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UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 AGENDA

1. Welcome and Apologies 2. Notes from 23.11.11 (SC11/31) 3. Issues tabled by students for discussion a. University study space (SC11/32) 4. Policy decisions tabled by the Sabbatical officers for discussion a. Scrutiny committee – Championing the Student Voice (SC11/33) b. Responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol policy (SC11/34) 5. NUS National policy 6. Student Community Forums 7. Reports to be noted a. Student Officer reports (SC11/35) b. Trustee Board report (SC11/36) c. University Committees report (SC11/37) 8. Annual Elections

Dates of next Student Council meetings and fora: #Better Union: Wednesday 15 February 5pm Better City: Wednesday 22 February 5pm Better University: Wednesday 29 February 5pm Council: Tuesday 27 March 5pm


UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION

SC11/31

STUDENT COUNCIL WEDNESDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2011 MINUTES

COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Holly Brunt, David Heaton, Stephen Mann, Kevin Rowswell (Chair), Heather Sharp, Tom Hughes-Roberts, Robert Barr, Joe Woods, Joe Bijster, Dilip Das, John Hart,

IN ATTENDANCE: Caroline Dangerfield (President), Sophie Atkinson (Vice President), Christina Kennedy (Vice President), Tom Doyle (Vice President), Emma Ogden (College Rep), Stuart Campbell (College Rep) Chrissy Patman (College Rep), John Radcliffe (College Rep), Toby Duckworth (College Rep), Nikolay Yanev (College Rep), Pauline Leroy (College Rep), Laura Johnson (Student Direct Editor), Phil Benton (Chief Executive), Rhiannon Cruse (Student Engagement Manager).

1. Quorum: The Chair opened the meeting by alerting attendees that due to only 11 Student Council members being present, the meeting was inquorate. The Chair explained that this meant no official Council business could be transacted, and that the meeting would therefore operate in an advisory fashion only. The notes of the meeting would be confirmed at the next meeting. In order to allow for an external speaker, an agenda change was noted. 2. Welcome: The Chair congratulated and welcomed new Council member Joe Bijster to Student Council. 3. Received: Apologies for absence from Councillors Reetu Zarora, Liam McLoughlin, Daniel Walton, Donna Woolley and Matthew Metcalfe. 4. Confirmed: Minutes from Council meeting 03.10.11 5. Discussed: Paper SC11/25 „Trade Union Industrial Action‟. Following a summary presented by the President, the Chair invited Chris Sheehy, the President of the Salford Branch of the UCU to address Council. After thanking Council for the opportunity to speak, Chris Sheehy summarised the situation at the University of Salford in terms of redundancies, downgrading of jobs and a pay increase of less than 0.5% in recent years. The fact that the pension scheme in question (USS) is not paid for by the taxpayer was emphasised. Chris Sheehy explained that for lecturing and academic staff, a pension is a form of deferred pay, compensating


in some ways for the lower salaries paid in the public sector. It was stressed to Council that the UCU gave strong support to the Students‟ Union and to NUS when the new funding and fees structure was announced in 2010. The Salford branch of UCU helped to fund the transport of students from Salford to the demonstration in London in November 2010. Chris Sheehy ended her speech by calling on Council to support the lecturers‟ strike action, as they have supported student action in the past. Student Council members questioned the speaker on issues around future plans for industrial action, particularly given Council‟s earlier decision not to support a programme of rolling strikes. Chris Sheehy emphasised that it is difficult to plan too far in advance, but that alongside the current „working to rule‟, a one-day strike on the 30 November is all that is planned at the moment. Other options available to the union are boycotts of assessment or graduation, but it was stressed that this is always considered as a last option, and that it is hoped negotiations will restart before that stage. A question about the responsibility of individuals to negotiate their own packages was answered with a direct comparison to the Students‟ Union. Like SUs, trade unions believe that individuals benefit from collective strength and can produce better outcomes for members than numerous individual negotiations. The Chair thanked Chris Sheehy, who left the meeting. Resolved: To support the one day strike by UCU and UNISON on 30 November. During discussion, the President asked Council to direct the Sabbatical Officers on the level of support the Union should show to the strikes. The President explained that the opinion of the Sabbatical team was not unanimous and that a decision on whether to cancel any political work taking place that day would need to be taken by Council. A Better University forum is scheduled for the 30 November, and two Sabbatical Officers are due to attend a senior University meeting (LTEC). Resolved: To cancel the Better University forum scheduled for the 30 November, and for the Sabbatical Officers to show their support for the strikes by not attending the University meeting. Council also asked the Sabbatical Officers to seek information from the University about the impact of the strike action. 6. Discussed: Paper SC11/22 „Campus Car Parking‟. This paper was submitted by Council member Liam McLoughlin who sent a statement in his absence, read aloud by the Chair. The President informed Council that the plans to close Northern Car Park are part of the University‟s Campus Master Plan, and that she had already been involved in discussions about the issue. It was noted that the University is currently undertaking a survey on transport, and is considering options such as allocating parking permits on a „needs basis‟ to cope with fewer spaces. Resolved: The Sabbatical Officers to continue to lobby the University for increased consultation about the car parking plans, and to feed back progress to Council. 7. Discussed: Policy paper SC11/23 „Environmental Policy‟ presented by the Vice President for Science and Technology on behalf of the Green Society. It was explained that this policy is due for renewal in December 2011 and that the newly established


