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Democracy Zone (13th December 2013)

Minutes

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Name of Committee Democracy Zone
Date and time 13th December 2013, 14:00
Place Meeting Room 2
Present Members
(voting)
Union President David Gilani
Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries David Martin
Union Councillor Jamie Barker
In Attendance
(non-voting officers and staff)
Chief Executive Jaki Booth
Head of Membership and Community Engagement Nickola Moore
Democracy Assistant Katie Ng
Democracy Coordinator Guy Drury
Absent with Apologies Vice President Sports Evan Whyte
Clubs and Societies Officer Jamie Hemingway
Union Councillor Mayan Al-Shakarchy
Absent without Apologies Union Council Chair Katy O'Brien

Actions and Decisions

TypeDescriptionWho
Action Item 3. Include names of newly affiliated groups and their zones in future Student Groups Committee reports. Katie Ng
Action Item 4. Email decision made about Union Council Summer dates to committee members for ratification David Martin, Katie Ng, Guy Drury
Action Item 5. Set (provisional) dates for Union Council until 2020 David Martin, Katie Ng, Guy Drury
Action Item 5. The Democracy Zone Committee will review the M&AA at the end of the summer term in 2016, and make any changes they deem necessary. David Martin, Guy Drury
Action Item 10. Email the Democracy Zone committee members asking for comments and opinions on the draft by-law David Martin
Action Item 11. Email the Democracy Zone committee members asking for them to vote on which of the voter choice software they prefer David Martin
Action Item 6. Review and ammend Policy 0910P25 - Manifesto Transparency David Martin
Action Item 6. Ratify with the rest of Democracy Zone Committee the decisions made in this meeting regarding Policies David Martin, Guy Drury
Action Item 6. Email out Policies 1011P22 and 0506P20 to External Engagement Zone Committee for decision Claire Gilbert
Action Item 6. Carry out a thorough review of policies and determine which were passed at AGMs and which were passed at Union Council Katie Ng, Guy Drury
Action Item 6. Pull out from lapsed polices, the policies that denote constitutional changes and store them seperately for furtue reference Katie Ng, Guy Drury
Action Item 6. Create a database of names of Honorary Vice-Presidents and Honorary Life Membership, to be updated annually Katie Ng, Guy Drury
1. Apologies and Attendance

Apologies and attendance were noted as above. Also in attendance were the following Union members:

Marcus Burton, Jade Head, David Heard and William Cable.

2. Approval of Minutes from previous meeting

Jaki had mentioned during the pre-meet before committee meeting that there were a couple of errors in the minutes:

  • in point 2 and 2.1, instead of 'previous' minutes, it should read 'last'
  • in point 2.1.c, the refernce to voting by proxy should be made clearer that it refers to voting during Union Council.

Marcus also pointed out an error in 3.4. This will be corrected and read

'This should not be the case, and is only a problem if SUSU had incorrect bank details for the group'. 

Student groups
3. Update on affiliations(for information)

David Martin presented the report on behalf of Jamie Hemingway. 

David Gilani asked if there was any news on the 'Student Groups Review Project 2014'. Nickola answered that there is a project initiation document (PID) that has been created by herself, David Martin and Jade Head. It was planned that this PID would be taken to the Student Groups committee and not the Democracy Zone committee. However, she asked if members of Democracy Zone would like it to be presented there. It was decided that this was not necessary and a report back from the Student Groups committee to the Democracy Zone would suffice.

David Gilani asked if the names of the newly affiliated societies and the zones to which they are assigned to are included in future reports. This will be actioned by Katie Ng. 

Action Item 3. Include names of newly affiliated groups and their zones in future Student Groups Committee reports. (Katie Ng)
Decision-making
4. Union Council Dates: Summer Term (for decision)

After discussion, David Gilani proposed the following:

  • that the 5th Union Council of the academic year be held in academic week 31
  • that the AGM and Open Council meeting be held the following week, in academic week 32
  • and that the 6th Union Council of the academic year be held in academic week 37. 

The committee moved to a vote; all members were in favour of this. As the meeting was inquorate, this decision will need to be ratified by the committee.

Action Item 4. Email decision made about Union Council Summer dates to committee members for ratification (David Martin, Katie Ng, Guy Drury)
5. Future M&AA change for Union Council dates (for discussion)

This was discussed in point 4 during discussion regarding the difficulty in holding 2 Union Council meetings during the Summer term, which has only 7 weeks. The committee recommended that Sabbs and staff plan the next Union Council dates until 2020 (using the University Calendar) to see when this will occur again; this will better inform actions and decisions in the future.  

