What happened at Student Council

Lots of policies were passed at our March Student Council meeting, including policies relating to education, accessibility, sustainability and welfare.

On Tuesday 16th March, Student Council met for the last scheduled time in the academic year. Student Council is responsible for telling the Students' Union what to do. It does this by passing policies that the Executive Officers are obliged to enact or follow. Student Council is made up of 50 part-time representatives, and is also attended by the Executive Officers, though they don't get to vote. It meets at least four times per academic year.

At the meeting ten motions were passed. A number of byelaw amendments were also passed. You can view the full agenda and reports for the meeting on our Student Council page.

Summary of policies passed

1. The Students’ Union should lobby the university to revaluate and publish a process for the suspension or cancellation of active courses that recognises the need for student as well as staff consultation when making such decisions.

Following the unexpected and unilateral cancellation of the BSc Global Health course this year, Student Council wants the Students' Union and Executive Officers to lobby the University for a course cancellation policy which would only cancel courses in good time, and ensure that any decisions are taken following a student consultation, and several other stipulations.

2. The Students’ Union should lobby schools to consider the length of teaching recordings so as to ensure they are suitable for student learning and allow for regular breaks. This could include splitting recordings into shorter clips or adding timestamps to videos so students can more easily navigate content. However, any approach should be faculty specific and appropriate to their own students.

Student Council wants the Students' Union to lobby the University pre-recorded lecture videos to be split up into 6-10 minute segments, to aid the accessibility of lectures.

3. Malta vs London Tuition Fees flexibility differences: The Students’ Union should lobby the University to allow Malta Students who are self-funding their tuition fees to pay in multiple instalments as allowed for London based students.

Student Council would like the manner in which students are allowed to pay their tuition fee in instalments for London-based courses (i.e. eight separate instalments) to be replicated for the Malta medicine course, where the current system is that fees are paid in two larger, less manageable instalments.

4. Should the Students' Union lobby the university to introduce mandatory accessibility training for all staff?

Student Council would like the Students' Union to lobby the university for all staff to receive comprehensive accessibility training, to aid their engagement with disabled students and students with specific learning differences.

5. Should the Students' Union provide accessibility guidance on events, campaigns and social media?

Student Council would like the Students' Union to provide accessibility guidance, such as guidance on easy-to-read fonts and how to add closed captions, to students running student events.

6. The Students’ Union should provide recycling in its facilities on all campuses (UK and international) and lobby the university to so the same.

Student Council would like the Students' Union to provide recycling in all of its facilities, in London and internationally. This is not the case at all campuses currently due to either a lack of facilities or lack of an adequate waste management process in place from the University.

7. The Students’ Union should develop and offer a sustainable menu in all of its eating outlets.

Student Council would like the Students' Union's outlets to develop sustainable menus, incorporating a number of stipulations including the use of seasonal fruits and vegetables and use of locally sourced produce.

8. The Students' Union should broadly endorse the aims of the Green Charter, and facilitate a method of direct democracy in working towards its full implementation

Student Council would like the Students' Union to adopt a Green Charter that it has written. The full Charter will include the following core values; Cultural Shift, Accountable, Information Dissemination & Learning, Mental Health, Lobbying, and Democracy.

9. The Students' Union should discourage staff and students from flying on trips associated with the Students' Union

Student Council would like the Students' Union to discourage flying on trips associated with QMSU.

11. The Students’ Union should lobby the university to make all welfare provisions, including Advice and Counselling and DDS services, more accessible to students regardless of which campus they are on or which course they study

Student Council would like the Students' Union to lobby to make physically accessible welfare and counselling services available no more than a short distance away from all of Queen Mary's campuses, national and international; currently they are only available in Mile End. Student Council would also like online counselling services, introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, to continue.

Summary of motions rejected

10. The Students' Union should reduce the provision and sale of Lamb and Beef to zero over the next 2 years

This policy was declared out of order by the Student Council Chair, and was not passed.

If there’s an issue you think the Students’ Union should be working on or something you would like the Students’ Union to have a stance on, you can bring a motion to Student Council. Any student can propose or second a motion, and any student can attend and speak in Student Council. The only thing not all students can do is vote: voting is a right only given to the part-time officers (excluding non-rep roles).

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