Democracy

Aston Students' Union is a democratic organisation that is run by its members.

 

SO?

That means that you have a masssive say in how the Students' Union works. Aston Students' Union's Officers are Aston students, elected by other Aston students, and they lead the direction of the Union. But it's important that all students are able to contribute to the Union's success.

To ensure that every Aston student has the opportunity to influence the Union, Student Council meetings are held throughout the year, where any member can attend to raise ideas, debate policy and vote on what they want their leaders and Union to do.

Up to 200 Aston students may attend each Student Council meeting, which usually take place in the evening at Aston Students' Union. Upcoming meetings can be found below:

 

 

Any Aston student can submit a motion to Union Council. The documents below explain more about how you can submit a motion, and what it could look like.

Student Council Minutes & agendas

Minutes are taken at each Student Council so that current and future students have a record of what was discussed and decided at each meeting. These minutes are always provisional until they are approved at the next council meeting. Below you will be able to access the approved minutes from the last 5 Student Council meetings.

If you have any questions about these documents, or would like to view older council minutes, then please contact the Student Voice team by emailing union.voice@aston.ac.uk
 

Welcome to your Unions Policy area

This area contains any motions that were passed into policy through your Students' Union Democratic process. This area does not contain any company policies of Aston Students' Union which can be found through the 'Your SU' section.

Please Note: that any motions passed that resolve to change any of the Unions other governing documents, such as the Bye-laws, will not appear in this area but rather the relevant governing documents area of the website.

Using this area

Below you will find a list of all active democratic policies. When you click on a policy is will drop down to provide you with the following informaiton; Motion Pass Date, Lapse Date, Proposer(s) and the content of the motion itself. There will also be a link to a downloadable PDF version for each motion.

If you have any questions about any policy contained in this area then please contact the Student Voice team by emailing union.voice@aston.ac.uk.

Active Policy

A Sustainable Students' Union

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd April 2018

    Policy due to lapse by: 23rd April 2022

    Motion Proposer(s): Ethel Ojo (Sustainability Officer (2017-18))

  • Union Council Notes

    1. That the work of Aston Students’ Union may have a direct or indirect effect on the local, regional and global environment.
    2. That NUS run a Green Impact Scheme that seeks to bring together students and staff to greener campuses, curriculums and communities. This scheme also recognises the work of Students’ Unions with regards to their ethical and environmental work with a structured framework.
    3. That the United Nations currently have 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform the world we live in.
    4. That the UK government along with organisations around the world, including Students’ Unions, are working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals that do not solely look at sustainability but wider social responsibility.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That as a Students’ Union we are committed to reducing any negative effect we may have on the environment and the promotion of sustainability in its broadest context.
    2. That our members can have a wide ranging positive impact on not just our student community but the wider communities that we live in.
    3. That the work of the Students’ Union and its members should be to ensure that everything we do is done in a sustainable manner, supporting and promoting the message of sustainability and social responsibility to all that encounter our work and members.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. That the Students’ Union works, in collaboration with the Sustainability Officer (or relevant officer), works on the development and distribution of a Sustainability Policy. This should outline how we as a Union will work to embed sustainability in all the work we do.
    2. That the Vice Presidents Student Activities and the Sustainability officer, or other relevant officers, work to promote the outcome of resolves 1 to all Clubs and Societies. This should include providing committees with the knowledge and resources to ensure that their activities are done sustainably.
    3. That the Vice President Education and the Sustainability Officer, or relevant officers, work with Student Representatives to promote and embed sustainability and social responsibility into the curriculum.
    4. That the Students’ Union develops an action plan, in collaboration with students, that stretches the same amount of time as the Unions Strategic Framework that outlines: A roadmap to achieving the highest level of NUS Green Impact accreditation, Ensures the Strategic Framework goals are met in a sustainable manner, How we will work to meet the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or at least ones that relate to our work), How the Union will regularly monitor its impact in relation to sustainability.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd April 2018

