Union Senate (17th May 2018)


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Name of Committee Union Senate
Date and time 17th May 2018, 18:15
Place WSA 63 East / 3023 (Harvard L/T)
Present Members
Max Hayman
Vice President Sports Stephen Gore
Union President Flora Noble
Scott Mccarthy
Vice President Welfare Samantha Higman
Vice President Education Samuel Dedman
Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries Evie Reilly
Ellis Murrell
Chair of Senate Cecile Howard
Laura Barr
Senator George Hart
Absent with Apologies Vice President Student Communities Arun Aggarwal
Sports Development Zone Representative Olivia Owen
Charlie Morris
Petra Jones
Absent without Apologies Senator Giles Howard
Senator Danny Kunda
Senator Luke Taylor
Senator Kimberly Goodell
Senator Qasim Hussain

Actions and Decisions

Action Clarity is needed on the laptop ban in the Bridge. Can anything be changed?
Decision Senate approved Sam Dedman's nomination to be an External Trustee.
Action A review should be made of how votes can be made outside of Union Senate meetings, quoracy and non-attendance.
Decision Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
Action Action to speak to the CEO of Surrey Student Union has been passed on to the next Union President.
Action Evie to look at the protocol for asking students to cover events.
Action Evie to investigate with relevant staff whether the new membership system is secure.
Action Sam to raise the issue of profit levels on sustainable items in the SUSU shop.
Action Sam to meet with Laura about research by Student Minds.
Action Sam H to look at getting the Bar 3 toilet fixed.
Action Role of Chair of Senate to be reviewed and changes to the training be made to reflect issues faced by Union Senate this year.
1. Attendance

Cecile opened the meeting and confirmed attendance.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting


Decision Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
3. Update on Actions

1 Union Stars:

Cecile confirmed that she has been considering options for reintroducing the Union Stars process detailed in Rule 10 back into Union Senate. The main idea would be to model it off of the SUSU Staff Union Star process and that she would detail this in her handover for the next Chair of Senate.

2 SCA Hesitancy:

Steve confirmed that he had met with Laura about the hesitancy of certain clubs to engage with Sexual Consent Awareness Campaigns. He and Laura agree that it is concerning and have considered different ways that they can encourage clubs to start talking. Part of this will involved asking clubs to sign a charter during the Bunfight and conducting a survey around harassment students experience on campus.

3 Strike Action:

Flora confirmed that she had spoken to the sabbatical officers at Surrey but had not yet been able to contact the CEO there. The action to speak with the CEO at Surrey will be passed on to the next Union President.

Action Action to speak to the CEO of Surrey Student Union has been passed on to the next Union President.
Senate Reports and Papers
4. Reports from the Sabbatical Officers

Flora Noble, Union President

  • Many of the plans Flora had this year had to be changed as a large amount of work has been needed in response to University action this year.
  • Flora confirmed she had been working with the University on the Restructure, VC Pay, Internal Issues and the Strike Action and that between July 17 to Jan 18 this resulted in 110 hours being spent in University meetings.
  • Flora confirmed that there are a number of positive projects she is going to finish before the end of her term and that there were a lot of exciting plans she can pass on to the new President, Emily, such as building changes and continuing work with the University.
  • Give It A Go was successfully run at Winchester School of Art (WSA). A survey was completed by students to ask they what they would like to do, this resulted in a Mocktail making event which was a great success. This is new approach should help to solve a longstanding issue affecting students at this campus and will feed into Freshers.
  • The Compensation Strategy is almost complete.
  • Handover documents is being written for Emily and is almost complete.
  • Flora ended by saying that it had been a great 5 years working with SUSU and thank you to everyone she has worked with.

Steve Gore, VP Sport

  • Has continued to lobby the University on membership and has had great success with the Sports Pass.
  • There has been a problem between the company used to introduce the recurring card payments and the booking system. The University is looking at litigation to get the money back for this.
  • The Union is no longer looking after Intra-Mural activities this will now be administered by the University.
  • The storage review is underway still and Steve confirmed that he has been looking at lockers on level 1 by the changing rooms as a temporary measure. This is to be put in before the potential building move.


Sam Dedman, VP Education

  • The NSS has now closed and the University reached the 50% quota.
  • The SSS has also closed but remained at 12%.
  • The UCU strikes have ended for now but there is a possibility of more next year as PASNAS talks have only been put on hold.
  • Sam confirmed he is still waiting on i-Solutions on his printing campaign. The new payment will not be rolled out until Sam has seen it and has some input on whether it is enough.
  • Unilink have a new fleet of buses coming soon, these will include the stop read-out that students have requested.
  • Sam also confirmed that there are 455 reps as of the morning of the meeting.


