Chair's Blog: Week 5

Half way through term now and I think Executive have got the swing of things!

Items for approval

If a college or committee would like to make any changes to their terms of references, these changes need to be approved by a General Meeting and then again at Union Executive. A ‘terms of reference’ is like a guideline for College Execs or groups to use, it outlines the responsibilities and procedures for the Exec. As it’s nearly election time, JCRs have all rushed to make some changes to the positions, which have now been approved. Some colleges made more minor changes, such as Social Secretaries being able to be financial signatories, others created a whole new position! If you’d like to see what your College JCR terms of references are because you’re considering running in the upcoming election, have a look here

Did someone say election period?

We’ve set some more rigid deadlines for when agenda items can be submitted to Executive, to make sure that people are submitting the right info and so that officers have enough time to read and process the items. Would you like to submit a policy to Executive? The best way to do this is through submitting an idea on the website! All ideas are considered and discussed by the Executive (steering group). Alternatively, if you would like the Executive to discuss something, please speak to one of the Officers! It isn’t just Full Time Officers that sit on Executive – Part Time Officers, JCR Presidents and Faculty Reps are also members! If you think there is something important that needs to be discussed, be it about academic stuff or liberation, chat to us!

Items for discussion

Each year, the Students’ Union gets the opportunity to send a certain number of its members to conferences. The NUS allows each Union a number of delegates which Part-Time Officers typically fill. The committee was asked to discuss what the best strategy for sending delegations was, as at times, other members don’t get the opportunity to go as we are financially stretched. The Executive agreed that in order to make it fairer for more students, the Liberation officers were able to ring fence a certain amount of money each year to fund delegates going to conferences. This has now allowed more money to be spent on other groups being able to attend a variety of conferences, such as student media attending the media summit or BUCS. Is there a conference you’d be interested in going to?

Student Ideas

The ideas which have been submitted to Executive this week are:

  1. In solidarity with Venezuela’s college students
  2. Put the roof back on the spine
  3. White lines for the sports field car parks
  4. Have an environment applet on iLancaster
  5. Music to be played in all bathrooms for nervous pee-ers
  6. Add Starbucks Premium self-serve coffee machines in the library
  7. Support independent businesses
  8. Raise awareness of autism

So, a few of these ideas are feedback for the University to consider. The facilities team at the Uni will be receiving ideas 2,3,5,6 and 7; and ISS will be receiving idea number 4 in the coming weeks – but officers have been in touch with the relevant people already!

The Executive discussed two of these ideas in greater depth: Venezuela’s college students and autism awareness. The Executive decided that supporting Venezuela’s college students might be a contentious issue – although a student at Lancaster feels affected by it, others might feel differently. This idea will be going to a student jury.

The following idea about raising awareness for autism was well received by the Executive! As a group, we thought that this was an important initiative; the Disabilities Officer was taking this idea to their forum and working with Rachel to think about the campaign. Great news!

Items for information

The other officers will be giving you an update on what they have been doing! I’d just like to let you know that we had a quorate, fully functioning and successful first student jury! ** How these ideas will be implemented will go to the next Executive. And also, did someone mention elections????

If you’d like a more detailed account of Executive, click here for the minutes!