23 February 2009 - Coventry University Students Union Students

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23 February 2009 - Coventry University Students Union Students

    Union Council Meeting Six (6)


    Monday 23 February 2009


    N Abass BME Officer

    A Ani Disabled Students’ Officer

    N Bradley A&D Faculty Board Councillor

    C Brazier RAG Councillor

    R Burridge RAG Councillor

    D Cutchey Source Newspaper Councillor

    A Earthrowl LGBT Officer

    S Edwards (Chair) Union Council Chair

    A Eyles Non-Portfolio Officer

    S Finnigan E&C Faculty Board Councillor

    T Fisher E&C Faculty Board Councillor

    C Geenes VP Sports and Societies

    M Haider HLS Faculty Board Councillor

    C Haines Non-Portfolio Officer

    R Hayward VP Communications

    B Hill Student Volunteer Councillor

    S Hill Societies Councillor

    P Jardine Societies Councillor

    L Maccallam Non-Portfolio Officer

    A Ogah BES Faculty Board Councillor

    J Okojie Women’s Officer

    D Quince E&C Faculty Chair

    H Rossall A&D Faculty Board Councillor

    F Sanni Halls Councillor

    A Smith E&C Faculty Board Councillor

    S Teladia VP Academic Affairs

    W Trout BES Faculty Board Councillor

    S Tweeddale Societies Councillor

    G Williams A&D Faculty Board Councillor

    N Wadhwa Postgraduate Students’ Officer

    S Williams Non-Portfolio Officer

    G Wilson Halls Councillor

    L Wilson BES Faculty Chair

    R Wilson Sports Club Councillor

    T Wood President

    B Woracker VP Welfare


    S Abu-Hayyeh Halls Councillor

    O Akinde Student Volunteer Councillor

    T Ao BES Faculty Board Councillor

    S Baker BES Faculty Board Councillor

    C Cusack Smith HLS Faculty Board Councillor

    S Darlow Societies Councillor

    M Ferrarin HLS Faculty Board Councillor

    L Gillett BES Faculty Board Councillor

    H Jagadish E&C Faculty Board Councillor

    H Johnson Halls Councillor

    P McCarthy Sports Club Councillor

    S McDonald Environmental and Ethical Officer

    E Quinn Part Time Students’ Officer

    B Reynolds Halls Councillor

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 1 of 9 23 February 2009

O Scott HLS Faculty Chair

    V Streuer A&D Faculty Board Councillor

    A Ward Halls Councillor

    D Wick Sports Club Councillor

    M Williams Mature Students’ Officer

    Absent without Apologies

    M Caplen Sports Club Councillor

    J Lickiss E&C Faculty Board Councillor

    J McGregor Source Radio Councillor

    G Scott Halls Councillor


    2 Minutes of the Previous Meeting and Matters Arising

    26 January 2009


     Report from the University on New Building It was noted that the third question on

     page three was asked by Hayad Askar

     Motion of Censure against three NUS Conference Delegates S Teladia expanded on

     T Akinmolayan’s speech against the Motion on page six

     Further to these amendments, a vote was held on approving the Minutes as an

    Passed accurate account of this previous meeting, which passed

     Matters Arising

     There were no matters arising from these Minutes

     T Wood submitted a procedural motion to change the agenda order and debate the

     Motions first

     There were no speeches against the procedural motion and a vote was held, which

    Passed passed unanimously

     A Earthrowl submitted a procedural motion to include two further Motions at the end of

     the Motions debate on the agenda. It was felt that these Motions should be discussed

     during LGBT History Month but the agenda deadline had been missed

     There were no speeches against the procedural motion and a vote was held, which

    Passed passed by a majority

10 Motion 1: Where’s Our Hoodies?

     B Woracker submitted a procedural motion that this vote is not taken. Union Council is

     the highest decision making body within the Students’ Union and B Woracker is

     disappointed that a Motion is on the agenda that is not a policy. The question should

     have been asked to Sabbs or staff; hoodies are not a priority and the Motion should be


     There were no speeches against the procedural motion and a vote was held, which

    Passed passed by a majority

11 Motion 2: ISOC

     N Abass waived her speech in favour of the Motion to Halima Gathika, ISOC Treasurer,

     who spoke about a permanent slot for Friday prayers. Friday prayers do not take long

     and includes a beneficial sermon. It is also a social event in a non-alcoholic venue. No

     assistance has been received from the VP Sports and Societies, who has only helped

     once in five months. ISOC would also like advance warning of other bookings on a

     Friday to find another venue

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 2 of 9 23 February 2009

     C Geenes spoke against the Motion and agreed that every sport club and society

     should have priority to use the Sports Hall. The only bookings over this are by the

     University, which CUSU has no control over as the University own the building. C

     Geenes can help as much as possible if he is informed of an issue, which has not


     R Hayward submitted a procedural motion to vote on the Motion in parts, to remove

     Union Believes 4. To make a scapegoat of C Geenes is unfair as part of the rent free

     agreement with the University is that it can use the Sports Hall at any time. This

     situation is also raised monthly at the Sabbs meeting with Donald Pennington. R

     Hayward doesn’t believe it’s true that C Geenes hasn’t done enough

     Zainab Mohamoud, Head Sister for ISOC, spoke against the procedural motion. C

     Geenes’ job is to represent students and know when other events are to be held

    Passed A vote was held on the procedural motion to remove Union Believes 4, which passed

     by a majority

     B Woracker spoke in favour of the amended Motion. There are lots of issues

     surrounding this Motion and there is not much support from the Students’ Union. There

     is a need to provide a basic service when so much more is provided for other students.

