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23rd April 2014

Category > Education and Academic

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 Leader Constituencies and Elections

» 14 March 2011 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy » No Comments

Student Leader Constituencies and Elections – 14 March 2011, Union
Council (Ref: 1011P11)

Union Notes

  1. Union Council’s decision on 31 January to delete the Executive Committee and Officers and create a Standing Order creating
    Student Leaders (Motion 5).

    1. Union Council’s mandate in the same policy for “The President to create a process which ensures all affected Standing Committees and current officers are consulted on the method, timing and constituencies for the elections of Student Leaders.”
    2. The various consultation methods established since the January Council (Sabbatical blogging, Big Box, discussion at Standing Committees, Forum on top of informal methods).
    3. Union Council’s mandate in the same policy: “Constitution Committee to bring back the related constitutional changes to a future meeting of Union Council such that Student Leaders can be elected in the Summer Term of 2011.”
    4. Union Council’s commitment at its meeting on 21 February 2011 to hold Student Leader elections this term.
    5. Some drafting errors were made in the role description for Student Leaders.

Union Believes

  1. Students have had many chances to input their views.
  2. The feedback received has been helpful, though there is no clear and consistent view across all involvement areas.
  3. That the view received from most different areas is that Student Leaders should be held accountable to the whole student body and therefore should be elected by and from the whole student body.

Union Mandates

Constitution Committee to amend the constitution as outlined below:

  1. To tidy up the drafting error around the Community Volunteering Officer and the Student Enterprise Officer.
  2. To rename the ‘Halls of Residence Officer’ as ‘Junior Common Rooms (JCRs) Officer’.
  3. To ensure elections for those Student Leaders representing a particular cohort of students (Post grad, international, Faculty officers and sites) are held early in Term 1 with only those in each constituency able to stand and vote.
  4. To ensure elections are held during semester 2/term 2 for all other Student Leaders by cross campus ballot with all full members eligible to stand and vote.
  5. To still determine the election method and timing for Chair of Council
  6. To amend the Standing Orders as follows:

 

A.  To amend the Student Enterprise and Community Volunteering Officers’ job roles to remove the drafting error: Standing Order 5 delete clauses 11 and 16 and replace with new:

 

11. Community Volunteering Officer

11.1 Support and develop student led community volunteering projects;

11.2 Develop reward systems and social support for the volunteer;

Promote the benefits of community volunteering within the student community.

 

16. Student Enterprise Officer

16.1 Support and develop the enterprise activities of our students;

16.2 Develop reward systems and social support for the entrepreneurs;

16.3 Promote the benefits of Student Enterprise within the student community.

 

B.  To rename the Faculty Representatives, Halls of Residence Officer and the AU Clubs Officer: From Standing Order 5 delete sub-titles 2, 8 and 12 and insert new:

2. One faculty Officer for each University Faculty.

8. Athletic Union (AU) Officer

12. Junior Common Rooms (JCRs) Officer

 

C.  To expand the job role of the Union Films Cinema manager to more closely match other
Student Leader roles: From SO5 Delete 17.1 and insert new:

 

17.1 To coordinate the operation and output of the cinema,

17.2 To coordinate all volunteers and sub-committee members.

 

D. To amend the electoral qualifications of the new officers: Delete SO 5 clause 5 and replace with:

5.  Electoral Qualifications

5.1 Only and all full members of the Union may stand and vote in Union elections; this is subject only to:

(a) Members cannot hold more than one position within the Union at the same time, except that Voluntary Officers may also be Trustees without Portfolio.

(b) Students shall be eligible to hold only two Sabbatical terms of office within the Union after initially registering as a student at the University of Southampton. Sabbatical Officers shall be otherwise awarded equivalent rights of election as those given to non-Sabbatical full members of the Union.

(c) Only students from a site may stand or vote in elections for the posts specific to that site or sites, with the exception of Vice President Winchester & Sites which shall be open to all full members.

(d) Only students from a faculty may stand or vote in elections for the posts specific to that faculty.

(e) Only postgraduate students may stand or vote in election to the position of Postgraduate Students’
Officer.

(f) Only international students may stand or vote in election to the position of International Students’ Officer.

(g) Only members of Council shall vote in an election held at Council meeting.

(h) Only members of Council shall be eligible for election to the Council member positions on other Union Committees.

