Menu

3rd July 2015

READ: July open days SUSU Blog
LISTEN: Need You Tonight by INXS Surge Radio
READ: Getting Fit This Summer and Staying Fit Wessex Scene
READ: Nostalgic News: Back to the Future was released 30 years ago today The Edge
WATCH: REEL Opinions | Harrison reviews the audience SUSUtv video

Category > External

Innovation in education

» 13 May 2015 » In Education and Academic » No Comments

Innovation in Education – 13th May 2015, AGM (Ref:1415P23)

This Union Notes:

  1. That the University’s Enhancement Theme for 2013 and 2014 was “Assessment and Feedback”
  2. That the University’s Enhancement Theme for 2015 is currently “Technology Enhanced Learning”
  3. The recent QAA review which has increased staff willingness to listen to students about issues and suggestions around their programmes and educational experience.

This Union Believes:

  1. That our members absorb much more debt than they did previously for their education.
  2. That the Academic Student Representatives (hereinafter referred to as ‘ASRs’ for brevity) are ideally placed to encourage change in the design of programmes and modules.
  3. That methods such as those pioneered by ILIaD, the iChamps, the Feedback Champions, and other projects and sources of innovation in the University can improve the quality and value of programmes for our members.
  4. That Education Zone does not currently have a formal direction in terms of how we approach lobbying the University, and this policy is an ideal start.
  5. That a Students’ Union ought to continually strive to ensure our members receive a world class education.

This Union Resolves:

  1. To encourage ASRs to push for innovation where it is appropriate, through their various channels, meetings and other activities.
  2. To create a method of frequent communication at a local level with students on what they feel is missing from their curricula and what can be done to improve it.
  3. To attempt to engage with the aforementioned projects and sources of innovation to lend the student voice to these discussions and determine how we can popularise their ideas amongst academics.
  4. To ensure that Education Zone is itself constantly evaluating new ideas and approaches to ensure we are lobbying for changes that are worthwhile and allow our members to learn most effectively during their time at the University.

This Union Mandates:

  1. That the VP Education lead on this project.
  2. That the first instance of the survey should identify gaps or opportunities for enhancing learning through technology and innovation.
  3. That subsequent annual surveys should further inform our lobbying efforts to ensure students’ needs around innovation and technology in their learning are addressed and implemented in cooperation with the University.
  4. That Education Zone shall act in the spirit of this policy whenever possible and appropriate.
  5. That the VP Education will make an annual report to Education Zone, Union Council and AQSC on Education Zone’s progress in enhancing learning through lobbying and involvement in projects such as those previously mentioned.
  6. That new educational representatives will be trained in how best to negotiate and introduce these types of improvements and innovations to staff at all levels in a cooperative manner.

Continue reading...

Ensuring better provisions for students working in 24-hour study areas

» 13 May 2015 » In Education and Academic, Facilities and Services » No Comments

Ensuring better provisions for students working in 24-hour study areas – 13th May 2015, AGM (Ref:1415P16)

This Union Notes:

  1. That during term-time, the public workstations in the Murray Building are open overnight between Mondays and Fridays
  2. That once the doors to the café area in the Murray Building are locked, students cannot access the water fountain or vending machines that are there
  3. That the Hartley Library is open each day until midnight and open 24/7 during the exam periods
  4. That most students are paying thousands of pounds each year for their University experience

This Union Believes:

  1. That it is important to have adequate provisions in place for students working in 24-hour study areas
  2. That the provisions available to students overnight are significantly less than those that are available during the day

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lobby the University of Southampton to ensure that there are suitable provisions in place for student working in 24-hour study areas including, but not limited to:
    • Sufficient toilet paper
    • Soap
    • Drinking water
    • Well-maintained vending machines, stocking a variety of snacks

This Union Mandates:

  1. The Vice-President Education and Vice-President Welfare to ensure that this policy is being fulfilled
  2. The Vice-President Education to update the Education Zone Committee on any action taken by the University to improve provisions for students working in 24-hour study areas
  3. The Vice-President Welfare to update the Student Life Zone Committee on any action taken by the University to improve provisions for students working in 24-hour study areas

Continue reading...

