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DURHAM STUDENTS’ UNION ANNUAL REPORT 2010-2011


OUR MISSION

Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

OUR VISION DSU will be an innovative Students’ Union, enabling all students to participate fully in the academic and social life of Durham University. We will be a sustainable organisation which prioritises our members’ needs, and will be considered an asset to Durham University and to Durham student life.

OUR VALUES EQUALITY

We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all our members, to ensure that any activity or service provided by the Union is open to all.

RELIABILITY

We strive to ensure that the institution has a secure and sustainable future, one with a clear statement of purpose and long-term vision.

EXCELLENCE

We reßect the aspirations of our student body and our parent institution. At all times, and in all things, we will establish ourselves as an organisation that beÞts our membership.

DEMOCRACY

As an institution, we look to our students and staff to input on our decisions and to share our vision and purpose.

PARTNERSHIP

Our student ofÞcers and staff are committed to establishing and maintaining strong and effective working relationships with the University and the Common Rooms and other external partners who may beneÞt our members.

STUDENT-LED

All business carried out by the Students Union shall be under the aegis of the student body, with appropriate advice and support provided by professional staff.

Design: www.ellenlonghorn.co.uk Cover photo:Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Library Photographs Collection


CONTENTS

4&5

Chairman’s Foreword

6

President’s Welcome

7

Issues

8&9

Representation

10

Welfare

11

Information, Advice & Guidance

12

Societies

13

Media

14 & 15

DUCK

16

Governance

17

Elections & Referenda

18

Financial Report

19

The Future

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

CHAIRMAN’S FOREWORD

This is the Þrst time I have written a foreword for the Annual Report although this was my third year in ofÞce. I would like to think it is because the Board of Trustees is beginning to make a positive impact, but it may just be that the President has, for the Þrst time during my tenure ensured that the Annual Report has been published before his/her departure; well done Sam. I hope you will bear with me then, as I have some catching-up to do!

crises, living hand-to-mouth, unable to concentrate on its prime role.We have drawn up a Membership Services strategy, which is in effect a strategy for the Union as a whole, focussing ever more on core activities.Through making tough decisions and working closely with our funders, the University, I believe that at last we have a clear path ahead which will lead to a brighter future for DSU.

So what contribution can the retired Chief Executive of County Durham NHS Primary Care Trust make to Durham University students whether based in Durham City or Queen’s Campus? Well, with my colleague Trustees comprising students, elected sabbatical ofÞcers and other externally recruited people with useful experience, we aim to run DSU in a business-like way which meets the needs of students. I say ‘business-like’ because organisations with charitable objectives have a duty of trust to manage with utmost care so as not to jeopardise their ability to meet those goals on a continuing basis. In other words our stewardship of DSU must be beyond reproach and sound governance the hallmark of all we do following the recognised principles of: integrity, selßessness, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and provision of leadership.This document represents part of our commitment to transparency.

DSU has no access to capital resources of its own so we are dependent on our landlords, the University, to invest on our behalf.A Vision for Dunelm House has been agreed and we are working on short-term measures to improve the Student Activities Centre and the lavatories before the start of the 2011-12 academic year. Beyond this a feasibility study is being undertaken to assess the potential for transforming the House in stages into a world-class facility suitable for the 21st century, ideally coinciding with the 50th anniversary of a building which was at the cutting-edge of design in the mid-1960s and I believe can once again be a showcase of which we can be truly proud.

The year has been one of transition and next year herald’s further change.The Board’s priorities have been to put DSU on a sound Þnancial footing because with budgetary insecurity any organisation will struggle and Þnd itself constantly distracted by

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Durham, as a collegiate University, presents particular challenges for a Union representing all students, but DSU’s mandate as the single voice for students as a whole has been renewed by the University I am delighted to say. We are also establishing a complementary modus vivendi with the University’s emerging Experience Durham initiative which I hope will work well for both parties in raising the quality of the overall student experience.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


Through making tough decisions and working closely with our funders, the University, I believe that at last we have a clear path ahead which will lead to a brighter future for DSU.

DSU has been enormously well served by its Interim Manager, Martyn Williams, over the past 12 months. Martyn has enormous credibility in student union matters and we owe a debt of immense gratitude both to Martyn himself and to Northumbria Students’ Union which has allowed us to share its Chief Executive for such a prolonged period whilst, with his help, we put our house in order. I am pleased to say that we are now on course to have a Chief Executive of our own in post in time for the start of the forthcoming Michaelmas Term.Thanks are also due to DSU staff who, led by Martyn, have come through the recent upheavals with their usual fortitude.

