Union Council Update, 24th October

On Thursday 24th of October, with over 100 councilors in attendance, Union Council passed the following policies. Below is our short review of the evening. The full policies will be posted here, along with minutes from last week’s meeting.

Get involved, make your voice heard:

– Contact your Union Councilor if you would like to bring forward a new policy, or challenge an existing one.

– Want to become a Councilor, or don’t know who your Councilor is? Contact union.communications@uea.ac.uk

– Implement the policy! Contact the relevant officers below or see our Action Log for this year.


Defend the Right to Protest

Students heard about changes to conduct and disciplinary regulations that the University were trying to impose. The view was that these could threaten the important right to protest on campus. Council resolved to begin a campaign against the new regulations, under the banner of “Defend the right to protest at UEA”, arguing that students should be properly consulted on policy that affects them and their behaviour.

To get involved contact the Union’s Communications Officer Rosie Rawle on union.communications@uea.ac.uk

PhD Students on Campus

Council heard about the lack of access to adequate workspace and storage facilities faced by PhD students, with students arguing that has a negative affect on their experience, and their ability to successfully complete their studies. Council resolved to lobby for better facilities, mandating the the Academic Officer and Postgraduate Officer to raise this with the University.

To get involved contact the Union’s Postgraduate Officer, Kimberley Hirst-Jones on gsa@uea.ac.uk

The Sun’s out at UEA

The hottest debate of the night was about The Sun. Following a vote against a referendum, 57 per cent of the council’s votes were in favour of boycotting, with 38 per cent against. Although students are permitted to bring their own copies of the Sun onto campus, official union outlet “The Shop” will no longer stock any. Women’s officer Rachel Knott, who proposed the motion, said: “This week the University of East Anglia became the latest student body to stop stocking The Sun in support of No More Page 3. Along with over 15 other universities, the British Youth Council and the Girl Guides, we are making it clear that the young people of this country will not tolerate media sexism and the casual objectification of 50 per cent of the population”

To get involved contact the Union’s Womens’ Officer, Rachel Knott on union.womens@uea.ac.uk

Ethical Careers Fair

Council heard concern from reps about traditional careers fairs, noting that many have drawn protests for the inclusion of controversial and unethical companies, such as arms dealers, banks that invest in environmentally damaging projects and tax avoiders. Council resolved to organise an annual union-backed “Ethical Careers Fair”, that invites ethical companies onto campus.

To get involved contact the Union’s Ethics Officer Lauren Sloan on union.ethics@uea.ac.uk


Student reps heard from the Union’s Finance officer Joe Levell, who pointed out that the union has a considerable cash reserve. He argued that the union should be as transparent and open as possible with students about the union’s reserves as it is their money, and that in principle the union should be seeking to invest the union’s reserves in students now. Council resolved to focus on, amongst other things, Investment in the union building/infrastructure to improve student facing facilities.

To get involved contact the Union’s Finance Officer, Joe Levell, on union.finance@uea.ac.uk

“Not just for profit, for students”

Council also heard a proposal from the Finance Officer focussed on bars, shops and ents. He argued that the union could do much more to involve students in the running of its commercial operations, that it should be striving to offer the safest and most ethical operation around, and that too often union societies, clubs and student groups find it difficult to use our facilities and venues. Council resolved to develop balanced targets for the Commercial companies that were not solely focussed on profit but on student needs.

To get involved contact the Union’s Finance Officer, Joe Levell, on union.finance@uea.ac.uk

Norfolk People’s Assembly and the Student Assembly Against Austerity

Reps heard about efforts to campaign against austerity in wider society. Students heard that the effects of austerity in the UK have been to seriously damage the prospects of future economic growth and make ordinary people pay for a crisis not of their making. Council resolved to affiliate to Norfolk People’s Assembly and to support the Student Assembly Against Austerity.

To get involved contact the Union’s Communications Officer Rosie Rawle on union.communications@uea.ac.uk

Zero Tolerance Union

The Union’s Womens Officer brought forward an additional proposal focussed on making the bars and ents in the union safer. She argued that that all students have the right to be, and feel, safe in the Students’ Union and elsewhere on campus and that the Union needs to educate its members about what sexual harassment is and the effects it has on people. Council resolved, amongst other actions, to educate SU staff about sexual harassment and train them to deal with reports of sexual harassment more effectively and sensitively.

To get involved contact the Union’s Womens’ Officer, Rachel Knott on union.womens@uea.ac.uk


Finally Council heard that the union’s radio station Livewire is currently not routinely played anywhere on campus whereas there is a precedent of other student media being distributed across campus. Council resolved that Livewire should be played in Union premises every day, and to mandate the Finance Officer to organise and develop  a media society committee to develop a strategy and improve facilities.

To get involved contact the Union’s Finance Officer, Joe Levell, on union.finance@uea.ac.uk


Next Council… 7th November, 7pm. Lecture Theatre Building.

The next deadline for Union Council Policy submissions is Friday 1st November. The second official Union Council is on the 7th November, 7pm in the Lecture Theatre building. All students are invited to attend, contribute to debate, but only representatives may vote. Motions coming up include: ‘I know you want it.’ Motion to ban the song ‘Blurred Lines’ from Union Premises; Signing the ‘Time to Change’ Pledge against the stigmatism associated with mental health issues; and, Provision of Halal and Kosher food on campus.

Keep an eye on our social media to read the full upcoming policies!


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