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LUSU Vice President (Union Development) Laurence Pullan sought to reassure students about the perceived price rises in the Sugarhouse. His comments come after a motion to lobby the Sugarhouse to lower its prices was voted down by Union Council on Monday, Week 5.
The motion, which was intended to mandate the LUSU full-time officers to lobby the Sugarhouse to “lower their prices to a reasonable yet profitable level”, was asked not to be put to Council following an intervention from LUSU President Joel Pullan. The Council voted in favour of the motion not being put and therefore the cease of discussion on that topic. However, the decision came with the caveat that the LUSU full-time officer team would look into the issue further.
The events at Union Council follow a series of complaints to LUSU about the rise in Sugarhouse pricing. While on the surface the changes appear to affect very few – the higher prices affect students who buy on the door, arrive after 11:30pm and do not have a purple card – there has been an outcry from the student body, not least the “#boycottsugar” campaign on Twitter.
Speaking to SCAN, Laurence Pullan said that he was not surprised a motion was brought to Council regarding Sugarhouse prices.
“We were aware there was discontent. We’ve known this for weeks before this was put to Council. We knew this would be a concern for students.”
He also said that LUSU Officers should have had the foresight to bring this to Union Council earlier in the term, as opposed to the Week 5 session when changes had already been made.
The price change is accompanied by a new e-ticketing system. The system was introduced in an attempt to stop the long queues which many students had complained about, allowing students to buy their tickets online for a price lower than they would get on the door.
Lonsdale College President Charlie Edwards, who seconded the motion to Union Council, said that he thought that the new system penalised those students who did not plan their night in advance. “There has been a new e-ticketing system which benefits a certain number of students,” Edwards told Bailrigg FM’s Nathan Marsh. “However, there are those who decide on the night at around half ten or eleven and think ‘yeah let’s go and have a night out.’ I think the system penalises those students who just want a random night out.”
On the subject of the motion being voted down, Edwards said he was not disappointed. “The whole point was to try and get across both to the officers of the Union and the Sugarhouse management that we as a student body feel that the prices at the Sugarhouse are just too much.”
Pullan, however, stressed that the Union had been working on trying to bring the price down before the Union Council meeting. “I have discussed [Sugarhouse prices] with the Sugarhouse management already, and I feel a solution can be reached in the next few weeks.” When asked what he thought the outcome of the talks with the management would be, he said that he expected prices would come down.
The motion put to Council also suggested the implementation of a free cloakroom service at the Sugarhouse.
Pullan said that staff do already offer a free cloakroom service on certain nights, depending on the weather.
During his intervention in Union Council, Joel Pullan said that the Union is working towards what students want, naming better events and solving the smell as two cited by students as points of complaint that have been acted upon.
The Week 4 Union Council was postponed to Monday, Week 5, to show solidarity with the Unions striking on October 31st. The next Union Council is scheduled for Thursday, Week 7.