With tuition fees set to rise to £9000 p.a., I sincerely hope that increasingly DSU will be able to improve its capacity to add genuine value and help make the experience of students’ time here as memorable as possible. Students will judge us on how effective we are, but I am more upbeat than ever before that we are moving to a position where we shall have the wherewithal successfully to meet the high expectations Durham students rightly should have for their Union – yes we can. Andrew Young Chair, Board of Trustees

Finally (and I hope this isn’t beginning to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech) I would like to put on record my thanks to colleague Board members be they students who have been willing to step up to the mark and discharge their substantial responsibilities with considerably more maturity than I could have mustered as an undergraduate, sabbatical ofÞcers who consistently work above and beyond the call of duty or external Trustees who give of their time so freely and without Þnancial reward. Going forward I would appreciate students’ continuing forbearance as we tackle the problems we still face whilst at the same time learning to work together as a new team with a fresh set of sabbatical ofÞcers and students taking up their roles in August.

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

PRESIDENT’S WELCOME It seems premature to reßect on the year as although we are drawing to a close of the undergraduate Easter term there are still yet bodies of work to be completed. Nevertheless, I shall attempt to sum up the year as I have seen it from the Union’s perspective. Upon taking ofÞce, we found an institution that was suffering from the hangovers of the past years and an agenda that was shaped Þrst by the Browne Review in November and second by the Government’s reaction to it. This year has been a watershed year for the Union that will bring lasting stability to the organisation. In reviewing our Constitution and relationship with the University, we have redeÞned the purpose of the Union from the Statutes to the Standing Orders. In setting out to formalise the relationship between the Common Rooms and the Union, I doubt anyone could have anticipated that this work would have resulted in a blueprint for the complete reform of our representative and democratic structures, and we are particularly indebted to the Common Room Presidents for their help and support. I hope that in future years our partnership with these organisations will only grow and become more fruitful.

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As we look towards the beneÞt of increased University support for the Union, we anticipate signiÞcant improvements in the quality of the representation that we are able to offer students.

As we look towards the beneÞt of increased University support for the Union, we anticipate signiÞcant improvements in the quality of the representation that we are able to offer students. In building capacity within the Union, and refocusing our aim and purpose on the representative function, I am conÞdent that we are on the way to establishing an organisation that reßects the aspirations of our parent institution, and more importantly, the needs of our student body. Our success this year has been attributed to leadership, vision and dedicated time and effort. If we have achieved anything this year, it was because that leadership was by consensus; it was because our vision was shared and because everyone carried their load. It is impossible to acknowledge just how much work has been put into this year, and I have been thrilled to work alongside such dedicated ofÞcers and staff. Sam Roseveare President,Academic Year 2010-2011

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


ISSUES

HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING:

ACCOMMODATION ISSUES

In partnership with the Education Activist Network, the Union helped organise protests on Palace Green and outside Old Shire Hall, joining students up and down the country in opposition to the Government’s Higher Education Policy.

Issues over accommodation have continued to dominate the agenda of the Union, as well as the agendas of the Presidents’ Committees.A review of College charges is ongoing, with student representatives contributing to the discussions over the changes to be implemented.

In advance of the University’s decision over tuition fees, four informal question and answer sessions were organised by the Union, with the Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellor Education on hand to answer any questions the student body might have.

JUNIOR COMMON ROOM GOVERNANCE A signiÞcant achievement this year was the resolution of the seemingly perennial JCR governance issues. Since 2006, this issue has been at the top of every JCR President’s agenda, and so I am pleased to report that at the time of writing, 10 had opted into the University’s framework, with a further 4 opting to register as charities.The Union played a role in the resolution of this issue, frequently meeting with both JCR Presidents and the University in order to smooth the route. The Union would like to thank the JCR Presidents particular for the way in which they have allowed us to engage this year.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011

The prospect of 38 week lets being introduced without adequate consultation was resolved through further dialogue with the University.The University agreed to extend consultation and do a body of work around the practical and Þnancial implications of the introduction of the extended let. As we look toward the future, our focus shifts towards the accommodation package across the piece, rather than speciÞcally the provision the catered Colleges provide.

