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12th February 2018

Food waste from Biko Street to be donated to homeless

Rough sleeping in Greater Manchester rose by 41 per cent in the last year according to latest figures
Food waste from Biko Street to be donated to homeless
Image: UMSU

Food waste from the University of Manchester’s Students’ Union food outlet, Biko Street, is be donated to the homeless, shelters, and food banks.

The policy passed through Students’ Union Senate on the 8th of February with 100 per cent voting in favour of the motion.

A policy that did not pass was a motion seeking to ban single-use plastic water bottles from the Students’ Union shop submitted by student Sarah Hodgson. She added that she also supported a policy looking to instead sell reusable water bottles as an alternative, as tap water is available for free at the Union bar, and food outlets.

Some members of Senate felt that this would significantly affect cash flow, as the Union is a charity and in “a precarious financial posit”, according to one speaker.

Majid Ahmed, a postgraduate officer, questioned whether banning the sale of water bottles would be stripping choice away from students. The vote eventually did not pass, despite one impassioned speaker from the floor adding “We have to start putting our environment first because otherwise there might not be a world to live in [sic]”.

A policy to release exam dates sooner passed with 91 per cent of the vote.

NUS Parents and Carers rep Deej Malik-Johnson added that students with caring responsibilities are particularly affected by this and that he had to choose between an exam and caring for his daughter.

Some policies discussed evoked significant and contentious discussion, including a new staffing and pay review policy.

There was a discussion that ‘and pay’ should be removed from the policy, with working-class rep Joseph Clough saying “I believe that UCU and the workers have it right. They believe they have better clout at the negotiation table when they do it nationally rather than a policy like this that breaks every University into separate chunks where they’re all isolated and fighting for themselves.”

However, the policy was voted on with pay included, as the amendment did not pass. Alex Tayler, SU General Secretary added that it was important to look at pay, particularly as junior staff pay was not dealt with on a National Level.

Other policies passed include a motion to improve the Students’ Union policy webpage to make policy more accessible, a motion to have a ‘sexual assault advice page’ on the SU website and a policy that states that the Union should commit to only running on renewable energy resources by 2022.

Among motions included in the agenda that were not discussed was a policy submitted by SU General Secretary Alex Tayler that all policies should be referenced and fact-checked by the Steering Committee, and a policy about advertising graduate entrepreneur schemes for international students.

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