Green Society had considered it and submitted it for adoption. The Vice President alerted Council to the goal listed in the policy that the Students‟ Union work towards a silver Sound Impact award (an environmental award scheme operated by NUS). Resolved: To adopt the Environmental Policy. 8. Discussed: Policy paper SC11/24 „Placement Issues‟ presented by Stephen Mann. Issues around ERASMUS, exchange and other work placements were detailed. The Vice President for Health and Social Care described work started by the Sabbatical Team 2010/11 on this issue, including working with Student Life on ERASMUS issues. The Vice President also highlighted ongoing work in the College of Health and Social Care on professional placements. Resolved: For the Sabbatical Officers to continue to work on placement related issues, and to raise the issue with NUS. 9. Discussed: Student Community Forums. Student Council member David Heaton provided a verbal summary of the Better Union forum (20/10/11) which discussed issues including Welcome week, Salford Direct, and the University‟s sporting colours. The Chair informed Council that the remaining two fora due to take place this term (Better University and Better City), needed convenors. Tom Hughes-Roberts and Heather Sharp volunteered for the positions respectively. It was noted that due to the decision earlier in the meeting, Better University forum now needed rescheduling, and a date for Better City to be agreed. 10. Discussed: Representative groups: update and vacancy. The Chair invited the representative group Council members to give a verbal report of their recent activity. The Postgraduate representative, Tom Hughes-Roberts highlighted his work in setting up a postgraduate activity group which now meets regularly, and his plans to set up focus groups before each Council meeting to ensure postgraduate opinions are being sought. The students with disabilities representation, Heather Sharp reported that she had held meetings with many University staff, including student life staff dealing with disability issues. She is also planning to set up an activity group for students with disabilities. The International Students representative, Reetu Zarora, sent a statement in her absence which was read aloud. Reetu outlined her meetings with University staff, and an NUS event on internationalisation which was attended in September. The Chair drew Council‟s attention to the fact that the members elected for the representative groups International students, BME students and Women were due to finish their studies in December and would therefore need replacing. He urged the representative members to consider options for doing so in an effective manner before the next Council meeting. 11. Discussed: Guidance document SC11/26 „Extraordinary meetings of Council‟. Resolved: To adopt the document. 12. Noted: Reports SC11/29 and SC11/30.


13. Discussed: Report SC11/28 „Trustee Board Report‟. A question about collaborative elections was asked. The Chief Executive and the President explained that the annual elections in 2012 would be undertaken in collaboration with the Students‟ Unions at Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan Universities. The benefits for this are both competitive i.e. that students at each university would compete for the highest number of votes, promotional i.e. that the impact of one single elections brand across greater Manchester would be greater than three separate ones, and financial. 14. Discussed: Report SC11/27 „Student Officer Report‟. A question about the progress of the Library redevelopment project was asked. The President explained that a decision has yet to be made, and will not be made until the New Year at the earliest. Financial issues are causing a major problem, and the President remarked that she did not feel that the closure of Allerton Library was now likely. 15. Any other business: No other business was reported. Date of next meeting: 5pm Tuesday 7 February 2012


