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Issue 468, 4 June 2001

Senate news

Formal dining facilities in the Senior Common Room are to be replaced by a café-bar offering a bistro-style service, following a vote by Senate on staff catering options.

The decision effectively ends the provision of a separate coffee lounge on level nine, although it is planned to move reading room facilities to level ten. Widespread consultation will now be held over new social facilities for all staff, and over the deployment of space released on level ten.

The SCR dining-room is projected to lose around 50,000 in the current financial year, Senate was told, in spite of a relaunch and price review in 1999. Major investment — in the region of 260,000 over the next five years — was also needed to bring the facilities into line with current legislation and customer expectations.

When staff costs and other factors are taken into account, the SCR dining-room is projected to cost the University around 568,000 over the next ten years.

Against that, the development of a café-bar on level nine — currently housing the bar, coffee bar and SCR reading room — would require less extensive capital works, at a cost of some 194,000. On current projections, the new facility would be running at a small surplus by 2006, with a total outlay over the decade of 220,000 — under half that of the dining-room.

Building works will take place over the summer holiday, with the new café-bar opening by the start of the next session. The new facility will serve lighter, cheaper and quicker meals, although substantial meals will also be available.

l New procedures for handling student appeals against taught course assessments — and on cases of cheating and plagiarism — were agreed. For the first time, candidates will receive reasoned judgements. See the Reporter website for more information.

l Further consultation with resource centres is to be carried out over proposals for a new formula for allocating library expenditure between subjects.

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