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31st August 2014

Category > Uncategorized

Ethics and Environment Policy

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Ethics and Environment Policy – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P26)

This Union Notes:

  1. That sustainability is defined as: “development that  meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland, 1987)
  2. The Ethical and Environmental Policy was last ratified in June 2010
  3. That in The Union Plan to 2015, two of SUSU’s ten values  are ‘sustainable’ and ‘responsible’
  4. That in The Union Plan to 2015, we pledge to: “systematically  test the sustainable impact of our events, services and activities – economically and environmentally, reducing impact where we can”  (18.1)
  5. The Sustainability Zone was created in July 2013 and is responsible for ensuring a balance of social, environmental and economic development within SUSU and for our members.
  6. ‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased’ IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.

This Union Believes:

  1. We should embed ethical and environmental (E&E) principles into all aspects of our work
  2. The presence of a detailed E&E policy will be used when making decisions within the Union
  3. It is our duty to be socially responsible at a local, national and international level.
  4. There are currently several policies relating to ethics and the environment. Condensing these into one policy gives clarity on the expectation of the organisation and its members.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To embed this policy into all areas of SUSU.
  2. To use this policy to educate its members on the importance of ethical and environmental issues and to encourage them to act on their responsibility to behave in a sustainable way

University of Southampton Students’ Union (SUSU) recognises that its activities have both short and long term ethical and environmental implications at local, regional and global levels. SUSU acknowledges that there are environmental limits that should not be breached, in order to avoid serious or irreversible damage. SUSU strives to minimise the negative ethical and environmental impact of its activities, and to promote higher ethical and environmental standards.  We strive to be a leading union on environmental and ethical action and campaigning, with a reputation for exceptional innovations within the sector.

The ethical and environmental policy applies to all premises, members, activities and services within SUSU. In order to achieve this, SUSU has the following key objectives:

 

  1. Waste Management

1.1.  To reduce the consumption of all materials

1.2.  To minimise waste production as far as is practicable

1.3.  To re-use or recycle waste wherever possible

1.4.  To regulate the treatment and disposal of residual waste

1.5.  To discourage littering

1.6.  All Union Committee papers to be in electronic form as a first option and only in physical form by request

 

  1. Energy and Water

2.1.  To make efficient and environmentally responsible use of energy, including everyday use and making best use of the building’s energy infrastructure.

2.2.  To reduce the consumption of fossil fuels through improved energy efficiency

2.3.  To minimise avoidable pollution to air, land and water

2.4.  To use renewable energy sources where possible 

2.5.  To make efficient and environmentally responsible use of water, including everyday use and making best use of the building’s energy infrastructure.

 

  1. Buildings

3.1.  To follow best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation in any new or continuing building maintenance and development.

 

  1. Transport

4.1.  To encourage methods of transport by staff and students which minimise environmental impact

4.2.  To encourage the use of public transport

4.3.  To maintain and improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists to include maintaining and improving safe bicycle storage, shower facilities and safe pedestrian routes at all Students’ Union sites

 

  1. Purchasing of Good and Services

5.1.  To procure ethically and environmentally responsible goods and services

5.2.  To purchase fairly traded goods and services wherever possible.

5.3.  To source all not for sale hoodies and t-shirts for sabbatical officers, volunteers, campaigns and elections ethically; for example fair-trade, organic cotton or hemp, and made in factories adhering to international labour organisation’s standards.

5.4.  To ensure any suppliers we work with meet the ‘Business Ethics Policy’; following the priorities set by students

5.5.  To purchase recycled or re-usable office supplies in SUSU wherever possible

5.6.  Ensure our procurement practices meet the ethical and environmental objectives in the other sections of this policy.

 

  1. Biodiversity

6.1.  To ensure that the activities of SUSU are not detrimental to Biodiversity

6.2.  To enhance local greenspace and wildlife wherever possible.

 

  1. Awareness & Action

7.1.  To educate our members in all areas of this policy to increase their awareness of their ethical and environmental responsibilities

7.2.  To work with other agencies locally, nationally and internationally to further ethical and environmental good practice

7.3.  To embed the green label project into SUSU

7.4.  To enable all members to act sustainably and to engage with environmental and ethical campaigns and events.

The Students’ Union will continuously seek to improve its understanding of its impact on the environment and fulfil its role in developing a sustainable future.

The responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with all SUSU members as all staff and students have a role in ensuring that their activities meet the above objectives. The policy will be championed by the Students’ Union Executive (particularly the Vice President Welfare and the Ethics and Environment Officer).

Individuals and all clubs and societies are expected to abide by the rules and requirements made under the authority of this policy.

 

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Commitment to elections

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Commitment to elections – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P24)

This Union Notes:
1. Around 10% of the population of the United Kingdom are students, and over 13% of the population of Southampton are full-time students (with many more in part-time education) (1).
2. Only about half of young people are registered to vote, whereas 94% of 65+ people are (2).
3. In the 2010 general election only 65% of people voted (3).
4. In the 2010 general election 29,991,471 people voted, however 45,597,461 were registered (4).
5. The Daily Mirror predicts that only 40% of young people will vote in the 2015 General Election (5).
6. Individual Electoral Registration (IER) is the voter registration system which will take effect from 10 June 2014 in England and Wales.  Under the current system, one member of the household is required to register all residents of the household who are eligible. Under the new system individuals will be required to register themselves, as well as provide their national insurance number and date of birth on the application form so that their identity can be verified (6).

This Union Believes:
1. All local, national and European elections (“public elections”) have a significant impact upon ‘students as students’, as well as ‘students as citizens’, through our wellbeing, welfare and quality of life.
2. The University of Southampton, and its members, has a positive impact upon the city of Southampton (economically, socially and culturally)
3. Students make up a sizeable proportion of the population both nationally and locally, meaning all publically elected bodies should take a particular interest in students.
4. 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 public elections.
5. 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.
6. Students, as residents, have the right to a voice in the area they live in – both for themselves and for future student residents.
7. Actively promoting local politics and increasing voting turnout amongst the Union’s members will increase the standard of living for all our members.
8. SUSU should do more to tackle poor participation within the student population by encouraging and facilitating student voter turnout.
9. SUSU should not tell students who to vote for, but should provide them with information about how and where to vote, about the different candidates and about why voting is important.
10. Voter registration is transitioning to individual voter registration so it will take more effort to get people registered.

This Union Resolves:
1. To promote the importance of voting in public elections to the student body.
2. To work to increase knowledge amongst students of the issues affecting them which are at stake in public elections.
3. To promote non-partisan political activity through the encouragement of involvement in the democratic process.

This Union Mandates:
1. The VP Engagement and Union President to lobby the University and Council to work together to ensure data on students in halls is provided to the council to ease registration.
2. The VP Engagement to run a campaign encouraging voter registration when there is an academic year with a public election.
3. The VP Engagement to run a campaign to encourage voter turnout when there is an academic year with a public election.
4. The VP Engagement to ensure that students are properly informed about public elections in which students can vote.
5. The VP Engagement organise hustings and/or debates for each public election.
6. The VP Engagement to ensure students are properly informed as to the locations of polling stations, and to ensure that SUSU provides transport for students from campus to their local polling station.
7. The VP Engagement & VP Student Communities to educate international students about their right to vote in public elections, especially students from the EU.

 

[1] http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-and-quick-statistics-for-wards-and-output-areas-in-england-and-wales/rft-qs603ew.xls

[2] http://bitetheballot.co.uk/ (May 2014), http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/journalist/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-reviews-and-research/new-report-shows-at-least-6m-people-not-registered-to-vote

[3] http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=GB

[4] http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=GB

[5] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shocking-poll-shows-60-young-3501186

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25433594

 

 

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Sabbatical on Satellite Campus

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Sabbaticals on Satellite Campuses – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P23)

This Union Notes:

  1. There are three main Satellite Campuses of the University of Southampton: the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Southampton General Hospital (SGH) and Winchester School of Art (WSA).
  2. The majority of the Union’s activity happens on Highfield Campus.
  3. The whole Sabbatical team is based at Highfield Campus.
  4. WSA has a new Students’ Union area on its campus.
  5. That a working day is seven hours.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. The Students’ Union is there to represent all students.
  2. Students studying at the Satellite Campuses can engage with all 8 Zones.
  3. Students at Satellite Campuses shouldn’t have to always travel to Highfield Campus to engage with SUSU.
  4. All Sabbatical Officers should be working to engage the Satellite Campuses in everything they do.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lapse Policy 0910P14 – Site Surgeries.
  2. That every Sabbatical Officer (excluding the VP Student Communities) should spend the equivalent of one working day across any Satellite Campus at least once a month, excluding times when the University is shut.
  3. That the VP Student Communities should spend the equivalent of one working day across the Satellite Campuses at least once a fortnight, excluding times when the University is shut.
  4. That SUSU campaigns should not be focused solely on Highfield Campus, and should also include the Satellite Campuses as far as is practicable.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. The VP Student Communities to create a timetable of when the Sabbatical Officers are visiting the Satellite Campuses.
  2. The Sabbatical Team to work at the Satellite Campuses (Resolves 2 and 3).

