Comment: Red tape hindering student political groups

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Over the last month, the University of Bath has seen an influx of political apathy from all corners of the University: student and executive. The political campaigning season is swiftly approaching for student elections and what keeps me frustrated is the rampant regulation and moronic bureaucracy that suffocates the students who actually get elected.

It is no secret that overindulgent regulation, such as excessive rules or guidelines of any business can weaken its innovative instinct, possibly even destroying it. For example, the financial industry has always been extremely sensitive toPolitical students page 7 - Charlie Owen superfluous regulation, given that capital can move so rapidly. Given the University of Bath’s current type of management, this comparison is not as farfetched as believed. Of course appropriate regulation can actually strengthen an industry or political system, as was the case with the recent financial crisis. However the current political situation within the University of Bath is unbearable. The university has tried to solve every conceivable problem to the student, failing to recognize that many of the problems we face are a result from previous political solutions. The problem, for the most part, resonates entirely with the issue of ‘big government’ within the Students’ Union, in which the overreaching system attempts safeguard every aspect of the Students’ Union regardless of the effect on natural innovation and ingenuity.

The current Students’ Union is run by a group of pragmatic, realistic guys, who genuinely have the students’ interests at heart. However despite this, the current body of executives has not accommodated the needs of the politicised student. There have been several incidents, many undocumented, whereby the executive has not been able to accommodate students’ needs due to an increase in political over-regulation.

These idiotic behaviours can be seen with the impoverished effort displayed, involving the recent national demo in London. This was another example of the university’s mindless bureaucratic system, set up to keep the student voices at bay. The Students’ Union failed to promote the march on the grounds of health and safety, which is a poor effort to say the least. Yet again, it is not a fault from the executive’s personal political preferences, but rather a problem of over-regulation from the university system in which we study. The university most certainly has a systematic problem, but the university system also is showcased by the inherent problem of political red tape. Recently Bath Labour Students were denied to book a room within university campus due to its hereditary lack of affiliation. The pragmatism was evident from the current SU Activities Officer, as he proceeded to offer other problematic routes into booking a room. The current state of affairs within the University’s system is completely ridiculous, where a politically active group of students cannot hold a meeting within the university they attend. If the University of Bath truly cared about what students were passionate about, they would cut this unnecessary red tape.

The real problem here lies within the incessant system that the University itself has created, not the executives we have elected. If there is no intervention from either students or the executive, the problem of over-regulation will most likely dismantle and consume our Students’ Union.

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About Author

Cameron Wells is a Politics and International Relations student and a member of the University of Bath Young Labour group. He writes about student and national politics.

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