Students' Union Affairs

You are here: Home >

1. Events

Amended 29th April 2008 (381st Meeting Union Council)
Re-adopted 9th June 2011 (403rd Meeting Union Council)
Amended 8th December 2011 (406th Meeting Union Council)
Re-adopted and amended 5th May 2015 (426th Meeting Union Council)
Re-adopted and amended 10th May 2018 (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: Activities
Secondary Officer: Sports

This policy proposes the union resolves the following:

This Union believes that its events (including activities) should be ethical and non-degrading to its members.

The Union resolves that no events should break any laws, or engage in any illegal activity.

This Union resolves that events should be inclusive and not exclude any of its members. No members will be explicitly/implicitly denied participation or access to an event. Events can be targeted towards certain members of the student populous.

This Union further believes that its events and those of its associated and affiliated student groups should not exclude those who do not wish to consume alcoholic drinks. No member will be explicitly/implicitly denied participation to an event because they do not wish to consume alcohol. Events can be designed or targeted towards members of the union who do wish to consume alcohol.

This Union further believes that initiation events based around new or existing members performing tasks to gain credibility within the group are degrading and a barrier to participation. For example the consumption of food, alcohol or parading of nudity and should not be organised by student groups.

This Union resolves that none of its events should bring harm or distress to an animal.

This Union resolves that none of its events or those of its associated and affiliated student groups should be promoted as ‘slave auction’ events as these are offensive in particular to BME Students.

This Union resolves that its events should be culturally sensitive and should not offend any culture.

This Union resolves that whenever alcohol is offered, as a prize or as part of an event, Student Groups must ensure that a non-alcoholic option is also available and offered to recipients. This does not include Gifts. A prize is defined as something that is ‘won’ as part of a competition. A ‘Gift’ is a recognition of an individual or groups work and is not ‘won’.

This Union resolves that Student Groups must not encourage members to drink more alcohol than they desire.

This Union resolves that Student Groups should promote socially responsible drinking when events/activities involves consumption of alcohol.

This Union resolves that all reasonable efforts should be made to ensure that disabled students are not excluded from events it or its associated and affiliated groups run.

This Union resolves that any event should avoid creating excessive noise in public areas, leave any area in a fit and proper state after use and provide consideration for those not participating in the event but who are in close proximity.

This Union resolves to consider the social and environmental impact of their events and activities (e.g. waste management).

This union resolves that an Events guidance document shall be created to support this policy. The document should outline the requirements of events from a legal, insurance and university standpoint. This document should be reviewed annually and signed off by the Full time Officer Committee.

2. Alcohol/Shisha at Events

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: Activities
Secondary Officer: Sports

This policy proposes that the union resolves the following:

This Union resolves that Students Groups have the autonomy to name their events as they wish providing the names are not offensive, derogatory or insinuate irresponsible drinking as the sole purpose of their event. Phrases that insinuate irresponsible drinking include but are not limited to following examples ‘boozing’, ‘wasted’ and ‘wrecked’. In the event of doubt, students should consult members of the events team or the Activities Officer.

This Union resolves that it is permissible for event names to have connotations with drinking e.g. bar crawl/pub quiz/wine tasting etc.

This Union resolves that when a student group includes alcohol in the name of their event, groups must provide a disclaimer in the description of their event to ensure that there will be non-alcoholic alternatives available/provided.

This Union resolves that there shall be no mandatory monetary minimum spending cap on drinks prices where events take place.

This Union resolves that promotional material can include naming alcohol in the name of an events, pictures of alcoholic drinks and descriptions that include drinks deals.

This Union resolves that when student groups promote alcohol in the name/graphics/description of their events, student groups must highlight the risks of drinking and promote responsible drinking in the event description.

This Union resolves that student groups are permitted to organise events with Shisha and host ‘Shisha Nights’.

This Union resolves that when student groups organise shisha events or ‘shisha nights’, groups must provide a disclaimer with the risks affiliated with smoking shisha.

The union resolves that venues serving shisha should provide the risks associated with smoking. These may be provided by the union.

This Union resolves that when student groups organise shisha events, the group clarifies that those who do not smoke shisha are still welcomed at the events.

This union resolves that when a student group is denied/rejected or asked to change part of their event, the Activities Officer should be notified by the events team.

The Activities officer shall investigate and scope creating an events panel to review events that are under dispute.