Jaki recommended that the committee wait before changing the M&AA as there may be other issues that arise; it would be more efficient to keep a log of all the changes the committee wish to make and review the M&AA in 2016, and then put forward some changes, The committee were in general agreement with this long term plan. 

Action Item 5. Set (provisional) dates for Union Council until 2020 (David Martin, Katie Ng, Guy Drury)
Action Item 5. The Democracy Zone Committee will review the M&AA at the end of the summer term in 2016, and make any changes they deem necessary. (David Martin, Guy Drury)
Policy review
6. Policy Review (for approval)

All recommendations come from the Policy Review Group.

 

1. Recommended to Retain:

The following two policies were brought to the committee; it was recommended that these policies be lapsed but their content retained and incorporated into the Rules of the Union.

  • 1213P6 - The Importance of Minutes to this Students' Union
  • 0910P28 - The 'Wetness' of Water

After discussion, the committee moved to a vote; 3 voted for retaining the policies as they are and not incorporating them into the Rules.

It was recommended that the following polices be retained:

  • 1213P17 - We The People, A Voice In Your SUSU
  • 1213P14 - Renovate Activities Room
  • 1213P12 - AU Clubs and Societies Granting Budget
  • 1213P11 - Facility Charges

After discussion, the committee moved to a vote; 3 voted for retaining these policies, as recommended.

2. Recommended to Refer:

The following policy was referrered to the Democracy Zone Committee for discussion.

  • 0910P25 - Manifesto Transparency

After discussion, it was decided by the committee that the policy should not be lapsed. Instead, VP Democracy and Creative Industries was assigned by the committee to review and make necessary ammendments to it in the view to make it less restrictive.

3. Recommended to Consolidate

It was recommended that the following policies be consolidated:

  • 1112P4 - Honorary Vice-President: Dr Janice Rippon
  • 0809P13 - Honorary Vice-President: George Clegg
  • 0809P7 - Honorary Vice-President: Tever Spence
  • 0809P2 - Posthumous Award of Honorary Vice-President: Professor Caroline Thomas
  • 0909P1 - Honorary Vice-President: Peter H May
  • 0607P6 - Honorary Vice-President: Roger Mallett
  • 0506P33 - Honorary Vice-President: Pat Usher
  • 0203P5 - Honorary Vice-President: Dianne Lyons
  • 0001P1 - Honorary Vice-President: Paul Slater
  • 9798P1 - Honorary Vice-President: John M Macfadyen
  • 8687P1 - Honorary Vice-President: Margaret Footner
  • 8182P1 - Honorary Vice-President: Denis Hunter
  • 7980P1 - Honorary Vice-President: Mrs M M Cresswell 

The committee voted to lapse these policies but staff will keep a list of all Honorary Vice-Presidents so that information is retained.

It was recommended that the following policies be consolidated:

  •  0910P27 - Honorary Life Mmbers 2010
  • 0910P19 - Eligibility for Honorary Life Membership
  • 0809P9 - Honorary Life Mmbers 2009
  • 0708P6 - Honorary Life Members 2008
  • 0607P21 - Honorary Life Members 2007
  • 0506P34 - Honorary Life Members 2006
  • 0405P7 - Honorary Life Members 2005

 The committee voted to lapse these policies but staff will keep a list of all Honorary Life Members so that the information is retained.

It was recommended that the following policies be consolidated:

  •  0910P17 - Implementation of Equal Opportunities Policy
  • 0910P16 - Training of Administrative Officers
  • 0203P4 - Executive Team Building Session

After discussion, it was decided by the committee to leave these policies as they are as staff are working towards creating a training policy that will essentially replace these policies. However, as it is unknown whether that will be happening in time for this year, these policies will remain in place until they are due to automatically lapse at the end of the academic year.

It was recommended that the following policies be consolidated:

  • 1112P18 - Trustee Code of Conduct
  • 0203P1 - Code of Conduct for Trustees

The committee voted to retain policy 1112P18 - Trustee Code of Conduct and lapse policy 0203P1 - Code of Conduct for Trustees.

4. Recommended to Lapse

After discussion, it was decided that SUSU should keep a history of constitutional changes, many of which are listed as policies due to lapse. As a result of this, the committee voted to lapse all policies where there had been a one-off decision which had been achieved and, from that set, pull out policies which denoted constititional changes and store them separately (see document attached).

The committee then moved onto the remaining policies and voted on the action to take with these:

  • 1213P7 - Amendments to the Constitution In Line With the Articles of Association: Committee voted to lapse this policy
  • 1112P13 - Reforming the Role of Union Council Chair: Committee voted to retain this policy as the mandates named in this policy have not yet been carried out.
  • 1011P15 - Union Council Policy: Committee voted to lapse this policy
  • 0910P33A - SUSU Events: Committee voted to lapse this policy
  • 0910P43* - Take Back Parliament: Committee voted to retain this policy

*it was brought to the committees attention that this policy was passed during an AGM and therefore there the DZC is restricted by what it can do with this policy -  a thorough review of polices passed by AGM will be undertaken by staff to ascertain which of the policies need to be reviewed and by which committee.