E. To amend the timing of the elections of the new officers: Delete Standing Order 6Clause 6 and replace with:

6. Timetable for Elections

6.1 The following positions shall be elected by and from the relevant constituency in the Autumn term (such that they can attend the first Council meeting) except by a decision of Council:

(a) Faculty Officers

(b) International Students’ Officer

(c) Postgraduate Students’ Officer

(d) Southampton General Hospital (site) Officer

(e) Winchester (site) Officer

(f) National Oceanography Centre (Site) Officer

(g) Outreach (Sites) Officer

(h) Any vacancies for other Student Leader and Union Council positions

 

6.2 The following positions shall be elected by cross campus ballot no later than the penultimate week of the spring term, except by a decision of Council:

(a) Sabbatical Officers

(b) Remaining Student Leader positions

(c) Ordinary Members of Union Council

 

6.3 The following shall be elected by Council at meetings held in the autumn term but later than the penultimate week of the term:

(a) Council Members on other Union Committees

(b) Union Representatives on University Committees

 

6.4 Should a position become vacant, a by-election shall be held to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.

6.5 The Results of elections for Voluntary Officers will be reported to the next meeting of the relevant Standing Committee.

F.To amend the electoral body for the Council Chair: Delete Standing Order 1 clause 3.2 (a) and replace with:

3.2 (a) Chair of Council (to be elected by and from the full members of the Union at the AGM.

 

G.To define the term of office of Student Leaders: Delete Standing Order 5 clause 1.1 (a) and replace with:

1.1 (a) Student Leaders shall normally hold office from the 1st July for 1 year, except those elected in the Autumn term who will take up office immediately elected for 1 year.

H. To amend the term of office of Ordinary Council Members: Delete Standing Order 1 clause 3.2 (d) and replace with:

3.2 (d) 10 Ordinary Council Members (who will normally hold office from 1st July for 1  year, except those elected in the Autumn term who will take up office immediately elected for 1 year).

I. To create Voluntary Officers for every: Delete “Administrative Officer” throughout and replace with “Voluntary Officer”.

Constitution committee to revisit the entirety of the Standing Orders to ensure all inter-relations are resolved and report back to the Union Council any decisive changes.

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Part-Time Students

» 14 June 2010 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy » No Comments

Part-Time Students- 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0910P30)

Union Notes

  1. There are currently 3,400 part time students
  2. Some part time students will work around their studies
  3. Some part time students will be distance learning students
  4. The part-time students officer currently only sits on Education Committee
  5. There are currently no specific events for part time students
  6. There is no induction to SUSU in Freshers’ week
  7. There is an induction/welcome to SUSU in Freshers’ week for Mature students and Postgraduate students
  8. The part time officer currently has no budget

Union Believes

  1. That part time students face issues that are not just concerned with their education
  2. That the part time students’ officer should represent part time students on more issues than just educational ones
  3. That if the student works, or is a distance learner, they may not be able to come to committees and attend meetings as easily
  4. That regardless of attendance at meetings part time students should be represented
  5. That due to inability to attend all meetings, part time students may have been overlooked in the Students’ Union
  6. That as a Students’ Union we should be accessible and inclusive and make sure that students are able to participate in meetings, even if they are unable to attend
  7. That we currently have little contact or interaction with part time students
  8. That an event in Freshers’ week would help introduce students to SUSU and bring them together
  9. That having a budget would allow the part time students officer to interact more with part time students

Union Resolves

  1. For the part-time students officer to be invited to sit on welfare committee
  2. To mandate the President, part-time students officer and appropriate staff to run an event in Fresher’s week for part time students and run further events throughout the year
  3. To mandate Vice President Media and Communications to look into video conferencing and other facilities to allow students unable to attend meetings to still participate
  4. To give the part time students officer a budget

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Course Closures and Cuts

» 17 May 2010 » In Education and Academic, External » No Comments

Course Closures and Cuts – 17 May 2010, AGM (Ref: 0910P39)

Union Notes

  1. The Vice-Chancellor’s new strategy, unveiled at the meeting of University Council on March 25th 2010 contains commitments to “Increasing income from research grants and contracts at a rate which exceeds that of our Russell Group comparators” and “Further develop our existing world-class research and disinvest in underperforming areas to improve our research competitiveness”
  2. The financial strategy, unveiled at the same meeting, committed the University to “focussing academic energies on well-funded activity”. The annual financial review predicts a release of resources from disciplines that will be withdrawn from entirely, stating that this money will then be invested in other areas
  3. Sports studies degrees will be phased out by the University over the next three years, despite acknowledgement from the Vice Chancellor that there were no problems with the way the subjects were taught
  4. That the review document which underpinned the decision to disinvest in Sports degrees was not made available to staff, students or union officials during the consultation process

