Following his Sabb election campaign, Charlie Evans examines his visit to St Luke’s campus, urging the University to reinvigorate this neglected campus.
£9,000. Urgh. That sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it? But we’re getting a top quality university experience aren’t we so it’s not too bad, right?
Not in St Luke’s.
It was a beautiful sunny day on the first day of Sabb campaigns week and I headed over to St Luke’s in the guise of Willy Wonka, in a desperate attempt to win a few votes. Monday afternoon, arrived on the hour, should be jam-packed, people piling out of lectures. Not so. It was dead. I embarked on an adventure to examine the situation more closely.
I went through to Cross-Keys, the so-called social space of the complex. It was completely deserted. A token Guild employee was sitting in his glass box. ‘Steve, where is everyone?’ ‘Try the lecture theatre, Charlie. You’ll catch a big crowd there’. Nothing. You could hear a pin drop.
But then I had a vision. ‘Cloisters Café, everyone likes food’, this voice told me. ‘Ha hah, that’s where everyone is!’ I thought. I headed there in enormous anticipation, expecting La Touche-esque vibes. There was a group of five men. I tried to work out what was going on so they allowed me to sit with them while they munched on their tuna mayo baguettes.
‘St Luke’s has been forgotten about,’ a first-year Medical student quipped. ‘We are living worlds apart from you guys in Streatham. St Luke’s doesn’t feel like a university. It feels like a rural agricultural college’. I continued on my tour. The situation did not improve.
St Luke’s is a truly beautiful campus, full of tranquility and peace. But that’s not something that these students are paying money for. Exeter is a top 10 Russell Group university and has global ambitions. This drive for success is fundamental to our education – the greater our university can be, the more valuable our degrees will be. However, this ambition cannot be at the detriment of the students at St Luke’s.
The Guild and the University have a duty to diminish the massive disparities between St Luke’s and Streatham.
The Students’ Guild – get your arses over St Luke’s full-time and sort out Cross Keys. The ‘most social’ space at St Luke’s felt like a morgue. Open up a bar, do something. The Medical School is set to expand so much over the next few years and we all need a drink or three. There will be the demand for it (although leave that goddamn awful RAM cider at Streatham).
Sir Steve Smith – get your arse over to St Luke’s and listen to these students. The academic and social experience that Lukies are getting does not warrant £3,000, let alone £9,000. Invest in its study space and invest in its infrastructure.
St Luke’s need a face-lift. It has been forgotten about by the Guild, by the university and by Streatham students. It is time for St Luke’s students to fight for their university experience and it is up to Streatham students to fight for them. We are one university – let’s strive for that equality.
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