LIVE BLOG: Students to vote on Vice President name change

Hello and welcome to The Linc’s live coverage of this afternoon’s All Student Members Meeting (ASM), which includes a motion on changing the title of Vice President for Academic Affairs, as well as a proposal to show a ‘more diverse range of sporting events’ at Tower Bar.

Photo: Lincoln SU/Facebook.

As well as this, the meeting sees a discussion on the changes to the UK Quality Code – a guide created to ‘assure the academic standards and quality’ of higher education courses in the UK.

The ASM also comes after members passed through new bye-law changes in October, including a rule which now requires student meetings to have 150 attendees in order to vote on proposals.

The ASM takes place this afternoon, from 4pm, in AAD0W25 of the Nicola de La Haye Building (formerly the Art, Architecture and Design Building). The agenda for the meeting can be found on the SU website.

Come back closer to the time for live updates and coverage from the team.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201715:53

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of this afternoon’s ASM. The Linc‘s Editor, Liam O’Dell, is here at the Mary de la Haye building to provide the latest updates.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201715:54

A quick and simple head count suggests that there are fewer than 150 people in attendance tonight – that’s the minimum number of students required in order to vote on proposals.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201715:59

More people are starting to arrive since students moved in to the venue. Attendees are now having their student cards scanned.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:12

Attendees are being handed a sheet of paper upon scanning in, all about the Office for Students (OfS) consultation.

It says the OfS has been set up ‘to regulate all universities’ and lists its four key objectives for Higher Education:

1. Access and widening participation – which concerns implementing access and participation plans

2. Student Outcomes – which calls to make the controversial Teaching Excellence Framework compulsory for all universities ‘to incentivise excellent teaching’

3. Student Projections – which calls to ‘make students consumers’

4. Value for Money – which says universities ‘need to promote how they are value for money’

This latest discussion about the OfS comes after Lincoln SU and the University of Lincoln responded to the news that the regulator could fine or suspend universities for failing to protect free speech.

You can read what they had to say here.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:29

The number of student members here tonight is 110, which is short of the 150 required to vote through policy, but above the 50 needed to bring proposals to a referendum.

It comes after students voted through bye-law changes to increase the voting limit from 50 to 150 in October.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:31

Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Tommy George has explained his proposal for a name change to his role.

If approved through a referendum, VPAA would change to Vice President for Education.

Tommy says ‘it’s actually in line with other SUs’ and when he meets students and explains his role, students respond by saying ‘what’s that?’.

It’s now been handed over to the Executive Committee who will hold a referendum at a later date, once module evaluations and elections have passed.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:32

VP Activities Luke Exton’s proposal on ‘Diverse and Inclusive sporting events at Tower Bar’ passes.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:34

VPAA Tommy George is explaining the Office for Students regulatory body now…

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:42

Objective 1 is about ‘widening access and participation’.

Tommy says ‘we always try’ to widen access at the university, but adds ‘if we’re not super, super successful like other universities, Lincoln may be rated down’.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:46

After a breakdown of the four codes, Tommy now talks through the UK Quality Code – a guide created to ‘assure the academic standards and quality’ of higher education courses in the UK.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:51

Tommy says the code doesn’t include things such as student engagement, employment and volunteering.

“These are no longer required expectations,” he says.

He also goes on to add that the statements on the code are ‘vague’.

He asks: “How is telling someone to deliver a high quality course by delivering a high quality course helpful?”

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201716:56

In response to a student question, Tommy George says the university is also responding to this consultation.

“They are very much against these changes,” he says. “They are absolutely against these questions because they pride themselves on student engagement”.

A presentation slide on screen says it’s ‘very vague’, which is ‘bad for student engagement’.

It also says that a ‘lack of focus on student engagement for Lincoln could ultimately make a student’s degree look worse’.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201717:06

Following a question by The Linc‘s Liam O’Dell about what they oppose regarding the Quality Code and the Office for Students, and how the two things link.

Tommy explains that the OfS regulatory body is looking into the Quality Code, and says ‘we are not completely opposed to everything’.

“Giving more opportunities for students to come and learn is a great thing,” he says.

However, Tommy adds ‘there’s concerns around what the definition for quality is’.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201717:16

SU President Kudzai Muzangaza has given an update to students on freedom of speech.

It comes after The Linc submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Charity Commission regarding the incident surrounding the Conservative Society which took place earlier this year.

Kudzai says the Charity Commission got in touch last week, and following some correspondence between them, the Commission were ‘content’ about ‘the details forward by the student trustees’.

The SU President went on to add that the issue has now been ‘put to bed’.

For the full story on The Linc‘s investigation, pick up a copy of our first edition – out next week.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201717:33

The meeting has now concluded, but Tommy George has told The Linc that he will ‘discuss the comments from this meeting’ in a section of the SU’s consultation response and says he is ‘absolutely happy to feedback’ to students about this.

Liam O'Dell Thursday, November 30, 201717:37

Thanks for following our live blog of tonight’s meeting.

As mentioned previously, keep an eye out for our print edition which will be available around campus next week, and will also be available online.

In the meantime, be sure to follow @thelinc on Twitter and like us on Facebook (/TheLinc) for the latest news and sport from the University of Lincoln and beyond.

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