At Monday evening’s Students’ Union Council, President Frida Gustafsson announced that USSU would not take up residence in their proposed new building in 2021, citing student concerns over campus overcrowding. The space will instead be used by the University for student space.
USSU was set to move into the new building, on the current East Slope Bar, in 2021, replacing their current home in Falmer House. Speaking about the reasons behind the deal, Ms Gustafsson told The Badger: “I see this as a major win for the student body, as it means we’ll soon have a whole new building dedicated to student focused space for our students to use. The Officer team made this decision as we think the building in this way will better benefit our whole student body for whom we know the lack of space of campus, and specifically lack of student focused space, is a major issue.”
Exactly how the space in the new building will instead be used remains in planning phase, with Ms Gustafsson telling Union Council that it is an opportunity for students to “shape the future of this campus”, and calling for contributions from students for how they would like to see the space used. A joint project board will be established to consider the best use for the building, in addition to the planned accommodation and new recreational venues already planned by the University.
Tim Westlake, Chief Operating Officer for the University, told The Badger: “We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with the Students’ Union to develop a ‘one stop shop’ which will locate the majority of our centrally delivered student facing services into a single building. This will provide a dynamic hub so that all our students can benefit and we believe it will help to make their experience at Sussex truly exceptional. The content and design of the new building will be agreed in partnership with the Students’ Union and over the coming months, we will be finding out more from students about what they would like to see.”