    Policy due to lapse by: 23rd April 2022

    Motion Proposer(s): Student Activities Executive Committee (2017-18)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. That club/society committees are responsible for the day to day operations of their club/society.
    2. That membership to a club/society has a financial cost, with the exception of free societies.
    3. That the standard club/society constitution states that a club/society general meeting have be the sovereign decision making body of the club/society.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That club/society committee members are accountable to their members.
    2. That club/society committee members are responsible for ensuring that they use the club/society resources, including funds, for the benefit of all their members.
    3. That it is not acceptable for club/society committee members to use resources in a manner for personal use and/or committee perks unless approved by the club/society membership.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. That the Vice President Student Activities, or relevant officer, is mandated to ensure that every Club/Society holds a general meeting for this Club/Society at least once per year.
    2. That a standard agenda items are created for Club/Society general meetings that clearly outline what should be discussed and how members can hold their committee to account for their actions on committee. This should include:
    3. 1. What decisions and activities the committee has conducted
    4. 2. The budget of the club/society and how the committee has used these resources
    5. 3. Holding the committee to account
    6. That resolves 2 should be written into the standard constitution for all clubs/societies.
    7. That members rights to hold their committee to account is clearly advertised by the committee. The committee should also ensure that general meetings are well advertised and conducted in a manner that allows all their members to participate.
    8. That only members of the specific club/society have the ability to hold their committee to account. Note: with the exception of the Students’ Union if policies or procedures are violated.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd April 2018

    Policy due to lapse by: 23rd April 2022

    Motion Proposer(s): Student Activities Executive Committee (2017-18)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. That the currently Aston Students’ Union Bye-Laws sets a minimum price of membership of clubs/societies.
    2. That students wishing to join a club must also purchase Athletic Union membership which is a donation to club related operating costs such as insurance.
    3. That a club/society committee role is a voluntary role and so should not receive any benefits that have a financial equivalent.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That currently some committee’s members do not pay for their membership.
    2. That currently some club committee members do not pay their Athletic Union membership.
    3. That is it fair that committee members should pay for membership to receive the same benefits as their members.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. That all club/society committee members must pay for their membership.
    2. That all club committee members must pay for their Athletic Union membership.
    3. That committee members cannot pay for their membership from the Club/Societies accounts.
    4. That club/society can have a committee member membership price that is different to the standard member’s price. This must not be below the minimum as set out in the bye-laws and must be agreed by the members of the club/society in a general meeting. Note: this will not include Athletic Union membership prices which as set by the Students’ Union.
    5. That the Vice President Student Activities, or relevant officer, is mandated to ensure that all committee members have paid for membership. This must be done before committee members receive any permissions to sign off account, SU Website etc relevant to the committee role.
    6. That resolves 1-5 should be written into the bye-laws and/or club/society constitutions.
    7. That this policy will automatically lapse once resolves 6 is completed.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd April 2018

    Policy due to lapse by: 23rd April 2022

    Motion Proposer(s): Student Activities Executive Committee (2017-18)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. That the Aston Students’ Union bye-laws state that only full members of the Students’ Union can run for committee positions.
    2. That the standard club/society constitution states that committee members that a committee must be elected in a democratic manner as decided by the club/society.
    3. That the standard club/society constitution states that the election of a committee must be ratified at a general meeting of the club/society.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That students who are members of a club/society are interested in who forms their committee.
    2. That a committee role can benefit the employability of the individual in addition to supporting the operation of a club/society for all its members.
    3. That students on placement, who may have previously been a member of a club/society, may not purchase membership during their placement. It is recognised that this may because they will not be able to be active members.
    4. That only members of a club/society are entitled to participate in the democratic election process of a club/society committee.
    5. That these elections should be made accessible to all members of a club/society regardless of whether they are on campus or not.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. To change the relevant Bye-Laws and Activities Constitution to ensure that elections, by default, are made accessible online.
    2. To mandate the Vice President Student Activities, or other relevant officer, to ensure that committees receive adequate notice and information to successfully complete their elections.
    3. That where necessary the Students’ Union works with committees to run elections at a time that works for them.
    4. That any student wishing to participate in any such election should be a member of that club/society. Therefore a membership should be created to enable placement students to participate in the election even if they do not participate in other activities during their placement year. It should be down to the members of the club/society or the committee to decide on this membership price. However this price should not fall below the membership minimum stated in Aston Students’ Union Bye-Laws.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd April 2018

