The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

February Senate: liveblog

The Mancunion reports live on the forth Students’ Union Senate of the academic year

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Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:59 PM

That’s all for Senate this evening. There were three policies left to debate and they will be carried forward to the next Senate. See you then!

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:57 PM

The policy to reduce the SU’s carbon footprint has been passed by 100%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:56 PM

Joe Clough, putting forward an amendment, says that the SU should lobby the University to also be accredited to the Living Wage Foundation because the University uses a separate company that it owns to pay some staff under the living wage. Accreditation with this scheme means that all staff working in University buildings would have to be paid the living wage.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:53 PM

Alex Tayler, Gen Sec of the SU, asks what the benefit of accreditation with Real Living Wage is, since the University already pay the living wage.

Will Ranger says that accreditation is a small cost of £3000 and guards against inflation.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:52 PM

Will Ranger is now speaking for his policy for the SU to lobby the University to be accredited to ‘Real Living Wage’.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:51 PM

The policy to improve support for retuning students has passed by 85%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:50 PM

Will Ranger has spoke in favour of his policy to reduce the carbon footprint of the SU — including having 100% of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2022.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:47 PM

The policy to stop selling plastic water bottles in the SU did not pass. It received 61% of the vote but needed 66%.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:45 PM

After a speaker asks what kind of support should be offered, Olivia Meisl says that it would mostly involve meetings upon return.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:43 PM

Olivia Meisl speaks for her policy to improve support for students returning from mid-degree placements, citing wellbeing concerns for returning students.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:41 PM

Another speaker says that we should support the policy and put the environment ahead of finances because “there won’t be an environment left in 100 years.”

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:40 PM

Two speakers from the floor has asked whether it would be more sensible to just sell recyclable water bottles. The second reaffirms concerns that the not selling water bottles would harm Union finances.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:37 PM

Majid Ahmed argues that this isn’t the best timing to introduce this policy, given limited access to water fountains as building works are ongoing.

“We’re now mothering students”. He says that they should make their own choices.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:36 PM

The policy to donate excess food waste to the homeless and food banks passed by 100%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:35 PM

Joe Clough puts forward an amendment to clarify that this policy only relates to water bottles, not any others: “the working class have a right to drink lemonade and coke…”

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:33 PM

A speaker from the floor asks whether this is a sensible policy given that the Union’s current cash-flow is limited.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:32 PM

A speaker form the floor argues that this policy is problematic because some people will inevitability forget their water bottles. Olivia Meisl recognises this problem and suggests affordable reusable bottles and more water fountains.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:30 PM

Sarah Hodgson is speaking for her policy to stop the SU selling plastic water bottles. She also support a policy scheduled for later on in Senate to make reusable bottles available on campus.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:28 PM

The policy to improve availability of sexual assault advice on the SU website passed by 100%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:28 PM

A speaker from the floor asks who’s responsibility it would be to give out the food.

Olivia Meisl says that a previous scheme relied on people approaching Biko Street for food but that it didn’t work very well. She suggests working with Greggs since their scheme seems to work well.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:26 PM

Now Senate will debate whether excess food waste should be donated to the homeless and food banks. Olivia Meisl says that Biko Street staff currently try to give out as much as possible to homeless people in an informal way but would like to establish a more formal system for donation.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:24 PM

Senate passes the policy to create a new staff pay and redundancy body by 84%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:23 PM

There are no points for or against from the floor and Senate has gone straight to voting.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:23 PM

The next policy to be debated: for a sexual advice page on the SU website. The speaker speaking on behalf of Hannah Hall says that the current advice given to students is inadequate (at present students are given just a list of phone numbers).

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:21 PM

Senate has only made Senate by one person, so every member needs to vote. Senate is still waiting for the last person to vote on this policy – otherwise nothing can be passed.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:18 PM

The Chair has resorted to telling jokes to senate: what did the cheese say to itself when it looked in the mirror? Halloumi!

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:17 PM

Since we have just over 40 minutes to discuss nine more policies, the policies not debated this evening will roll onto the next senate.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:12 PM

Enough people have left Senate to bring attendance to two under quoracy. The Chair asks if any members have friends they can bring into Senate.

