, including £1000 on single-purpose T shirts, has drawn significant criticism from students, who have seen it is a waste of time and resources. Many have even taken to the Official Facebook page to vent their frustration.

The news will also come as a disappointment to SUSU, despite their claims of neutrality in the debate, as one of their main concerns was that the University “has not provided enough funding” for an extended Safety Bus service- an issue which has yet to be resolved, and yet another problem that will not be solved by the referendum.