Union Believes

  1. That even in a time of such financial uncertainty, a strategy which focuses only on the financial value and research quality of degrees is not in the best interest of students
  2. That the University should assess courses in a more balanced way, taking into account the quality of teaching, the demand and the social impact, as well as the quality of both funded and unfunded research
  3. That jobs throughout the University should be protected at all costs, and staff should only be made redundant or offered voluntary severance as a very last resort
  4. That in the future the University should seek to be as open as possible when offering a consultation about course closures, and essential documents should be made publicly available

Union Resolves

  1. To officially and actively support any reasonable movement of students, staff or unions to resist cuts and closures on their courses or to the University as a whole
  2. To independently monitor the actions and decisions of the University with regard to cuts or course closures
  3. To provide consistent and clear information to the student body, in accordance with the duty under Union Resolves 2. above
  4. To ensure the Student’s Union President votes against and speaks out against those cuts and closures which based on a sole desire to maximise research profit at University Council meetings

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Course Cuts

» 26 April 2010 » In Education and Academic, External » No Comments

Course Cuts – 26 April 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0910P18)

Union Notes

  1. The recent decision of Council to phase out courses including BSc (Hons) Sport Studies; BA (Hons) Managing and Developing Sport; Working with Children FdA (Foundation Degree) and Youth Work FdA (Foundation Degree)
  2. The recent decision to stop Social Work Studies
  3. The recent demonstration by students outside Building 37 due to the proposed course cuts
  4. The inability of those in official SUSU capacity to support the demonstrations without a mandate
  5. The inability to publicise the demonstrations without a mandate
  6. The problem of gaining support when not term time

Union Believes

  1. That course cuts are causing concern to many students
  2. That students wish us as a Union to take visible action
  3. That as a Union we should be able to support our members with issues of concern to them
  4. That we should support reasonable action taken against course cuts

Union Resolves

  1. To support students in any reasonable action they take against course cuts.
  2. To allow ‘reasonable action’ in point 1) be determined by the sabbatical officers

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School Presidents

» 08 February 2010 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy » No Comments

School Presidents- 8 February 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0910P10)

Union Notes

  1. The Success of the recent introduction of the 2007 RDP (Representation Development Plan)
  2. The on-going evolution of the role of School President
  3. The difficulty in representing both Undergraduate and Postgraduate issues

Union Believes

  1. School Presidents form an invaluable link between Course Reps and SUSU
  2. The role of School President has changed considerably since its inception

Union Resolves

  1. That a School President is defined as:

“the Senior Undergraduate Course Rep in their School, coordinating and supporting their Course Reps. They work with their Course Reps to represent views to their School and to SUSU. School Presidents sit on School Board, School Education Committee and their SSLC. The School of Health Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences will each have a number of Vice-School Presidents reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of their School. 

School Presidents will no longer act as Faculty Reps from April 23rd 2010; with 3 Faculty Officers (1 for FESM, MHLS & LASS) taking their place”

  1. That a system be put in place for Postgraduate Representation to ensure equal    representation.

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Course Representatives

» 08 February 2010 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy » No Comments

Course Representatives – 8 February 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0910P5)

Union Notes

  1. Course Rep Elections may soon be the responsibility of SUSU
  2. There is currently no defined role of a Course Rep
  3. Course Reps in some Schools are required to undertake duties outside the expected roles of a Course Rep
  4. Course Reps are currently not ‘officers’ of the Union

Union Believes

  1. Course Reps form the foundation of the Academic Representation system
  2. That the role of a Course Rep should be clearly defined so that the right students volunteer for the position

Union Resolves

  1. That Course Reps will become ‘Officers’ of the Union from July 1st, subject to non-attendance and recall procedures as set out in the constitution
  2. That a Course Rep is defined as:

“an annually elected student who represents their fellow student’s views to their school or department. Course Reps achieve this through sitting on their SSLC, with some Reps also sitting on School Board They are supported and coordinated by their School President, helping run school campaigns, propose changes to School Board/School Education Committee, and gather student views. They are the foundation of the Academic Course Representation System”

