Heated discussion on SU officer blogs, confusion over the new Business and Law Faculty building, and efforts to quell discrimination against students with difficulties were the big topics of the 9th Student Council meeting of the academic year, held on Thursday March 18th.
Only one of the five VP’s, Kayleigh Turner, VP for Education and Academic Affairs, were present at the meeting, along with ten other SU/non-council members, leaving 15 council members in attendance.
What began as a thin agenda became a field day for matters arising, as Dan Derricott raised the issue of SU officers blogs. SU officers are required to make regular blog posts to the SU’s website as part of their responsibilities, and to give students an idea of what they do during the week.
Derricott initiated a “name and shame” session, where he asked who hadn’t made any posts, to which Kat Walker and Lauren Butterton raised their hands.
A heated discussion sparked by Turner over Chris Charnley, President for the SU, using Facebook and not the SU’s website to post his blogs ensued. Turner appeared very irritated over Charnley choosing to use the social networking site as opposed to their own.
“There are hundreds of students, mainly mature, who don’t have Facebook,” said Turner. She went on to scorn Charnley’s Facebook use further by saying: “If the council ask for a blog they should get one. A status update is not a blog.”
Seemingly bemused by the argument, the council opted to vote that all blog posts must be placed on the SU website, but may also go on Facebook too.
Next, the council brought the problem of lecture recording and students with difficulties up. At the last meeting, reps were urged to talk to students, and ask if they’d been receiving trouble with recording lectures. Evidently, only a few had made the effort or managed to talk to students, since the majority kept silent when asked for feedback.
Gough told the council that students said “it’s completely dependant on the tutors”, which was backed up by Turner who said “it’s completely varied”. She said that tutors of journalism seemed fine with recording, however media tutors are reluctant to extend that option.
The problem is caught between the right of students with learning difficulties to get the education they need, and the right of tutors to protect their intellectual property. However, it’s still obvious discrimination, one that Joe Hicks, a student officer, thinks we “should deal with” right away.
However Hicks’ call was snubbed when council members opted to have the topic brought up at the next Teaching and Learning committee meeting, which will be happening mid-late April, too late to have any effect for the current academic year, regardless of outcome.
Meanwhile, Turner and Steven Greaves, VP for Welfare and Liason, will be researching the effects of this problem and what students want to be done about it.
Finally, we saw Charnley presenting pictures of the new Business and Law Faculty building. He asked for feedback from the council so that he may “influence” the decisions made and change anything unwanted. This caused Turner to pipe up again, telling the council that the colour couldn’t be changed, since the furniture had already been bought.
It was revealed that the flashy LLMC (Lincolnshire Leadership and Management Centre) will not be for student use, due to it being a section of the building funded by outside companies for business use. Turner reassured the council that it is just three rooms of the building, and will generate income for the university.
Dan Derricott questioned the sheer amount of writing on the walls in the LLMC. Joe Hicks said he didn’t see the point in the theatre-style seating at the back of the ground floor, and Jonathan Holmes raised concerns about privacy for the Junxion students, saying a student on Charnley’s Facebook page commented about “builders looking into her windows”.
Printing – Course/faculty handbooks that are required by students must be provided by the faculty, this is likely to come into effect from next September.
SU Evaluation – The evaluation revealed that communication is a big problem in the SU, something that has to be worked on. The full audit will be made at the end of May.
When the by-elections for the five non-elected part-time officer positions can be held has not been confirmed, though it’s probable that they will happen in the next academic year.
There is a “considerable amount” of funding still available for sports and societies, students are urged to use it soon.