If you’ve been on Facebook in the last 24 hours, you may be wondering who the nutters are behind the ‘students PMB 2.0’ page – well that’s us!
Let’s be honest, we all felt the same anger and frustration reading that Pimp My Barrow (PMB) was cancelled, one of the most celebrated days of the UEA calendar. Sat around eating our breakfast, we agreed someone needed to make some kind of protest and after some intense ranting we ended up creating a platform for that!
This is our last year of uni, PMB has always been such a big day, and the fact it is cancelled and other freshers won’t get to enjoy it is heart-breaking.
PMB has always been the one day of the year that all the students come together for a good cause and have a blast. It is the one day that highlights the unity and camaraderie of the students. In short, PMB is the spirit of UEA.
The claim that the cancellation is to ensure our safety is not a valid reason to let the students down in this way. If UEA is going to take on more students each year, we feel that it needs to plan to accommodate those numbers, rather than cancelling big events like this at the last minute. It is the university’s choice to take on more people, to prioritise financial gain over student experience.
This issue is not simply with the cancellation of PMB. If the university is unable to accommodate PMB, should we expect other events to be cancelled in the future?
This issue extends to other areas of the university; the struggle to find campus accommodation, the LCR frequently selling out, and the stretched mental health services – services which are sorely needed. While it’s great that university education is becoming available to more people, we feel that money received from this needs to be more carefully prioritised, towards the students and into things that matter.
Students understand that sometimes events need to be cancelled for their own safety, but the frustration lies in the lack of a student voice in the decision, and disregard for the disruption it would cause people who have already begun preparing for the day. Hearing through rumours until two weeks before isn’t good enough.
Alternatively, rather than full-on cancelling, they could have included students to try and brainstorm new ways of changing the event while still raising money. It’s a shame the Big C will miss out on the several thousands of pounds worth of fundraising they get from the event – something the SU failed to mention in their Facebook post.
Above all else, ‘Students PMB 2.0’ is meant to be a platform for airing the frustration that we feel as a collective, and perhaps a way for us to brainstorm ideas.