The Discussion: Day 1: What have you been saying?

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It’s been a great day at The Discussion wall, and we’ve had loads of people feeding into the strategic plan. Our wall is covered, so we’ve photographed all your comments and have wiped the wall ready to start afresh tomorrow, however here are some of the main messages coming through at the moment.

Values

There’s been a bit of debate about values, and whether or not The Union should get rid of collectivism, empowerment and sustainability in its values in favour of the proposed new values; democracy, equality, diversity and fun. What do you think?

Academic Experience

  • People are unhappy about the hubs and want us to campaign for change
  • Exam schedules should be released earlier
  • All assessments should have clear marking criteria

These are mainly issues about the university, yet they’re obviously things students care about. Hopefully, the proposed idea of a better representation department, which would campaign for these changes would help some of these problems.

Financial Sustainability

  • Student staff should be paid more
  • Management training for student staff – employability

There was a lot of talk about the Living Wage on the wall, and the improvement of wages for student staff to match the University pay to ambassadors. There was also the idea of providing management and training opportunities to student staff that would make them more employable in the future.

Union Communication

  • Don’t call it a marketing department, call it communications
  • Part time student staff in comms department to run social media etc.
  • Get the university to share student data with the Union so that it can email all students

Some excellent ideas for improving the Union’s communications strategy; people wanted more information given to students about Union council and how the Union is run. They also wanted Union decisions to be better communicated.

Union Welfare

  • Use equality and diversity champions in clubs and socs better
  • Chill out space for students on campus
  • More non-alcoholic club and society events

Students were wanting to see a quieter, more relaxed space where they could socialise on campus. Not for work or drinking, just to chill.

Student Activities

  • Better funding for clubs and socs
  • Don’t forget activism
  • Make finance systems better – make subs accounts easier
  • Change the way SAM is funded

People wanted to make sure that we weren’t forgetting activism when we think of what we do for the next three years, but they also wanted to see more support for clubs and societies. The cost of SAM was also mentioned several times.

Other Thoughts

  • Refurbish LCR
  • Better coffee in the Hive – this started a bit of a wall war, with some people saying it was the best coffee on campus.
  • Increase political awareness amongst students
  • Free cake fridays
  • Mentoring and guidance for students applying to vacation and work schemes

Some serious and some not so serious ideas on the other wall, but we’ll take them all on board and see what we can do about some of the random ideas you’re bringing to us.

Today went really well and we will be carrying on The Discussion all week. Do you think that you have some ideas that should be up on the wall? You can write it all out tomorrow! Or you can feed in online here! All your opinions will shape the Union for the next 3 years, so it’s really important you have your say.

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