In response to an incident relating to 2016’s 7-Legged Karnival event that took place on 17 October 2016 the Students’ Union is taking proactive steps to improve activities and better manage the risks associated with the Karnival event.
The incident drew attention to student behaviour at the event and demonstrated the need for a detailed review of 7 Legged. This incident was ultimately found to be a misrepresentation and the students not at fault, but reputational impact for the Students’ Union and the distress to the students involved was significant.
To enable improvements to happen, it has been agreed by the Students’ Union Board of Trustees that the 7-Legged annual event will cease. In its place, Karnival will create a new offer which will engage a similar number of students, within the values and behaviours of the Union. The Karnival Director and Karnival Executive Committee will be working with the Students’ Union Officers and staff to generate ideas and build this new offer. This work will build on the success of Karnival and offer inspiring and expanded opportunities for the future.
Karnival continues to make a huge contribution to many charities through its fundraising activities and to the local Nottingham community through its volunteering activities, as well as being a significant part of a great student experience for those taking part. We look forward to Karnival returning with an improved working model to replace the 7-Legged event. We’d like to thank the charities who we partner with and we look forward to continuing our relationships
The volunteering activities that Karnival support and lead on, such as Kontact, will continue with the support of the Students’ Union Volunteer team, whilst Karnival is developing and improving processes and events.
We are really looking forward to the future, and to taking Karnival’s fundraising and volunteering opportunities onto the next level.
If you have further questions, please take a look at the FAQs below.
Chair of Trustees and Students’ Union President
This action is a direct response to the incident that followed October’s 7 Legged event. The Students’ Union has looked to resolve this matter is as timely a manner as possible – both allowing time for a full investigation and discussion by the Trustee Board, and time for Karnival to develop a replacement activity
Is Karnival being closed?
Karnival is not closing, but the 7 Legged event is stopping. The Committee are being supported by Officers and staff to develop a new offer for students in place of 7 Legged.
What is the role of the Karnival Director and Executive Committee?
Both the Director and Executive Committee will be part of developing the new offer in place of 7 Legged that will be reflective of the values and behaviours of the Union.
What is the planned timescale for activity?
A project team will agree an action plan and timescale for the changes and improvements to the event.
What changes happened to Karnival last year?
The Charities Act and fundraising legislation was updated which meant that there were changes to Karnival’s processes.
Primarily, the Act imposed more controls over the relationship between charities and organisations that raise funds on their behalf (i.e. Students’ Union). This affected Karnival in a number of ways – both as a fundraising body in its own right (as part of the Students’ Union’s charitable status), and acting as a partner for other charities to fundraise on that charity’s behalf.
The Act is ensured that we have clear arrangements with charities, and that we have our own code of practice that follows the Charity Commission guidelines, the Fundraising Standards Association regulations and the Charities Act Legislation.
The other key element of the Charities Act that we needed to ensure that we met fully is around safeguarding of not only those who carry out fundraising activities, but those people we come into contact with as part of those activities.
What is the role of the Trustee Board?
The Trustee Board has ultimate responsibility under Charity Law for ensuring the affairs of the University of Nottingham Students’ Union are solvent, well-run, and delivering its charitable objects. The Board is responsible for monitoring activities – ensuring the charity operates within its legal obligations. It has a specific duty to safeguard the Union which includes considering and taking appropriate action related to any legal, financial, and/or reputational risks.
The role of the Board of Trustees is separate to the democratic structure, which includes our Union Council, Democratic Procedures Committee and Scrutiny Panel.
Who sits on Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees comprises of four Sabbatical Officers (with the SU President as Chair), up to four students (who are not Sabbatical Officers) and four external representatives/lay trustees (who are not students).