Is the laptop ban in The Bridge effective?

Alice Brooks submitted on

Wednesday 9th May 2018


The laptop ban in the bridge is an understandable rule, if it was to make the food outlet easier to access for all, to prevent tables being used by studying students who do not purchase food.

This is not what the rule is about. I was asked to put my laptop away today:

There were multiple free tables avaliable.

I had purchased food and drink.

I was continually harrassed by one member of bar staff.

Others such as "SUSU management" were using laptops - Bar staff stated that the reason that they could was because they were management. According to the bars manager laptops are allowed on "soft furnishings"? Was this a said to stop my protest or a genuine rule that isn't advertised? - This is not stated in any signage around the bar.

It seems that the reasons why this rule was put in place have been lost. The situation I was in makes no sense, if students are made to feel unwelcome for the use of laptops so should SUSU management, this is a STUDENTS union. Why do rules in SUSU only apply to students?

From my situation mentioned above I do not see the laptop ban achieving its intended purpose. I left The Bridge feeling harassed and upset, isn't there something wrong here?  - To add to my annoyance the final harassment from the member of bar staff was given when other students were using their laptops around me and not being asked to leave.


Let's keep this space positive and respectful! Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions, but please remember to keep the conversation friendly and avoid any offensive comments.

Samuel Dedman submitted on

Tuesday 22nd May 2018


Hi Alice, 

I'm back with an update, and I'm pleased to say that it is good news. From today onwards around half of the spaces in The Bridge have been set aside for studying, including with laptops. This rule applies to all staff (both Union and University) as well as students, and should be a welcome addition to the quality study spaces that we have at Southampton. More details can be found on my blog post ( if you want to find out more. 

Thanks again for submitting your You Make Change, and hopefully Flora will be in touch soon if there are further elements you want to discuss. 

All the best,

Samuel Dedman (Deputy President 2017/18 -