We wanted to give you a bit of an update on the work we've done on 'Cost of Living' so far.
We fully recognise the national and local concerns surrounding the cost of living crisis and we believe that students are a particularly vulnerable group at the moment. Therefore, we have been working hard since the summer to ensure the impacts of the cost of living crisis are mitigated for our student community.
Within The SU, following regular internal Cost of Living Working Group meetings, we have undertaken a range of measures to help ease the impacts of the cost of living crisis, including:
- Frozen membership fees for Sports clubs (£30 for the Sport membership, and £10 per club you want to join).
- Continuing the 'Societies Area Membership’ for 2022/23, which reduces the cost of joining multiple societies.
- Secured funding from Bath Alumni to create a £5k student activities support fund (2022-23) that will support those struggling with the costs of extra-curricular activities.
- We have introduced our 40p porridge breakfast option, in The Plug.
- We have a jobs team that advertises part-time work opportunities for students, this includes advice & tips on applying for jobs.
- Our Advice & Support Centre offers free emergency menstrual products, pregnancy tests and condoms from the Advice and Support Team.
- We organised the Freshers' Week sustainability fair (visited by over 2000 students) that sold cheap second-hand equipment. Look out for additional events this year such as swap shops for sports kit, fancy dress, and our repair café.
- Committing to more 'proper food' freebies at Voice engagement events rather than only sweets.
- Our Plug & Tub bar provides subsidised food & drink due to our membership to NUS Services Ltd.
Pushing for Provision
As a Students' Union, one of our core functions is to lobby the University on a wide range of student experience issues. Since the Officer team started in June 2022, we have been consistently pushing for additional consideration of the cost of living crisis and for a range of measures to be put in place for the new academic year.
Our Officer team has been in close contact with the following senior University staff to draw attention to students' concerns regarding the cost of living situation:
- Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)
- Director of Education & Student Services
- Director of Student Support and Safeguarding
- Director of Campus Services
- Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement
- the Student Money Advice Team
Consequently, after championing the student voice to the University, we have successfully lobbied for:
- Additional and improved communications surrounding the Hardship Fund, including an increase in the total amount of money available.
- Commitment and advertisement on how students can use University spaces as places to be warm and charge devices.
- Additional warm study spaces to be made available during the January exam period.
- University-managed Campus outlets to use food-sharing apps and 'Too Good to Go'. All campus outlets now offer a £1.50 meal option too.
- The creation of a University-wide working group to monitor and oversee the measures related to cost of living.
Read more about the range of support and interventions the University has announced on its Cost of Living webpage. This page provides a range of resources on how to save money at University and goes into further detail about specific University of Bath initiatives.