 

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Industrial Action by University Staff

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Industrial Action by University Staff – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P22)

This Union Notes:

  1. That in the academic year 2013/14, there was a series of Industrial Action made up of both strike action and a marking boycott.
  2. That all of the action in said academic year was subject only to one vote by the University and College Union (UCU) which allowed for industrial action to continue in perpetuity.
  3. That between 2001 and 2009 the increases in lecturers pay consistently grew faster and higher than either RPI or general earnings in the economy (http://bit.ly/lectpay).
  4. That the salaries of University staff faced a real term cut between the years of 2009 and 2014 (http://bit.ly/lectcut)
  5. That action taken by unions such as UCU, Unison and Unite has led to disruption in the student experience due not only to a disruption to timetabled lessons but also due to noise made by vuvuzelas, megaphones and other devices outside the library and other spaces
  6. The money brought into the University through teaching (through its HEFCE grant) now outweighs how much it makes from research (through the REF)
  7. That policy SUSU and UCU (University and College Union) Strike Action (1112P5) states that ‘subject to Union Council approval, we should support our lecturers and UCU in any industrial action that doesn’t have a severe adverse effect on the student experience and that tries to protect the quality of teaching at Southampton University’

 

This Union Believes:

  1. That the education provided to our members should consistently be of the highest quality.
  2. Those trade unions with a dispute against the University should endeavour to cause as little disruption to students as possible.
  3. Industrial action can have a negative impact on the education of our members
  4. Strike action is disruptive and depending on the strike this disruption can be either minor or major
  5. Assessment boycotts are a severe form of action which have a profoundly negative effect on students
  6. Students should be fully informed about the reasons behind disputes and dispute action.
  7. The old Policy is no longer fit for purpose.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To repeal “SUSU and UCU (University and College Union) Strike” (1112P5).
  2. The Union should, on behalf of our members, work with the relevant Unions (UCU, Unite and Unison) and the University to prevent industrial action by gaining a resolution to the dispute. Failing this, the Union should work to focus the impact on University administration rather than on students directly.

 

VOTES

  1. Where a relevant Union or Unions vote to support industrial action which will occur at the University, Union Council will first vote on whether or not to support the dispute. This decision is valid for the duration of that academic year, or until the dispute is resolved, and shall not be re-visited during that year. Where a dispute continues over more than one academic year, a separate decision shall be made each year.
  2. Where Council has voted to support a dispute, and industrial action is planned as part of that dispute, Council will then vote on whether or not to support the industrial action.
  3. If Council votes to support industrial action in respect of a dispute then it will support all instances of industrial action throughout that dispute, except if that decision is revisited (see below).
  4. If 10% of members of Union Council want a decision to support industrial action to be revisited, Council will vote again on whether or not to support the action, but for this vote to overturn a previous vote, it must pass with a 2/3 majority.

 

 

GENERAL

  1. Where a vote is to be held on support for either a dispute or industrial action, the vote shall take the form of a motion to be put by the Vice-President Education, in consultation with the Education Zone Committee, who shall choose the form of words that it takes.
  2. Where industrial action is planned to occur before Council can vote, the Education Zone Committee will make an interim decision. Where that action is to continue after the next meeting of Council, Council will make a fresh decision which supersedes that of Education Zone Committee.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. The Union President and Vice-President Education to be responsible for carrying our Resolves 1.
  2. Education Zone Committee to be responsible for taking a lead on informing students about any industrial action. Where support for a dispute or action is given, Education Zone Committee is responsible for publicising SUSU’s support of this action.

