Sutton Bonington – Part of the Students’ Union?

‘You recognise half the people you walk past and the other half you know.’ A rural, incestuous and occasionally backwards campus we may appear but one thing SB is proud to be is a community. You only have to look at the landslide victory earned by Katie Mackay in the now invalid SU Election to see just how big an impact this ‘politically active campus’ (as described by Impact Magazine) can achieve.

Historically the SU has taken little interest in Sutton Bonington. In previous years SB’ers would struggle to tell you the name of the Students’ Union President, how to access services available on UP or in fact where to park one’s Landrover legally should they wish to visit UP. It was perhaps particularly telling that during the recent election hustings it had to be explained what SRS stood for as well as what URN, NUTS and Impact are (Impact is still not available in hard copy on SB). Communication has also been lacking from the SU. Perhaps the best example being the Communications officer on the SU Exec not knowing how to contact students on SB via email; this particular issue has now been resolved and an email has been successfully sent. Truly a triumph for cross-campus communications.

This paints a bleak picture and would lead you to believe that SB is in fact part of a completely different University. However opinions out here on ‘The Farm’ are changing; this year things have been different. Firstly SB gained a full time member of SU staff in the shape of Una Lilley. This brave woman chose to ignore the SB scare stories and took on the unenviable task of ‘bringing SB into line’. Una is single handedly achieving what many thought was impossible. Secondly, Sam Wilkinson and other members of the SU Exec should be applauded this year for making regular trips to SB, making SB a part of the SU, helping us establish SB Ents, coming to our famous Dining Ins well as providing a wealth of other assistance that has been invaluable to SB. Sutton Bonington was beginning to feel a part of the Students Union thanks to the efforts of these people in conjunction with the Guild and JCR. A public Thank You is most definitely in order.

Finally SB’ers felt like being a part of the SU was within their grasp and the recent SU Exec Elections only served to cement this view. It won’t have escaped many people’s notice that SB’s guild chair, Katie Mackay, stood for election in the recent SU elections. Her excellent campaign and landslide victory united SB in a common aim; to have SB’s voice heard within the SU and on UP. A brief look at the election demographics reveals two schools were most active in this election. These are the two schools located on SB; what an interesting coincidence. The underestimated SB proved that we are to be taken seriously and hold massive weight when compared to the apparent voter apathy on other campuses. A force to be reckoned with. SB finally an integral part of the Students’ Union; fairly represented and proud to be a part of OUR Students’ Union.

This article should end here in a cheerful and optimistic statement for the future of SB within the SU however sadly it cannot. The Welfare and Equal Opportunities post has been reopened for nominations. Technicalities and the validity of allegations aside; no explanation has been offered to the students of SB explaining why this has happened. It’s hardly surprising that a significant proportion of SB is once more questioning whether the SU is really an organisation they want to be a part of. Where is the transparency?
Unsurprisingly the previously banned ditty – ‘Oh main campus is full of…..’ has seen a revival here on SB. ‘A democratically elected group of proactive individuals who listen to SB’ – is not the next phrase of choice in this joyous refrain. That many syllables was never going to catch on.

The new Exec has the mammoth task of restoring SB’s confidence in the SU; good luck to them. In the meantime SB eagerly anticipates the announcement of the nominations for the Welfare and Equal Opportunities by-election and is particularly looking forward to ‘Question time’ for the candidates here on SB.

Tessa Fordham

31 Comments on this post.
  • anon
    1 April 2010 at 17:25
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    It’s Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer…

  • anon
    1 April 2010 at 18:08
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    A great article. Fully supporting Katie to win back her rightful place in the SU

  • Anon 99
    1 April 2010 at 19:29
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    “two schools were most active in this election. These are the two schools located on SB”

    How did you find this out? Is the information publicly available? If so, I’d be interested to read the demographics of the voters.

  • Anon
    1 April 2010 at 23:30
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    Awesome artical. Can’t wait for Katie to win her SU Exec place again!

  • Anon
    2 April 2010 at 08:31
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    Katie will thrash again!!

  • ANon
    2 April 2010 at 11:54
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    Maybe if the SU extended all of its services which are supposedly for all students out on to SB they wouldn’t have to explain to us what URN and NUTS etc are!! … we are part of the SU but the SU doesn’t like to accept that we are. SB is very much left alone and we on the campus all feel that! … UP is a place that we occasionally have to go to but never feel like we belong.

    So good luck again Katie … I’m pretty sure she’ll do it again!!

  • Anna
    2 April 2010 at 12:55
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    The ‘bumper’ impact still managed to spell it “Bonnington”. Perhaps next year UP students should be shipped down to SB for the warden’s pleasant introduction and a tour of the dairy unit.