SC11/32 UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 POLICY DECISIONS UNIVERSITY STUDY SPACE

PURPOSE OF PAPER

Items submitted members

by

students

/

Council

ACTION REQUIRED

Discuss and debate the issue outlined, and make recommendations where requested


UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL

Name: Tracy Graham, 1st year Nursing Rep What is the issue? Students on the Frederick Road campus have commented on the lack of study space available to them. This appears to be a problem across the University‟s campuses, and means that it is difficult for students to find both quiet study areas, and social study areas for group work and other activity. The Clifford Whitworth library is often far too noisy for quiet study, and this is likely because there are few designated study areas for group or non-quiet study. How would you like Council to respond and what action would you like the University or USSU to take? 1. The Students‟ Union to lobby the University to improve its provision of study areas for both quiet and group study. 2. The University to invest in more study spaces, and monitor the use of existing areas.


SC11/33 UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 SCRUTINY COMMITTEE PROPOSAL

PURPOSE OF PAPER

For Council to discuss, debate and direct issues of the representation work of the Sabbatical Officers

ACTION REQUIRED

Discuss and debate the issue outlined, and make recommendations where requested


1. Scrutiny Committees In line with the guidance for Scrutiny Committees (2001, 5.1), the Trustee Board would like to present Student Council with suggestions for areas of scrutiny for approval. The areas suggested are objectives taken directly from the Unionâ€&#x;s strategic plan 2011-2014 under the theme „Championing the Student Voiceâ€&#x;. 2. The three objectives: i. ii. iii.

Listen to all students to fully understand their views, take action, achieve change and communicate back Create the means for students to actively participate in directing and achieving change Build a credible partnership with the University, holding them to account on issues relevant to students.

3. Action required by Council The Trustee Board requests that Council choose one of the above areas and form a scrutiny committee to consider the area in depth. It is anticipated that the committee would review how the Union has been implementing the objective in its activities and how well it is being met. Members of the committee will need to be able to question and analyse the information presented to them, considering past practice and future goals. The committee will report at intervals to Council and may make non-binding recommendations for implementation.


SC11/34 UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 POLICY DECISIONS RESPONSIBLE RETAILING AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL POLICY

PURPOSE OF PAPER

For Council to discuss, debate and direct issues of the representation work of the Sabbatical Officers

ACTION REQUIRED

Discuss and debate the issue outlined, and make recommendations where requested


UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL Name: Sophie Atkinson What is the issue? The University of Salford Students‟ Union is committed to promoting sensible and responsible drinking, and to the provision of a safe and secure environment where students can meet and socialise. The Students‟ Union ensures that its operations meet the four key areas of legal responsibility under the Licensing Act 2003, namely: Prevention of crime and disorder Public safety Prevention of public nuisance Prevention of children from harm The Students‟ Union recognises that the consumption of alcohol is for many students part of the „student experience‟ and university life. However we also recognise that: When consumed irresponsibly, alcoholic beverages can create problems for the individual, the university community and the local community as a whole. We have a duty of care to ensure that we market, promote and sell alcohol responsibly. Students should be reminded and encouraged to drink responsibly. Many of our students may come from backgrounds where alcohol is not part of their culture and may not understand the repercussions of alcohol consumption. There is the opportunity for the Students‟ Union to produce and implement a policy on the responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol which would cover these additional issues. Because of the nature of the policy and the need for student consultation, a referendum on the matter could take place alongside the annual elections in February and March. If approved by Referendum, operational policies would be created to cover the areas of i) pricing and promotion of alcohol ii) promotion of safe and responsible drinking and iii) expected behaviours for students using our premises. These operational policies will be written in consultation with Student Council and responsibility for implementation will lie with the Trustee Board. How would you like Council to respond and what action would you like the University or USSU to take? 1. Council to approve a cross campus referendum on this matter using the question: Should the Students’ Union adopt a policy promoting the safe and responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol?