 

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Improving Trans Inclusion

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Improving Trans Inclusion – 14 May 2014, AGM, (Ref: 1314P21)

This Union Notes:         

  1. Trans (also trans*, transgender) is a wide umbrella term, covering those who transcend traditional boundaries of gender and sex, those who are gender variant, and those whose gender identity does not match their assigned gender (as defined in the ‘Trans Students’ NUS LGBT document).
  2. The Union Plan, which includes:
  3. “2.1 Reflect the diversity of our members and promote equality throughout SUSU.”
  4. “17.1. Developing strategies to create an inclusive culture within SUSU.”
  5. “17.3. Increasing involvement from under-represented groups.”
  6. SUSUs values of Inclusive, Representative, Responsible, and Sustainable
  7. The current Valuing Diversity policy, which states that SUSU will:
  8. ensure that every student and staff member is treated fairly and have equality of opportunity within the union.
  9. not tolerate any discrimination against students or staff on any grounds.
  10. work alongside cohorts of individuals who may be subject to discrimination, prejudice and intimidation to provide a safe, welcoming and enjoyable environment.
  11. actively encourage participation from groups that are not usually involved in SUSU activities.
  12. Findings from the recent Trans Inclusion survey, including:
  13. The majority of negative experiences at SUSU/on campus were in the context of using toilet facilities
  14. Comments from those who had felt uncomfortable/excluded at SUSU were centred around the use of toilets and changing rooms
  15. All suggestions for improvements included either increasing the number of gender neutral toilets available, or adding sanitary bins to male toilets for men who menstruate (i.e gender accessible toilets)
  16. Additional comments mentioned feeling excluded, either generally, or from sports clubs due to gendered teams
  17. Other student unions have attempted to improve trans inclusion, with mixed success.
  18. Opposition has been largely to the often mistaken belief that a university is about to remodel all its toilet blocks into multiple occupancy unisex facilities
  19. Many current forms and surveys run by SUSU or the University of Southampton do not provide an option for gender other than “male” or “female”.
  20. Many trans people prefer to use gender neutral titles and/or pronouns, and may indeed not identify as either male or female. Other organisations including the national Deed Poll Service and Post Office have begun to provide the option of gender neutral titles.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. SUSU should have a specific Trans Inclusion policy to raise awareness of a student group who in general feel more excluded from the union’s activities.
  2. SUSU should take steps to ensure the trans community feels safe and welcome within union buildings.
  3. SUSU should work with the university towards creating a campus where all groups, including trans people, feel equally valued and included.
  4. There is a clear demand from the trans community within SUSU for better accessibility regarding toilets.
  5. Any planned alterations to existing toilet blocks should be clearly communicated to the student population, to minimise misinformation.
  6. Gender-segregated toilet facilities should remain available for those who wish to use them.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To incorporate information on trans inclusion in inductions for elected officers and to promote wider student awareness.
  2. To alter signage where appropriate on existing accessible toilets to highlight them as gender neutral.
  3. To include sanitary bins in existing male toilets in the SUSU building, making them gender accessible.
  4. To negotiate with the university for new toilet builds to be gender accessible, and for new buildings to include at least one set of gender neutral toilets.
  5. To publicise the changes being made to toilet blocks, with the availability of both gender accessible and gender neutral toilets.
  6. To ensure alternative options other than male/female are available on SUSU and university forms that ask for gender, and to review these so the question is asked only when necessary.
  7. To ensure gender neutral title options are available on student record systems.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. VP Welfare to champion the policy alongside the E&D Officer.
  2. E&D Committee to assist with implementation.

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Creation of a platform to permit direct questions to Sabbatical candidates in elections

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Creation of a platform to permit direct questions to Sabbatical candidates in elections – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P20)

This Union Notes:

  1. Elections are an opportunity for SUSU to be a student-led Union, as is one of our core functions.
  2. SUSU permits general questions to be asked of all candidates running for a given position via the website and also permits a degree of questions to be asked at live debates.
  3. Sabbatical candidates are currently not restricted in any way while writing their manifestos, as long as they are written in such a way that follows the “spirit of the elections”.
  4. The following extracts from the Union Plan to 2015:
  5. “Values: Transparent, Democratic”
  6. “Vision: To be the informed and legitimate voice of our members”
  7. “Themes: Build an Effective Organisation”
  8. Voice: Communicate 4.5: Broadening the appeal of our election processes, to ensure that all students have access to leadership and representative opportunities”.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. The current opportunities for Sabbatical candidates (hereafter referred to simply as ‘candidates’) to be directly questioned by members during the election process are highly variable and very few of these interactions are likely to be seen by the majority of the electorate.
  2. It is in all members’ interest that these candidates can be asked questions on points raised in their manifestos and that answers to these questions will retained/recorded in a manner that permits any member a chance to view them.
  3. The creation of such a platform via modification of the current election site would ensure that SUSU continues to act in a manner that aids the democratic process and fulfils the objectives quoted from the Union Plan above.
  4. That SUSU could therefore create a more informed voting body, which would help to combat the reputation of elections being a “popularity contest” and would also allow those candidates with good ideas to expand on them in a public forum.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To allow any member of SUSU to ask questions to candidates regarding their election platform – whether it be about their manifesto or views on specific topics relevant to their desired position.
  2. To utilise this system at all major elections from the next academic year.
  3. To protect candidates from offensive or otherwise hostile questions, but otherwise to permit free dialogue between the electorate and candidates.
  4. To publicise this system as part of the election materials to ensure that members are aware it exists.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. That Democracy Zone will modify the election website to permit questions to be submitted individually to candidates based on their manifestos, with the option for the questioner to leave their name or remain anonymous.
  2. That Democracy Zone will ensure that there is a facility to allow questions to be moderated by the Spring Elections Working Group to ensure they adhere to all previous policies such as the Equality and Diversity policy and the Bullying policy, as well as to reduce the number of duplicate questions.
  3. That Democracy Zone will ensure this system allows questions to be displayed either on the same page as a candidate’s manifesto, or otherwise available by a prominent link to ensure visibility to voters.
  4. That this system should be in place and operational no later than the next round of Spring Elections during Calendar Year 2015, and should continue to operate in the Spring Elections until the lapsing of this policy by another policy, or via the Policy Review process.

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Preventing Censorship in SUSU

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Preventing Censorship in SUSU – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P17)

This Union Notes:

  1. That a number of incidences involving censorship have occurred within SUSU over the last 3 years.
  2. The importance and great work of SUSU’s media groups: The Edge, Wessex Scene, SUSUtv and Surge Radio.
  3. The Union’s Values of ‘Student-Led’, and ‘Transparent’.
  4. Full and honest debate occurs at many Union meetings, including (but not limited to): General Meetings, Open Council, Union Council, Zone Committees, other Zone meetings, on Sabbatical Blogs, or within SUSU Media content.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. In robust and fair accountability for all Union Officers, through a variety of different platforms.
  2. SUSU should encourage full and honest debates regarding a wide range of issues.
  3. In order for robust and fair accountability to be properly implemented, full and honest debate to explore issues is necessary.
  4. SUSU should always offer students a full range of views on issues and encourage them to form their own opinions.
  5. Members should be free to voice their opinions on a range of issues without fear of being muted.
  6. Limiting full and honest debate on any platform goes against SUSU’s Value of Transparency.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To prohibit censorship, unless the words used are grossly offensive or contravene the law.
  2. Nothing should be rejected or removed from any items submitted or discussed at General Meetings, Open Council, Union Council, Zone Committees, other Zone meetings, or on Sabbatical Blogs unless it is grossly offensive or goes against the law. This does not preclude the recommendation, in agreement with the submitter, to refer the item to another body.
  3. Nothing should be reworded from any items submitted or discussed at General Meetings, Open Council, Union Council, Zone Committees, other Zone meetings, or on Sabbatical Blogs without the permission of the author, and the author has the final say on re-wording.
  4. Disputes on matters covered by this Policy are to be resolved by the Union President.
  5. Grossly offensive is defined as language which is derogatory, discriminatory or illegal.
  6. Items considered spam, at the discretion of the Union President, will not be covered by this Policy.
  7. SUSU Media Editors and Station Managers will retain editorial powers over the rejection, removal or rewording of their respective published media, in accordance with the Media Code of Conduct and media groups’ own comments policies.

 

This Union Mandates:

  1. Union President and VP Democracy and Creative Industries, working as part of the Democracy Zone and thoroughly informed by student consultation, to create a procedure in which this Policy’s Resolves can be carried out following the letter and spirit of this Policy.
  2. Union President and VP Democracy and Creative Industries to submit the procedure created under Mandates (1) to a meeting of Union Council by the end of the first term of the academic year 2014-15 which will clearly state how this policy will be implemented.