Submission of dissertations and final year projects should be free

» 13 May 2015 » In Education and Academic » No Comments

Submission of dissertations and final year projects should be free – 13th May 2015, AGM (Ref:1415P10)

This Union Notes:

  1. That most final year students are required to produce a dissertation or final year project which makes up a large portion of their marks towards their degree classification
  2. That often this comes with a cost of printing and binding

This Union Believes:

  1. That submission of dissertations and final year projects should be at no cost to the student

This Union Resolves:

  1. The VP Education along with the Education Zone Committee to lobby the university to ensure that submission of dissertations and final year projects should be at no cost to the student
  2. That the Education Zone Committee should be updated on this in at least once per term during the academic year 2015/16
  3. That the VP Education should include a section on progress of this policy in their Sabbatical report to the last Union council of the 2015/16 academic year

Continue reading...

QAA Student Written Submission

» 31 October 2014 » In Education and Academic, University » No Comments

QAA Student Written Submission – 20th October 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1415P1)

The Union Notes:

  1. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education is a public body that assess the quality and standards of teaching at UK universities.
  2. The QAA inspects universities on a 6-year cycle, and Southampton is currently undergoing a QAA Higher Education Review.
  3. The QAA will be visiting the University in February 2015.
  4. The Vice-President Education has prepared the “Student Written Submission” (the Appendix), which is the student input into the Review process, after carrying out a survey, consultation with Faculty Officers and Academic Presidents and holding several focus groups.

The Union Believes:

  1. That the Student Written Submission should be endorsed by Union Council.

The Union Resolves

  1. To endorse the content of the Student Written Submission.

 

Continue reading...

Improved Leadership and Representation

» 22 July 2014 » In Constitution Changes, Welfare » No Comments

Improved Leadership and Representation – 9th June 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P28)

This policy was referred, by the meeting of Open Council on 14th May, to Union Council for a decision.

 

This Union Notes:

  1. The Leadership and Representation Policy (1213P16) requires Union Council to reserve roles for the male and female gender binaries.
  2. Some women that have run for “female reserved” spaces have felt patronised as they were prevented from running against men.
  3. Special attention was required when a trans-woman intended to run for a female space, and this election caused minor confusion amongst councillors.
  4. Our Valuing Diversity Policy (1011P19) states that “every student and staff member is treated fairly and have equality of opportunity within the union”.
  5. An idea submitted to the 2014 AGM proposing to extend the Leadership and Representation Policy’s practice of “boxing” gender roles received a net vote of -43 (69% of the vote being against) and was subsequently withdrawn.
  6. An idea submitted to the 2014 AGM proposing to overturn the Leadership and Representation Policy’s practice received a net vote of +105 (83% of the vote being for), making it the fourth highest ranked idea.
  7. Historically, abolishing segregation based on race or gender has been viewed as a progressive step towards equality.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. That all members of SUSU, regardless of sex, gender, or gender expression, are equal and should be represented as equal.
  2. Rigidly dividing elections between two genders creates an illusion of there being separate and incompatible standards for the same position and does not constitute “equality of opportunity”.
  3. The male and female gender binary does not fully represent the members of SUSU.
  4. Requiring trans people to prematurely out themselves, or demanding that those that do not identify with a gender binary chose a male/female space, for the purpose of election is wrong.
  5. Elections are meant to emphasise the candidates’ competence and ability to perform their desired roles and not other characteristics.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lapse the Leadership and Representation Policy (1213P16).
  2. To widen the participation of women in SUSU’s democratic processes.
  3. To implement initiatives that encourage women to engage in SUSU’s politics.
  4. To continue to encourage the engagement of women, by requiring:
    1. At least 50% of the open councillor positions listed in Rule 2 (Decision Making) section 4.2(f) shall be held by self-identifying women.
    2. For each of the cohorts listed in Rule 2 (Decision Making) section 4.2(e), at least one position will be held by a self-identifying woman.
  5. The remaining 50% of Union Councillor positions (as specified in sections 4.2(e) and 4.2(f) of Rule 2 (Decision Making)) will be open to any Full Member eligible under Rule 7 (Elections) section 6.1.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. VP Student Communities to research reasons for a lack of participation amount under-represented groups, the barriers which these groups face, and methods to reduce and remove these barriers.