The University agreed to extend consultation and do a body of work around the practical and Þnancial implications of the introduction of the extended let.

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

REPRESENTATION COURSE REPRESENTATIVES

POSTGRADUATE REPRESENTATION

Following the Principles for Student Engagement (June 2010), this year has seen a closer working partnership between the Union and the University to ensure a more effective course representative system.The Education and Welfare OfÞcer and Education OfÞcer produced a new Course Rep Handbook which the university kindly funded.The response has been very positive in that it provides reps with a more professional resource; something which is key given the importance of the role they undertake” with “Reps have responded very positively to this new resource. Using feedback from departments and current reps it is hoped that the Union and the University will be able to improve this new handbook and continue to provide it for future reps.

The Union has continued to build its relationship with Middle Common Room Presidents’ Committee, engaging speciÞcally with the President of Ustinov Graduate Common Room, Matt Hann, and the Union’s Postgraduate OfÞcer, Ian Williamson.The Committee has agreed to become part of the DSU’s formal democratic structures, and, as we build capacity within the Union, we plan to establish and maintain effective administrative support to ensure that there is effective continuity year on year.

IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING; • The work-in-progress online course rep tool which will make it easier for students to quickly contact their course reps. • The establishment of a closer working relationship with Newcastle and Northumbria Students Unions, providing insight into their representative systems. • The close working relationship between DSU Sabbaticals and Staff alongside the Academic Support OfÞce and Faculty Deputies in providing Course Rep Training. AREAS MARKED FOR FURTHER IMPROVEMENT; • A greater central knowledge of how each department runs both their Staff Student Consultative Committee and their elections for course rep positions. • Ensuring Staff Student Consultative Committee elections are conducted fairly within departments. • Improved Faculty Rep training between the Union and the University.

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The inclusion of representation from mature students has broadened the scope and remit of the committee, ensuring that the concerns of this integral student demographic are aired in a suitable forum. The reform of the democratic and representative structures of the Union establishes postgraduates as an integral part of our democratic structures, with increased numbers of postgraduate representatives sitting on the chief policy-making body of the Union - a signiÞcant step in achieving parity of representation for this as yet under-represented body of students.This reform is also reßected in amendments to the Constitution and a review of the place of MCRs in the University’s Statutes next year. The issues the postgraduate representatives will be focussing on next year are out-of-term-time provisions for postgraduates, and the wide-ranging accommodation needs of the diverse community. The Union is particularly indebted to Matt and Ian for all of their work this year

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


The Committee has agreed to become part of the DSU’s formal democratic structures, and, as we build capacity within the Union, we plan to establish and maintain effective administrative support to ensure that there is effective continuity year on year. NUS & NATIONAL REPRESENTATION Durham’s relationship with the National Union of Students has been at times turbulent over the last 2 academic years, with three referenda on the subject of afÞliation in the space of 18 months.A motion submitted to a General Meeting towards the end of the last academic year called for a third vote in Epiphany Term.A solid 21% of the student body voted on the issue, with the majority voting to re-afÞliate.

COURSE REP

HANDBOOK

We sent in a full delegation to the National Conference in Newcastle this year, who participated both in the fringe events and in the debate on conference ßoor. It was an especially useful event that allowed delegates to network with colleagues from a wide range of Students’ Unions and national organisations. After extensive debate, the conference decided to disafÞliate from Unite Against Fascism, and as a result NUS is no longer formally associated with that body. Our own Ben Robertson contributed to this debate, and we are grateful for his argument on behalf of Durham Students. In May, the DUCK OfÞcer and DSU President attended an event at Portcullis House to promote the voluntary and charitable activities the Union is engaged in to coalition peers and MPs.

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

WELFARE THE EDUCATION AND WELFARE OFFICER OVERSEES THE 40-STRONG DSU WELFARE COMMITTEE.THIS YEAR HAS SEEN A VERY ACTIVE COMMITTEE WHICH HAS ROLLED OUT A NUMBER OF CAMPAIGNS INCLUDING: SHAG WEEK SHAG week was the biggest welfare campaign of the year and a campaign that is always well received. Each college held a variety of events which aimed to educate students about sexual health. This year there was a focus on both the physical and emotional aspects of sexual health. DSU is grateful to the Sexual Health Improvement team and Jonathan Lawson for their training expertise.

