A Students’ Union sabbatical officer has told members of a committee to stop referring to the organisation as the DSU – and call it Durham Students’ Union instead – to avoid the “negative connotations” associated with the acronym.
Activities’ Officer Joely Charlton told off members of Societies’ Committee on 23 October 2014 for using the term, according to the minutes, which have been published online.
Point 9, under the heading “Any Other Business”, reads: “Joely Charlton stated that she had observed members of the committee referring to Durham Students’ Union as DSU and informed the committee that the Union had rebranded to move away from DSU and the negative connotations attached to it.”
“It is ridiculous for the DSU to make a fuss about a pretty daft rebranding because of ‘negative connotations’ rather than focussing on the root causes of those negative connotations, which are still very firmly there.”
The Students’ Union changed its name last year, as part of a wholesale rebranding after receiving a satisfaction rate of just 50% in the National Student Satisfaction Survey in August.
Dan Slavin, President of the Students’ Union, commented at the time: “We wanted to highlight the ‘students’ union element in the logo because the previous DSU branding had come to mean very little to most people.
“The re-branding is a way for us to demonstrate that we have changed and to communicate to our stakeholders how we view ourselves – and hopefully how they will see us too.”
But the message has not got through to students. As part of a polling exercise by The Bubble outside the Bill Bryson Library, ten students were shown a picture of the sign outside the entrance to the Union building (pictured top) and asked what they called the organisation.
Ten out of ten of students, selected at random, chose DSU rather than Durham Students’ Union.
A student involved with DSU activities, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “It is ridiculous for the DSU to make a fuss about a pretty daft rebranding because of ‘negative connotations’ rather than focussing on the root causes of those negative connotations, which are still very firmly there.
“They need to spend less time interfering with societies’ independence, making it difficult for them to operate successfully, and worrying about people using a sensible abbreviation to refer to them, and more time actually listening to societies.”
· A BURNING ISSUE
The latest DSU Dialogue Signposts (14 November) advertised discounted trips to Durham Crematorium for students.
The notice read: “Students can now travel on the Arriva 6 service between Durham Bus Station and Durham Crematorium at a reduced rate of £1 for an all-day ticket.”
Thank you to Bubble reader Oliver Graham for telling us about this.