Democracy in Action!
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. 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.
That kind of sums it up in a nut shell? But what did we actually get up to…
We supported the funding of six new fireflies for Wessex Sailing Club, helping them to continue to compete at the highest level.
We discussed SUSU communications, industrial action policy, term length of Sabbatical Officers and trans* inclusion in our ideas sessions that are open for anyone to bring a suggestion to be discussed. If you have something you think we should be working on you can submit an idea here!
We then moved onto policy- documents which shape the direction of the union and make sure that it is the organisation everyone needs!
A policy was PASSED to support Union Films and their volunteers – if you have never been to see a Union Films film where have you been! Head to their website for the newest films at a fraction of the price and all run by volunteers!
A policy was also PASSED stating that we as a Union should have a stand to tackle sexual harassment. With 68% of students experiencing sexual harassment (according to Hidden Marks, an NUS report on the matter) it is something that affects far too many of our students. If you would like to be a part of the campaign just join this Facebook group and find out more!
A policy was PASSED (unanimously!) to support the creation of a SUSU job shop – similar in style to the Letting Agency, which would advertise jobs to students that fulfil all our criteria of good employees! Look out for more information soon.
The final policy of the night was also PASSED, which ensured that we will lobby the university to increase access to bursaries as opposed to fee-waivers which will be much more beneficial for students studying here, giving greater flexibility in finances.
We also discussed the upcoming marking strike by lecturers. After a good debate it was voted that we would not support this strike because it would severely affect our students. We are currently doing work on our policies around strike work – if you are interested in shaping this come along to the next Education Zone meeting or email David Mendoza-Wolfson on email@example.com!
Council is also a chance to see what we get up to as Sabbatical Officers and to make sure that we are doing the work you elected us to do. If you want to read them and see what we have been busy with over the last 5 weeks, you can check our reports here.
Student Leaders and Sabbatical Officers also get asked questions on the work they are doing, which this week included things ranging from a system of halls fees to minutes online and our work on increasing participation.Some highlights of sabbatical reports include winning varsity, helping to organise sport relief, the launch of community forums and the BEES launch!
We also awarded two Union Stars last night to two fabulous students.
The first to Catherine Mitchell for her organisation of Student volunteering Week that engaged around 300 individuals in volunteering that ranged from knitting and card making to conservation projects.
The second was to Jawad Bhatti for his role in the Global Village and International Culture event in the Nuffield Theatre which brought together international and uk students, spread the word about all the great work our international societies do and gave them a chance to show off what they were brilliant at!
If you know someone who has gone above and beyond in volunteering and really impressed you don’t forget that our Excellence in Volunteering Awards nominations close Monday at midnight – head online to find out more.
Democracy truely was in Action! Remember anyone can attend! The next meeting will be May 1st.