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The Students' Union is led by students, for students. Find out how you can shape the decisions we make - you've got the power!

Union Council

At the heart of the Students' Union is Union Council. As the highest decision-making body within the Students' Union, it is comprised of Officers and Reps that represent a wide range of student groups, ensuring that we are the truly reflective voice of students at Hallam. There are also six elected open space reps that act as additional represenatives of the student body.

Please email Representation & Democracy Manager Ed Robinson (edward.robinson@shu.ac.uk) if you would like to attend as an observer or require support with working on a policy.

Union Council Schedule

The following schedule is for the Academic Year 2022/23.

Meeting Details

Key Dates and Information

Minutes
Union Council Training 

26th October 2022

1pm - 3pm

Boardroom (HUBS)

This will be the first meeting of our Officers, Part-Time Reps and Open Space Reps to develop their skills and introduce the structure of Union Council. No Minutes to be Captured During Training.
Union Council 1

Date: TBC

Time: TBC

Location: TBC

Motion deadline: TBC

Policy Development Committee: TBC

To be displayed here post meeting.

 

If there's something you're passionate about, that you think the Students' Union could make a difference on, then why not see if you can make it an official policy?


Policy Toolkit

Any student can influence the work of the Students' Union by proposing a policy to Union Council. If you have an idea for improving the lives and education of Hallam students - this is the way to do it!

You can find the full list of our policies on our policy register.

What is a policy?

A policy is a principle or series of actions adopted by the Students Union to ensure that our activities are driven by the values and interests of Hallam students. They guide the priorities, activities, and lobbying efforts of our Elected Officers, Working Committees and other representative bodies, in accordance with the Constitution and Byelaws.

 

Anyone can propose a policy! Bringing a motion to Union Council ensures that Hallam SU is working on the issues that matter most to our students and pushing for important changes to campus life. This could be anything from asking the Union to express solidarity with a campaign group, to improving our representation and advocacy for the rights of marginalized students. It is also an opportunity to direct the political and material resources of the Union towards a particular campaign or initiative.

 

Policies that are approved by the Policy Development Committee are discussed at Union Council, and upon being voted through remain active for three years. Our Representative Committee is responsible for the implementation of policies and will track their progress.

What does a policy look like?

Policies are comprised of three sections; the Notes, Believes and Resolves.

 

The 'Notes' section introduces the issue or campaign that you are asking the Union to address. It should include details of the current context, the problems associated with these conditions, and how this relates to Hallam students. Including relevant evidence will strengthen the merits of your argument and could include sources as wide-ranging as current Union policy, survey data or a recent news story

 

'Believes' sets out the political stance that the Union will adopt in relation to an issue. It contains the values and principles driving your objectives, such as the rights of students or a barrier-free access to education. It will refer to the Unions collective opinion upon a matter and is most powerful when specific to the issue at hand.

 

Finally, the 'Resolves' will detail the subsequent actions that the Students Union will take to address the issues discussed throughout the motion. These should be clear and achievable goals that will bring about meaningful changes, including details of the expected outcomes of each action.

What makes a good policy?

A good policy has...

 

  • Well-evidenced arguments using relevant sources and recent examples.
  • Wrior consultation and support from students impacted by the issue.
  • Wccurate spelling and grammar.
  • Meaningful and achievable goals (normally no more than 6 or 7).
  • Concise and well-presented arguments.

Things to consider when planning a policy...

  1. What is the issue that you wish to solve? What impact does it have upon Hallam students?
  2. Does the motion further the collective interests of the student body?
  3. Have you consulted relevant stake holders and those students most effected?
  4. What benefit would the Resolves bring to students at Hallam? Are your goals achievable?
  5. Is it within the scope of the Students Union and its current political and material resources?
  6. Does the motion present any risks to members of the student body and/or the legal and reputational standing of the Students Union
  7. Does it contradict or replicate existing SU Policies? You can check the register here. 

Submitting your motion

Once your motion is complete, it should be sent to our Democracy Coordinator at c.grooby@shu.ac.uk. Ensure that this takes place prior to the deadline for policy submissions, otherwise your motion will not be considered until the following Union Council. The next deadline for policy submissions can be found on the Union Council page.

Next steps

Prior to discussion at Union Council, motions are reviewed by the Policy Development Committee. The role of this committee is to ensure that each policy sent to Union Council is accurate, achievable and free from error. This is to remove any procedural or administrative obstacles that may prevent a policy from being considered, and to support students in bringing high quality policies.

Although the Committee will not comment upon the merits of the arguments made within the policy proposal, they are able to recommend improvements to its quality and achievability. The Proposer of the motion will receive feedback from the Committee if any minor or major edits to the motion are deemed necessary, and if changes are agreed upon it is able to proceed to Union Council.

 

Union Council

Union Council is highest decision-making body within the democratic structures of the Union and will make the final decision as to whether a motion should become SU policy. Members of Council will discuss the merits of the arguments made within a motion and consider the impact of its provisions upon the wider student body. For an ordinary policy to be passed by Council, over ½ of present voting members must vote in favor. Non-voting members are able to attend meetings and speak in favor of a motion with permission from the Chair. This is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of a motion, and to address any concerns that may arise amongst voting members.