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK This year saw the development of some good links between DSU, the Mental Health Improvement Team and the counselling service in the development of some basic mental health awareness training for the DSU welfare committee. Some welfare reps facilitated this training for common room members alongside their campaigns in colleges.A number of students also attended Mental Health First Aid Training.

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ALCOHOL AWARENESS WEEK This year the alcohol awareness campaign was rebranded to ensure the campaign was about asking students to think honestly about their own limits rather than telling students exactly how much they shouldn’t drink. Each colleges hosted different events throughout the year, from having cordials in formals to having free soft drinks in the bar. DSU looks forward to a closer working relationship with the university to look at alcohol awareness within induction arrangements.

STRESS LESS Stress Less is a campaign during the Easter Term which provides students with a variety of information from how to avoid procrastination through to how to look after their general mental wellbeing. Each college host their own events and this year DSU hosted an event at the library which included a bouncy castle, free massages and much more. The committee has also received extensive training from providers both within and outside the University structure. DSU would like to issue a note of thanks to the Counselling Service for all their input into the committee.The welfare ofÞcer system really is a very unique and valuable structure to the students of Durham, and the support of the service and other external organisations is very much valued by the Union.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


ADVICE INFORMATION,ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

ACCOMMODATION

The aim of the Student Advice Centre is to provide specialist independent information, advice and advocacy services to our diverse student community. Our advisers will advise, refer, and represent, where appropriate, for just about any issue that a student may have. The most frequent problems presented are relating to academic issues, Þnance including beneÞt and debts and housing issues.

During 2010 the DSU accreditation framework was reviewed and a new “Code of Standards for Landlords” was launched. We had a total of 532 properties accredited under the new framework during the 2010-11 academic year.

The Advice Centre not only provides one to one casework but also drop in clinics staffed by outside agencies such as the eating disorder service, mental health support service and the Sexual Health Improvement Team. The DSU advice centre assisted a total of 2913 students from June 2010 until May 2011, compared to supporting 1690 students in the previous year. The main reason for this increase is due to the increase in stafÞng provision during this academic year within the advice centre. DSU is looking to increase the delivery of IAG in the forthcoming academic year with several welfare and advice campaigns including partnership work with the University at Open Day talks, running a student money week campaign. We will also be continuing our partnership working with the Sexual Health Improvements Team and in collaboration with the Eating Disorder Service will be developing an Eating Disorders selfhelp group.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011

We have worked directly with the Police and the County Council on issues such waste and recycling, planning, balanced and sustainable communities and environmental issues such as noise and the day and night time economy of Durham city. DSU provided house-hunting talks to all 14 Durham Colleges despite the best efforts of the British winter. We also distributed 2000 copies of the livers out guide to the Durham Campus Colleges. We are currently in the process of transferring the Estate Agency part of the Accommodation service to the University and this will take effect from the 1st of August 2011.

NIGHTBUS The DSU Nightbus service has transported over 10,000 students and continues to be a well supported and received welfare service offered by the Union.

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

SOCIETIES RATIFICATION AND NEW SOCIETIES

HANDBOOK & TRAINING

This year saw the ratiÞcation of 27 new societies, thus boosting the number contained within the Union’s database to 195.

A societies’ handbook and a series of society training sessions were organised again this year.The handbook received some very good feedback, providing some useful tips relating to room bookings, society accounting and the conduct of meetings.

THE FRESHERS’ AND REFRESHERS’ FAIRS October saw arguably one of the busiest and most successful Freshers’ Fairs in DSU’s history: in a survey circulated after the Fair 82% of respondents said that they had had over 100 sign-ups, and just over a third of these had over 200. Of the respondents, 82% felt that their stall was value for money; however this is not representative of all those societies who would have wanted a stall but could not afford the cost.As a result, work has been afoot this year to work out a way in which stalls could be free for ratiÞed societies in future years.

FUNDING APPLICATIONS DSU received 81 applications for grant funding in the three rounds of funding applications to date.We have approved grant funding to 48 societies in the past year, we have funded projects such as Þrst aid training, essential safety equipment, debates, speakers and society performances. There will be a Þnal round of funding grants available before the end of the academic year. And the total investment in societies for academic year 2010-11 will total £15,000.00.

