Claire Gilbert

Democracy in Action!

Monday 2nd December saw the second Union Council of the year.

Union Council is the place to have your say about what SUSU does and how it does it. Council holds your elected officers to account for what they’re up to, and sets the direction for SUSU (through policy). It’s the highest decision-making body and decides what goes on in your Union. Council meets once a month during term time and decisions are made by 80 elected student Union Councillors.

We in the Sabbatical Team (those 7 guys and girls elected in February to run the Union) feel it’s important you all get a chance to find out what goes on!

SUSU twitter


So as well as some of the highlights as picked out by @YourSUSU on twitter (search #SUSUCouncil and you will find a whole load of student tweets) we thought we’d blog about the decisions that most affect you.


The first hour of Union Council is always spent discussing ideas that people have submitted which this week included harassment, Post Graduate students in private rented accommodation and 24 access to facilities during exams among other things!

If you want to hear about more of these topics pop along to the next council where an update will be presented!

After the important (but slightly) tedious matter of minutes was done we got into the nitty gritty. One of the most exciting decisions made was to ok the unification of colours for #TeamSoton. A big round of applause to Evan Whyte (VP Sports Development) and the staff who supported him in achieving £48,000 to pay for over 300 pieces of kit for our AU!

In another exciting move for sport Union Council voted for Intra-Mural officer to become a Student Leader in the next set of elections as their role has grown and become so important they need a voice and a chance to represent the 1,500+ students who take part on a union wide level.

jamie star

A decision was made NOT to create a Media Officer after a hot debate with lots of passionate speakers for and against the cause, and recognition should be given to those who stood and presented their case from both sides!

One of the big policies approved was that SUSU took a stand against Payday Lenders. This means that they will not be allowed to sponsor any of our affiliate groups, advertise on campus and we shall begin to take the campaign into the city centre!

At the end of the evening, after all the Sabbatical officers gave their reports and questions were asked of us the Council Chair had the chance to hand a Union Star to Jamie Wilson for his dedication to JCRs and Intra-Mural.

A notable decision made was also for the union NOT to support the strike on Tuesday 3rd December, after voting in the last Union Council to support the strike of the previous weeks. 

This is but a brief summary! If you would like to know more head to


Please do post below if you have any questions!

Sabb Love 🙂

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4 Comments on "Democracy in Action!"

  1. Claire Gilbert
    04/12/2013 at 1:38 pm Permalink

    “we thought we’d blog about the decisions that most affect you”

    So voting not to support industrial action is not a decision that most affects us students? Given how the debate to initially support the strike was so controversially close and now it seems comrades have turned to scabs, don’t you think you could talk a bit more about things that affect us as students… like our Lecturers not being paid enough to make ends meet?

    “Intra-Mural Officer becoming a student leader” – get a grip?

  2. Claire Gilbert
    Claire Gilbert
    05/12/2013 at 10:14 am Permalink

    Hello Fiona,

    I do apologise, this was written in a rush! I shall add in a section about it now.


  3. Claire Gilbert
    06/12/2013 at 2:46 pm Permalink

    Lecturers not paid enough?

    I’m sure I only hear about the top end of the scale, but when you hear about Management and Economics lecturers demanding 6 figures for their research quality, and then look at the quality of their teaching and League Table positions, its quite easy to want to tell them where to go.

    But make ends meet? I’m sure they’re not being paid below the UK average graduate wage… Cleaners, admin staff, tech assistants – fine, much more likely. But lecturers? Not convinced. Jobs on Soton website are advertised starting at £30k, going up to £60k for entry level. Sure wish my salary was that high!

  4. Claire Gilbert
    06/12/2013 at 4:22 pm Permalink

    Fair dues but Gilani’s policy was too support the “lecturer” strike…nothing about the non-academic staff. SUSU has no view on their plight.

    I agree Lecturers are paid a decent salary, which is why it was so surprising that the Union voted to support strike action that affected students… they then go back and change their minds and as Fiona points out didn’t think it worth mentioning in the blog post that was highlighting the decisions that most affect students.

    Cos of course the Intra-mural sports officer’s role has become “so important”… it’s worth putting a couple of saccharine sentences on yet ANOTHER person to be elected, rather than commenting on something that will affect students’ education, you know…. the reason why we are all here?

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