Bevois Valley bars considering action against Student’s Union over Magazine snub

Posted on October 1, 2010 by


The Blowhole has heard that bars, pubs and clubs from Bevois Valley are contemplating taking action against Southampton University Student’s Union (SUSU) over alleged snubs in SUSU’s ‘Fresh’ magazine sent out out to new students.


'cos all students want to do is get pissed, right?


The magazine included a cartoon map of Southampton as a guide for new students, in which various establishments are described in a less than flattering light.  Lennon’s has a note claiming it’s “far too trendy for you”, The Dungeon says “Don’t Ask”, Jesters as a “Fire Trap” and The Hobbit as “nerdy”.  Needless to say, SUSU’s own venues are painted in a more positive light, with The Stag’s Head labelled as “cheap and cosy”, and The Cube full of “lovely students”.  Other areas of Southampton, such as Bedford place and Portswood, aren’t painted in a positive way either compared with SUSU’s own venues, although we are not aware of any action by these premises as of yet.

The bars of Bevois Valley have apparently not taken particularly well to this stereotyping and potential loss of business, and after staff tipped off management some have allegedly got together to take action against SUSU.  Options include asking for a retraction, asking for free advertising in SUSU’s media outlets to make up for lost business, or to take them to court.

Over the summer SUSU also managed to anger another part of Southampton’s community, after they campaigned for a 3am licence in their nightclub in the middle of a residential area and appealed the decision when they were refused after lobbying by the Highfield Resident’s Association.  HRA are now seeking to campaign for the complete removal of the nightclub’s licence as a result in an increasingly bitter legal war.

Other potential oversights in the map include missing off both Avenue and Waterside campuses where many students are based and very little focus on what else is in Southampton except nightlife and places to go drinking.  Indeed, much of the Fresh magazine seems to be devoted to the topic, with some students involved in running societies complaining that SUSU is drifting towards mainly promoting its nightclub rather than focusing on its educational and welfare role with bars as a secondary purpose.

Some student campaigners told The Blowhole that in future they’d like SUSU to take a more collaborative role with the local community over controversial issues, and to focus less on providing their own bars and more on their role to support student’s welfare and help student societies.  Many feel that in a time of great changes and threats to education, especially with the University of Southampton starting to implement cuts, that defending education should be more of a priority than supporting The Cube.