FORUMS Society Forums were introduced for the Þrst time this year. Due to time constraints only a few were held, but these were well-attended and well-received.Their themes surrounded environmental issues, Experience Durham, and interfaith dialogue. It is hoped that these will be held more regularly in future, with a wider range of themes, as they provide societies with an opportunity to network with each other and to feed back to the Societies and Student Development OfÞcer with regards to issues they may be coming up against as a society. It is clear that these have the potential to become society working groups, allowing societies to cooperate with each other in the pursuit of common objectives.

We have approved grant funding to 48 societies in the past year;

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Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


MEDIA PURPLE RADIO PALATINATE Palatinate has gone from strength to strength this year, solidifying its reputation for groundbreaking investigative journalism within the University. Exposés were published on stories such as the leaked cable linking US State Department funding of pro-democracy seminars aimed at Iranian students and scholars in the School of Government and International Affairs as well as the British American Tobacco gift, also publicising the plight of Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi, a doctoral student imprisoned in Iran.A number of student articles have been quoted in such publications as The Guardian and a feature on Wiki-leaks led to several thousand hits to the Palatinate website. Palatinate TV was launched this year, too, providing students with the opportunity to gain experience in televised as well as written journalism.They have been involved in projects relating to current events as well as lifestyle features, notably ‘Durham Dining’ based on Channel 4’s popular ‘Come Dine With Me’ programme.There have been some teething troubles, but these should be resolved with Palatinate TV’s afÞliation to the National Association of Student Television.

Purple Radio was rebranded this year, with a new uniÞed logo produced and the website redesigned. Over the course of the year listenership was tackled, with the number of listeners tuning in doubling from roughly 500 per week to over 1000 in certain weeks Reviews, podcasts, general media, and a brand new members’ area were introduced. Legality and security with regards to the sourcing of music were addressed with members now required to take more responsibility for the music that they play on air. Efforts were also made to build on the above to have commercial sponsorship as the main station revenue stream over fees.

THE GROVE The Grove, DSU’s literary journal, has continued to thrive this year as far as content is involved.Work will need to take place in the coming months to better support the society in such a way as to ensure that it is sustainable in the long term.

THE BUBBLE Launched this year,The Bubble - an online literary journal, comprising articles on a diverse range of issues - has witnessed tremendous success as a new media outlet for the Union. Its focus is more on topical and academic essays than Palatinate, which of course focuses mainly on news and lifestyle articles, thus providing a forum for students in which to engage in erudite debate.This promises to develop into a core medium for student dialogue in the months and years ahead.

with the number of listeners tuning in doubling from roughly 500 per week to over 1000...

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

DUCK is not just about raising money but about helping Durham students have the most exciting, adventurous and challenging experiences of their university lives.

DUCK For those wondering what goes on inside DUCK, a basic anatomical drawing might look something like this: 12 fearless members of exec + 19 tireless college reps + 10 international expeditions + 50 ragraids + 779 participants in 29 sponsored events from marathons to Bungee Jumps = over £800,000 and once again the most successful year DUCK has ever seen. We’ve pushed the boundaries for DUCK this year, with new challenges, new expeditions and new technology. Our Jailbreak smashed all previous records to raise over £35,000 for charity, seeing 250 students race their way out of the country using nothing but cheeky smiles and cardboard signs and our winners blagging lifts all the way to Sydney to reach an almost unbeatable victory. We’ve put DUCK on just giving, raising over £110,000 through online fundraising and overhauled our website attracting over 40,000 hits in 8 months achieving a ‘google ranking’ that puts us above Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, London DUCK tours and the Wikipedia entry for ‘duck’! Over 70 students have pushed themselves to their limits, running for DUCK in London, Paris, Edinburgh and Berlin. Our students have raised huge amounts on the streets of the UK and collected over £2000 in an emergency collection for the Japan Tsunami appeal by the British Red Cross. DUCK is not just about raising money but about helping Durham students have the most exciting, adventurous and challenging experiences of their university lives while

