An open letter to LSU Marketing;
A constitution is a vitally important part of any organisation. Sticking to it is what makes a union such as ours run correctly, with a high level of scrutiny and control from members ensuring that the organisation’s governance and procedure is above-board.
One would not expect one arm of the union to attempt to change another, unconstitutionally, at any time – especially not during a vacation break – in a crude attempt to ensure there are as few members as possible to ‘fight back’.
The change which was enforced onto Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) Media by the LSU Marketing department on Monday 16thJuly 2018, is not only unconstitutional, but a deliberate attempt to use a ‘Henry VIIIth power’ and bypass the constitution at a time when members of the section are away.
This is not only unacceptable from a students’ union’s staff, but unconstitutional.
The LSU Constitution, Schedule IX, Article f) states:
“The non-commercial output of the Section … should be determined by the Media Executive Officer, based on the ideas, submissions and productions of the current Media Committees.”
Therefore, this would also apply to all forms of social media as ‘outputs’ – such as those ‘LSU Marketing’ is trying to control or remove, meaning that Marketing cannot; a) have control; b) admin privileges or; c) remove these channels. The constitution makes no reference to ‘LSU Marketing’, its rights or privileges, and therefore they have no constitutional right to control their output.
Threatening to discipline the section and those involved is a vile attempt to push through their unconstitutional change, and should be condemned by the union executive.
The LSU Branding guidelines state:
“Our sections are at the heart of what LSU offers to students. We are proud of them…”
In this case, allow the sections to run in the way they wish – each is different, and the catch-all approach that is being proposed for all sections does not work. The brands ‘LCR’, ‘Label’, ‘LSUTV’ and ‘Lens’ are valuable as individuals, and do not function as a whole, with each providing different services and content. One individual who follows ‘LCR’ may not wish to follow the actions of ‘LSUTV’, and it should be their choice to do so. Keeping separate channels ensures there will be no information overload to LSU Members.
As an independent media outlet, not under the control of union staff, LSU Media, a student-run section, is entitled to control its output in the way it wants, as long as it abides by the Brand Guidelines of both LSU and LSU Media, which it does. The Education Act 1994 c. 20 clearly states that SU’s must ensure “freedom of speech… is secured for all members” – by controlling LSU Media’s output, with admin privileges that could compromise this independence and freedom of speech they could therefore be in breach of the law.
LSU advertises itself as a ‘student-led’ organisation. So act like one.
The views in this letter may not necessarily represent those of LSU Media or the Union Affairs Committee