The announcement by the Students Union that it may relinquish control of the SU Shop might come as concern to those of us associated with Clubs and Societies. We have in week 9 agreed to gift the Union a total of €240’000 over three years. The repayment schedule is dependant in the ULSU Services (Shop) company returning to profit and C&S taking a third of that profit until the gift of monies given is repaid.
This Agreement struck with Clubs and Societies still stands. The Clubs Officer and I are mandated by Council to represent the view that the SU Executive abides by and honours it. As the Shop will now probably be relinquished from ULSU Services control some aspects of the agreement will have to be revisited.
Club and Societies will still be repaid the funding transferred to the Students Union, whether from ULSU Services or directly from the SU. The agreement between SU and C&S will have to be reworked during or after the summer recess to reference this.
Despite the recent developments the Students Union does still require an amount of money from the Clubs and Societies share of capitation. It is certain that the €60’000 this year, and same amount for the next Union fiscal year will be required. If, under a new Shop arrangement the Union requires less in coming years then this will of course will be of benefit to C&S, the current agreement allows for this.
In the terms and condition of the agreement it does state that there must be an annual review and approval by Clubs and Societies Council which leaves another avenue of protection for C&S.
It is also important to remember that no agreement has yet taken place. This is only an approach that the Students Union is undertaking. And there was no cloak and daggers regarding it either. The SU Executive was only informed last Thursday at an interim Board of Trustees meeting. The people that first needed to be informed outside of the Shop Board, SU Executive was the shop employees. The student body was informed by An Focal earlier today.
The prospect of the shop being removed from SU control is in my opinion good for all concerned. As Derek Daly, SU President has stated the SU can now go back to being a fully representative body. They do not have to try and be shopkeepers resulting in ULSU services running at a loss more years than in profit. The debt associated with the shop will be a burden taken away from the Students Union. A private company running the shop contributing a portion of profits to the SU can give a return with no risk involved.
It is disappointing though that the delivery of this information has again been a failure of the Students Union. The positive development is now masked by rumors once again.