Union Senate (24th November 2022)


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Name of Committee Union Senate
Date and time 24th November 2022, 14:00
Place Building 42, Meeting Room 2
Present Members
Chair of Senate Georgios Ntoules
Senator Jamie Norton
Senator Amy Moir
Senator Ethan Chiu
Senator Nataliya Klymko
Senator Salvatore Pagdades
Senator Thasmia Mohamed Aleem Basha
Senator Serena Garrick
Senator Jingting Chen
Senator Ahsan Mahboob
Senator Gavin Dcunha
Absent with Apologies Senator Aya El-Khoury
Senator Lottie James
Senator Joshua Grimsdale
Absent without Apologies Senator Terence Wong
Senator Andrew Colvill
Senator Miles Murphy
Senator Sade Sheikh
1. Welcome and Introductions

The Chair of Senate introduced himself and asked everyone to introduce themselves as some were not present in the previous meeting when there were introductions. Those present introduced themselves and the Chair of Senate outlined the agenda. 

2. Conflict of Interest

Amy Moir, senator, disclosed that she lives with Cassie Osborne, VP Sports, but it was determined it would not be a concern.

Reports and Plans
3. VP Activities Report and Plan

VP Activities Report and Plan

  Zoe Chapple, VP Activities, started by updating those present on Plant Pot screens advertisement and explained that societies can use a sign-up sheet to send graphics to display weekly on 2 screens with potential to expanded into Stags. Regarding student-led campaigns she said that societies are being involved in campaign months such as Black History month, Disability month and trans awareness week and the society showcase which will be an interactive showcase and societies can come up with ideas with the help of the Activities Team and herself. She also mentioned the society networking session at WSA covering the process to establish societies at WSA.

    She proceeded to discuss the booking system where she explained that they are looking into a streamlined system and that it will take some time to find an alternative but there will hopefully be more information about it at the next senate meeting. The goal for the new system is to have automated and easier processes.

     She moved on to explain her point regarding training. Any changes would be introduced in the next academic year. She said that currently the training is online but, in the future, she would like to include more interactivity and have fixed key role training, include grant round training to help with grant round queries, improve WIDE training, emotional first aid training and conflict resolution training. Her goal is to find the best ways to upskill committee members. She further explained that they have been trialing first aid and resilience training. She said that there needs to be generic training for all committee members as well as consideration of the different needs of societies and the roles they have.

    Afterwards, she discussed the society accreditation system. She has already been researching other accreditation systems at other Student Unions and she is looking into creating a list of things societies should already be doing for example updated social media, completing training, full committees, full handover, democratic AGMs and will be like a checklist to help with smoother running of societies but with an incentive yet to be determined and no punishments. Smaller societies will be giving additional help by having ideas on how to increase in size through collaborations, and further support will be given to newly affiliated societies. In order to create this system, she will have discussions with many societies of different sizes to investigate the needs of societies and help them progress. She emphasised that it will be a loose guide.

  Additionally, she spoke about Annual General Meetings, democracy and conduct within societies. She explained that they are not involved with individual society funding and spending and financial information is requested when societies apply for grant rounds with the Activities Team. She said that in AGMs financial information should be fully broken down and enforcement of proper conduct in AGMs is crucial. She would like to work on having only members of the society voting in that society’s AGM to avoid non-members voting and she will look into how to do this with the Activities and Representation Team. She said that to ensure this financial information is provided when required that a template for financial report will be provided, it will be included in the accreditation system and Activities team will continue to look into other solutions to this.

    Furthermore, she mentioned that concerning having both Nuffield and B42 as renovation priorities that the university has more than priorities concerning renovations and she will be lobbying the university to include Nuffield as a priority as it is something that arts related societies care about considerably.

     She ended her presentation by discussing her 1-1 meetings with committee presidents from all non-sports societies. She explained that a form is sent with questions asking about any issues societies are facing and it has a loose structure to allow flexibility within the form and the meetings. The timeframe of this is established by presidents as they sign up before the Christmas break and she will be pushing those who have not signed up to do so after the Christmas break. She will be informing the Activities Team of any reoccurring issues from these meetings. Lastly, she explained that those meetings will be 30 minutes long, with her doing them multiple times per week until all are covered and they can be either in person, online or through email.

