LUU should lobby The Edge to change its entrance policy

Passed: May 2019 (14th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

Currently the policy at The Edge for entering the gym is that after a certain date the barriers are shut and those wishing to enter must have either Edge membership or society membership to enter the gym. This has meant for some societies that new student members have to pay £5.50 to enter the gym after the cut-off date and then potentially pay again to take part in the society. This can mean that new members decide not to join the society as they don't want to pay extra to try it out and they don't want to pay membership to the society yet as they haven't decided if they actually want to join yet.

This is punishing students for not immediately joining a society. Joining a society mid-semester is scary enough as it is, never mind with this added complication and especially for freshers considering the start of the year is very busy and they may not have settled in enough to even consider joining societies. Furthermore, this policy also discourages collaboration between societies. If a society wanted to run a collaborative event during a training time, they either have to get attendees to pay £5.50 on top of the event costs (which no student will do) or they have to pay to book the hall - even if they normally use the hall at this time for free. This means that societies will not want to run interesting collaborative events as it will cost so much more than it should. If we want to do an event in class time with another martial arts society to provide a more interesting class for our members then we suddenly have to pay for the hall to let members of the other martial art in or change the venue. This makes the event not worth running and our members miss out on the possibilities of great events. I understand charging for the hall outside of usual training times.

I propose at least a first session free pass to try out a society and the removal of hall hire fees for events that are open to all during normal class times.

Expires: May 2022 (14th)

Submitted By: Jessica Fielder

Officer: Activities

Area of Work: University Services

Updates

August 2020: Lucy, your Activities Officer, will be picking this work up. We are currently restructuring the Activities Team so once that staff support is in place we should be able to offer some update.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

November 2019: The Edge have made wider changes to their entrance policies, and now are refusing to let people in who have membership but have forgotten their card (even though the Edge are able to check on the system and check against ID). They're working on the University principle that you need to have your student card with you at all times to get into lectures etc so that should apply to The Edge as well. And claiming it's to do with congestion, but is actually causing more as people try to argue and get in. Activities Officer is now the lead on this, and has lots of quite negative feedback from reps (predominantly Martial Arts, Outdoor and Sports groups) to take forward. Edge though are happy to let people in if they pay on the spot, so it's being perceived as a money-making opportunity.

July 2019: Sports Clubs Manager has had several conversations.meetings with the idea holder and The Edge, progress being made but this is ongoing work.

Positives:

  • The Edge leave the decision about the number of GIAG sessions with LUU, meaning that a ‘limit’ of sessions can be decided by us as an Activities team. In theory, clubs could run for example, 3 GIAG’s per term which non-members can access free of charge, within the clubs’ training slots. The only consideration for the club would be their own income, as any member that attends but doesn’t purchase a membership means a loss of income. At the clubs’ discretion, this could mitigate the barrier the £5.50 has

  • The process for reception staff and The Edge knowing what GIAG’s are running is fairly simple, they all just need to be booked through Activities who will look after the rest.

Challenges:

  • The system we suggested in creating a list/spreadsheet for the reception staff for prospective members was met with some pushback, as the workload on the staff would be increased and hard to police the number of people entering.

  • The clubs that run GIAG’s have had challenges in capping the number of people turning up.

  • Any event that has external people/companies attending is constituted as a non-club event and therefore has a charge attached (even if it’s within your training time) This is because the space is provided to solely benefit your club and the students in it, rather than external partners or non-members of the club

  • All charity events have a 25% discount if run in collaboration with a club. Charity events externally have a 10% discount (so clubs are getting a decent deal). This is a blanket approach across all university facilities, and although charity events are for a good cause, it is common practice that the events have a venue charge and will therefore need to be taken into account when organising a charity event. We can support clubs in running events and making sure the finances are appropriate. The Edge are open to discussions on negotiating the financial cost beyond the 25% if the club requests it.

  • Grading events are classed as external events as they are open to spectators, non-members of the club etc.

  • The clubs won’t be charged for Coaches/instructors coming in as one-off’s, but they still need to submit the relevant documents to us.


May 2019: New Policy