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helping hundreds of charities around the world.The quality of leadership developed amongst some of our challenges, expeditions and events is inspiring and nothing short of thoroughly professional.Although these individuals will be the Þrst to say that they gleaned a vast amount from the experience, DUCK simply wouldn’t exist without their tenacious dedication Our largest ever squad of Tough Guys traversed the most fearsome obstacle course in the country to raise over £6000 for the Hero’s Sanctuary with one coming home in 17th place out of over 5000 competitors and all 54 Þnishing.A group of DUCK students are currently cycling across the Himalayas in India in an epic challenge on behalf of Childreach International. Meanwhile, nine other expedition teams gear up to take on their challenges this summer from Kilimanjaro for Save the Children, to surveying reefs in the Philippines to working in a special needs school in Jordan with Care International. Participants on the expeditions will this year cumulatively fundraise over £400,000 between them. As if this were not enough, in September 2011, DUCK and Durham will play host to the national RAG conference.This is an opportunity for fundraising teams and charities form around the country to gather in Durham to exchange best practice, forge new working relationships and really shape the way that the RAG movement in the UK is rapidly developing.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


Over 70 students have pushed themselves to their limits,...

All of these achievements are only possible thanks to the seemingly endless time, energy and enthusiasm put into DUCK by our exec, our college reps, our expedition leaders and our many volunteers involved in every level of DUCK. They have constantly astounded me this year with their dedication, motivation and ruthless efÞciency. DUCK’s success is entirely down to them. The money we have raised will beneÞt over 200 local, national and international charities. It gives us huge satisfaction to know that we can continue supporting many local charities doing incredible work in the Durham area through our fundraising and we are continually humbled by the astounding work and that they are able to beneÞt so many with often very limited resources. DUCK is a phenomenally diverse, ever evolving and incredibly driven organisation which I have been proud to be a part of during my time at Durham, let along look after this year. It continues to pave the way nationally as a model of good practice. DUCK is in extremely safe hands next year, with an exec and ofÞcer who I know will once again beat all records and take DUCK to even greater heights. The best of luck to all of them and a massive thank you to the literally hundreds of people who have made DUCK what it is this year.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011

We’ve put DUCK on just giving, raising over £110,000 through online fundraising and overhauled our website attracting over 40,000 hits in 8 months achieving a ‘google ranking’ that puts us above Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, London DUCK tours and the Wikipedia entry for ‘duck’!

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

GOVERNANCE A substantial body of work has been undertaken to update the governing documents of the Union.We are particularly indebted to the University’s Director of Governance Support Union, Kate Deeming, for all of her work with the Constitution and the Memorandums between the University and the Union. The body of work has been divided into three main themes, as articulated below.

REVIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION The registration of the Union as a company limited by guarantee has led us to propose a number of amendments to the Constitution, timely alterations that better articulate how the Union functions and more importantly, better reßect the complexity and diversity of the student body.

REVIEW OF THE STANDING ORDERS The review of the Constitution had thrown light over the issues and ßaws of the Standing Orders.With consultation with relevant stakeholders still ongoing, we are looking towards a reformed set of policy-making bodies.We are Þrmly committed to enhancing representation for Postgraduates and within the Faculties, and the changes we are proposing put the academic agenda generally and the postgraduate agenda speciÞcally at the heart of our democratic structures.

REVIEW OF MEMORANDUM BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY AND UNION The review of the Memorandum of Agreement has not only re-articulated the relationship between the University and Union as two independent entities, but has also re-afÞrmed the University’s commitment to the Union in the long term. The function and purpose of the Union has further been reßected in an alteration of the University’s Statutes, establishing the DSU for the Þrst time as the representative body for the generality of students, and codifying the distinction between the Common Rooms and the Students’ Union. We wish to offer thanks to Anthony Forster, the Deputy ViceChancellor, and Carolyn Fowler, the Registrar and Secretary as the champions for the Union within the University.

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The registration of the Union as a company limited by guarantee has lead us to propose a number of amendments to the Constitution, timely alterations that better articulate how the Union functions...

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


ELECTIONS & REFERENDA SUMMARY

RESULTS

DSU elections were held by electronic voting using the Union’s bespoke DeVote software system.The DeVote system continues to provide high security and ease of use and is still appropriate to the needs of the Union, which has been the case since DSU introduced electronic voting in 2003. The DeVote system was moved to the University servers in January 2011 to increase security and resolve running issues with the DSU servers.

Congratulations go to Michael King, Scott Parker, Jennifer Lawson and Archie Dallas, who were duly elected as the President, Education and Welfare OfÞcer, Societies and Student Development OfÞcer and the DUCK OfÞcer respectively. Ollie Davies, Lauren Harrison, Jack Heriz-Smith and Sarah Picken were elected as the student trustees for the next academic year.The current sabbatical team wish all successful candidates good luck for the year ahead.