Continue reading...

Sport For All

» 22 July 2014 » In Sport » No Comments

Sport For All – 9th June 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P25)

 

This Union Notes:

  1. That the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) policy on eligibility of students to compete in the BUCS sports programme limits certain students from participating in BUCS competitions. In order to compete in BUCS, a student must:
    1. Be registered on a credit rated course; and
    2. Be undertaking a study programme equivalent to at least 60 credits per year, or in the case of a postgraduate student be undertaking a study programme of no less than 50% of the full time student programme
  2. SUSU currently has policy passed on May 10 2000 Union Resolves (2) “to oppose any policy that attempts to deny a student at the University of Southampton the chance to compete in sporting activities”.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. That sport should be provided on a “sport for all” basis.
  2. That any student who attends the University of Southampton should have the opportunity to participate in sport through the Athletic Union.
  3. That the regulations on eligibility to compete in BUCS competitions are essential to ensure that BUCS sport and the higher education system are not reduced in value by   member institutions being able to offer places on lower credit rated courses simply with the aim of having those individuals compete in sporting competitions.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To replace Athletic Union policy “Sport for all” dated 10 May 2000 with this document.
  2. To give any member of SUSU the opportunity to trial for an AU club and to compete in non-BUCS run events where eligible.
  3. To continue to develop policy and strategy to provide access for sport to all students at the University of Southampton.

Continue reading...

Monthly instalments for Halls Fees

» 13 May 2014 » In Finance, Welfare » No Comments

Monthly instalments for Halls fees – 1 May 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P10)

This Union Notes:

  1. Currently, University of Southampton Halls Fees are split into termly instalments, paid at the start of each term, throughout the year.
  2. The current instalment dates match the dates that Student Finance releases its termly payments to students.
  3. There are students in Halls who do not receive a maintenance loan from Student Finance.
  4. These students often either work part time and receive a monthly wage, or receive monthly bursaries due to their University course, e.g. Health Science students, meaning their income comes in more slowly.
  5. This can lead to students relying on family members or overdrafts to pay Halls Fees in advance.

This Union Believes:

  1. Those students who don’t receive a loan should be able to pay their Halls Fees in a method which better suits their income.
  2. The University should support students who would benefit from a monthly payment schedule.

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lapse Policy 1112P3 – Halls Fees.
  2. To lobby the University Finance Team to create a payment schedule for students who wish to pay monthly.
  3. When this service is available, to ensure that the University continue to offer the service.
  4. To continue to offer advice to students who have financial issues, and to will refer them to the University Finance Team if they have an issue paying Halls Fees.

This Union Mandates:

  1. The VP Student Communities to lobby the University Finance Team on behalf of SUSU to ensure a monthly payment schedule (Resolves 2).
  2. The Student Communities Zone to ensure the monthly payment schedule continues to be offered in future (Resolves(.

 

Continue reading...

Accommodation for ERASMUS and Exchange Students

» 13 May 2014 » In International, Part-time Students, Sites, Student Residences, Welfare » No Comments

Accommodation for ERASMUS and Exchange Students – 1 May 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P11)

This Union Notes:

  1. There are approximately 300 ERASMUS, exchange and visiting students at the University every year.
  2. Each semester a new cohort of students arrive.
  3. Semester 1 has a larger cohort of students than Semester 2.
  4. Most student housing contracts are for 12 months, from 1st July until 30th June.
  5. These contract lengths are unsuitable for students who are only at the University for 3-4 months.
  6. When a student arrives in the UK, they sometimes have to rent a hotel for the first week until they find accommodation.