Sam Higman, VP Welfare

  • Sam confirmed that she has been continuing her work on Gender Neutral toilets and that she would be bringing the next VP Welfare, Isabella to her future meetings to help handover. The aim is to ensure that all single cubicle toilets are gender neutral across campus.
  • Sam has been continuing work on the One by One campaign in the shop, this has been a great success and will continue to grow.
  • Sam discussed the Healthy Relationships video and the campaign, which included having mirrors on the Concourse where students could write kind messages.
  • Sam has been talking to UEU about ‘Bring Your Own Bowl’.
  • Sam and Steve had been continuing work on the Welfare in Sport campaign.
  • The Wellbeing spaces have been used a lot during the exam period.
  • Sam helped to run another successful Humans Vs Zombies which had a Star Wars theme for the 4th

Evie Reilly, VP Democracy and Creative Industries

  • Summer Elections are still underway and voting has now opened. We are missing candidates for the Arts and Humanities FO which may be due to it now sitting across 3 campuses since the University Restructure. We also don’t’ have a Halls Officer which may cause difficulty during Freshers.
  • Evie is still working on the Union Review which is a large project incompassing a wide reaching review of the Rules, Student Leaders, Sabbaticals and Clubs and Socieites. It is a race to get everything in good shape for the AGM in November. There will be consultation with relevant groups along the way.
  • Evie is still working on rehearsal space issues but working with the University can be difficult and permanent space is hard to find on campus.
  • The affiliation process is being changed at the moment and there will be a new process next year. Also, with Clubs and Societies, membership is now being run through the Box Office.
5. Questions from Senators

Flora Noble, Union President

  1. Cecile asked about the different levels of engagement that our students have with SUSU and that there had been some issues of disengagement this year.
  2. Flora confirmed that this is an issue SUSU is facing but this this isn’t new to the current year and has been growing for some time. The main solution is to get out and start talking to students and to to find out what they do when they aren’t engaged with SUSU. We need to recognise and celebrate the work students do without SUSU and keep pushing to make sure they know where we are and how we can help.
  3. Cecile also discussed the many hours Flora has spent in University meetings and asked why there isn’t more feedback after this. The regulations state that updates are required so students know what the sabbaticals are up to.
  4. Flora confirmed that a lot of what is discussed in the meeting she attends is confidential but that she has written a blog recently on the Amazon Lockers issue. She also told Senate that it can be difficult to make what is discussed in these meetings relevant to students now as it is often plans for further in the future but that she would help Emily with this problem during handover.
  5. Cecile asked Flora about students who need to repeat years as a result of the extra pressure they have through volunteering with the Union. Cecile asked about what was being done to recognise volunteers who give up a lot of time to work with SUSU.
  6. Flora told Union Senate that she understood that it isn’t always easy to balance work, life, study and volunteering but that student’s must put their degree first. Flora advised any volunteers that they should come and speak to someone at the Union as we can provide support and will take some of the pressure off. Flora also confirmed that she had been working with staff at the Union to improve the recognition structures for students and that this would continue over next year.

George: Asked Union Senate to consider whether the University has a role in helping students, as we are here to study primarily.

  1. Cecile asked Flora about the open You Make Change submissions that are awaiting answers.
  2. Flora confirmed that the ones that are open are all complex issues that involve the University and so these tend to take longer but that she is working on them still and will aim to have the closed off before handover.

Cecile: After questions for Flora Noble, Union President, Cecile asked for it to be actioned that the role of Union Senator and Chair of Senate be reviewed and that that training be updated to reflect some of the issues faced this year.


Steve Gore, VP Sport

Laura: Thanked Steve for being receptive on the issues around SCA hesitancy in clubs.

  1. Cecile asked Steve what his big plans were for next year since being re-elected.
  2. Steve confirmed that Scholarships is a long-term goal that he will continue to work on next year. He will also be starting a new project working with the VP Welfare on recreational drug culture. Steve would also like to look at meal deals in the shop to encourage students to lead healthy, happier lives on campus.


Sam Dedman, VP Education

  1. Max asked Sam about a You Make Change submission that discussed the sexist imagery used on Unilink buses and asked if this would be addressed with the new fleet.
  2. Sam confirmed that Unilink were being very secretive about their branding at the moment but the Union will be keeping a watchful eye on it.
  3. Ellis asked if it would be possible to have clearer definition between the NSS and SSS.
  4. Sam confirmed that no unique marketing was possible as they both run at the same time. The SSS falls into a strange place as it acts as a predictor for the NSS.
  5. Laura asked Sam about research undertaken by Student Minds UK about welfare of the Academics and Staff at Universities that shows they aren’t properly trained in pastoral care and the effects of this on students and staff alike.
  6. Sam suggested that a meeting to look into it in more details would be helpful. He also highlighted that at the Academic Awards ceremony that the Union holds for staff, there are two categories on support.

Laura: Suggested that this comes more from personality and a natural ability rather than from training.

Cecile asked that a meeting between Sam and Laura be actioned.

  1. Cecile asked, what would you recommend students do about lecturers not being up to scratch.
  2. Sam referenced the University Regulations on standards for teaching and marking and suggested that students speak to the Academic Reps for their course or faculty for support.
  3. George asked about Academic Support, and that they aren’t as committed as they should be causing students and academic staff to be concerned.
  4. Sam confirmed that the Home Student Offices will be closing and that students can now go to any office for support and that this may help in the long-run.
  5. George asked whether the You Are More Than campaign will continue as it has been very helpful.
  6. Sam stated that it had been a team effort and that it will certainly continue, both next year and in the near future with smoothies at NOCs.


