Over the summer, the LSESU broke up a 10-year staff-sharing arrangement with Arts SU, which has meant a complete overhaul of the Union’s staff structure. The LSE SU has promoted this move as a “new start as an independent organization”. With a larger pool of staff, working full time, it is expected that the administrative management of the Union’s activities will become more efficient.
A Beaver investigation published last year found that more than half of societies asked found it difficult to work with the Union. The main issues found by the investigation were complaints about asphyxiating bureaucratic processes, failures in the room booking system, and communications.
Students and society heads have mainly welcomed the move. The reshuffle will mean that more time will be dedicated to managing societies and au clubs, including the fact that the management of societies and sports clubs will now be carried out by different staff teams.
The challenge for the SU will be to oversee a smooth transition into this new system. This will include re-training, re-structuring, and hiring new personnel.
With student satisfaction being a main preoccupation for the university, it will be interesting to see whether a streamlined Union with more time and resources to take care of students will improve the experience at LSE. If this re-shuffle improves the experience, and this leads to a jump in student satisfaction, it could prove a regular feeling among many students: that the union’s shortcomings in managing student activities have impacted the student satisfaction scores at the university.
After facing the stresses involved in the re-shuffle, members of staff who remain in the Union and elected officials have welcomed the changes. Whilst Secretary General Zulum Elumogo ran his re-election campaign on having achieved this milestone, the process has been an ongoing one before his tenure, it remains to be seen what role exactly the elected officials can play in this mainly managerial process.