DUSA Joint Update

Statement from Jake Mace – Organiser of the EGM Petition

“After sending our petition to DUSA, Senior Management began communicating with us seeking a collaborative outcome as to the future of club nights.
We believe that this dialogue will be fruitful and encourage all signatories who are current students to engage with the consultation they have laid out in the statement below.
The option to hold an EGM is still available to us should this consultation process prove the wrong route to a renewed sense of community and co-operation. However, we feel strongly that we are on the right track now to make the impact that this petition called for. See DUSA’s statement below.”

Statement from DUSA

“Dear University of Dundee Students, we have heard your concerns around safety and your desire to have a regular DUSA club night. We have had insufficient attendees at our weekly club nights to make them great experiences for our members and financially viable. The staff resource required to run mono at full capacity is significant, up to over 80 staff each night. Even though we have reduced staffing due to low attendance, we have been running our weekly club nights at a loss since freshers’ week.

We receive no income to run the club nights, therefore to run them we need to be able to cover our costs. We don’t need to make a profit because we are a charity. Our staffing levels and customer safety is much higher than other venues and rightly so, we won’t compromise on student safety. Our cash reserves have been depleted because we ensured that staff were not financially impacted during the pandemic. We continued to operate where we could and provided services and support to students.

Please know that we are deeply committed to providing students with a safe alternative. We are open to exploring what that could look like. We want to work with you to build a viable alternative to our existing club nights. We do not wish to take away anything that students value, or compromise student safety.

In addition to becoming an accredited living wage employer during the pandemic, we have recently become a keep safe centre and third part reporting centre for hate crime. Our staff undertook training on Naloxone administration in July 2021, delivered by Hillcrest Futures and training on Consent delivered by WRASAC in August 2021. We have rolled out the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative and our free night bus service shuttles students’ door to door to and from their residence during term time whether they are studying in the library or socialising in our venues.

Over that last couple of weeks, we have been engaging with student staff and with the organisers of the Petition for an EGM. To clarify, the decision of DUSA running club nights is not a decision an EGM can take. A referendum can propose that DUSA seek to provide safe weekly club nights. Whether or not this can be provided would be based on whether it can be delivered and is financially viable. Operational decisions are made by DUSA Management, not DUSA Executive or SRC. Operational decisions are scrutinised by DUSA Board of Trustees to ensure that they are in line with DUSA values and charitable purposes. The organisers of the petition are encouraging students to involve themselves in the consultation to try and avoid the bureaucracy of an EGM.

This engagement has resulted in 5 agreed actions:

  1. We will hold a Teams Live Event to hear from you directly on what you would like to see from DUSA in terms of club nights and more broadly in the future. This will be held on Thursday 11 November from 5.30pm to 7pm. Join live event
  2. We will set up an organising committee supported by our Events Team to pilot financially viable student led club nights at DUSA launching in Semester 2. Reimagining night-time activities at DUSA (typeform.com)
  3. We will continue to engage with the organisers of the EGM Petition and they will pass on your feedback to us.  http://www.change.org/save-dusa-club-nights
  4. We will seek to host a special one-off event in mono on 27 November in partnership with Societies to raise awareness of Gender Based Violence and Zero Tolerance, any profits from ticket sales going to violence against women support services.
  5. We will work with students to develop and pilot a new financially viable events programme for Air Bar and Floor 5.At DUSA, everything we do is designed to improve the lives of University of Dundee students. We will do whatever it takes to put on activities and provide services that students want that are financially viable. Student opinion and participation in our five year strategy is essential to our future success. We want more students to get actively involved to ensure that our services are relevant and that you have a say in the future of your Students’ Association.”