 

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Delivering for our Student Groups with a Bank of SUSU

» 21 May 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Delivering for our Student Groups with a Bank of SUSU – 14 May 2014, AGM (Ref: 1314P16)

This Union Notes:
1. SUSU recognises 295 student groups as of 7th March (1),  one of the highest numbers of groups of any students’ union nationally (2).
2. A large proportion of our student groups operate a current account with a retail bank.
3. Student groups’ widespread dissatisfaction with the customer service standards of retail banks.
4. The leasing of cash recycling equipment by the Union, approved by Finance Sub-Committee on 17th December 2012 and by Union Council on 4th February 2013(3).
5. The confirmation at SUSU Trustee Board on 25th February 2014 that one student group, unable to open a UK bank account for legal reasons, ‘would be able to obtain funds from the cash recycling equipment’.
6. The students’ unions at Leeds (4)  and Sheffield (5)  offer current accounts to all student groups.

This Union Believes:
1. We should take every opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to, and the extent to which we value, the student groups which make our Union distinctive.
2. One such opportunity is to offer current accounts to all student groups by establishing a ‘Bank of SUSU’.
3. A Bank of SUSU is a perfect opportunity to develop a service which competes with those of the very best students’ unions.
4. Our cash recycling equipment is sufficient physical infrastructure for a Bank of SUSU, as evidenced by one student group’s current usage; its organisational infrastructure will take time to develop.
5. A Bank of SUSU should be a service of the highest possible quality, and a compelling alternative to retail banks.

This Union Resolves:
1. To establish a Bank of SUSU which offers current accounts to all student groups.
2. A Bank of SUSU should be a service of the highest possible quality: enabling groups to deposit, withdraw, and transfer funds (including by Direct Debit and Standing Order); offering 24/7 online access, and physical access for as many hours as is reasonably practicable; and launching in phases to ensure its organisational infrastructure is fully developed.
3. A Bank of SUSU should be a compelling alternative to retail banks: developed in partnership with student groups; with the principle of excellent customer service at its heart; and incorporating robust safeguards against operational, legal, and other risks to SUSU.
4. To phase the launch of a Bank of SUSU on a Zone-by-Zone basis across the academic years 2014/15, 2015/16, and 2016/17, or sooner at the discretion of SUSU Trustee Board.

This Union Mandates:
1. The VP Democracy and Creative Industries and Union President to create a business plan for a Bank of SUSU in line with Resolves 1 – 4, and to present this to SUSU Trustee Board in the academic year 2014/15.

 

[1] Democracy Zone Committee report: Updates on student groups affiliations and funding. This total is likely to increase further at the Student Groups Committee on 9th May.

[2] This topic is the subject of much friendly rivalry within the students’ union movement, and whilst a comprehensive set of figures is difficult to determine, as of 1st May:

Sheffield has 366 groups (Ref., ref.); Nottingham has 317 groups (Ref., ref.); Leeds has 293 groups (ref.); Exeter has 253 groups (Ref., ref.); Cardiff has 235 groups (Ref., ref.); Newcastle has 234 groups (Ref., ref.); Reading has 162 groups (Ref.); Hull has 149 groups (Ref.); Bath has 146 groups (Ref., ref.); Loughborough has 140 groups (Ref., ref.). SUSU therefore seems to compare very favourably against the national picture.

[3] Union Council proposal: Implementing an Automated cash counting system.

[4]http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/admin/clubsandsocieties/finance/.

[5]http://www.shef.ac.uk/union/get-involved/societies/zone-online/money.php.

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Standing Committee Review

» 02 April 2014 » In Lapsed Policy, Uncategorized » No Comments

Standing Committee Review – 3 December 2012 Union Council (1213P4)

Union Notes

1.      In April 2011 Union Council mandated the VP Communications to lead a review of the standing committee structure – http://blogs.susu.org/policy/2012/04/23/standing-committee-structure-review/#content

2.      The VP Communications hosted open consultation session in August, which noted the current issues with standing committees::

2.1. That there are currently too many standing committees causing accountability problems.

2.2. A lack of purpose and boundaries in the committee structure.

2.3. Limited discussion that is too operational, not strategic or ideological.

3.      The open consultation session explored best practice from other Students’ Unions around the country, with our students noting exciting possibilities to explore, including:

3.1. Merit to creating an extra layer in our structure.

3.2. The possibility of zoning.

3.3. A distinction between policy and operational functions.

4.      A further open consultation session hosted in September, which noted the importance of grouping our activities within SUSU based on zones, as well as the importance of linking accountability and scrutiny into any standing committee structure.

5.      The importance of accountability, scrutiny and reporting of our student leaders, as well as our Sabbaticals.

6.      There are a number of student groups, committees, and activities which are currently unrecognised in our decision making structure.