   At end she opened the floor to questions. First, she was asked how members would be prevented from joining on the day just to vote in an AGM, to which she responded that it would need to be researched with the help of the Activities Team and Representation Team but a cutoff date for membership could be considered to avoid this. Secondly, she was asked what the chance of risk of financial fraud within societies is to which she answered that bank statements must be submitted to get through grant rounds so there is no risk to SUSU financially however there is a grey area regarding sponsorships and other issues. She added that 2 committee members must sign off on expenditure form on Money Hub. Lastly, she was asked if society members can ask for bank statements and if so, can SUSU force societies to give them to society members who have requested them, to which she responded that it depends on the constitution of the society, but the Activities Team can support in case of suspicious behavior.

4. Further questions on reports or plans

The Chair of Senate opened the floor to further questions regarding all sabbatical officers’ plans and reports to which there were none.


The CEO of SUSU proceeded to explain some of the important financial processes followed within SUSU and answer related questions.

   She began by explaining that the Education Act mandates that Student Unions receive funding but does not specify an amount and it is difficult to plan financially since SUSU does not have a full picture of student numbers until later in the year. In the past there were negotiations every year for the funding for the next year but now the negotiations happen every 3 years with some small adjustments for inflation each year in that period. Once the current 3-year grant is over, SUSU with the university will review the effectiveness of this change. During the negotiations the CEO and Union President discuss and negotiate with key university contacts based on figures. The grant is spent on core SUSU activities.

    She explained that there was no trading income over COVID but there is currently a surplus due to savings on operating costs. She added that trading venues have low costs but do not sell at cost to ensure staff are paid fairly and that some money goes back to SUSU for other activities. She was asked if SUSU can negotiate so that certain activities are included in the block grant as part of core activities to which she answered that it can be done and stated that the Give it A Go program is an example of this being included as core activity. Afterwards she was asked what would happen if the university cut the block grant to which she responded that the university has a strong financial position, and it is very unlikely to cut the block grant in the future. She added that the publication of annual accounts of the university is happening in the next month (relative to the date of the meeting).

    She proceeded to explain the budgeting process. The budget process starts in mid to late March, so it has started before the new sabbatical officer team. All budget holders will prepare a draft budget for the next year and the Trustee board will approve certain things for the next year such as whether there will be a deficit or surplus and other fixed costs. The panel consisting of external trustee, the Union President and someone from the university will go through the budgets for the following year and there will always be enough for campaigns for sabbatical officers for the next year. She was then asked whether SUSU can improve the transparency and presentation of financial information for students to which she responded that it is difficult to communicate but she is open to ideas.

   Additionally, she was asked about what would happen if all grant round applications were perfect, she responded that it does not happen but there would be an equal approach rather than a pick and choose approach.

   Lastly, she spoke about the Trustee Board and explained that Senate is not the only to scrutinise within SUSU but there is also the Trustee Board which exists to ensure legal and financial compliance and also compliance with regulators. They also delegate authority, discuss changes in staff structure, approve the annual budget, monitor performance against budget. The 12 Trustees include 4 sabbatical trustees, 4 student trustees elected and 4 external trustees who are professionals with expertise. She mentioned that 2 external trustees are being replaced and the process will be the same as the hiring process within SUSU. All proceedings of the Trustee Board are available to see on the Charity commission website. She was lastly asked how sabbatical officers are chosen for trustee positions to which she responded that the Union President and VP Education and Democracy are required to be on Trustee Board and the other 2 positions are discussed and chosen among the sabbatical officers.

6. AOB

The Chair of Senate asked if there were any further questions or matters of business and there were none.  As quoracy was not achieved, online voting form was circulated and the below were the results:

Minute of Previous Meeting:




Result: Approved


VP Sports Plan:

Approve: 11


Abstain: 4

Result: Approved


VP Education and Democracy Plan:

Approve: 15



Result: Approved


Union President Plan:

Approve: 14


Abstain: 2

Result: Approved


VP Activities Plan:

Approve: 11


Abstain: 4

Result: Approved



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