If attendance remains unchanged Senate will not vote on the policy to set up a staff pay and redundancy review – nor will it vote on any other policies.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:09 PM

Adam Rogers makes it clear that this would be an important way of students getting a foot in the door in pay and redundancy disputes.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:08 PM

Rob Noon, speaking in favour of the motion, citing the Vice-Chancellor’s pay, says “fuck that…it’s ridiculous that anyone in this situation gets paid that much…fuck the whole idea of cuts.”

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:07 PM

Lucas from Fuse FM media speaks against the policy and asks whether students would have a balanced view of staff issues.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:06 PM

Senate will vote on the policy WITHOUT the amendment and therefore with pay INCLUDED.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:02 PM

Senate passes the policy to make policy more visible by 98%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20187:00 PM

The Working Class Officer reaffirms that it is important to work nationally when dealing with staff pay concerns.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:59 PM

Majid Ahmed, postgraduate research officer, argues that we can both support the UCU and support pay reviews.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:57 PM

Alex Tayler, SU Gen Sec, argues that it is still important to include pay in the policy because the University do look at some pay issues at a local level

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:55 PM

A speaker from the floor asks whether this policy relates to general or just academic staff. The speaker says that this policy is more about securitising senior leadership rather than deciding specific pay.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:53 PM

The Working Class Students Representative speaks for an amendment to remove ‘pay’ from the motion since pay is discussed at a national level. “The UCU has it right, the workers have a it right…we have better clout when we campaign nationally.”

The speaker support the motion but thinks that it would not help staff to campaign against their interests.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:51 PM

“This could send a message to the University that students do care about staff issues”

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:51 PM

Adam Rogers says that the SU should lobby the University to create a new staff pay and redundancy pay review. “We pay £9000 a year. Do they see us as consumers or as partners?”

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:50 PM

The first policy, on releasing exam dates, passed by 91%

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:49 PM

Rob Noon is speaking for a policy to improve the transparency of SU policy materials on its website. There are no points against or for from the floor and we go straight to voting.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:46 PM

The Campaigns Officer highlights that making exam dates available sooner would help particular students – such as those with caring duties.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:44 PM

Another speaker from the floor argues that the releasing of exam dates should also be combined with pressure to improve the releasing of exams in general – since some students this year didn’t have some exams scheduled.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:43 PM

The Diversity Officer of the SU speaks in support of the policy and wonders whether the difficulty of arranging rooms for exams can be negotiated after dates and times are released.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:42 PM

Now to debate polices for the evening.

The first is for the Union to release exam dates earlier. A speaker from the floor states that the issue is a very important for students’ wellbeing but the University exam board is saying it is not possible to improve. Nevertheless, the speaker supports the motion.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:39 PM

There are three positions to be elected this evening.

1) Post grad humanities faculty rep
2) Women’s officer (PTO)
3) Rusholme and Whitworth Community Officer
All three positions went uncontested, with two officers being appointed to the latter role.
Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:24 PM

The Working Class students representative is arguing that the Steering Committee has rejected an amendment to the University staffing and pay review on unconstitutional grounds. The Steering Committee Representative clarifies that the amendment was rejected because it deemed it to be more than a minor change and, if anything, constitutive of a new policy. Senate is set to vote as to whether it should accept the challenge to the Steering Committee.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:13 PM

The Chair, Ruth O’Sullivan, has brought Senate to attention. We have met quoracy and so will continue with the evening.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20186:04 PM

We have a fair few policies to get thorough tonight. I hope Senate members are given second-helpings of burritos…could be a bloodbath.

Tristan Parsons 8th February 20185:49 PM

The proposals up for debate tonight are:

1) Campaign the University to release exam dates sooner
2) The Union should improve its policy webpage to make policy, and the wider democratic functions of the Union, more accessible
3) Greater involvement for students in staff pay and redundancy decisions
4) The Union should have a ‘sexual assault advice page’ on its website
5) Excess food waste from Biko Street should be donated to the homeless, shelters, and food banks
6) Stop the sale of plastic water bottles in the Students’ Union
7) The Union should pressure the Year Aboard Office to improve support (including transition meetings) for students returning from international study
8) The Union should increase its energy efficiency, commit to running on only renewable sources by 2022, continue lobbying the University on its environmental impact, and launch a review of waste management procedures
9) Lobby the University for a real living wage
10) The Union should stock renewable water bottles
11) All policy proposed to Senate should be referenced and then fact-checked by the Steering Committee
12) Push the University to advertise graduate entrepreneur schemes for international students