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21st November 2014

Archive > May 2011

Nestlé Boycott

» 17 May 2011 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Nestlé Boycott – 17 May 2011, AGM (Ref: 1011P20)

Union Notes

  1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. Where water is unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child.
  2. Nestle is a company which continues to flout the World Health Assembly marketing code on breast milk substitutes despite this death and suffering.
  3. 73 other student unions are part of the boycott.
  4. The boycott is active in many in many different organisations and unions across 20 countries and is working on many levels: Nestle continues to find it difficult to recruit British graduates into their company.
  5. That Nestle acts in a highly unethical manner in many other areas, including the price of labour for their chocolate and coffee production and in the harvesting of palm oil.

Union Believes

  1. That we should join the boycott of Nestle by not stocking their products in any union outlets.
  2. We do have consumer choice and you could choose to buy your Kit Kat elsewhere, but the positive thing about the boycott is that it sends a clear signal to Nestle © that as students we care about what they are doing. It is a statement that couldn’t be reproduced just by informing individual student’s shopping habits.
  3. That Nestle has behaved in an unethical manner with regards to formula milk and other issues, and that they should change their practices.

Union Resolves

  1. To make information available at union outlets advertising this and stating why it has been done.

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Democratic Participation and Student Political Engagement

» 17 May 2011 » In Democracy, SUSU Governance » No Comments

Democratic Participation and Student Political Engagement – 17 May 2011, AGM (Ref: 1011P22)

Union Notes

  1. The Union should do more to promote student involvement in politics and democratic participation both within the University elections and wider active citizenship
  2. Recent involvement in local and national votes may have been adversely affected by a lack of publicity and information from the union about students’ ability to vote/participate
  3. The Union failed to notify students about polling cards in Halls of Residence Receptions for collection in the recent Local Elections and National Referendum
  4. The Union failed to advertise recent elections and votes, such as the location of polling stations and the happening of polling

Union Believes

  1. As a democratic organisation SUSU has a duty to promote wider involvement in politics outside of the union by promoting awareness and informing students about Local, National and European Elections and/or votes
  2. The union should do more to tackle poor participation within the student population by encouraging and facilitating student voter turnout
  3. The union should promote greater interaction between the student body, the university and the Union with the wider community and especially those standing for election to represent student constituencies and wards
  4. Every student has the right to vote and the Union should see it as their responsibility to make every vote an informed vote – the Union, as a democratic organisation and an active promoter of internal student democracy, has a duty to promote active and positive citizenship among the student population through the promotion of civic duties in the wider community

Union Resolves

  1. A member of the sabbatical team should be charged with responsibility with the promotion of votes and elections at all levels
  2. The union should promote non-partisan political activity through the encouragement of involvement in the democratic process by:
    1. notifying all students of any and all elections or votes within University constituencies
    2. publicise information about local polling stations
    3. inform all first year students of automatic voter registration and eligibility to vote in elections and advise older students of the registration processes
    4. inform all first year students about polling cards in student halls or individually deliver polling cards to every student
    5. Enquire about the establishment of polling stations on university premises at times of election

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Valuing Diversity Policy

» 17 May 2011 » In Equality and Diversity, SUSU Governance » No Comments

Valuing Diversity Policy – 17 May 2011, AGM (Ref: 1011P19)

Union Notes

  1. The surplus of equal opportunities policies are in fact detrimental to the course which they wish to tackle.
  2. By not having one definitive policy our diversity aims become muddled.
  3. The current policies are in need of revamping to enthuse students and staff to appreciate the significance of diversity through an invigorated, accessible policy.

Union Believes

  1. An equality and diversity policy should reflect the diverse community that is Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU).
  2. Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes and should represent all those that interact with the Union.
  3. We should be making every effort to implement the values stated in our policy.

Union Resolves

  1. To delete and replace the current Equal Opportunities Policies in section E1 with the policy attached overleaf.
  2. To mandate the new Equality & Diversity Forum to review the deleted policies and ensure that appropriate and coherent policies are replaced
  3. To action the relevant parties to ensure that our plan is put into practice.
  4. To ensure the involvement of students in activating this policy therefore replacing negative stigmas with enjoyment and accessibility.

 

Valuing Diversity Policy

Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU) is a unique and diverse community of individuals which we believe should be celebrated.  SUSU strives to be open and welcoming, where everyone can participate fully in the activities and services we offer.  This policy is to ensure that SUSU is fully accessible to all those for whom it exists: its members, its staff and everyone who interacts with the organisation.

SUSU will:

  • ensure that every student and staff member is treated fairly and have equality of opportunity within the union.
  • not tolerate any discrimination against students or staff on any grounds.
  • work alongside cohorts of individuals who may be subject to discrimination, prejudice and intimidation to provide a safe, welcoming and enjoyable environment.
  • actively encourage participation from groups that are not usually involved in SUSU activities.

We will ensure that we use appropriate interventions to allow us to achieve this and will take appropriate disciplinary action if needed.  These interventions may include: training, information, awareness raising campaigns, guidance, positive action and support.

