OMG: I’ve got a confession

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I’m an opinionated guy. I’d be a bit worried if I wasn’t, doing the kind of job that I do. My job has also helpfully provided me with thick skin and I expect to be held to account and questioned for my actions.

As a general rule, it’s extremely rare that I ever see red and read something that really makes my blood boil. Last night was an exception.

We’ve all heard of the ‘OMG Lancaster Uni Confessions’ fad (preceded by Overheard and soon to be overtaken by Things Lancaster Students Don’t Say…), a supposedly light hearted page with an audience of almost five thousand which publishes the ‘most disgusting, hilarious, embarrassing confessions’ from our student body.

Oh, and it’s anonymous.

"Personally attacking a group of student staff in public and accusing them of being thieves, unprofessional and intoxicated whilst working is just disgusting and cowardly behaviour. Especially from an anonymous source."

Now, I’m under absolutely no illusion that the Sugarhouse is a warehouse that’s been retrofitted into a Student Union nightclub. It’s not perfect and never will be.

I also don’t believe that the staff who work in the Sugarhouse are perfect either. They’re humans. They’re sure to have good days and they’re sure to have bad days.

For those staff who break the rules and are caught, they will be disciplined as you’d expect. People within LUSU take their professionalism seriously. Students also have the ability to complain to LUSU through your Officers or speaking directly to the Sugarhouse management. Customer service is always something that the organisation is committed to and will continue to improve.

However, personally attacking a group of student staff in public and accusing them of being thieves, unprofessional and intoxicated whilst working is just disgusting and cowardly behaviour. Especially from an anonymous source.

Image by Amie Slater
The Sugarhouse – Image by Amie Slater

For those of you who think that I don’t spend enough time listening to students and working to improve the Sugarhouse, you’re wrong. All of your officers work hard in the time that they have to make positive changes. Note the awning outside to cover the queue and smoking area, investing more money into guest DJs & big acts as well as new screens, lighting and seating to improve the atmosphere. Plus, we haven’t finished there! There’s plenty more in the pipeline.

So we do listen to your feedback and we will continue to act on it, don’t worry about that. LUSU is a student led organisation and always will be.

So yeah, I ‘spout’ my opinions. But at least you know who they bloody came from. And don’t be shocked when I jump to the defence of a group of students that I was elected to represent, especially when they work ridiculous hours to give you and others a better Lancaster nightlife.

So to the brave soul who anonymously branded me as an ‘amateur’ I want you to know that I’m not going to take a lecture from you about being ‘an advocate of democracy and free speech’ when you advocate a platform that allows people to publically attack and ridicule our students. You want to talk about freedom? How about the freedom to not be victimised, bullied or humiliated in public?

You clearly don’t want people to know who you are so I won’t “out” you via a SCAN comment piece, but just think again about the impact your choices can have on your peers when you thoughtlessly publicise the “confessions” of others.

I would also like to take this opportunity to add a note of thanks to all Sugarhouse staff, past and present, who work hard to provide our Union and students with a nightclub. We wouldn’t have a Sugarhouse without them and despite its faults; I would have had a very different student experience without it.

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