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Marquee madness

The University of Sussex and the Students’ Union have potentially wasted hundreds of pounds on unnecessary payments to a marquee company.

Three near-identical marquees were installed and dismantled on the Arts A lawn in the first few weeks of term, meaning that the University and Students’ Union were not eligible for a 50% discount on marquees that are left standing for over a week.

On September 8 Brighton Marquees took down a marquee being used by Student Recruitment. Minutes later they were required to install a second marquee on behalf of the Students’ Union and the Careers and Employability Centre.

The second marquee was taken down on September 29 and replaced by a third marquee that was left standing until October 7.

Brighton Marquees offer a fifty percent discount on any marquee that is left erect for over a week; however, the University and Students’ Union ended up paying above the odds for ten days of marquee-use.

The University declined to reveal the cost of the marquees, however the standard cost from their supplier runs into hundreds of pounds a week.

Students’ Union Activites Officer Lyndsay Burtonshaw said: “It’s really important that the Students’ Union had a space during Freshers’ Week, not only for events, but also a space that made it easy for new and returning students to find us and information during Freshers Week.

“To reduce costs, staff and officers worked with the Careers & Employability Centre to share a marquee this year. At the time, we were unaware of plans by the Student Recruitment team to have marquees in the same location, and would like to work with them in future to further reduce costs.”

A spokesperson for The University of Sussex said: “We are constantly looking at how we can be more cost effective with our services and supplies and we will ensure that the hire of marquees is looked into.”

Pete Humphreys News Sub-editor 

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