3. That Course Reps will not be expected to perform any duties outside their remit

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Representation Faculty Officers

» 08 February 2010 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy » No Comments

Representation Faculty Officers – 8 February 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0910P4)

Union Notes

  1. Faculty Reps are currently selected from the School Presidents (3 from MHLS, 3 from LASS, 3 from FESM)
  2. The difficulty of representing both School and Faculty wide issues
  3. The already time consuming role of School President
  4. The success of the recent introduction of the 2007 RDP (Representation Development Plan)
  5. The on-going evolution of the role of Faculty Rep

Union Believes

  1. Faculty Reps are an important link in the feedback chain
  2. That Faculty issues are distinct from School issues
  3. School Presidents should be allowed to focus on issues in their School

Union Resolves

  1. That 3 Faculty Officers get elected at the same time as the School Presidents (1 for MHLS, 1 for FESM, 1 for LASS)
  2. That a Faculty Officer is defined as:

“the SUSU Representative along with the Vice President Education & Representation and Postgraduate Officer on their respective Faculty Education Committee. They are to gather student views from the School Presidents in their Faculty, propose papers to Faculty Education Committees and take a lead on Faculty wide issues in their Faculty”

  1. That the Faculty Officers will become Admin Officers on Union Council
  2. That the newly election Faculty Officers start their first term on April 23rd 2010 ; other Faculty Officers will start on 1st July 2010

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Keeping Wednesday Afternoons Free

» 12 October 2009 » In Education and Academic, External » No Comments

Keeping Wednesday Afternoons Free- 12 October 2009, Union Council (Ref: 0910P1)

Union Notes:

  1. That policy “KEEPING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS FREE  dated 11 November 2002 was removed in 2008
  2. That in 2009 an Economics Unit entitled “Econ3015” was regularly timetabled from 1pm-3pm on Wednesday afternoons, preventing those students from undertaking any sport

Union Further Notes

  1. The vast majority of sporting fixtures take place on a Wednesday afternoon
  2. Students’ Unions play an important role in supporting students’ clubs and societies
  3. Students also take part in a huge range of student activities all demanding time, enthusiasm and commitment
  4. Wednesday afternoons are traditionally used by students for extracurricular activities
  5. Many inter-mural sports teams also train on a Wednesday

Union Believes

  1. It is a fundamental right for students to be able to get involved in extracurricular activities
  2. Timetabled lectures and seminars encroaching into Wednesday afternoons limit the ability of students to participate in student activities and sports
  3. Students’ Union activities should be open to all
  4. Students’ Unions increase involvement when they are seen to achieve real improvements in students’ lives

Union Resolves

  1. To oppose any University timetabling of lectures, seminars and practicals on Wednesday afternoons
  2. To mandate the Union President, Vice President Academic Affairs and AU President to actively ensure the University does not timetable any lectures, seminars or practicals on Wednesday afternoons

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SUSU Policy on the Withholding of Degree Certification

» 27 April 2009 » In Education and Academic, External, Lapsed Policy, Lapsing Policy » 1 Comment

SUSU Policy on the Withholding of Degree Certification- 27 April 2009, Union Council (Ref: 0809P11)

Union Notes

  1. The University of Southampton’s current policy on withholding degree certification in the event of outstanding student debt upon the completion of their studies
  2. The University’s need to be able to effectively reclaim debts owed to it
  3. The Vice-President Education and Representation’s paper to the University’s Student Operations Steering Group
  4. The growing issue of student debt, both during their studies and after graduation

Union Believes

  1. That there exist alternative avenues of debt collection to the University that are more proportionate than the withholding of degree certification
  2. That the practice of withholding degree certification in the event of outstanding, non-tuition fee debts is inequitable and disproportionate and should be ceased, especially in light of the absence of any link between the debt and the degree certificate
  3. That in the majority of cases the practice of withholding degree certification in the event of outstanding tuition fee debt is disproportionate
  4. That the proposals contained within the Vice President Education & Representation’s (now VP Academic Affairs) paper are both proportionate and more effective means for the University to reclaim its debt

Union Resolves

  1. To lobby the University to change its policy and adopt the proposals contained within the Vice President Education and Representation’s (now VP Academic Affairs) paper through all appropriate channels available

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