7.      The following extracts from The Union Plan to 2015:

Vision: To be the informed and legitimate voice of our members.

Values: Representative; Student Led; Transparent.

4.2. Informing students of significant change within SUSU but also on wider issues that affect them

Union Believes

1.      Our standing committee structure should support the different purposes of different committees in being activity based and/or in driving policy.

2.      For the sake of accountability and reporting to council, a functioning structure needs a succinct number of standing committees. This number will always be far lower than the number of activities that SUSU supports and develops, therefore zoning is necessary.

3.      The values of SUSU should be reflected across the standing committee structure.

4.      Any major changes to the decision making structure of SUSU should not be implemented during an academic year.

5.      That changes to our standing committee structure and associated changes to Sabbatical and Student Leader roles should be fully informed by the voice of our members, and so should wholly fulfil the criteria in the extracts of The Union Plan in Union Notes (7).

 

Union Further Believes

1.      A disharmony between our decision making structure and Sabbatical Officer or Student Leader Roles would be detrimental to the effectiveness of SUSU.

2.      Any changes to the roles of officers should take place before those respective elections are held.

3.      That the changes currently proposed to Sabbatical and Student Leader roles are not as wholly informed by the voice of our members as they might be, and so do not wholly fulfil the criteria in the extracts of The Union Plan in Union Notes (7).

4.       That we should, as a consequence of Union Further Believes (3), consult again and more widely on changes to Sabbatical and Student Leader roles.

Union Resolves

1.      To dissolve the current standing committees as of 1 July 2012 and replace them with 3 Policy Zones and 5 Activity Zones as follows:

Policy Zones

To set and reflect the culture, values, and behaviours of SUSU. They create policy, which affects all the activity zones of SUSU.

Sustainability’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • Students’ wellbeing
  • Ethical and environmental issues
  • Equality issues
  • Employability of our members
  • Political, social awareness and campaign societies

Student Communities’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • International students
  • Post Graduate students
  • Diversity issues
  • JCRs support
  • Support for Sites
  • Development of Liberations
  • International and cultural societies

Democracy’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • Constitution
  • Elections
  • Student Group principles and affiliations

Activity Zones

To develop activity within SUSU. They make real and direct change within their own areas, and rely on policy set from the central zones to enact the values of SUSU.

Education’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • Faculty representation systems
  • National Policy issues
  • University wide educational policy issues
  • Departmental Societies

Student Life’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • Peer to Peer groups, including Nightline
  • Housing issues
  • Student Financial Support
  • Faith Societies

Engagement’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • RAG
  • Enterprise activity
  • Social Enterprise activity
  • Community Action and volunteering
  • External Communities
  • Enterprise societies

Creative Industries’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • Union Films
  • Performing Arts
  • SUSU Media Departments
  • Music, Arts and Media Societies

Sports Development’ Zone should develop the following areas:

  • Athletic Union
  • Developing and increasing Participation in sport
  • Sports Societies

 

2.           Pending further consultation, to adjust the relevant Sabbatical Officer Roles as of 1 July 2012 to align with the proposed decision making structure of SUSU. Notably:

2.1.         Adjusting the role of VP Academic Affairs to include support for Departmental Societies.  Adjusting the name of ‘Vice President Academic Affairs’ to Vice President Education’.

2.2.         Adjusting the role of Vice President Communications to support and lead the ‘Democracy’ and ‘Creative Industries’ Zones. To include support for Union Films, Performing Arts, Music, Arts and Media Societies and Student Group principles and affiliations. Omitting responsibility for the organisation of Freshers’ Week and the responsibility to lead on Union Communications.  Adjusting the name of the ‘Vice President Communications’ to ‘Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries’.

2.3.         Adjusting the role of Vice President Sports Development to include support for Sports Societies.

2.4.         Adjusting the role of Vice President Student Engagement to include support of Social Enterprise activity, Enterprise societies and External Communities. Omitting responsibility for support of Union Films, support of Performing Arts, JCRs support and overall responsibility of societies. They will also spearhead widening participation in all our activities – from across the student population at the University of Southampton, the towns and cities local to our sites, nationally and internationally – and communicating our activities and successes to said audience. The Vice President Student Engagement should also be responsible for the Organisation of Freshers’ Week, the widening of engagement across SUSU and leading on Union Communications.  Adjusting the name of the ‘Vice President Student Engagement’ to ‘Vice President Engagement’.