3. Condemn Anti-Semitism and commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

13th December 2016. (430th Meeting Union Council)
Responsible Officer: Community Officer

Anti-Semitism

Why you are proposing the idea

Whilst it is the responsibility of all to stand up to anti-Semitism whenever and wherever it manifests, students’ unions must take the lead in condemning anti-Semitism on campus, investigate any allegations and take serious action against perpetrators.

 

What evidence you have to back up your idea

The past two years have seen some of the highest ever recorded number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK. In 2014, the Community Security Trust recorded 1,168 incidents against British Jews and 924 in 2015.

This year has seen an increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents taking place on university campuses across the country.

Following the resignation of the Co-Chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, it had become apparent that despicable comments and behaviour had been displayed towards Jewish students and it was clear that anti-Semitism was rife within the club.

Many of the comments included references to the existence of a “New York – Tel Aviv axis” that rigs elections, and said that “we should be aware of the influence wielded over elections by high net- worth Jewish individuals.”

These comments amongst others contain the hallmarks of a widely recognized conspiracy theory that Jewish people “control the world’s media, wealth and power.”

This has been used throughout history as a reason to commit unjustified violence towards Jewish people around the world.

Further to this, earlier this year posters were found on University Park campus with the words “Hitler Was Right.” Similar posters were also found at the University of Birmingham. This incident left Jewish students feeling particularly intimidated at this university.

These examples represent only the tip of the iceberg of a wider problem. When anti-Semitism is left unchallenged, it leaves many Jewish people feeling unwelcome and unsafe.

What the motion is asking the Students' Union to be mandated to do?

University of Nottingham Students’ Union should condemn anti-Semitism and the Officer team will investigate any allegations made by students.

University of Nottingham Students’ Union has an important responsibility to ensure that Jewish students feel safe on campus and are free to fully express their Jewish identities without fear.

Anti-Semitism shall be defined in accordance with the ‘Working Definition of Anti-Semitism’ adopted by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency in 2005: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Who supports your idea/who you have consulted with about it.

  • University of Nottingham Jewish Society
  • Nottingham Labour Students
  • Nottingham University Conservative Association
  • The Stand With Me Campaign

Holocaust Memorial Day

Why you are proposing the idea

The Holocaust was a genocide which killed 6 million Jewish people and 5 million others, including LGBTQ individuals, disabled people, people of Roma descent and political opponents.

Nazi ideology aimed to create racial purity because it was believed that all other races were inferior. People were systematically killed in concentration and death camps across Europe based solely on their religion, ethnicity, politics and behaviour.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on the 27th January every year. This marks the liberation of Auschwitz- Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps.

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the victims of the Nazis as well as those killed subsequently in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

It is a day to not only remember, but to honour the survivors of these hateful regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today.

What evidence you have to back up your idea

There has been a massive growth in Holocaust Memorial Day activities – over 5,590 activities took place across the UK for Holocaust Memorial Day in 2016.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust oversees the work of many organisations to ensure the life stories of survivors are shared with hundreds of thousands of people.

With very few survivors remaining, it is important that the memory of the Holocaust does not die with them and now is the time to hear their stories.

What the motion is asking the Students' Union to be mandated to do?

The University of Nottingham Students’ Union should commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on an annual basis.

The Officer team should encourage and facilitate students to organise events to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

Who supports your idea/who you have consulted with about it.

  • University of Nottingham Jewish Society
  • Nottingham Labour Students
  • Nottingham University Conservative Association
  • The Stand With Me Campaign

4. Give UoN Students a Voice: Integrate Voter Registration

2nd March 2017. (431st Meeting Union Council)
Responsible Officer: Community Officer

What do you want to change?

We want to see the Students Union lobbying for the integration of Voter Registration of Students into the University Student Enrolment System to simplify voter registration for students both starting university and continuing studies but at a new term time address. This proposal will be led by the SU Communities Officer.

All the Students Union Officers shall sign a letter to the Vice Chancellor calling for a meeting to discuss integration and aim for integration.

The Students Union will ensure that within the integrated system it is made clear that Irish Citizens along with citizens from specific Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies, Overseas Territories and former residents of Hong Kong who hold a British Dependent Territories, British Nationals (Overseas) or British Overseas passport qualify for voter registration.

The Students Union will ensure it is made clear within the integrated system that EU Nationals can register to vote but shall only be able to vote in local elections – this may be subject to change upon leaving the EU.

