A University of Chester union vice president has highlighted the positives students bring to the city.
Students’ Union vice president for education Jamie Brown has penned a blog called ‘in defence of Chester students’.
He hit out at an ‘growing anti-student rhetoric rearing its ugly head’.
The SU representative said the ‘vast majority of students live in perfect harmony’, but some key complaints against their community needed to be addressed.
Mr Brown wrote: “It’s time that once and for all the record was set straight – Chester students really aren’t that bad.
“We aren’t here to ruin the city and we certainly aren’t attempting a hostile takeover.”
The SU VP said students were central to Chester’s economy; working in bars, pubs and shops and spending their money throughout the year.
He cited the 30,000 hours of volunteering and £25,000 raised by them for local and national charities in the last year.
Mr Brown said it was unfair to blame students for the rise in accommodation for them in the city centre and that ‘rogue landlords’ were a ‘common enemy’.
Latest plans could see Chester Fire Station knocked down to make way for halls of residence.
He added: “Because you see, they aren’t just your communities. Your shops. They’re ours too, and Chester is our city.
“Many of us will stay here beyond our education, because it’s such an amazing city and we love it here every bit as much as you do.
“We want to see it thrive, celebrate its history and encourage people from all over the world to come and see why we love it so much.”
The university defended the rights of both students and Chester residents to share their views.
UoC vice chancellor Professor Tim Wheeler said: “A blog, by its very nature, is a personal opinion, which will understandably not be held by everyone, or be reflective of everyone’s experience.
“The university has been at the heart of the community in Chester since 1839.
“It takes that position, and the responsibilities associated with it very seriously and works extremely hard to integrate its activities.”
The latest Economic Impact Assessment demonstrates that the institution’s contribution amounted to £386 million a year in 2014-15.
Prof Wheeler added there are ‘robust disciplinary procedures in place’ for the ‘very small minority’ of students who undermine the positive work of others.
The Chronicle has attempted to contact the UoC Students’ Union through multiple channels without reply.
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