Uni splurges whopping £120k on organ refurbishment
It’s ‘an enormous waste of money’
The University of Sussex have spent a massive £120k refurbishing the organ in the meeting house, and students and the SU are not happy about it.
The refurbishment was paid for in part by the Sussex Fund, a charity fund which relies on support from donations. The Sussex Fund is supposed to provide scholarships to talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds and to “help and support students who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty”.
URF, the SU radio station, has benefited from the Sussex Fund in the past, as has the Learning to Lead project, which helps students to learn leadership skills.
In the academic year 2014-2015, donations to the Sussex Fund totalled £217,000. According to the university, 10 percent of the £120k used to fund the refurbishment came out of the Sussex fund. The other 90 percent of the money came from central University funds.
President of the SU Abraham Baldry has criticised the decision, arguing that more practical uses for the money would be “reducing class sizes, cutting the wait for counselling services, or reducing campus rents”. He has branded the refurbishment “an enormous waste of money”.
Students are also against this decision. Connor, a first year English Literature student said: “the staff can’t justify this, the money could have been so much better spent. The fact that so much money was taken from a donation fund set up to help those who need it most is appalling.”
University staff have justified their decision by arguing that the refurbishment should mean that “the organ will require nothing more than routine tuning for a further 30 years”. Clevedon Organs (UK) Ltd, the company who have been contracted for the repairs, have dubbed the organ “an excellent example of national importance”.