The Students Union will lobby for the University to establish data sharing and processing arrangements in order to register students with the following local authorities to cover students at all our sites: Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council (Broxtowe Borough Council + Rushcliffe Borough Council), Leicestershire County Council (North West Leicestershire District Council)and Derby City Council.

Why?

  • Student participation in democracy and the electoral process is a good thing and should be encouraged.
  • Students register to vote in chronically low numbers; when students do register, they often do not do so at their term-time address.
  • The move to individual voter registration in 2014 meant that many students who were previously registered dropped off the electoral register; an estimated 800,000 people in total were lost from the electoral register following the change.
  • Chronically low turnout among young people has mean that governments have often failed to act in students’ interests, for example by raising tuition fees.
  • Recent elections and referendums have shown a disconnect between the views of students and those of the majority of voters. While students and young people voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU referendum, the national result did not reflect this.
  • Voter registration has been integrated with enrolment at other comparable institutions including the University of Sheffield and University of Birmingham. At Birmingham, where this policy has been introduced, 2040 students had registered to vote during enrolment as of 1 September 2016.

Supported by:

  • Community Officer
  • Amnesty International Society
  • Biology Society
  • International Officer
  • English Society
  • Women’s Officer
  • Heart Soc
  • Left Society
  • Lillian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South
  • LGBT Officer
  • Medieval Society
  • BME Officer
  • Nordic Society
  • Nottingham Debating Union
  • Nottingham University Conservative Association
  • Night Owls
  • Physics Society
  • Out in Education
  • Table Tennis Society
  • Sociology Society
  • STAR (Student Action for Refugees)
  • Stop The Traffik Society
  • Sustainability Society
  • University of Nottingham Classics Society
  • University of Nottingham Labour Society

5. The Right to Protest

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: President
Secondary Officer: All Officers

This Union notes:

That the University has recently published a new ‘Code of Discipline for Students: A guide for University of Nottingham students’.

That the Code stipulates that it is ‘in place to ensure that good standards of communal life are maintained…on or off University premises’.

That the Code lists as reasons for breaching said Code as:
Disruption of the activities of the University (including academic, administrative, sporting and social on University premises or elsewhere.
Disruption of the functions, duties or activities of any student, staff member or visitor.

That breaches of the Code can lead to disciplinary action against our Members.

This Union believes:

That peaceful and lawful protest is a legitimate course of action that the Union must defend.

That the wording of the Code of Discipline for Students could easily be misconstrued to curtail peaceful and lawful protest.

That disciplinary action against students undertaking peaceful and lawful protest is contradictory to maintaining ‘good standards of communal life’ and unnecessary.

That the Union has a role in supporting and facilitating peaceful and lawful protest, both on and off campus where appropriate.

That the Portland Building, as the focal point of the Union, should be a space where students are able to participate in peaceful and lawful protest.

This Union resolves:

To support and defend the rights of our members to take part in peaceful and lawful protest, whatever its forms and wherever it is necessary.

To lobby on behalf of our Members to obtain written assurances that the Code of Discipline for Students shall not be used as a means to curtail peaceful and lawful protest.

To fully support all students who may find themselves subject to disciplinary action as a result of peaceful and lawful protest and to reject any implication that taking part in said action is in any way grounds for disciplinary action.

6. Creation of new Part Time Officer for Part Time and Distance Learners

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: President
Secondary Officer: All Officers

What?

The Union will create a New Part Time Officer specifically to serve Students who study at the University Part Time and as Distance Learners.

The Union will further investigate the creation of a network for this demographic and potentially joining the network with the Mature Students Network as a joint network to reflect the NUS’s structure where they are combined as the Mature and Part Time Students Section.

The Union will investigate a name that makes sense for this Officer position.

Why?

Part Time Students make up a significant proportion of the students here at the University of Nottingham. Sourced from Student Statistics data for 2016-2017 the number was 4128, 2015/2016 was 4360 and 2014/2015 was 4577. We currently do not directly represent this group of students nor distance learners (who may or may not be covered under the classification of part time by the University for the purposes of the statistics quoted).

There has been a national collapse in Part-Time students with reports suggesting numbers have collapsed by as much as 56%. Many experts have suggested that this has been due to decreasing financial support coupled with the government raising the cap on part-time fees in 2012.

The result in many universities especially the Russell Group has been (to quote Professor Claire Callender of Birkbeck University ““The Russell Group has pretty much pulled out of part-time undergraduate education.”

