The Union works all year round lobbying the University for change and for positive improvements to campus, sometimes having to keep issues live for months in order to gain results. However, this long term action is well worth it when change does happen, and this week we are delighted to announce successes on three major long term projects; providing free drinking water in key buildings, introducing cashless laundry facilities, and improving the provision of cash machines on campus.
Drinking water provision was an issue first raised 2 years ago, through our Environmental Working Group Chair and Vice President Community Welfare, after we brought concerns to the University that students were being forced to purchase bottled water due to the lack of free drinking water. This was not justaffecting the costs to students, as the bottles can have negative environmental impact.
Since then we have continued to lobby and support this project through the University Environmental Strategy Group, procurement committees, and estates management. The first of the new water fountains have appeared in the library last week. We expect to see further water fountains in the Hamilton Centre, and the Lecture Centre in the next few weeks.
New laundry facilities
Throughout the last year, we have been in discussions with Residences on the issues around the laundry facilities. One of the key problems we constantly raised was that the laundry facilities were regularly out of order at weekends, and there were no facilities for students to get the correct change to work the machines.
The year, the Residences management team have introduced cashless laundry machines in Mill, Fleming and Galbraith Halls and Bishop, with Faraday introducing the machines this week.
Work is now beginning on Saltash, Clifton and Chepstow. As well as new laundry machines, the laundrettes are being redecorated, with new flooring and flat screen TVs with information on using the machines. There will also be new seating in the near future where the space is available.
We hope this will transform the experience for our members and enable them to take care of the basic need of laundry without scraping around for cash, or waiting for repair engineers. Moving forwards, the Campaigns Working Group and the Residential Services will also be looking into the possibility of feedback structure.
For many years, the Union has been lobbying the University and HSBC bank to increase the numbers of cash machines on campus to resolve the regular queues outside the bank. After consultation, Brunel Commercial have taken up the challenge and have placed a FREE cash machine in the reception of the Isambard residence complex, enabling residents in Isambard, Fleming, Galbraith and Mill Halls to get cash without having to come into the centre of campus. We are hopeful that machines will appear elsewhere on campus, including the Eastern Gateway building throughout the remainder of this year.
All of these installations have come as a result of continuous pressure from past and current Union representatives, following feedback received from students. We hope these new facilities will make your life a little easier and would encourage all students to make the most of them.
If you have any suggestions on other improvements you would like the Union lobby for, please get in contact with the Union President, Martin, or any one of our three Vice-Presidents.