Sam Higman, VP Welfare

Laura: Expressed that Sam should be very proud her achievements this year and that is was difficult to find criticism of her report to Senate.

  1. Max asked about the Gender Neutral Toilets, specifically that the one on Level 3 doesn’t have a working lock.

Cecile put it to action that Sam should look into getting the Bar 3 Level toilet lock fixed.

  1. Max also asked about the reusable cups that are being sold in the café and why these are sold with a 60% profit margin. As a sustainable item being sold to students, why is it being sold with such high profits attached.
  2. Sam told Senate that she wasn’t aware of this and that she would raise this as a concern with the team.

Cecile put it to action that Sam should raise the issue of profit levels of sustainable items in the shop with the appropriate team.


Evie Reilly, VP Democracy and Creative Industries

  1. Cecile asked Evie about her plans for next year’s Spring Elections and who she will ensure that the media teams aren’t relied upon.
  2. Evie explained that she would be hosting a feedback session before the end of term to gather more information about what is needed on both sides. Recommendations have already been made which we will be taking forwards. Evie also confirmed that her focus is to ensure they have creative influence.
  3. Max asked about the new membership process and raised concerns about the security of holding this information in one complete list. He also asked for reassurance that students data is safe held in the SUSU system.
  4. Evie confirmed that the safety of students information is paramount and that if there were any concerns or that it was found to be unsafe then we would put a hold on progress.

Steve: Explained that the changes are there to ensure that liability isn’t on students to uphold the new GDPR changes. By going through the Box Office the security of student information is looked after by SUSU rather than by club/society committees.

Sam: Raised the dangerous and negative implications of any leak that showed the membership of LGBT groups.

Evie: Confirmed that members to a society indicates a protected characteristic and wouldn’t be public.

Max: Asked about cross-referencing that may lead someone to be able to pinpoint a student and which societies they are in.

Steve: Confirmed that SUSU would not allow students to see what other societies students are a member of.

Cecile put it to action that Evie should investigate with relevant staff that the new membership system is secure.

  1. Cecile raised that student-run societies are often asked to cover events and asked whether there were any plans to improve the relationship and whether it would be possible to pay students for their work.
  2. Evie confirmed that a new Service Line Agreement (SLA) is being written up for this at the moment and that this would cover what societies can expect from SUSU and vice-versa. There is a delicate balance between paid and voluntary work but that SUSU shouldn’t expect student volunteers to do the same level of work as paid staff.

Cecile asked that Evie be actioned to look at the protocol for asking students to cover events.


Action Evie to look at the protocol for asking students to cover events.
Action Evie to investigate with relevant staff whether the new membership system is secure.
Action Sam to raise the issue of profit levels on sustainable items in the SUSU shop.
Action Sam to meet with Laura about research by Student Minds.
Action Sam H to look at getting the Bar 3 toilet fixed.
Action Role of Chair of Senate to be reviewed and changes to the training be made to reflect issues faced by Union Senate this year.
6. Harrasment By-Law

Feedback was provided on the new Harrassment By-Law draft.

  • Make sure that the By-Law reflects the SSPA relating to staff harassment of students and vice-versa.
  • Need to confirm that the terminology is appropriate in terms of gender reassignment and gender identity.
  • Protection given to the complainant after coming forward – safeguarding process.
  • More focus on minority groups.


George: How can we spread the word about the new Harrassment By-Law and the stance of the Union.

Sam: The By-Law can be made public.

Laura: Where is the line between actions as a society and as an individual.

Evie: It is clearly defined in the rules the difference between society and individual in complaints processing.

7. AOB

Sam: If sabbaticals take on additional work outside of what they do with SUSU, it is in their contract to run it by Union Senate. Sam will be running for an External Trustee role, he expressed that it would not interfere with working as a sabb and that it would be helpful to have a voice from a Non-NUS affiliated Union on the panel.

Approved by Union Senate.

Cecile: Following up on the decision to take Flora Noble to Disciplinary for non-attendance of Union Senate. The meeting where this decision took place was not quorate and so the complaint was not taken forwards by the Disciplinary Chair.

Cecile put it to action that a review be made of votes outside of Union Senate meetings, quoracy and non-attendance of meetings.

Max: Raised the issue of the laptop ban in the Bridge during peak hours, asking whether this decision is in line with what students need.

Sam D: Responded that it is a balancing act between providing informal study spaces for students and financial sustainability of the Bridge as an outlet.

Cecile put it to action that clarity was needed on the laptop ban in the Bridge and could anything be changed.

Action Clarity is needed on the laptop ban in the Bridge. Can anything be changed?
Decision Senate approved Sam Dedman's nomination to be an External Trustee.
Action A review should be made of how votes can be made outside of Union Senate meetings, quoracy and non-attendance.

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