    Policy due to lapse by: 23rd April 2022

    Motion Proposer(s): Student Activities Executive Committee (2017-18)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. That the Students’ Union Bye-Laws state that a club/society committee should have a President/Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
    2. That the Club/Society standard constitution also states that a committee must include a President/Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary whom will have voting rights.
    3. That the Club/Society standard constitution also states that a club/society general meeting are free to create other committee members as it believes necessary.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That some club/societies have a large variety of committee roles.
    2. That some club/society committees have created committee roles without taking it to a general meeting of the club/society for the entire membership to decide.
    3. And recognises that a club/society committee can be made up of voting and non-voting members.
    4. That club/society committee roles that have voting rights must be selected through a democratic election. Roles that do not have voting rights ideally should be selected through a democratic election but this is not a requirement.
    5. That because committees have been able to expand without check it may have caused some confusion over which committee roles have voting rights and which do not, whether they have been approved by a general meeting and what the responsibilities and accountability of these roles are.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. That all club/society committees must have a President/Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary who will have voting rights. If these roles are called something else then the committee are responsible for informing Student Activities and the Vice President Student Activities, or relevant officer.
    2. That a process is put in place so members know they can create committee member roles, with and without voting rights, at a general meeting. Once a general meeting is held if a committee role is created or removed the Club/Society Constitution should be updated and sent to Student Activities and the Vice President Student Activities, or relevant officer.
    3. That all committee roles, with the exception of President/Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary, will not have voting rights until the role is approved at a general meeting of a club/society.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd April 2018

    Policy due to lapse by: 23rd April 2022

    Motion Proposer(s): Amna Atteeq (Vice President (Education) (2017-18))

  • Union Council Notes

    1. There are 4 full time sabbatical officers
    2. The board in the SU currently only recognises the previous Presidents, and not the other sabbatical officers.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. Every officer deserves recognition for the changes they bring forward throughout the year.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. Sabbatical officers full credit, by ensuring that in future years that president/vice president(s) are recognised visually on the board similar to the one in the current new SU building.
    2. There should be a timeline of all exec officers online to have history attached to the student union and give value to those who join the exec team.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 28th January 2014

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st October 2018

    Motion Proposer(s): Jake Delaney (Vice President Education and Welfare) and Becky Jones (Vice President Student Activities) (2013-14)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. In September 2013, ASU opened its Gender Neutral Toilets between the first and second floor2 of the Students’ Union building. These are not fully implemented yet, awaiting further feedback.
    2. ASU Students’ Council passed a Safe Space Policy
    3. Trans* and gender variant people are far more likely to avoid using bathroom facilities if they feel unsafe. This can result in individuals avoiding using gendered facilities entirely which can lead to serious health complaints.
    4. Even those considered androgynous or non-stereotypical often face discrimination in gender specific bathrooms.
    5. The Gender Neutral Toilets, whilst available, are available for all to use, without discrimination on access. The option of gender specific bathrooms will still available throughout the building.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That a Bathroom Policy will strengthen previous policies to further the protection of our students and staff in the Students’ Union building.
    2. A new policy on discrimination will further ASU’s dedication to equality and providing a non- discriminatory space.
    3. Having a toilet-specific policy in place will reassure all students, including trans*, gender variant, gender non-conforming and gender non-normative, staff and guests that their safety, well-being, and health is paramount.
    4. Ordinarily, individuals are expected to use the gender associated with their biological sex. However, in some situations, the individual is perceived, intentionally or not, as a different gender to what is expected. At this point, it is the right of the individual to define their own gender, not based upon social norms or expectations.
    5. As an organisation, Aston Students’ Union aims to go above and beyond obligations laid out in the Equalities Act 2010.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. All students, staff and guests have the right to use a gendered bathroom that matches the gender they identify with, should they choose to, free from harassment.
    2. Gender identity and gender expression is based on self-identification and not defined by biology, genitalia or sexuality.
    3. Self-identification is not based on how “well” someone does or does not pass for the gender they identify as. Access to single-gendered bathrooms is therefore based solely on how the individual identifies their gender and not on how well someone passes, or how legible they are as gender non- conforming/gender non-normative.
    4. Students and staff should not be pressured into any facility they do not wish to use. This includes being pressured to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they were assigned at birth, disabled/accessible toilets, or gender neutral bathrooms.
    5. Anyone accused of harassment of students, staff or guests will be considered as having breached Aston Students’ Union’s governance and will be subject to normal disciplinary procedures.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 14th February 2013

