Students’ Union Education Officer Bethan Hunt has criticised the University’s decision to relocate one of its biggest meetings to a conference centre off-campus.
The Amex Stadium in Falmer played host to the final meeting of Senate this year, which was held on November 10.
Bethan said that the relocation of the meeting created “a hostile and corporate feel” for the meeting.
She said: “It was very odd to be discussing the University but not even be on campus.”
The University said that the relocation was a response to criticisms of previous meetings.
They said that they are reviewing feedback from the most recent meeting and will take it into account in the future.
According to the University’s website the next meeting of Senate is scheduled to return to its normal location Bramber House in March.
Senate is the highest democratic body at the University dealing with academic issues. It is attended by Pro vice chancellors, Heads of Schools, Academics, Trade Union Representatives, the Students’ Union President and Education Officers, as well as five student representatives.
Relocation of Staff
Senate is not the first University function to be relocated to the Amex.
On 3 August 70 members of staff were moved to office space in the stadium complex while their usual offices are refurbished.
The University occupy around 540 square meters of office space at the site. They have refused to reveal the cost of renting the facilities, saying:
“The cost of this is part of a broader initiative to improve campus facilities, so we are unable to provide a specific cost breakdown.”
The affected staff come from 5 teams within Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment.
The staff were previously spread across several different locations but are now united while work continues on their offices.
It is believed that they will be operating from the Amex for around 18 months in total.
A University spokesperson was unable to explain exactly what the refurbishment involves, however the University is keen to express that the building works and relocation of staff are “normal.”
This is the first time that staff have been relocated to the Amex.
A University spokesperson said: “As the University undertakes refurbishment work of the campus, it has been necessary to temporarily move some staff from their existing locations.
“The temporary move to the AmEx stadium provides one of our Professional Services teams, Student Recruitment and Marketing, with an office that is fit for purpose whilst space is being refurbished on the campus.
“Previously, the team had been spread across five office locations, and is now consolidated into two places.
“The Sussex Abroad team, who support students wishing to study abroad, continue to be based on campus.
“This is to ensure that, as a student-facing service, students have easy access to their services.”
Pete Humphreys News Sub-editor