Our collective responsibility:

Valuing diversity is the responsibility of all members, staff and visitors.  It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure there is no discrimination and that all are treated with respect and dignity.

We will all take a personal responsibility to:

  • respect each other and our individual differences and to treat each other fairly and not discriminate.
  • not encourage or support others to behave in a discriminatory manner.
  • not bully or harass others on any grounds.
  • report any incident where we feel discrimination is occurring.
  • not victimise anyone who has made complaints regarding discrimination or provided information on discrimination.

Implementing our plan:

In order to ensure that this policy is a living document and is acted upon, SUSU will:

  • develop and implement an action plan to develop our culture, processes and approach so that we truly Value Diversity within SUSU.  This plan will aim to ensure that everyone can enjoy union and university life and remove barriers to participation.
  • form an Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF), with broad representation to allow the diversity of views to be heard.  The EDF will be an action group that will be proactive in finding ways to deliver the diversity plan.

 

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Academic Representation Reform

» 09 May 2011 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy » No Comments

Academic Representation Reform – 9 May 2011, Union Council (Ref: 1011P8)

Union Notes

  1. The success of the 2007 Representation Development Plan
  2. Union Policy D6.1 Representation Faculty Officers
  3. Union Policy D6.3 School Presidents
  4. The on-going evolution of the roles of Faculty Representative, School President & School Vice-President
  5. The University’s imminent re-structure from 3 Faculties to 8
  6. The University’s desire to increase Postgraduate recruitment
  7. Previous ‘difficulties’ in representing both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students
  8. The establishment of SUSU’s Democracy & Representation Department to support all Academic Representatives

Union Believes

  1. That the Academic Representation System will only be effective if it fits the University’s structure
  2. Postgraduates are alarmingly under-represented
  3. That the SUSU’s Democracy & Representation department has improved support for all Academic Representatives

Union Resolves

1. That the job description for Faculty Representatives (Policy D6.1) should be amended to:

“A Faculty Representative is the Senior Course Rep in their Faculty, responsible for the coordination of Academic Unit Presidents, Academic Unit Vice-Presidents and course Representatives. They work with the aforementioned representatives to represent student views to SUSU and the University. Faculty Representatives will be the SUS officer responsible for representing these views on their relevant Faculty Education Committee, proposing papers and taking a lead on Faculty wide issues in their Faculty.”

2. That School Presidents will be known as Academic Unit Presidents (Policy D6.3) with the job description:

“An Academic Unit President is the Senior Course Rep in their Academic Unit, coordinating and supporting their Course Representatives. They work with their Course Representatives to represent views to their Academic Unit and to SUSU. Academic Unit Presidents sit on their respective Academic Unit Board, Academic Unit Education Committee and their SSLC (Student Staff Liaison Committee). The Academic Unit of Social Sciences will have a number of Academic Unit Vice-Presidents reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of the Academic Unit.”

3. That School Vice-Presidents will be known as Academic Unit Vice-Presidents with the job description:

“An Academic Unit Vice-President is the Senior Course Rep in their Discipline, coordinating and supporting their Course Representatives. Academic Unit Vice-Presidents will be elected in the Academic Unit of Social Sciences only, reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of study. They work with their Course Representatives in partnership with their Academic Unit President to represent views to their Discipline and to SUSU.”

4.That the Vice-President roles in Humanities and Health Sciences will become Academic Unit Presidents, reflecting the University’s change of structure

5.That all Faculty Representatives, Academic Unit Presidents & Academic Unit Vice-Presidents represent Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students

6.That all Academic Unit Presidents will have the ability to democratically elect Vice-Presidents for Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Post Graduate Research from amongst the course representatives relevant to their portfolio, in which each course representative has an equal vote

7.That the changes listed above are effective from July 2011

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Student Charter

» 09 May 2011 » In External, Lapsed Policy, University » No Comments

Student Charter – 9 May 2011, Union Council (Ref: 1011P13)

Union Notes

  1. The work of the 2005 sabbatical team in partnership with the University on the Student Entitlement[1] & Guidance[2] Documents
  2. The introduction of Student Entitlement[3] & Guidance[4] Documents for Postgraduate Research Students in 2006
  3. The comprehensive nature of each document, leading to a large combined length
  4. The national project on student charters, commissioned by the Government department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
  5. The recommendation of the BIS report that specifies that “Charters are a joint venture with the Students’ Union and must involve students and student representatives at the outset.”[5]
  6. The recommendation of the BIS report that specifies that charters “should be kept as short as possible – suggest 2 pages maximum.”[6]
  7. The recommendation of the BIS report that specifies that “a charter should be seen as a summary document, which provides signposts”[7]

Union Believes

  1. The Student Entitlement and Guidance documents explicitly detail what is fair to expect of Students and what is fair to expect from the University.
  2. The Student Entitlement and Guidance documents are especially useful in holding the University to account.

Union Resolves

  1. That a Student Charter should not replace the Student Entitlement and Guidance documents.
  2. That a Student Charter should act as a ‘signpost’ to the Student Entitlement and Guidance documents.

That any Student Charter for the University of Southampton should be brought to Union Council for approval, as it is a joint venture between the University and the Students Union.


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