Avila summarised her report (attached to minutes) and replied to the questions below:
Q: Have the PGR roles been filled in summer election?
A: Avila explained that in summer elections, there has been limited student engagement and that they are working towards having students more engaged in autumn election. However, PGRs have been more active in taking some other roles such as Enterprise Officer.
Q: Can you give more information about mental health steering group?
A: Avila said that is a very broad category (in many different departments). They all work towards supporting the students best. CHEP (centre of higher education and practice), for example, is in charge of making the curriculum as accessible and inclusive as possible and one of the areas they work on is mental health. So within the mental health steering group, there has been discussions to do with special considerations and ensuring the process fairer. Such collaborative activities have been added to steering group itself. She said that they are also working with Enabling Services. The main success at this stage has been special considerations and being allowed to submit anonymous request for extensions, for example.
No other questions were asked.
Nicole summarised her report (attached to minutes) and replied to the questions below:
Q: What are the currently planned networks? Will networks be formed from the societies that they are comparable to or will they be two separate entities?
A: Nicole mentioned that the network she is currently working on Students with Disabilities Network. She said that they will be formed within societies they are comparable to. They will not be two separate entities in terms of having 2 different structures, but each of them has its own autonomy. They are currently working on some level of flexibility. For example, if a society really wants to be involved in setting up a network, we are happy that they get involved. In that sense, they have two separate entities but there is also flexibility that if a society wants to be involved in setting up a network, they can.
Q: How do you ensure that if a society doesn’t want to be part of setting up a network, they are being steamrolled over by an official SUSU entity?
A: Nicole explained that in such situation, she would meet up with that society to understand their concerns and why they don’t want to be involved in the process of setting up networks. It is optional for them if they want to be involved or not but it is still important to be involved in discussions and for them to be aware of what is planned so that they can choose how much they feed into it.
No other questions were asked.
Corin summarised his report (attached to minutes) and replied to the questions below:
Q: Is there any updates on Annex lift?
A: Corin started with providing some background knowledge about Annex Theatre- it is the theatre that students use for most of their shows. It is mostly run by stage technician society and different societies use it. It is currently limited and if you can’t deal with stairs, you can’t get to the stage. We are trying to get the idea of having a lift pushed through but it is very difficult and there isn’t any update at the moment.
Q: What does WIDE training stand for?
A: “welfare, inclusivity, diversity, equality”. Corin noted that they are updating this at the moment to make it more useful for committees. He said that although there is lots of information in there currently, there is not much about what to do if something happens.
Q: Any more information on bookable spaces?
A: Corin explained that SUSU spaces block bookings has gone out, but if you need space then email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need space. At the moment, the uni spaces are also bookable by students in Sussed. There is no clear timeframe- hopefully this will be done within the next few days.
No other questions were asked.
Sam summarised his report (attached to minutes). The only question was about expand on Varsity which Sam covered while summarising his report.
Olivia was on annual leave but has sent out her report. Fiona summarised Olivia’s report on her behalf. The question below was asked:
Q: What are SUSU’s plans to support the national campaign about universities having better sexual assaults policies in place and lobbying the university to ensure that all students are safe throughout the university experience?
A: Nicole explained that the university is currently setting up mandatory content and sexual awareness training for all new students starting September 2021 and it worked with the Consent Awareness Society to develop this. The University is also working on setting up an easier way to contact campus security if they are in distressing situation for the next academic year. There is also the reporting support tool (launched in mid-March) which allows students to either anonymously or with their contacts report any incidents and they can also get support during distressing situations.
Q: Will sabbatical officers commit to working together to publicise the new safety drive and stand in solidarity with other universities nationally to better practice safety for all?
A: Nicole explained that there are plans to publicise the mandatory training mentioned earlier at the university and make this mandatory for all students. In addition, more work can be done to improve the reporting support tool. She emphasised that anyone with any further suggestions can let them know.
Q: Nicole was asked about the governance structure of networks and whether they are committee-based or executive-based.
A: Nicole mentioned that this is something that they are still not certain on. They do want to ensure that students feel that the structure of these networks is flexible enough so that they can exist long-term as there has been issues in the past. She said they are considering a committee-structure (having a chair and then a committee who sits under them).
Q: Nicole was asked how they are ensuring the objectives and aims of a network does not strongly overlap with societies’ objectives/ aims?
A: Nicole explained that these two may overlap in the sense that they are both spaces of communities. They are taking steps to make sure all students who come to those networks are supported throughout.