A cursory glance of statistics for our University shows that our undergraduate part time numbers seem to held quite constant – which is positive, (the author of this policy would like it known he was unable to access the figures for the 2011/2012 year though for comparison of both undergrads and postgards). But we must have direct representation of this demographic so to prevent the national trend from becoming a reality here and to understand the needs of these students so they can be represented better on a national level.

The fall in part-time students is also replicated in Mature Student demographics nationally who many are part- time learners.

There is also concern to be had in regards to the claims of this government that more students than ever from disadvantaged backgrounds are coming to university since fee increases. For full-time students for these demographics nationally there is some evidence that 7% increase has been seen. HOWEVER this is dwarfed by the 47% fall in part-time students from these same demographics.

7. Postgraduates Who Teach

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: Postgraduate Officer
Secondary Officer: Education Officers

This Union Notes:

The NUS and UCU drafted a Postgraduate Employment Charte calling for fair employment rights. These include fair and equal access to employment opportunities, a letter of appointment, clear job description and terms and conditions, the right to belong to a trade union and be involved with the activities of the union, full induction training, and pay for all hours worked.

Currently we know that not all of these conditions are being met with there being large variations in employment conditions in practice. Whether Postgraduate part time teachers are receiving full induction, equal access to employment, and pay for all hours worked are just a few example of issues experienced at Nottingham.

It is inevitable that UoNSU and the University of Nottingham will continue to employ Postgraduates.

A project is currently taking place within University of Nottingham Human Resources in collaboration within UoNSU and UCU, in order to establish a fairer contract for Postgraduates who teach and demonstrate on a part time basis.

Work is currently taking place within UoNSU to identify issues relating to postgraduate engagement.

This Union Believes:

University of Nottingham should be sector leaders in terms of conditions and practice for postgraduate teachers.

Quality employment conditions for postgraduates who teach translates into better morale, which in turn leads to a better working environment for Postgraduates and a better learning environment for undergraduates.

Postgraduates currently do not strongly associate with UoNSU. Supporting their rights as students and employees of the University will strengthen the Postgraduate affiliation and the Postgraduate Students’ Network Community.

This Union Resolves:

To mandate the Postgraduate Officer to continue to work on the development of a fair and equitable settlement for PG’s who teach in terms of contracts and conditions of employment.

To lobby UoN to adopt the recommendations of the Postgraduate Employment Charter where relevant.

To continue working with UCU to push for continuation of the investigation into working conditions of PGs who teach and their conditions of employment.

To continue to develop our strategies of engagement with a traditionally hard to reach group of students.

To mandate the Postgraduate Officer and Postgraduate Students’ Network to help any relevant and reasonable activities that PGRs and the PGR Network Reps, or any other interested students, may wish to undertake in support of the campaign.

Once this contract is in place this motion will also mandate the Postgraduate Officer to continue to engage with UCU, UoN HR and the annual review process of the contract.

8. Trade Unions and Students' Unions

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: President

This Union Notes:

The National Union of Students has worked in collaboration with trade unions since the 1950s.

The University of Nottingham Students’ Union has no clear policy on trade union membership for its career or student staff.

The University of Nottingham Students’ Union are in the process of developing their second five year strategy which includes a section on life after University.

Staffing issues are to be decided by the Trustee Board, however Council can indicate a stance and request work be undertaken by the Board.

University of East Anglia (UEA) Students’ Union have recently undertaken a forward thinking partnership with GMB union for their student staff, providing free membership of GMB and actively encourage membership.

This Union Believes:

In order to be prepared for life after University, students need to understand their employment rights.

Partnering with trade unions will support students develop their learning and understanding of the workplace and employment rights, and further enhance the work towards the aims of our new strategy.

The Students’ Union, by virtue of its very existence, recognises that there is power in a union. Collective action delivers powerful results for all.

In developing working relationships with trade unions we can achieve stronger negotiating and campaigning leverage when tackling issues relevant to students within the wider University community.

Some PGR students already feel disenfranchised with the Students’ Union; having a better, more formal relationship with UCU could improve this.

This Union Resolves:

To request that the President, in their role as the Chair of Trustee Board, should investigate the development of People Policy to promote trade union membership and formal recognition by the Students’ Union.

To investigate UEA’s recent agreement with GMB as a potential model for developing relationships with trade unions.

The Students’ Union should promote, through their central channels, the availability of free UCU membership for PGR students.