  • 0809P8 - Honorary Vice-Chair: Michael Snell: Committee voted to lapse this policy, but retain the information and add it to a list of Honorary Vice-Presidents (see above).
  • 0607P20 - Participation in Union Council: Committee voted to lapse this policy
  • 0506P8 - Union Council Membership and Participation: Committee voted to lapse this policy
  • 0405P9 - Student Volunteering: Committee voted to lapse this policy
  • 7071P1 - Students' Union Club: Committee voted to lapse this policy

The committee then discussed the creation of four classifications for Democracy Policy. The committee decided that instead of 'Governance' being a classification, it will be replaced by 'Accountability'. Therefore the decision of the DZC is that the following are the classifications for Democracy Policy:

  • Decision Making
  • Elections
  • Accountability
  • Student Groups

 

 

Action Item 6. Review and ammend Policy 0910P25 - Manifesto Transparency (David Martin)
Action Item 6. Ratify with the rest of Democracy Zone Committee the decisions made in this meeting regarding Policies (David Martin, Guy Drury)
Action Item 6. Email out Policies 1011P22 and 0506P20 to External Engagement Zone Committee for decision (Claire Gilbert)
Action Item 6. Carry out a thorough review of policies and determine which were passed at AGMs and which were passed at Union Council (Katie Ng, Guy Drury)
Action Item 6. Pull out from lapsed polices, the policies that denote constitutional changes and store them seperately for furtue reference (Katie Ng, Guy Drury)
Action Item 6. Create a database of names of Honorary Vice-Presidents and Honorary Life Membership, to be updated annually (Katie Ng, Guy Drury)
Constitution
7. Creation of new Wellbeing Committee under Student Life Zone (for approval)

David Gilani asked whether this new group covered the same content the previous Welfare Committee did, the answer was yes and he was therefore happy to approve this, as was the rest of the committee.

(Claire Gilbert, Jaki Booth and David Gilani left the meeting)

8. Amendments to Rule 4 for Student Life Zone (for approval)

Item 8 was moved to be discussed before Item 7.

This point was just for discussion and not, as stated in the agenda, for approval as there was no formal request for changing zones submitted to the committee. The committee discussed these changes and commented on the following:

  • 'Religious Views' as a sub heading needs to be changed as the wording is misleading.
  •  'City Living' should be added as an extra sub heading on its own as 'Housing' and 'City Living' are such vast topics.

After discussion, Jaki suggested that the 6 sub headings of the Student Life Zone should now be

  • Peer Support
  • Housing
  • Student Financial Support
  • City Living
  • 'Religious Views' but with the wording changed to be more appropriate
  • Student Wellbeing  

The committee were in agreement and David Martin gave these recommendations to VP Engagement.

 

Elections
9. Update on preparations for Spring Elections 2014 (for information)

David Martin provided the committee with an update on how preparations for the Spring Elections 2014 were progressing. Since the last DZC meeting, there had been several meetings held by staff and students. Staff have discussed the logistics, preparation, marketing and communications plans for the upcoming elections. Student Media groups have also met to discuss how the elctions will be covered next year. Discussion has also been about how the elctions can be improved from last year and what new and innovative ideas can be used this time round. Although it was hoped that the launch of the Spring Election promotional information would be this week, due to technical difficulties on the website, the new release date has moved to the week commencing  Monday 16th December 2013. 

10. How the Elections By-law should work (for discussion)

As David Martin wished to bring a formal by-law to the next Union Council, and this current committee meeting was inquorate, he decided as Chair to email this to committee members and ask for their opinions and comments. There were non-members present at the meeting and so David Martin welcomed comments from all Union members.  

Action Item 10. Email the Democracy Zone committee members asking for comments and opinions on the draft by-law (David Martin)
11. Voter Choice Software: eChoice vs VoteMatch (for decision)

As the meeting was inquorate with just one member of the committee left in attendance, the Chair decided to email the committee members asking for a decision on this matter. For the record, Jamie Barker expressed a preference for eChoice.

Action Item 11. Email the Democracy Zone committee members asking for them to vote on which of the voter choice software they prefer (David Martin)
Any other business
12. Date of next meeting

The meeting ended at 4pm.

The date of the next meeting is Tuesday 14th January 2014, 10am in Meeting Room 2. 

Key: P (Papers Provided), PF (Papers to Follow)