Varsity banners cost over £700, and we can’t even use them next year

The banners say 2017 on them

The Sussex Students’ Union has spent £712 (plus VAT) on Varsity banners that would only be used for 2017.

The banners have been up in Falmer House for a week now to advertise the one day event of Varsity. In total, eight banners were bought by the Students’ Union, each costing £89.

The 1.2m x 3.8m banners, provided by TLCsigns, do not include delivery and VAT in the final price. With VAT added, the final price would be £854.40.

Delivery charges are unknown, however if the Union used next-day delivery it would be an extra £15.

The banners are almost identical to the ones last year

One student commented: “The money could be better spent elsewhere. There are societies who would like this money, but wouldn’t the sport societies prefer this money to be spent on equipment?”

A member of UniTV commented: “I know for sure one thing is that UniTV does not have enough money to buy equipment, we need be self-sustainable yet.

“We need more funds so that we can become self sustainable, but we never have enough of the media fund to achieve this. resulting in us having to share the university equipment”

Another member of UniTV raised concerns about the media fund:

“The media fund is very unequally divided when URF and UniTV are only asking for basic running costs. UniTV is so dependent on the MFM School that has raised some other very serious issues”

We asked the Union why they put the dates on the banners as they cannot be used the following year, they responded: “We did consider it but wanted to showcase this year’s students.

“The captains, committees and members of sports team change every year and we want to celebrate the students that are involved this year.

“We will consider making more generic banners for Varsity that can be re-used on top of the ones celebrating each year’s team captain/members again in future.”

We also asked the union regarding where did the money come from and why societies, like UniTV, don’t receive this: “These are allocated from different parts of the budget. The communications budget is used to let students know about the activities students are doing via the Union.

“The publicity around Varsity is about celebrating sport at Sussex and building a sense of community around supporting our teams and Sussex in general. UniTV have been allocated funding this year and had access to funding via the Media Fund and Societies Fund.”

The Union also told us what they would be doing with the banners once varsity is finished: “We may use them later in the year to showcase sport.

“Once they are no longer needed we’ll offer them to the students featured and recycle them if they don’t want them.”