9. Student Run Services: Development and Next Steps

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: Activity Officer

What?

To work to clarify the place of Student Run Services within the governance of the Union, taking into account their different roles and functions and acknowledging that they may diverge into different models under our governance to better suit their needs.

To work with media groups to create a communications strategy that provides adequate support around key Union events, such as varsity or elections, and that acknowledges their role in holding our Union to account and informing our membership. This plan should give them adequate time to prepare reports on embargoed information, but also acknowledges both the need for the Union to treat such information sensitively, and that at times information may arrive at short notice to the Union. In instances where information arises as short notice, there should be reasonable provisions within the communication strategy.

To review our training offer to Student Run Services and investigate where we can provide additional bespoke training and support to their members. This should be reviewed annually, taking into account feedback and reflections from Student Run Service members, staff and Officers.

To investigate potential models for recognition and celebration, such as balls, via a committee of one interested member from each Student Run Service Exec and the Activities Officer.

Why?

‘Student Run Service’ is a catch all term for the providers of a wide variety of different services and opportunities for University of Nottingham students. This can be unhelpful given how differently they all operate, and work should be done to clarify their status within our governance and develop a model, or models, that fit their needs best.

Our media groups are key providers of information to our membership and their role in keeping our Union accountable via scrutiny is invaluable. We should create a plan to help them plan for key events, be factored in early to the planning of those events, and to work to ensure they are able to report to the best of their ability on embargoed information, with reasonable allowances.

Because how our Student Run Services work can vary, their training needs can do as well. In reviewing our offer we can see what works, what doesn’t, and make changes to deliver the best service for our students.

Student Run Services should collaborate with the Activities Officer to investigate potential models for recognition of their valuable efforts, identifying key needs and reflecting on what has or hasn’t worked in the past to inform decisions.

10. Transparency and Ethics of Relationships Between UoNSU and External Providers

10th May 2018. (434th Meeting Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: President

This Union Notes:

That whilst there is a due diligence process for commercial agreements, there is currently no student oversight of this process.

That we are a membership-led organisation that puts students at the heart of everything we do.

That there is a Full Time Officer Committee that shall ‘Be the coordinating body of the Union’ (Byelaws: Officers of the Union (7.ii.))

This Union Believes:

In the principle of being led by our membership and having student oversight in all of our activities.

In having student oversight of the due diligence process of any external agreements between student groups and externals to ensure our work is values-based.

In having professional support from our established staff teams to ensure the best decisions are made in the interests of our members.

This Union Resolves:

The relevant staff teams shall submit updates on external agreements to the Full Time Officer Committee to allow elected Officers to raise concerns or queries where any arise.

The Committee shall receive updates on commercial interactions, from enquiry stage through to the final stage, to the weekly officer meeting, and for officers to raise concerns or queries where any arise.

To allow the Committee to raise concerns and instigate further discussion where necessary.

Where the Committee agrees that an agreement is inappropriate or inconsistent, they may request further clarification or request further work be carried out to alleviate the concerns of the Committee.

To review the organisational structures of the Union at large to ensure student oversight is built in as standard.

To lobby the University on behalf of our membership where they have entered into an agreement with an external entity that is deemed to be inconsistent with our values and to support our members should they wish to undertake peaceful and lawful protest on matters related to this policy.

To allow Full Time Officers to submit amendments to this policy where appropriate to ensure its continued working in practice.

11. Archiving and Records Policy

8th November 2018. (435th Meeting, Students Union Council)
Protected until 8th November 2020.
Primary Officer: All Full-Time Officers

This Union Notes:

  • The Portland Building is coming to the end of a four year redevelopment which has seen large structural and branding changes.
  • King’s Meadow Campus is home to the University’s Manuscripts and Special Collections (‘the Archives’) which hosts extensive archive material on the Union and its activity since our foundation in 1928.
  • That a commitment to expanding and promoting Union material in the Archives is a team objective of the Full-Time Officer team 2018/19.

This Union Believes:

  • That as we enter a key moment of change, we should commit to preserving our history, work and activity for the benefit of future generations.
  • That the Union should develop a closer relationship with the Archives.

This Union Resolves:

  • That the Full-Time Officers shall ensure a collection point for material for the Archives is installed in the Portland Building and appropriate measures are in place for delivery of these to the Archives.
  • That the Activities Officer and Sports Officer shall work with societies and sports clubs respectively to gather material for the Archives.
  • That the Full-Time Officers shall explore a permanent installation in Portland Building which charts the history of the Union.
  • That Full-Time Officers shall visit the Archives at least once during their term of office.

