Chairs Blog: Week 1

Apologies for not writing the chairs blog sooner!

Items to approve

Although the changes in the new constitution mean that student groups can make amendments to their own bye-laws and have them approved internally, changes to bye-laws that affect all students must now be passed at Executive. The change made to the Democracy Bye-law was to add in a line for the responsibilities of the University Council Representative. The description for this role now includes that the Officer will have to report back to the students on what they've been doing in Council at a General Meeting - this means that you can find out all about University Council activity at the Annual General Meeting which is Wednesday Week 4!

The following item which required approval was the demographics for the make up of Student Juries. The juries are made up of 18 semi-randomly selected students which should reflect the student population at Lancaster. We have based these demographics on information that the University records in order to ensure it's as accurate as possible. The characteristics which have been approved at Executive are gender, fee status (home, EU, overseas) and whether you're an undergrad or postgrad. After the first Jury in Week 6, we'll be reviewing the whole process and feeding back to Exec.

Items for discussion

The National Students Survey (NSS) is a survey taken by all final year students at Universities across the country about student satisfaction. This survey is primarily about the University, but there has always been one question about Student Unions. Officers at the NUS and various Student Unions have been campaigning to boycott the survey as they feel this question does Students Unions a disjustice. This question has now been changed. The new question will be about how final year students have felt their “The students’ union (association or guild) effectively represents students’ academic interests." And on that note, if you do have any feedback about your course or would like to see something changed, faculty forums are being held in Week 4 and are open to all student s (in the department)!  This will also be the opportunity where Faculty Representatives are elected, so if you are interested in representing your fellow students then make sure you get down to them! Get in touch with myself or Nick (VP Ed) if you have any questions.

I can't believe that Welcome Week has already come and gone and that people have already had the opportunity to review the activity, but they have. Members of Executive were informed that there have been 4179+ memberships for societies and clubs, 220 people voted at the preferendum during freshers fair, 2657 people went on Big Night Out, 1580 people went to Consent talks and 2000+ students went to Just Play sessions. Amazing. Another massive well done to all the students that were involved in delivering any events and activities during Welcome Week!

Student Ideas

The ideas which were submitted on the website this week were the following: 

  1. Allow students who continue to Postgrad here at Lancaster to remain in their original college.
  2. Democratise Both the University and LUSU Further
  3. Mary’s Meals

In order to make sure Exec has enough time to discuss everything that it needs to, a steering group (essentially a smaller group of members of the Exec) has been set up decide where ideas should be filtered to. The Exec then just receive the ideas, decide whether they're happy with how they've been filtered, and discuss away. All of these ideas were filtered as either being 'Union Feedback' or to be considered by another body. There was some strong feelings for idea 1, so the we're going to find out if more students would like to see these changes and present it to the University. If you have any evidence for/against any of these ideas, please add it as a comment!

Items for information

There was a lot of updates this week on what the officers has been doing, how the Central refurb is going, Union Cloud, the new Constitution, We are Lancaster Campaign - but I'll let the other officers tell you about that. The big change has been about the new, separate, the Sports and Societies Committees. The old Activities Exec has been changed so that people now get their own space, so terms of references have been written as a guideline to what they should be doing. The Executive have now been updated on the new Society Funding Principles and Processes, which can be found on the societies bit of the website.

That is the headline information from our first Executive in term time, I promise to improve on how speedy the blog posts are published!