The student council meets this Thursday to debate the seven big ideas that have passed after students were called on to vote in favour or disapproval of them.
The Student council is made up of the reps and full time officers which we elect on a yearly basis. They are then as a council, in charge of passing union policy and make the ideas of students become a reality!
So which big ideas will the Student Council be debating this Thursday? There are seven which reached the fresh hold of over 50 interactions with a majority of them being positive;
- UCLan to pay for thesis binding: at the moment, research students at UCLan are required to pay to have their thesis binded. Usually this requires at least four copies. One of these copies is provided free of charge by UCLan Print, but the others cost a total of £5 each. This has been overwhelming approved by student votes (73 likes, 0 dislikes) as students believe since this is part of the course requirement, and students already pay fees for their course, this fee should be taken out of their. tuition rather than their own pockets.
- Why is British sign language not offered as a free language: Students have voted in favour of a proposal in order to provide free British Sign Language education.
- Equal access for refugees and asylum seekers: with 54 likes, and 7 dislikes, the Council will debate the right of refugee and asylum seekers to be treated the same as British students. Currently, as UCLan recognises refugees and asylum seekers as international students, they are expected to be nearly double the price per year of a British student (£17,500). The policy proposes that the university should cover their fees, as asylum seekers are ineligible for Student Finance England loans, and support their living costs for up to three years of study.
We believe that refugees and asylum seekers have a right to accessible education and that the potential of many are at risk of being wasted as people are blocked from studying. Accessing higher education would enable them to make a full contribution to our society and, when peace is restored, work to rebuild their own.
- New Title, Who Dis? Education officer, Suntosh Kaur, has put forward a proposal to change the titles of our full time officers. For example, Education officer would change to Vice President Education. Some feel at the current moment, the officer titles do not reflect the nature of the FTO’s roles and it is not clear that the SAC is one body. By changing their roles to Vice President rather than officer, it will line up with other student committees across the country and make their roles more clear to those not in the know around student politics.
- Are you really being represented at faculty level? This proposal aims to take some of the workload off of School Presidents. At the current moment, School Presidents support Course Reps, work with Heads of Schools, Course Leaders, chair Student Staff Liaison Committees and represent the student voice in their schools to help fuel student-led change. On top of all this, they also attend Faculty level meetings and liaise with Faculty management. The proposal would aim to introduce a Faculty Rep who would take some of this work load off, and be there to represent students at faculty level. If passed, they will be elected at the same time as School Presidents and FTO’s, and sit on the student council in place of the School President.
- Communities are coming! Each year, the Union hosts three forums for four different areas, for elected reps, and ordinary students to meet and discuss issues surrounding; Education, Welfare & Liberation, Media and Sports & Societies. The proposal from Lily Green, the SU’s Campaigns officer, aims to increase student engagement in these forums by making some changes to the structures. Changes such as changing the name from ‘forums’ to ‘communities’, to reflect the nature of working together to discuss these ideas, and instead of an agenda, to have a loose informal setting as to have a range of discussion on a variety of topics.
- The Introduction of a Placement Support Officer: an incredibly popular idea with 160 votes in favour and just 2 against, the final big idea is the introduction of a Placement Support Officer, in order to provide support for students whose courses involves a placement element. The lack of such a role has left students with little flexibility, meaning students may run in to problems such as arranging childcare, or balancing work commitments. The introduction of a PSO would; facilitate swaps of shifts to help students with other commitments, support students and lease virtually with students and staff for shift pattern compromise.
The student council meet Thursday 2nd November at 5pm, in the Media Innovation Suite in the Media Factor (4th floor) to debate your big ideas.