12. Full-Time Officer Role Review

8th November 2018. (435th Meeting, Students Union Council)
Protected until 8th November 2020.
Primary Officer: All Full-Time Officers

This Union Notes:

  • The Officer team is currently compromised of 7 Full-Time and 7 Part-Time Officers.
  • The Full-Time Officer roles are: President, Education Officer, Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer, Community Officer, Sports Officer, Activities Officer and Postgraduate Officer.
  • There has not been a review of these roles in a significant number of years.

This Union Believes:

  • The demographic of the student population, their interests and needs have changed significantly since these roles were last reviewed.
  • The Full-Time Officer team should consist of roles with remits that support and represent the needs and interests of this changing population.
  • Reviewing the roles of the Full-Time Officer team gives the Students’ Union an opportunity to reassess how we as Officers engage our membership.

This Union Resolves:

  • To conduct a review of the Full-Time Officer roles and remits.

13. Voter Registration

29th January 2019. (436th Meeting, Students Union Council)
Protected until 29th January 2021.
Primary Officer: Community Officer
Secondary Officer: President

This Union Notes:

  • The Union currently has policy asking the Community Officer to lobby for integrated voter registration. The University have stated this will not be implemented until at least September 2019, requiring students to manually sign up to be registered.
  • That although students may be registered at their home address, they often are not on the electoral register at their term-time address.
  • That with the uncertainty in the current political climate it is possible another general election or referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union could occur..
  • That Nottingham City Council, Broxtowe Borough Council and Rushcliffe Borough Council have council seats up for election in May 2019.

This Union Believes:

  • That students should be encouraged to use their vote in elections, as participation in the electoral process is healthy for our democracy.
  • That low turnout of students means that governing parties can be inclined to ignore or act against students’ interests.

This Union Resolves:

  • That the Union shall organise and facilitate voter registration within Union buildings and off campus. This can include, but is not limited to; voter registration stalls, door knocking, email promotion.
  • That the Union’s communication channels shall be utilised to promote voter registration.
  • That the Community Officer shall liaise with partners to support the delivery of these objectives.

14. 904 Bus: Next Stop Beeston

28th March 2019. (437th Meeting, Students Union Council)
Protected until 28th March 2021.
Primary Officer: Community Officer
Secondary Officer: President

What:

The Students Union notes the improvements to the 904 bus with the increased regularity of services between University Park and the Derby Site won after a multi-year campaign by both the Students Union and UNAD collectively to improve connections to the site.

The Students Union seeking to further improve the service provided to Derby site students will lobby for a minor alteration to the existing route of the 904 bus so it will pass through Beeston and add a stop off within Beeston.

Why:

Beeston is an area a number of Derby based students reside in who commute to Derby be they of GEM, MPT and formally GEN cohorts. The GEM and MPT cohorts in due course will be joined by the soon to be established Medical Physiology students and an increased GEM cohort.

There is also a sizeable number of Clinical Phase Medics who choose to reside within Beeston.

As it stands students who wish to commute to Derby have to make the journey to either west entrance or east drive to catch the 904 bus. Many of these students have to walk or cycle this distance which means getting up early for the buses lengthening these students commutes to Derby daily.

Connecting the 904 to Beeston such as in the way proposed allows for greater connectivity of students to their site but also facilitates social and academic links. It also if you view a map increases the viable area in which students who utilise the 904 bus can search for houses allowing for a more equitable distribution of students across beeston and chillwell and away from student dense areas such as lower road which are causing concerns with the local residents who fear a Lenton like scenario.

One key concern would be are we not creating a Beeston Hopper Bus, what about Lenton? The key argument to refute this point is that Lenton in serviced by the following to Jubilee, University Park and Queens Medical Centre: 34, 35, 36, 36U, Indigo, 18, etc. There is no direct service for the general public to the Royal Derby Hospital from Nottingham at all excluding the 904, that limitation means that service must be optimal as is possible.

One question could be has the students union done anything like this before? The answer is yes. The proposer who ran for election in 2015 ran on a policy of altering the route of the 901 hopper bus to include the Clifton South Park and Ride to facilitate improved transport links. Though runner up in that election the winning candidate did press for the implementation of this change which provided improved links for Sutton Bonington Students, if this was done for one site and route why should it not be done for another?