This Union Believes:

  1. Arriving to study in a new country is a stressful experience, and a lack of suitable student accommodation can exacerbate the stress.
  2. The University of Southampton should guarantee Exchange and ERASMUS students a place in Halls.
  3. There should be Welcome Assistants to welcome these students to Halls in Semester 2.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lapse Policy 0910P6 – Proposal on Halls Accommodation for ERASMUS and Exchange Students.
  2. To lobby the University Halls Management team to create shorter contracts for ERASMUS and Exchange students.
  3. To lobby the University to guarantee students, only in the UK for up to one year of study, a place in Halls.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. The VP Student Communities to lobby the University Halls Management Team to create shorter contracts for particular students (Resolves 2).
  2. The VP Student Communities to lobby the University to guarantee places for visiting students (Resolves 3).

 

Continue reading...

Increasing Access to Bursaries

» 31 March 2014 » In University, Welfare » No Comments

Increasing Access to Bursaries – 27 March 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P9)

This Union Notes:

  1. Research from NUS[1] shows that some students are currently facing a cost-of-living gap of over £7,500 once their costs and possible government funding support are taken into account
  2. The SUSU Advice and Information Centre does fantastic work in helping students to deal with financial difficulties
  3. That the amount in bursaries that the University of Southampton offers students from lower income households has not increased with inflation in over 5 years
  4. That the baseline values for means testing students for bursaries have not increased with inflation in over 5 years
  5. That the baselines values for means testing students for student finance maintenance grants have not increased with inflation in over 5 years
  6. That in 2013, all University of Southampton students eligible for means tested financial support from the University were given a choice between fee-waivers and bursaries
  7. That up to 40% of graduates from UK universities will not pay back their entire tuition fee loan, and therefore not fully benefit from a fee-waiver

 

This Union Believes:

  1. That financial difficulties shouldn’t hold back students from getting an education
  2. That bursaries are always better than fee-waivers at helping students avoid financial difficulties at university
  3. That a lack of inflationary changes in the ways maintenance grants, at a national level, and bursaries, at a local level, is taking vital financial support away from the students who need it most

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lobby the University to ensure that access funding is prioritised towards bursaries, instead of fee-waivers
  2. To lobby the University to better educate students about bursaries that are open to them and the benefits of bursaries over fee-waivers
  3. To lobby the University to make inflationary adjustments to the ways it calculates its bursary provision to students
  4. To lobby nationally so that inflationary adjustments are made to the ways student finance England calculates maintenance grants

Continue reading...

SUSU Job Shop

» 31 March 2014 » In Welfare » No Comments

SUSU Job Shop – 27 March 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P8)

This Union Notes:

  1. Research from NUS[1] shows that some students are currently facing a cost-of-living gap of over £7,500 once their costs and possible government funding support are taken into account
  2. Research from WL Perna[2] showing that students who work up to 20 hours a week show increased cognitive development, critical thinking skills and reading comprehension
  3. The SUSU Advice Centre does  fantastic work in helping students to deal with financial difficulties
  4. Students with a cost-of-living gap of £7,500 would need to earn above the minimum wage (£6.50 in 2014) to close this gap
  5. In 2013, SUSU was able to recruit just fewer than 100 new student staff members, whilst almost 3 times this number applied for jobs
  6. The University of Southampton currently advertises job vacancies, however a small proportion of these are for current students seeking part-time jobs (under 35 jobs on 10th February 2014)

 

This Union Believes:

  1. That financial difficulties shouldn’t hold back students from getting an education
  2. That the University is better placed to focus on improving the employability prospects of graduating students by separating this from improving the financial welfare of our students through part-time jobs
  3. That SUSU should advertise job vacancies to students
  4. That SUSU should prioritise advertising jobs from companies who have ethical employment practices, as based on criteria set by the SUSU BEES project

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To create a SUSU Job Shop to help increase part-time employment opportunities for students

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. The VP Welfare and Union President to create a business plan for a SUSU-run Job Shop

[2] ‘Improving educational opportunities for College Students Who Work’ – http://www.indiana.edu/~ipa

Continue reading...