  • Dave Jackson
    2 April 2010 at 13:10
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    Hi Anna, I’m just curious as to where you’ve seen it spelled Bonnington, exactly? I know we took great pains to try and make sure we spelled it correctly as often as possible!

    I remember sitting just near to the bar covering the SB question time that night, and hearing the following exchange:

    “What the hell is that?”
    “That’s Dan the Democracy Dog, he’s from main campus”
    “I should have known”

    Some candidates were well and truly shown up on facts and figures that night – it’d be an interesting show if they return during the by-election I’m sure.

  • Anna
    2 April 2010 at 13:15
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    Page 6, issue 202.
    Dan vs. Badger cage fight coverage next time?

  • Dave Jackson
    2 April 2010 at 13:30
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    You’re totally right Anna, just had a look. I can’t fix the print issue of course, but you’ll now find not a single article on the website includes the word ‘Bonnington’! Go on, search for it :-).

    As for cage fighting, I imagine that would certainly present an interesting story for us!

  • Nay
    2 April 2010 at 19:37
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    “A brief look at the election demographics reveals two schools were most active in this election. These are the two schools located on SB; what an interesting coincidence.”


  • anon
    2 April 2010 at 21:20
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    only one critism here tess

    the picture! SB is vets and bios……

    (otherwise great article!)

  • Tess
    2 April 2010 at 22:19
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    The choice of picture wasn’t down to me!

  • Alison
    3 April 2010 at 17:14
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    “A brief look at the election demographics reveals two schools were most active in this election” – well, if you mean TOTAL number of votes, that would be the Business School and School of Humanities.

  • Anon 99
    3 April 2010 at 17:30
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    Again, where are you getting these stats from? I’d really like to see them (not because I think you’re making them up).

  • Anon
    3 April 2010 at 17:48
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    Dear Alison,

    Congratulations to the 2 schools you cite for their excellent voter turnout however I think you can safely assume that that is not what the author was getting at with this particular phrase. Perhaps it would have been better phrased as follows to avoid future confusion.

    ‘two schools were most active in the online portion of the voting, conducted on the portal ( between Monday 8th March and Friday 12th March 2010, specifically regarding the voting demographics for the Equal Opportunities and Welfare SU Exec sabbatical post at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK’

    In case you were to become further confused the two schools located on SB and most active in the aforementioned election were; School of Biosciences and School of Veterinary Medicine and Science which are coincidentally located (geographically) at the Sutton Bonington campus.

    Kindest Regards,


  • Ant
    5 April 2010 at 14:24
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    its safe to say the exec has a long way to go with SB, maybe they should start with the freshers address and include sutton Bonington in the video at the start this year when they list all of the halls.

  • Dom
    5 April 2010 at 16:57
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    I hear a lot of general complaints about the marginalisation of Sutton Bonington but rarely do I hear specific demands about what *specifically* is wrong and what the Exec should be doing about it…

    Can someone from SB give me 5 things that they want the incoming Exec to do for SB?

  • ANon
    5 April 2010 at 18:18
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    I would like to see the exec do the following:

    – Include SB in all things that the SU provide for students. URN and Impact to name a few. Ok so we can probably access them on the internet but we don’t know that they exist so are unaware of this … i only know impact exists cos one of my mates read it online while i was at malaysia campus.

    – Give us a better bus timetable … while we had main campus students living in our halls in september/october we got a bus every half hour or hour, now we’re back to our one bus every hour or 1.5 hours and never at the times we need it.

    – Actually tell us about events that happen on main campus. We don’t often have to go there so we are unaware of what goes on so maybe some form of monthly or fortnightly email to tell us the main things happening?

    – Keep us up to date and informed of services provided by the SU and how we can access them.

    – Get UP people to know about SB, who we are and maybe try and do something to integrate the campus into the main university ‘scene’ … visits to UP for lectures have often left me feeling that the majority of UP people don’t know who SB is!

    There you go … 5 things! … ask another SBer and you’ll probably get a different 5!

  • Anon
    5 April 2010 at 23:57
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    A few more suggestions for the incoming SU:
    1. Continue where the old SU Exec left off – talk to the outgoing Exec about what theyve been doing and continue with the good things
    2. Provide an SU shop/SU goods on SB. A few cast off orange XXL hoodys from the UP shop don’t count.
    3. Bring Londis prices in line with prices on main campus.
    4. Make progress on diverting the shuttle bus via kegworth in line with the SU’s environmental policies and prevent cyclist related cruelty incidents on the kegworth road.
    5. Make regular trips to SB
    6. Encourage UP students to attend Ents on SB – the Den announces its closure in the same term as SB moves its Ents with a novel furniture arrangement to a new bigger venue to cope with demand – integration works both ways
    7. Invite SB students to UP events – we are a campus of chronic attenders
    8. The SU Exec should regularly attend Dining Ins to fully appreciate SB’s traditions and partake in our customs
    9. Explain why the by-election is happening.
    10. Inform SB of the successes/efforts/trials/tribulations of the Union so SBers are aware what the union actually is/does
    11. Tell SB about the new car parking charge on SB campus and explain what the union is doing to oppose it
    12. COMMUNICATE with SB. We have phone lines, personal phones, computers, letter boxes, and facilities for carrier pigeons.