2.5.         Adjusting the role of Vice President Welfare and Communities to support and lead the ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Student Life’ Zones. To include overall responsibility for Students’ wellbeing, Employability of our members, and Faith Societies. Omitting responsibility for External Communities, International students, Post Graduate students, and Diversity issues.  Adjusting the name of ‘Vice President Welfare and Communities’ to ‘Vice President Welfare’.

2.6.         Adjusting the role of Vice President Winchester and Sites to include support of International students, Post Graduate students, Diversity issues, JCRs support, and International and cultural societies. Adjusting the name of ‘Vice President Winchester and Sites’ to ‘Vice President Student Communities’.

2.7           To adjust the names of the ‘Vice President Communications’ to ‘Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries’, and ‘Vice President Student Engagement’ to ‘Vice President Engagement’.

3.         Pending further consultation, to adjust the relevant Student Leader Roles as of 1 July 2012 to align with the proposed decision making structure of SUSU. Notably:

3.1.       Dissolving the ‘Sport and Health’ Officer Role and in its place creating a ‘Wellbeing’ Officer to sit within the ‘Sustainability’ Zone and a ‘Participation’ Officer to sit within the ‘Sports Development’ Zone.

3.2.       Adjusting the role of the ‘Societies’ Officer to fit the remit of leading on Student Group principles and affiliations.

4.          Pending further consultation, to set the membership of the Zones as the relevant Sabbatical as chair, and all relevant Student Leaders, society reps and 2 Union Councillors as voting members. Each Zone shall have the propensity to create Voluntary Officers within their own by-laws.

Union Mandates

1.      Constitution Committee to bring back to Union Council on 4 February 2013 the detailed changes required to the Union Standing Orders to create these changes to Standing Committees, Sabbatical Officers and Student Leaders.

2.      Vice President Communications to hold further open consultation and review sessions on the development of Sabbatical and Student Leader roles, together with a system of accountability and scrutiny that can be linked into the new decision making structure.

3.      Elections Committee to advertise and promote all changes to the Sabbatical Officers and Student Leaders in adequate time for the Spring Elections 2013.

 

 

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Union Films

» 31 March 2014 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Union Films  – 27 March 2014, Union Council (Ref: 1314P6)

This Union Notes:

  1. Union Films is the Students’ Union cinema run by students on behalf of all members of the Students’ Union.
  2. That Union Films is a nationally recognised and award-winning cinema film society. A recent survey of several hundred customers praised the current service, film selection, special events and prices that Union Films offers.
  3. That Union Films allows student volunteers to be involved with all aspects of the running of the cinema, including selling tickets and refreshments, design and distribution of publicity materials, and projection of the film itself.
  4. After the cinema industry’s transition away from the 35mm film format, the Union has recently invested in a new DCI installation, allowing Union Films to continue to show films as close as possible after their mainstream cinema release.
  5. Union Films is anticipated to make a profit of £12,000 for academic year 2013-14 from ticket and refreshment sales.

 

This Union Believes:

  1. That providing a student-run purpose built cinema facility is one of the unique selling points of the University of Southampton and the Students’ Union.
  2. That the cinema provides a professional cinema experience at an attractive price for members of the Student’s Union compared to other cinemas within Southampton.
  3. To achieve and maintain this professional experience for all members of the Student’s Union, Union Films requires certain facilities other than the actual cinema and corresponding equipment.
  4. That currently, all these requirements are met solely by the Union Films office.
  5. That any facilities strategy should result in the best quality of service, facilities and experience that can be provided to the members of the Students’ Union.
  6. That Union Films being entirely student-run is extremely beneficial for volunteer development, providing unique opportunities and commercial experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the Students’ Union.
  7. That providing opportunities for students to volunteer and become involved with the Students’ Union is in line with the highest ideals of this Union.

 

This Union Resolves:

  1. To lapse 0910P32 Union Films.
  2. To ensure that any Union facilities strategy will not result in any detriment to the current or future service provided by Union Films to either its volunteers or the operation of the cinema in the long-term.
  3. Should there be any facilities developments potentially affecting Union Films, the VP Democracy and Creative Industries will liaise with the Union Films committee to ensure a suitable solution is found that maintains the current service and volunteering opportunities offered by Union Films.
  4. That volunteering remains integral to all the operations of Union Films.

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