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st October 2018

    Motion Proposer(s): Tom Farrelly (vice President Student Activities) and Maximillian Pullen (President) (2012-13)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. That many different clubs and societies use rooms in both the Union and University.
    2. That these clubs and societies will invite external speakers to give talks on occasion.
    3. There is some concern across the University communities that some external speakers may incite dangerous views or reactions among the students and local community through the messages they deliver at these events.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That, unfortunately, racism and fascism are still prevalent in certain areas of society and that it should be confronted wherever it is found.
    2. That political or religious extremists should not be given a platform to speak anywhere on campus.
    3. The Union should combat prejudice in the form of ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religious political belief, gender or disability. This list is not exhaustive.
    4. That a ‘No Platform Policy’ is vital to stopping all forms of fascism, racism and political or religious extremism.
    5. That in order to maintain this policy the Union must work in conjunction with the University.
    6. That external speakers may infringe upon the above points.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. That no extremist views will be represented on campus or through the Students’ Union.
    2. The Students’ Union will lobby the University to ensure that any extremist views presented at the University will be presented alongside a fair counter position, or not presented at all.
    3. That all external speakers that are booked by a club or society are reported 7 calendar days in advance to the VP Student Activities, the University Head of Security and the member of staff in charge of room bookings for that Building (Union – Marketing & Media Manager, University – Teaching Operations Manager). These roles must approve of the speaker.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 1st March 2016

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st March 2020

    Motion Proposer(s): Marcus Standish (President) (2015-16)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. Aston Students’ Union provides facilities that are currently used for Islamic prayer by Muslim members of Aston Students’ Union.
    2. The Union facilitates Islamic Friday prayer in the Union hall every Friday. This has traditionally been organised by Aston Islamic Society and it is envisaged that this will continue into the future and in the new Aston SU building so long as the society wishes. It is envisaged that this will continue to be an event organised by Aston Islamic Society.
    3. The Union has facilitated Islamic prayer for a number of years.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. The Union should put in a place Conditions in relation the usage of the Prayer Space and the operation of Friday prayers.
    2. The Vice President (Welfare and Communications) and the Advice & Membership Services Manager will nominate 2 or more Islamic Prayer Coordinators each academic year.
    3. The Islamic Prayer Coordinators will be nominated having due regard to the relevant societies. The students nominated should be students that openly identify as Muslim.
    4. The nominees will include a minimum 1 student who identifies as a user of the male facility and 1 student who identifies as a user of the female facility. Additional Prayer Coordinators will be nominated equally.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. The Islamic Prayer Coordinators to be nominated as soon as possible and no later than 01/04.
    2. The Islamic Prayer Coordinators to be nominated at the end of each academic year for the following academic year.
    3. For replacement Islamic Prayer Coordinators to be nominated throughout the academic year should either of the coordinators leave the role for any reason.
    4. The nominated Islamic Prayer Space Coordinators will be ratified by SU Council.
    5. The Islamic Prayer Coordinators will oversee the Prayer Space and Friday prayers to make sure that the space is used in compliance with the Conditions of Use and all other relevant SU policies.
    6. The Islamic Prayer Space Coordinators will make a monthly report to the Vice President (Welfare and Communications) and the Advice & Membership Services Manager. Relevant reports may then be passed on to the SU Executive Committee and the SU Board of Trustees.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 13th January 2016

    Policy due to lapse by: 13th January 2020

    Motion Proposer(s): Marcus Standish (President) (2015-16)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. Aston Students’ Union provides facilities that are currently used for Islamic prayer by Muslim members of Aston Students’ Union.
    2. The Union facilitates Islamic Jummah prayer in the Union hall every Friday. The Union has facilitated Islamic prayer for a number of years.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. The Union should put in a place a committee to coordinate and facilitate Islamic prayer within the Union building.
    2. The committee will meet at least once monthly and will issue a written summary report to Aston Students’ Union Executive Committee and Trustee Board.
    3. The committee will be called the Islamic Prayer Space Committee.
    4. The committee will be made up of the following membership:
    5. a. 2 members nominated by the largest affiliated Islamic based Society in the particular academic year. There will be 1 female and 1 male nominee.
    6. b. 1 member nominated by any other smaller affiliated Islamic based societies.
    7. c. 1 member nominated by Union Council at the first Council of the academic year. Vice President (Student Activities)
    8. d. Vice President (Education and Welfare) and in subsequent years Vice President (Welfare)
    9. The committee will nominate its own Chair.
    10. The committee will operate by simple majority voting with the Chair holding the casting vote.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. The Islamic Prayer Space Committee to be put in place as soon as possible and no later than 01/03/16.
    2. The Islamic Prayer Space Committee to put together policies for the safe and inclusive operation of Islamic prayers within Aston Students’ union building. These polices will be noted ratified by Aston Students’ Union Council.
    3. The Islamic Prayer Space Committee to be the official body for the coordination and management of Islamic Prayer within the Aston Students’ Union building.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 29th November 2001

