Flora Noble, Union President
- 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.
- Flora confirmed that this is an issue SUSU is facing but this this isnâ€™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 arenâ€™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.
- Cecile also discussed the many hours Flora has spent in University meetings and asked why there isnâ€™t more feedback after this. The regulations state that updates are required so students know what the sabbaticals are up to.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flora told Union Senate that she understood that it isnâ€™t always easy to balance work, life, study and volunteering but that studentâ€™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.
- Cecile asked Flora about the open You Make Change submissions that are awaiting answers.
- 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.
- Cecile asked Steve what his big plans were for next year since being re-elected.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Ellis asked if it would be possible to have clearer definition between the NSS and SSS.
- 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.
- Laura asked Sam about research undertaken by Student Minds UK about welfare of the Academics and Staff at Universities that shows they arenâ€™t properly trained in pastoral care and the effects of this on students and staff alike.
- 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.
- Cecile asked, what would you recommend students do about lecturers not being up to scratch.
- 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.
- George asked about Academic Support, and that they arenâ€™t as committed as they should be causing students and academic staff to be concerned.
- 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.
- George asked whether the You Are More Than campaign will continue as it has been very helpful.
- 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.
- Max asked about the Gender Neutral Toilets, specifically that the one on Level 3 doesnâ€™t have a working lock.
Cecile put it to action that Sam should look into getting the Bar 3 Level toilet lock fixed.
- Max also asked about the reusable cups that are being sold in the cafÃ© 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.
- Sam told Senate that she wasnâ€™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
- Cecile asked Evie about her plans for next yearâ€™s Spring Elections and who she will ensure that the media teams arenâ€™t relied upon.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 isnâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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.
- 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.
- 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 shouldnâ€™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.