Model Changes to route proposed. NOTE these are illustrative of one proposed but likely practical stop off point. It should be noted that the roads proposed for this change already form part of existing bus routes and therefore there should be no issues of the suitability of bus traffic.

15. UCU Strikes Back - November 2019 Industrial Action Policy

7th November 2019. (439th Meeting, Students Union Council)
Protected until 7th November 2021. This policy will expire upon the cessation of the legal effect of the 31/10/2019 UCU ballot.
Primary Officer: President & Education Officer
Secondary Officer: All Full Time Officers

Union Council notes:

The University and College Union (UCU) has voted to approve industrial action including strike action between 25th November and 4th December and further disruptive action short of strike following the strike action.

Disruptive action short of strikes may include, but is not limited to: only working contracted hours; not covering for absent colleagues; not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action; not undertaking any voluntary activities; or a marking and assessment boycott.

Industrial action has been approved for two separate issues:

  • University Superannuation Scheme (USS) Pension Dispute:
  • The USS is one of the UK’s largest defined benefits pension schemes and is managed by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC). The JNC is comprised of an equal number of UCU and Universities UK (UUK) members, with an independent chair, to discuss funding and management of the pension scheme.
  • In 2018, UCU voted to approve industrial action in response to the JNC proposal to switch the pension scheme from a ‘defined benefits’ scheme to ‘defined contribution’ alongside increased contributions. This would have resulted in higher contributions from staff with significantly diminished benefits.
  • After 14 days of strikes, the 2018 industrial action was suspended by UCU in favour of setting up a Joint Expert Panel (JEP) to review the revaluation of the pension scheme.
  • In August 2019, the JEP presented three options to the JNC which voted to approve ‘option 3’ by the chair’s casting vote.
  • The University of Nottingham (UoN) acknowledge option 3 increases contributions while highlighting that the benefits remain the same. UCU assert that the increased contributions are accompanied by a ‘real-term’ loss of £200,000 in benefits to each pension member.
  • UCU opposes option 3 and successfully balloted for industrial action on 31st of October at 60 universities including UoN.
  •  
  • Pay, equality, casualization, and workloads:
  •  
  • The 1.8% pay rise offered to UoN staff is below inflation.
  • UCU highlight a lack of action tackling pay inequality (gender & race).
  • UCU criticise unfair treatment of staff.
  • UCU criticise the ‘casualization’ of university work including: fixed-term contracts; contracts dependent on other funding; erosion or lack of employment rights and protections afforded to permanent staff; and an inability to challenge employers on workplace issues due to a risk of termination.
  • UCU criticise increased workloads.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has issued a joint statement with UCU publically supporting both the pay and pension disputes.

  • NUS notes that staff are a cornerstone of students’ academic experience who need to be fairly supported.
  • NUS believes that rising pension contributions alongside decreasing benefits and pay, increased casualization and work overload, will lead to a demotivated and unwell workforce which will impact staff recruitment and retention, ultimately impacting students.
  • NUS asks affiliated students’ unions (which UoNSU is) to participate in local demonstrative solidarity action to support UCU members, the student experience, and to challenge the marketization of higher education.

When staff members, including lecturers, go on strike they are unpaid for this time.

Following the 2018 Industrial Action, unpaid staff wages of striking academics remained within the schools and were allocated to student experience.

UoN students did not receive any partial tuition fee reimbursement for contact time missed due to the 2018 Industrial Action.

UoN’s Engage Policy states that captured lectures cannot be used in place of a live lecture during industrial action.

The Union actively supported the striking staff in the 2018 Industrial Action.

The Union’s relationship with UCU was strengthened following the SU support of the 2018 strike action.

Students experienced significant disruption to teaching and learning activity in the 2018 Industrial Action over five weeks and further disruptive action short of strikes. Disruption included, but was not limited to: significant amounts of cancelled contact time, lack of contact or responsiveness from academics, and delayed marking and feedback.

Union Council believes:

As per the Trade Unions and Students’ Union Policy:

  • ‘UoNSU, by virtue of its very existence, recognises that there is power in a union. Collective action delivers powerful results for all.’
  • ‘In developing working relationships with trade unions we can achieve stronger negotiating and campaigning leverage when tackling issues relevant to students within the wider University community.’
  • ‘Partnering with trade unions will support students develop their learning and understanding of the workplace and employment rights, and further enhance the work towards the aims of our new strategy.’

