A decision on which bursary plan to follow was made, inequality between staff and students on printing was discussed, and two NUS delegates were elected, at the seventh Student Council of the academic year, on Thursday, February 18th.
Twenty-five attended, of which 13 were students or reps.
During the executive officer’s report it was confirmed that £2,145.20 was raised during RAG week, with over £500 going to the Lincolnshire Trust for Cats. The SU say they hope to make it “even bigger and better next year”. The SU say they are working on a new awards ceremony for students “who go above and beyond volunteering within the union”.
In light of the proposed bursary cuts, the Council passed a model for the university budget which will see students in the next academic year retain their bursaries. It involves gradually decreasing the amount that those on a maximum grant are entitled to, each year.
It remains at £600 for this academic year, and will drop to £500, then £400 and £350 over the next three years. It has not been clarified what will happen to students receiving lower grants, although £50,000 will be allocated each year as a “hardship fund” for students in severe financial difficulties.
Kayleigh Turner, VP for education and academic affairs at the SU, was caught short when summoned to make a presentation on printing. She was not aware that she was supposed to make a presentation and had to give an improptu one instead.
The subject sparked a debate over the differences between students and staff charges for printing. Staff currently pay 2.5 pence per sheet while students pay double at five pence. Jonathan Holmes asked why staff are given cheaper printing costs, to which Turner replied “I don’t know the answer.”
The budget for students’ printer credit is £60,000 per year, while staff do not receive any. Joe Hicks, student officer and rep, pointed out that “students have to print off handbooks”, some of which can include many pages. He said “The universities printers are inefficient – it’s cheaper to print off my own personal printer.”
It was revealed that the university spends £42,000 per year on paper, and each printer costs around £2,000.
The council also elected two NUS delegates to represent the university. Dan Derricott, a current SU officer, was elected as the higher education rep, while Isabel O’Brien, who is studying at the Riseholme campus, was elected to represent further education. Both will attend the NUS National Conference with Chris Charnley, the SU’s president, and Emily Gough, another SU officer and NUS delegate.
Finally, the council was informed that the university is reviewing how academic space is used. Charnley assured students that the university is not seeking to take space away from students, and that it is just assessing their requirements.
The next meeting will be held on the Thursday, March 4th.