Statement from The Art School / GSASA 5th November, 2019

GSASA Ltd (also known as The Art School), the commercial arm of the charitable GSA Students’ Association (GSASA SCIO), has been reviewing its financial position to achieve long-term financial viability. The Ltd Company is a trading subsidiary of our Charity, and is intended to be a source of income generation for the Charity.

Over a number of years GSASA SCIO has relied on financial support to continue providing resource to meet its charitable objectives through the trading of GSASA Ltd., a position that is no longer viable.  GSASA SCIO and GSASA Ltd need to resolve this and are proposing to restructure the GSASA Ltd. over the coming months.  It is essential that this opportunity is taken to fix the structural issues of GSASA Ltd. to ensure that all employees of GSASA Ltd. and GSASA SCIO are provided with stable working conditions, appropriate support and guidance.

For these reasons GSASA Ltd. will be reducing trading (provision of a limited food offering, teas and coffees) for a short period until the New Year in order to reflect, regroup and develop a more sustainable business model. This decision has not been taken lightly.  All alternative avenues were considered extensively before this decision was made. GSASA Ltd. will not be able to guarantee any hours to its staff until the process is complete. Affected staff will receive goodwill ex-gratia payment of one weeks pay.

We want to clarify that the Assembly Building will remain open to students throughout this period – this is your space and we are doing everything we can to facilitate student activity in this period. The GSA Students’ Association’s (GSASA SCIO) student engagement and representational activities and resources will remain available to students during this period in the Assembly Building. Student initiated Project Funding, Project Spaces, the SRC, Societies etc. will still remain active. This reduction in operations is related only to the commercial offering (food, drink, venue) of the commercial arm (GSASA Ltd), and we will still be able to offer food and non alcoholic drinks to students.

GSASA Ltd. (The Art School), which is the public ‘persona’ of the Students’ Association (GSASA SCIO), has had a long and historic link to Glasgow as an arts bar, club and music venue. Its status as such a venue has been an enormous benefit to its membership over the years, and indeed the wider public. We recognise that this programme promotes inclusivity, platforming underrepresented groups and contributes to GSA and GSASA’s ability to foster an environment where all forms of creativity are possible. It is an important part of the student community, and we want it to be a strong and sustainable operation that supports the interests and activities of our student body. Action is now required to strike a balance between prioritising student access to the space and student led events, whilst maintaining GSASA’s cultural significance within Scotland.

Structural changes will establish more stable foundations for the organisation going forward, and GSA students will be at the core of developing and delivering the vision of GSASA Ltd. moving forward. We will be working with the SRC and the wider student community to facilitate discussions about The Vic, The Assembly Building and what students want from their trading company. GSASA SCIO has secured interim financial support to ensure financial security of the organisation and its trading subsidiary (GSASA Ltd.) during this period of reduced commercial activity and restructure.

GSA Students’ Association is committed to creating, in consultation with students, a financially viable commercial operation which reflects contemporary desires of the current and future student body. This operation should produce profits that will directly benefit the student experience, creating funds to support creative engagement projects, campaigns and other extra-curricular activities.

We understand that students will have questions about what is happening. As such, GSASA Student President will have a Question and Answer session for students on Thursday the 7th of November in the Assembly Hall. Please remember to bring your matriculation card. And please keep an eye on your student emails for more details!

Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and engagement during this period, we will keep you as up to date and informed as possible.

The Vic Cafe’s current operating hours are between 10am – 5pm, Monday – Friday. Student led activities in the Assembly Hall and the Project Spaces will also continue within and outside these hours Monday – Friday.