As per the Postgraduates who Teach Policy:

  • ‘University of Nottingham should be sector leaders in terms of conditions and practice for postgraduate teachers.’
  • ‘Quality employment conditions for postgraduates who teach translates into better morale, which in turn leads to a better working environment for Postgraduates and a better learning environment for undergraduates.’

As per the Right to Protest Policy:

  • ‘That peaceful and lawful protest is a legitimate course of action that the Union must defend.’
  • ‘That disciplinary action against students undertaking peaceful and lawful protest is contradictory to maintaining ‘good standards of communal life’ and unnecessary.’
  • ‘That the Union has a role in supporting and facilitating peaceful and lawful protest, both on and off campus where appropriate.’

The 2018 Industrial Action negatively impacted the academic experience and achievement of students at UoN.

The University is directly responsible for the pay equality and casualization of its staff.

Union Council resolves:

The Union sympathises with the plight of the academics involved in the industrial action.

The Union advocates for pay equality and opposes the casualization of university work.

The Union shall continue to lobby the University on the issues of pay equality and casualization.

The Union encourages a positive effort in good faith between UCU and UUK to find a solution to the pensions dispute which is non-disruptive to students.

The Union will work with UoN and UCU to mitigate the impact on students’ academic experience.

The Union will aim to avoid compromising or breaking the strike action.

The Union will lobby the University to ensure that any money saved from striking staff pay is ring-fenced for improving student experience and that this is done in a transparent and accountable way.

  • As per the Right to Protest Policy:
  • The Union shall support and defend the rights of our members to take part in peaceful and lawful protest, whatever its forms and wherever it is necessary.
  • The Union shall fully support all students who may find themselves subject to disciplinary action as a result of peaceful and lawful protest and to reject any implication that taking part in said action is in any way grounds for disciplinary action.

This policy will expire upon the cessation of the legal effect of the 31/10/2019 UCU ballot.

A downloadable version of this Policy as a PDF can be accessed by clicking here.

16. Gender-Inclusive Language

7th November 2019. (439th Meeting, Students Union Council)
Protected until 7th November 2021.
Primary Officer: LGBT+ Officer
Secondary Officer: President

Union Council notes:

The pronouns an individual uses cannot be discerned through appearance.

There are many legitimate reasons for a person to use a name other than their legal name.

Transphobic hate crimes increased by 37% in the last year (2,333 cases) (Home Office, 2019).

In England, 53% of young transgender people aged 18-24 have experienced a hate crime because of their gender identity (Stonewall, 2017).

Four out of five anti-LGBT hate crimes go unreported (Stonewall, 2019).

The LGBT+ Network has found amongst its members that, when given the opportunity and encouragement, both people who are and people who not transgender choose to present their pronouns.

A large majority of surveyed LGBT+ Network members support the introduction of a pronoun-related policy.

The University has acknowledged the importance of preferred names and pronouns and intends to have their systems updated to accommodate for this by 2020/21 intake.

Cripps Health Centre have acknowledged the importance of preferred names and pronouns and have changed its registration process to accommodate for this.

Other Students’ Unions are taking better efforts to support and recognise their gender non-conforming students.

Union Council believes:

The Union has a duty to support its members’ rights to self-identification.

The Union should foster a culture of acknowledgement, visibility, and respect for its members regardless of how they may identify.

The Union should be a safe and inclusive environment for all its members.

The Union should not be outpaced by the University and civic partners on matters of liberation and social justice.

Union Council resolves:

Unless an individual has expressed a desire for specific pronouns to be used for them in the relevant context:

  • Gender-neutral language should be used by the Union, both internally and externally, formally and informally.
  • Gender-neutral language should be used on the Union’s social media, website, news stories, and newsletters.
  • Gender-neutral language should be used by student media. When conducting interviews, the interviewee’s gender should not be assumed. Where possible, pronouns should be checked before interviews.

The Union shall endeavour to ensure that all its systems, whether online or paper based, allow users to declare a preferred name and pronouns, which shall be used.

That an individual's preferred name will be used in any cases where the use of their legal name is not absolutely necessary.

The Union shall ensure that the opportunity to introduce pronouns with names and roles in meeting introductions, and on print and digital media, is clear and is standard practice.

Individuals may choose not to disclose any pronouns and should not be expected to disclose their reasoning.