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st October 2018

    Motion Proposer(s): Mark Bambury and Ushma Gudka

  • Union Council Notes

    1. The continued use of animals in scientific testing.
    2. The reduction in use of animals in testing.
    3. The use of animals for testing non-essential products, including cosmetics.
    4. That stricter government controls mean that licensing is needed for testing on animals.
    5. That animal testing has resulted in significant improvements and advances in knowledge for drugs and medical techniques.
    6. That it has been argued that animals are still significantly different to humans and therefore not animal tests are relevant.
    7. That there are computer-modelling techniques that are capable of simulating the outcomes of many animal tests.
    8. That Government regulations require some degree of animal testing before certain products are allowed to proceed to human trials.
    9. That Aston University produces graduates that are able to perform all duties required by future employers.
    10. The University no longer penalises students for refusing to do animal tests but instead requires students to undertake an alternative piece of work.
    11. The amount of animal based experiments within the University is now minimal at undergraduate level.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. That some animal testing is essential for scientific progression.
    2. Alternatives to animal testing should continue to be sought and used.
    3. Non-essential animal testing should be stopped and readily available alternatives used instead.
    4. Students should continue to have the right to choose whether to do animal testing or not within their course.
    5. Students who choose not to perform animal testing should not be penalised.
    6. The University’s current stance, allowing students to undertake alternative pieces of work instead of animal experiments, is the correct one.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. To continue to support campaigns seeking humane alternatives to animal testing.
    2. To continue to support the students’ right to refuse to perform animal experiments without academic penalty.
    3. To support the University’s current stance on the students’ right to undertake alternative work to animal testing without academic penalty.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 23rd February 2006

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st October 2018

    Motion Proposer(s): David Myers (Equalities Officer) and Stephen Abbots (Vice President Education and Welfare) (2005-6)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. Britain’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day is on the 27th January. The UN General Assembly voted to make this day International Holocaust Memorial Day.
    2. Awareness is diminishing about the Holocaust amongst students and younger people.
    3. In December 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Holocaust as a “myth”. Iranian ministers confirmed his views “are not personal opinions, nor isolated statements but the express the view of the Government”.
    4. The Iranian Government has announced “A conference on the Holocaust to assess its scale by scientific means”
  • Union Council Believes

    1. There is an apathy and lack of awareness to genocide as a global issue.
    2. The number of Holocaust survivors is diminishing each year along with their knowledge and experiences.
    3. Iran’s stance on the Holocaust has received widespread international condemnation.
    4. Known holocaust deniers from around the world are rumoured to be speaking at the Iranian conference.
    5. It is insulting to Holocaust survivors to deny its existence and a dangerous precedent when a world leader does so.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. To educate and inform students about the Holocaust and other global genocides.
    2. To support Holocaust Memorial Day and other genocide memorial events held nationally and locally.
    3. That the Equalities and Environment Officer shall work with relevant parties to organise or support any memorial day/campaign at Aston or locally, at the discretion of the Union Executive.
    4. That members of the Union Executive should show their support for these events.
    5. That a ‘No platform’ policy similar to that of the NUS should be applied to holocaust deniers and historical revisionists, when concerning global genocide.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 16th June 2015

    Policy due to lapse by: 16th June 2019

    Motion Proposer(s): Owain Luckwell (Vice President Student Activities) (2014-15)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. Aston Students’ Union is now regulated by the Charity Commission.
    2. It is important for Aston Students’ Union to be open and transparent with all processes.
    3. Aston Athletic Union clubs and Aston Students’ Union societies are part of Aston Students’ Union.
    4. There is a need to make club and society processes and procedures more consistent and more transparent.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. The Union should have a standard constitution for all Aston Athletic Union clubs and Aston Students’ union societies.
    2. The constitution should set our standard processes and procedures.
    3. The constitution should be publically available and easily accessible to all members.
    4. Club and society committees should be free to add any clauses to the constitution provided that they do contradict or conflict with the standard clauses.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. The Student Activities office may implement the following constitution from the start of the 2015/16 academic year.
    2. Any amendments to this standard constitution should be put to Aston Students’ Union Council at the earliest opportunity.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 16th November 2000

