I was tweeted this photograph a couple of days ago by Christina Leston-Bandeira a Professor in the Politics Department at the University of Hull. It’s of an article that was written about Hull University Union when I was student President in 2004/5.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a polemic, dressed up as research, that had been published arguing that the partnership model of student engagement was fatally undermined by the fact that students’ unions have commercial activity and provide services to their student members (and for that matter, other members of the university community).
If you look at the caption to one side of my photograph, you can see that I gave the game away over 10 years ago:
Independent thinker: Derfel Owen, the union president says that generating its own income has been the answer
I’m clearly a neo-liberal headbanger after all, hell bent on destroying the very fabric of higher education!
I think the point I was trying to make during the interview is that the successful commercial activities of the students’ union had made us a more engaged and visible contributor university life and to the local community, also that those commercial activities had grown our income streams and helped us to invest in representation, volunteering and social activities for students.