LS will no longer be able to print, due to a lack of funding.
This week members of the society were informed that the target set by LUU to cover printing costs had fallen short by £5,200 and therefore should cease printing. LS is currently partially funded by LUU and partially by advertising, also controlled by the Union.
Despite numerous attempts by student volunteers to save the publication through external advertising, proposals were turned down on the grounds that it poses a threat to the Union’s own services. LS has now been forced into the red, leaving hundreds of members with no resources.
42 societies have already come out in public support of the newspaper including RAG, Snowriders, MedSoc, JSoc and Leeds Labour Students.
Student Action for Refugees said:
“We find the current situation worrying, and believe that an independent student press is not only vital but integral to Leeds University”.
LUU Athletics Club added: “The student paper is vital for coverage of sports teams and events and has always promoted LUU-AC.”
The news comes on the back of the two Editor candidates in this year’s Leadership Race being excluded from the main voting system with no consultation of the society. The Editor role is also funded by LUU, receiving the same salary as Exec members though they do not act as a trustee of the Union.
RevSoc commented: “We condemn the unilateral changing of the format of the Leadership Election to marginalise the student paper.”
Media societies have come out in support of LS.
The Institute of Communication Studies society also said:
“Without the paper there is no independent platform to represent students and hold the Uni to account. I strongly believe that students should have a say on where the Union’s money is spent.”
LS is in ongoing talks with the Union about the long term future of the publication and will work to find a solution.
The Union’s Activities officer Greg Sturge said:
“It is encouraging that our societies appreciate the role LS has within the Union community. There have been issues in the working relationship between the Union and LS this year, and lessons have been learned on both sides. However, we will be working hard together over the coming months to ensure that LS is back on it’s feet by September.”
LS is urging students to get behind the campaign to ‘Save Your Student Paper’. The full list of societies so far in support of this stands as:
- Oxfam Society
- Save the Children Society
- Jewish Society
- Islamic Society
- Medical Society
- Leeds Student Radio
- Her Campus Leeds
- Photo Society
- Film Society
- Institute of Communication Studies Society
- Collaborative Arts Society
- Computing Society
- Book Society
- Union Music Library
- Spoken Word Society
- Mature and Part Time Society
- English Society
- History Society
- Sixties Society
- Leeds Labour Students
- Conservative Society
- Green Party Society
- Debating Society
- ONE Leeds Society
- Anti-Death Penalty Society
- Amnesty International
- Model United Nations Society
- Feminist Society
- Leeds Palestine Solidarity Group
- Leeds Friends of Syria
- Student Action for Refugees
- Revolution Society
- Mind Matters
- Athletics Society
- Women’s Lacrosse Society
- Squash Society
- Modern Dance Society
- Pool and Snooker Society
International Relations student, Kyle Hulme has started a petition calling on the Union to restore funding to the paper. So far the petition has amassed 1, 132 signatures.
Here is a link to the petition: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/leeds-university-union-reverse-the-decision-to-cut-funding-to-the-leeds-student-newspaper
Last updated: 15.31
Photo: Leo Garbutt