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20th September 2018

Life’s freshers’ fair complaint dropped by Office for Students

The pro-life charity’s complaint to Office for Students over freshers’ fair refusals has been dropped
Life’s freshers’ fair complaint dropped by Office for Students
Fresher’s Fair in action. Photo: Jonny Whiting

The Office for Students (OfS) have told pro-life charity Life that they have “no regulatory remit” to intervene in Life’s complaint over its rejection from several university freshers’ fairs.

The complaint was made by Life after the University of Manchester, University of Warwick and University of Liverpool’s Students’ Unions all refused Life’s application for a stall at their freshers’ fairs.

Life wrote to the Office for Students asking for these decisions to be overturned on the basis that their freedom of expression was being impeded.

However, the complaint has been dropped by the OfS after they told Life “Our regulatory responsibilities extend to universities and not students’ unions.”

In a letter from their Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge, the OfS responded: “It is OfS’s view that organisations such as Life should be able to publicise its work and services to students.”

“From the information in your letter, it would appear that your complaint relates to three students’ unions who rejected your application.

“As students’ unions are generally regulated by the Charity Commission, we have no regulatory remit to intervene in the circumstances you describe at this stage.”

The University of Manchester Students’ Union defended their decision, stating: “We are happy for charities such as this one to represent themselves on platforms such as the several debating forums we hold, but it is not appropriate for the freshers fair where there will be hundreds of new students, many of whom will already be nervous about leaving home and starting a new University career.”

Nicole Wootton-Cane

Nicole Wootton-Cane

Deputy Editor of The Mancunion

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