SC11/35 UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 STUDENT OFFICER REPORTS

PURPOSE OF PAPER

To inform Student Council of the representation work of the Sabbatical Officers

ACTION REQUIRED

To notify the chair in advance of the meeting if any points require discussion


1. Student Experience Reports For the first time each of the Vice Presidents have produced a Student Experience Report for the first semester which are specific to each of the three Colleges. These reports use data from the NSS, Student Reps, Advice Centre and the Sabbatical Officers. The three Vice Presidents will be presenting these reports to each of the Colleges over the next couple of weeks. We decided to write these reports to demonstrate our knowledge of the student experience and show we are the credible student voice by using lots of varied evidence and data on which to base our campaigns and recommendations. They will hopefully lead to improvements for students right across the University. The reports are available via the Union‟s website. 2. Transformation Programme The University is currently undergoing a Transformation Programme which aims to streamline and improve efficiency in a number of areas across the University. This is a huge programme with many different projects, and we have membership on a number of Transformation Project Boards. This is creating a great deal of work for the Officers as there is a lot going on and it can sometimes be hard to keep up with it all. However it‟s also a great opportunity to influence change in the interests of students. A couple of areas which we‟ve been working on include changes to the Late Submission Policy and the PMC policy. Whilst they are still subject to approval, we believe the changes to the PMC policy will be an improvement as students will be informed of decisions much more quickly. Reduction in the Late Submission timeframe may not necessarily be seen as positive by some students, however it will mean that academics can return work much more promptly and is line with other Institutions in the sector. 3. PGR Printing Just before Christmas, Caroline was contacted by a number of PGR students and Student Reps as their access to free printing had been withdrawn. This was a hug issue as a number of students are also part-time tutors and they were having to pay to print resources to be given out to their students. After some lobbying from the Students‟ Union, the University have now re-instated free printing for PGR students, subject to reasonable use. This was a great achievement and really highlights that the Union is delivering for its wide and diverse membership. 4. Recruitment Given the rise in student fees and alterations to visa regulations there are changes being made to the way the University‟s current system of student recruitment operates. The way the University communicates with prospective students on their „pathway‟ to becoming a Salford student is being altered and the use of new „international ambassadors‟ to recruit more international students have been put in place. The Sabbatical team has been part of the discussion on how this can be done best and it would appear the University is working hard to limit any damage to recruitment in 2012.


5. PG Fees 2012 The University has not consulted with us about setting fees for postgraduate taught programmes for 2012, but there will undoubtedly be an increase on the current fee level. Due to the competitive nature of the new system, the University will likely not announce the fees until other universities have made similar announcements. While we appreciate this, we are disappointed that there are students applying currently who do not know the fees they may be paying next year. 6. The Big Ask The Big Ask took place during the week commencing 5 December 2011 and involved 2245 students, over 10% of the student population at Salford. One thousand, four hundred and fifty seven students were spoken to and a further 788 gave responses via postcards. Students were asked to respond to the following: Thinking of all the services, including support, activities and academic representation provided by the Students’ Union, do you agree with the following statement: I am satisfied with the Students’ Union at the University of Salford. The project was undertaken as part of „Hear All Year‟, a Sabbatical Officer initiative to increase face to face contact between the Union and its members, ensuring that this takes place regularly throughout the year. Satisfaction with the Students‟ Union appears to have increased steadily since 2010 and is now at a high level. In total 83% of students participating in the Big Ask said that they were satisfied with the Students‟ Union. The most popular responses given for satisfaction with the Union were: The friendly, helpful support provided Student Activities provision Commercial services Regular communication There were three main reasons given for dissatisfaction with the Students‟ Union: Lack of awareness of the organisation and its services Lack of engagement with certain groups Commercial services perceived as too expensive

7. Blood/Bone Marrow Donations update Christina has spoken to aclt charity to arrange a „donor drive‟ on campus towards the end of April. We have also contacted a BME group in Manchester who currently do a lot of work


encouraging BME citizens in Manchester to sign up to the UK donations registers and they are more than happy to come along on the day to speak to students about why it is important for them to be involved. The plan is to have a “Donor Roadshow� which will have a stand in Allerton Annexe, University House and Adelphi, we will hopefully also be able to book some space at Media City. Christina has also contacted the UK National Blood Service to see if we can arrange to have a place on campus to actually go and give blood on the day, this is yet to be confirmed.


