What would you do with £750,000? No, The Siren haven’t won the lottery, but Swansea’s student body may as well have.. If you’ve ever complained about the state of the toilets or bemoaned the number of PCs on campus, then you should know about this fund. Elena Cresci got all the gossip from the union about the Student Experience Fund…

Word cloud courtesy of Swansea Union’s article found here

Ever since I began University in 2007, talk of the terrible state of Fulton House’s toilets has been constant, whether a friend was complaining about it during a session in JCs or if it had been reported on in The Waterfront. Even when I came back from my year abroad, JC’s toilets were exactly the same as I had left them; dingy, grotty and smelling questionable. As sure as Surma is open at 4 am on a Saturday, JC’s toilets were always to be found minging. However, at the 10th of February’s Annual General Meeting, as far as toilets were concerned, Students’ Union President Luke Young had some very good news.

Students have ranted and raved about the toilets. The union have ranted and raved about the toilets. “It’s not been the most glamorous part of my job,” commented Luke Young. But it seems that all that ranting and raving has finally paid off. “I can confirm that the planning application has gone in and the money is secure to renovate JC’s toilets and the work will start immediately after we are given the go ahead. Further to this, I am delighted to be able to extend that welcome news to include all toilets in Fulton House.”

…except that’s not the end of it. It doesn’t quite end with toilets. In fact, there’s a little bit more to the story than that. Try £750,000 more. The Student Experience Fund is a one-off fund dedicated to delivering improvement to the student experience. This money will go directly towards students, and nowhere else, to pay for numerous services that will benefit students directly. One major outlet for this fund will be new storage space for the SU’s societies, something which has sorely been required for a long time now, as well as extra library resources and improvements to Fulton House’s refectory.

It’s a huge win on the part of students in the University. As Luke told The Siren, ““If the Students’ Union isn’t an organisation that campaigns and wins for students then it is worth very little at all. Over the last two years we have moved the union to a place where we still continue to have the best in entertainments but also to a place where it is taken far more seriously in the decisions being made about Swansea’s students.”

When broken promises and policy U-turns are plastered all over our newspapers and television screens, it’s nice to see members of student politics, and possible future politicans, putting those in the higher echelons of British politics to utter shame by actually keeping to their manifesto promises. Much like the lighting in Singleton Park, the issues that the Student Experience Fund seek to remedy are ones which have cropped up time and time again throughout my three years here at Swansea. At a time when price tags are being put on Universities across the country, the quality of a student’s time at University is more crucial than ever, but more than that, this university’s union has proven that it cares deeply about the issues affecting us, even down to the most basic issue of quality toilets.