The work that Undergraduate Officer Theo Antoniou-Phillips has done this year to ensure that the students of UEA are provided with adequate study spaces has been a testament to what can be achieved with an effective SU representative.
In November of last year, Antoniou-Phillips pushed for an academic poll which found that 40.94 percent of 6170 students voted library expansion as their primary issue of interest, leading to the upcoming expansion of 200 new study spaces over the summer and the current pop-up space in the Arts building.
However, these are only partial solutions considering that the coming academic year is expected to bring 1000 more students than last year’s intake. This is a questionable move, bearing in mind that the university has already conceded that it recruited more students than expected this past year.
Think of the strain the campus food, drink, leisure and, indeed, learning facilities, such as the library are under during their peak times. Increasing the intake of students year upon year without investing in the essential resources needed to maintain standards will prove to be detrimental to the student experience UEA prides itself on.
There is only so much SU lobbying can do. UEA is certainly heading in the right direction in expanding our study spaces but a lot more needs to be done directly in proportion with the rising student population.