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st October 2018

    Motion Proposer(s): UNKNOWN

  • Union Council Notes

    1. The tradition, particularly in Higher Education, to set aside Wednesday afternoons for sporting activities and extracurricular activities.
    2. That in certain universities, there is evidence that this tradition is being eroded, to greater or lesser extents.
    3. British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) great progress in developing sport within and between Universities and Colleges.
    4. Undergraduates are given some time off on Wednesday afternoons, however this is not the case for most postgraduates.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. Education is more than our course-related learning; it should encourage us to broaden our horizons by giving us the opportunity to experience a variety of areas of study and experience.
    2. That the freedom to be involved in sporting activities is important to students physical and mental wellbeing.
    3. That there should be specific time set aside for sporting and extracurricular activities. This also gives us the opportunity to work together and develop a multitude of skills varying from leadership skills to teamwork skills, and more.
    4. Having set time enables better inter-college networks and sport leagues to be built up.
    5. That Wednesday afternoons should remain free of lectures and tutorials to allow students to fully participate in sports, recreational and other activities.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. That the Union Executive should undertake research into timetabling at Aston to find out the extent by which our Wednesday afternoons have been eroded.
    2. To utilize this research and pressure the University to ensure, and where necessary; reinstate Wednesday Afternoons from 12pm onwards, for all students, undergraduate and postgraduate.
    3. To mandate the Executive to carry out such research each year, to ensure that the situation is regularly monitored.
    4. To campaign whenever, and at whatever level, necessary to ensure that Wednesday afternoons remain free for sporting and extracurricular activities, within Aston, regionally, or nationally.
  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.

  • Policy Information

    Motion Passes into Policy on: 28th January 2014

    Policy due to lapse by: 1st October

    Motion Proposer(s): Jake Delaney (Vice President Education and Welfare) and Becky Jones (Vice President Student Activities) (2013-14)

  • Union Council Notes

    1. A ‘safe space policy’ is all about creating an open and welcoming environment within our Union so that all our members feel able to participate without harassment, hostility and aggression.
    2. That we refer to our “Safe Space Policy” as a concept, not as a physical document.
    3. The ARC is a ‘Third Party Reporting Centre’ where anonymous reporting of hate crime or discrimination can take place.
  • Union Council Believes

    1. Adopting this policy will ensure that there are obvious principles to which all aspects of ASU must subscribe.
  • Union Council Resolves

    1. To adopt the Safe Space Policy below.
  • Safe Space Policy

    Context

    Aston Students’ Union (ASU) recognises that discrimination excludes certain groups whilst providing others with unequal power. The safe space policy is designed to protect oppressed groups and enable their full participation in the students’ union. ASU is committed to operating as a space which is inclusive and supportive in which no forms of discrimination are tolerated. All staff and students should feel confident to challenge any acts of discriminations they encounter in the Students’ Union, including but not limited to; racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, or prejudice based on age, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, language ability, immigration status, pregnancy, illness, marital status, sex, disability or religious affiliation. A safe space policy is all about creating an open and welcoming environment within our Union so that all our members feel able to participate. With this in mind we ask all students, staff and visitors to adhere to the guidelines below and speak up if they have any concerns.

    Safe Space Guidelines

    1. Please be aware of what you say and how it might be interpreted. Many slang words have other discriminatory meanings, which can provide good cause to be mindful of your audience when speaking to a group or around the building.

    2. Try not to make assumptions about anyone’s gender, pronouns, sexual preference, abilities, ethnic identity, survivor status, or life experiences. Always make sure you are not derogatory to anyone about these things.

    3. Feel confident to challenge hateful, discriminatory, or oppressive language if you see it. We all have a social responsibility and a responsibility to speak up against discrimination, as well as the right to be in a comfortable environment.

    4. Following on from the last point, if you are challenged, take time to talk through how the person has interpreted what you said and why it might have offended them.

    5. Respect each other, both for your similarities and your differences.

    6. Try not to take discussions personally. Stay professional about anything said in meetings, considering the implications of your words or actions when angry.

    7. Learn from your peers, explore new cultures or ways of life which are different from your own experiences through conversations or sharing.

    8. Free speech is important, but harassment, hostility and aggression will not be tolerated in the Union. Any of these acts, with sufficient evidence, will be treated in the same way as the University – with disciplinary procedures.

    Implementation

    ASU recognises discrimination can occur wherever it is not consciously challenged.

    Upholding this policy is a collective responsibility and people should be confident in challenging any behaviour which contravenes this policy. Council also, however, recognise that individuals should be responsible for their own behaviour.

    Should you feel that the policy has been breached and appropriate action was not taken at the time, speak to the event organiser, one of the elected officers of the union, managers, a member of staff, or head of security. All concerns will be taken seriously and dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedures.

  • Updates and Actions Taken

    Currently no actions have been taken in relation to this policy.