All candidates in the Sabbatical and Student Trustee elections attended compulsory training in respect of the election regulations. Candidates were also issued with a guide to campaigning.

NUS AFFILIATION REFERENDUM A referendum was run in January to ask the membership to determine DSU’s position to NUS afÞliation. An open debate was held on Sunday 23rd of January in the University Debating Chamber. The total number of votes cast was 3875 votes (21.6% of the membership) compared to the result on the 12th March 2010 where 14.5% of the membership voted, when by a small majority (78 votes) the Union chose to disafÞliate from NUS. There were a total of 29 votes from the ‘YES’ campaign docked due to illicit publicity found in the Union. The members of the Union have decided to re-afÞliate to NUS.

SABBATICAL AND STUDENT TRUSTEE ELECTIONS Nominations opened on Monday the 19th of January 2011 and closed at 11:30am on Friday 11th of February. By the Þnal close of nominations DSU had 10 candidates running for 4 Sabbatical OfÞcer positions and 4 candidates running for 4 student trustee positions. Husts were held at both Queen’s campus (14th February) and Durham Campus (15th February), and voting started at 10am on Monday 21st February and closed at 5pm on Friday 25th February.A total of 4387 votes were cast (24.5% of the membership), which equated to an increase from the 2009/10 elections of 5 votes.

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011

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Durham Students’ Union exists to promote the interests of all Durham students.

FINANCIAL REPORT DSU continued to face signiÞcant Þnancial challenges in the Þnancial year 2009-2010 and into the current Þnancial year which will end on the 31st July 2011. In 2009-2010 DSU’s total income was £2,267,781 and expenditure £2,333,929 resulting in a deÞcit of £66,148 which was funded by the University. DSU is forecasting a deÞcit of £132k to the end of the 2010-2011 Þnancial year. It is expected that this will be funded by the University however it is clear that such poor Þnancial performance will not be underwritten by the University in future years.

DSU is required to create a new Þnancial model that does not rely on the variability of commercial services to underpin its sustainability.

The single biggest contributory factor to DSU’s inherently weak Þnancial performance has been the decline in bars and entertainment and in particular Revolver and Planet of Sound. Bars, Revolver and Planet of Sound declined in turnover by £281k (48%) since 2008 and are forecasted to make a loss for the Þrst time this year. It is assumed that this decline will continue inexorably and if not arrested will lead to DSU becoming insolvent. DSU is required to create a new Þnancial model that does not rely on the variability of commercial services to underpin its Þnancial sustainability. DSU’s balance sheet at 31st July 2010 had net current assets of £108,777 and net assets of £248,970 comprising of unrestricted general funds of £97,812 and restricted funds of £151,158 (DUCK £40,196 and Societies £110,962). Restricted funds can only be used for the purposes of these activities.

18 www.dsu.org.uk

Durham Students’ Union Annual Report 2010 - 2011


THE FUTURE The Union is able to look to the future safe in the knowledge that, it’s relationship with the University is now codiÞed.The recruitment of a new CEO and commitments by the University to develop and support the Union and Dunelm House over the next few years are indicative of a bright future.There is still work to do, but with appropriate management in place, the Union can ensure it is able to ßourish. Next year, it will be able to draw on this extensive expertise to build on the already sound representational and welfare services it provides. With the internal democratic processes reviewed, we can look towards the bedding in of new practices throughout the organisation, and the beneÞts of partnership working with the Junior and Middle Common Rooms.We must ensure next year that we develop our communication strategy, focussing our message to reach all students within the University. Great communication is the key to our future success, both within the organisation and externally to the Union’s many stakeholders. Communication is the hallmark of effective democracy, and will lead us to develop our ability to represent the student body responsibly. Continuing to build our relationship with external partners, especially the University is essential to the future development of the Union as an institution. The Union has experienced once more a degree of upheaval and change.We hope, and indeed expect that the sabbatical team next year will have a stable organisation to develop, continuing the positive direction and progress we have made this year.


Durham Students’ Union Dunelm House New Elvet DH1 3AN +44 (0)191 334 1777 dsu.reception@durham.ac.uk Registered Charity No: 07140998


Annual Report 2010/11  

An update on the Union's activities and performance in 2010/11.

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