    And finally …unban the SB ‘welcome’ song.

    Oh dear thats many many more than 5.

  • Dave Jackson
    6 April 2010 at 00:35
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    I’m interested that people have talked a lot about bringing Impact to SB – is there a general consensus on SB that this would make them feel more involved, or would it be seen as just a UP magazine on the SB campus?

  • Tess
    6 April 2010 at 13:03
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    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the content of Impact relevant to all UofN students not just those who are locationally priveleged when it comes to access to hard copies? I’m from SB and I wrote this article. I wrote it as a UofN student for the Uni magazine not as an SB student writing for a UP publication.

    If hard copies were available, SBers would be aware of Impacts existance and more likely to contribute to it lessening the UP bias you seem concerned about. I can also reassure you that their would be very little overlap with our own publication ‘Bonington Banter’.

  • John
    6 April 2010 at 15:14
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    I can’t say that hard copies of Impact would make me more involved in university life seeing as almost all of the articles have very little to do with SB, but I have somehow found the november issue of Impact and i thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • ANon
    6 April 2010 at 21:10
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    parking charges for SB?! … how are they managing to do that?? everyone off campus lives at least 2-3 miles away from campus and its not the safest route in the world to walk or cycle!
    and what about the people who have had to move to east leake and loughborough because kegworth is running out of student houses? … its not like we have any form of regular bus link for any of those places!!

    is this another issue of the SU not telling us whats happening on our campus … i believe that main campus people are in charge 0f our parking after all

  • Scott Perkins
    7 April 2010 at 00:24
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    Good(ish) news for the people of SB! You’re getting a bus to Kegworth next year. Bad news is that it’s only running twice a day, once to and once from SB.
    I would be really fascinated to see how you guys feel about this; is it showing some progress or just a kick in the teeth?

    Oh and before the people of Lenton start moaning about their housing problems, it would be great if someone from SB can tell us what their weekly rent is….

  • Anna
    7 April 2010 at 08:53
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    £260 pm.

    The bus is progress. It’d be nice if the road was unlethalised a bit so I could cycle.

    I think that uni has plans to eventually make everyone on SB live in the extortionately priced and conformist halls of residence?

    Oo, also I’d like to agree with the 17 things that we would like to change.

  • Tess
    7 April 2010 at 19:08
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    The existance of a promised bus can only be a good thing – when will it start? where will it stop? what times will it run? This information should probably be disseminated through the Guild as an optimistic estimate for how many SBers read Impact would be 0.5%.

    To steal another SBers words of wisdom, ‘i’ll believe the bus is occuring when I am sitting upon it’.

  • ANon
    7 April 2010 at 21:00
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    A bus twice a day is pretty much pointless unless you’re a vet student and are actually in all day … i’d rather risk my life walking or pay £1.40 for the indigo than wait around for it!

    Rent – i pay £265 a month this year and £280 a month last year … our halls are horrendously expensive though … not that i know what UP halls cost.

    I agree with what Tess said … I’ll only believe in the bus when i get on it for the first time.

  • Scott Perkins
    8 April 2010 at 10:32
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    It was announced in SU council that the SB hopper bus would stop at EM Parkway, Kegworth and then arrive at SB for just before 9am. A bus would make a return journey at around 5pm.
    I believe this timtable is scheduled to start at the start of the next academic year.

  • Sarah
    8 April 2010 at 15:51
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    Juat a quick note on the bus – this is something I’ve been fighting for with Sam Wilkinson and other Exec members since November. It’s taken a ridiculous amount of work, but yes it is finally happening. The timetable is still a bit dodgey, but we’re working on it.
    I hope to be able to report the new timetable by the end of the year.
    I also like to point out that this is a massive achievement (motions through SU council, fighting with the Uni for months etc) for us and the SU exec and we really have all worked incredibly hard to get this through. We are trying to equal things out. It just takes a while and a lot of determination!
    SB JCR Pres.

  • Tess
    10 April 2010 at 18:56
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    Impact Issue 202, SU Election candidate question time chatroom

    ‘Bex’ – ive never been to sb
    ‘Bex’ – is it scary?

    Yes. Terrifying.


    ‘the raucous and partisan Sutton Bonington crowd proved a significant challenge to ill-prepared candidates’ – Dave Jackson, Impact 202, page 9.

    When is the proposed date for the by-election question time on SB?

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