SC11/36 UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 TRUSTEE BOARD REPORT

PURPOSE OF PAPER

To inform Student Council of the issues discussed by the Students‟ Union Trustee Board on 14 November 2011

ACTION REQUIRED

To notify the chair in advance of the meeting if any points require discussion


A summary of the Trustee Board meeting of 14 November 2011 1. Finance The Board received and approved the accounts for the year-ended 31 July 2011, a copy of which will also be presented to the Charity Commission. On consideration of the management accounts for the period ending 31 October 2011, it was noted that overall performance is good and there is an indication that the budgeted surplus of £9,000 will be achieved.

2. Strategy The Board received an update on the consultancy proposal to the University of Bolton Students‟ Union. It was noted that since the original proposal there had been a significant change to the situation with the University of Bolton Students‟ Union and that it was unlikely that USSU would be asked to provide any management support in the short term. A merger of the finance functions of USSU and University of Manchester Students‟ Union was approved in principle, and the Board resolved to complete this merger by August 2013.

3. Governance The Board received a report on the Autumn elections and noted the preparations underway for the Spring elections in collaboration with UMSU and MMUnion. The Board also received a report outlining the key decisions and policy recommendations made by Student Council during the first semester. The Board approved the appointment of a new external Trustee, Chris Wells, who is currently the Deputy Chair of University Council (until January 2012) and will take post from February 2012.


SC11/37 UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STUDENTS’ UNION STUDENT COUNCIL TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012 UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES REPORT

PURPOSE OF PAPER

To inform Student Council of the issues discussed by the Sabbatical Officers at University Committee meetings

ACTION REQUIRED

To notify the chair in advance of the meeting if any points require discussion


1. University Council The major topic of debate at Council surrounded the Financial Statements for the University which were worrying to say the least. There has been a loss of Tuition Fee income as a result of under-recruitment in certain areas of the University. As a Students‟ Union we continue to put pressure on the University to ensure it spends its money well, keeping the student experience at the forefront of all decision-making. The University‟s Transformation Programme remains a risk and one which we have continued to raise concerns about. Research Income is also behind budget and although there is a downwards trend nationally, this is an area of great concern. 2. Learning, Teaching and Enhancement Committee Due to the decision taken by Student Council on 23 November 2011 (paper SC11/25) we did not attend LTEC on the day of the trade unions‟ strike. Despite our non-attendance, we submitted concerns about a new „Late submission policy‟ which was to be discussed. Our concern is particularly in relation to the „fit to sit‟ aspect of the proposed regulations, which may disadvantage students with genuine mitigating circumstances. „Fit to sit‟ means that if a student attends an exam or submits a piece of work, they are declaring themselves „fit‟ to complete that component, and therefore cannot submit a retrospective PMC for „standard of performance‟ as is currently the case. Our concerns were discussed in our absence and we are pleased that they have been taken into account while writing new regulations. We were also pleased to see our comments on the „Participation policy‟ had been taken on board. The Participation policy will mean that students who have not taken an active role in their studies during the first six weeks of term may have their registration cancelled. We commented that information and library resources should not be removed during a students‟ appeal process, and encouraged more formative assessment, engaging learning and teaching, and an active personal tutor system to limit the need for use of the policy. 3. Academic Programmes and Partnerships Committee There has been a large volume of business at meetings of APPC this year, mainly due to the Academic Portfolio Review which is being conducted across the University. APR is a process of rationalization and review of all academic programmes in the University to ensure they are high-quality, fit for purpose courses which meet the needs of 21st century students. It is fair to say we haven‟t agreed with all the decisions made, but the desire to improve the quality of the student experience is welcomed. At the last meeting of APPC the roles of students and Student Reps in the Periodic Programme Review and Re-approval process was discussed at length. This was following feedback we received from a Student Rep who had recently been involved in the process. There certainly are areas of the process which could be improved so that Student Reps make a valid contribution and we will be working with the University to ensure this happens. At a special meeting of APPC, the University has approved the validation of HE courses at the Manchester College.

Student Council Papers 7 February 2012  

These are the papers from the student council meeting on the 7 February 2012

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