     Accountability needs to be taken for actions and more strategic talks are needed about

     the space required on campus. This would send out a clear message that the current

     situation is unacceptable

     There were no speeches against the amended Motion


     P Jardine asked why this has not been an issue in previous years

     S Teladia replied that she has been involved with ISOC for a few years and this has

     been an issue for all that time. However, it has only been as a Sabbatical Officer that

     she realised this issue could be brought to Union Council

     L Wilson asked what situation would count as urgent

     S Teladia said that exams definitely are but that ISOC would prefer this not to be Open


     R Hayward asked how this can be moved forward as CUSU does not have control over

     the University

     B Woracker replied that CUSU should be looking into providing an alternative and

     putting pressure on the University

     N Abass waived the summation to Javed Khan, ISOC President, who said this is an

     important issue. Friday prayers provide a service to 300 students and it’s not a

     massive issue to ask for a 45 minute slot once a week. This provides cohesion on

     campus for Muslim and non-Muslim students

    Passed A vote was held on the amended Motion, which passed by a majority

    12 Motion 3: The Library

     A Eyles spoke in favour of the Motion. The Library is very important to students but

     there is currently no SU policy on it. This Motion formally sets out a commitment to the

     Library and a report would give information to take back to the students who Councillors


     There were no speeches against the Motion, no questions and the summation was


     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 3 of 9 23 February 2009

    Passed A vote was held on the Motion, which passed by a majority

    13 Motion 4: Plagiarism

     B Hill spoke in favour of the Motion. Even though there are campaigns about

     plagiarism, there are still many cases, usually accidental. More information and

     awareness is needed on what plagiarism is, early on in a degree course

     There were no speeches against the Motion


     G Williams said that software is available to check essays for plagiarism, which should

     be available to all students and not just staff. Any campaign should include this

    ST S Teladia said that the University used Turnitin and would speak to the A&D Faculty

     about it being used

     A Earthrowl asked if there is CUSU policy on what plagiarism is

     T Wood responded no

     L Wilson asked about the possibility of the University putting information on plagiarism

     into different languages

     S Teladia replied that she is working on this possibility with David Pilsbury, Pro-Vice

     Chancellor, although it is a difficult issue

     George Buchanan, student, asked if international students plagiarise more

     S Teladia explained that the referencing system is difficult to adapt to when coming to

     study from other countries, which leads to plagiarism

    Passed The summation was waived and a vote held on the Motion, which passed by a majority

    14 Emergency Motion: Domestic Violence Don’t Suffer In Silence

     J Okojie spoke in favour of the Motion. There is a need to tackle the issue of domestic

     violence but spoke on behalf of women’s issues. There is a need to help Coventry

     Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) with funding as it may have to close. It is

     unfair that some women are living in fear and there is a need to protest against sexual

     violence towards women

     There were no speeches against the Motion


     C Geenes asked about how money would be raised during RAG Week

     J Okojie replied that she would be holding a sponsored silence for the rest of the week

     S Williams asked which local MP would be written to, would it just be the one for the

     University location

     J Okojie replied yes

     R Burridge said that there have been news items this week about domestic violence

     towards men, and would this also be focused on

     J Okojie said she was hoping to do this in the next year

     J Okojie waived the summation to B Woracker. B Woracker has visited CRASAC this

     week, which is facing cut backs due to a lack of funding. Students make up 10% of

     CRASAC clients and many need short term counselling of 6-12 months. Volunteers are

     also required at CRASAC and further information can be sought from B Woracker

    Passed A vote was held on the Motion, which passed by a majority

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 4 of 9 23 February 2009

     Emergency Motion: Liberation Autonomy

     J Okojie waived her speech in favour of the Motion to Eleanor Litten, LGBT Society

     President. There are four Liberation Officers because those groups are under-

     represented. It would be more effective to for those groups to elect their own

     representative to take forward their issues

     S Finnigan spoke against the Motion. This could lead to unfair representation as there

     is no equal or opposite representative on Council

     L Maccallam gave a point of information that students with caring responsibilities have

     been missed out

     B Woracker clarified that this group is a minority group rather than a liberation one and

     will be included in the next Motion

     R Burridge submitted a procedural motion to vote in parts and remove the word vote

     from Union Resolves 2. There is no need to self-define as a particular group to

     appreciate the issues of others and elect someone to do a good job

     A Earthrowl spoke against the procedural motion and said the word vote is the main

     reason for putting forward the Liberation Autonomy Motion. There are five Non-

     Portfolio Officers for the majority. There is also a difference between what is an issue

     and what people believe to be an issue

Failed A vote was held on the procedural motion, which failed by a majority

     J Okojie spoke in favour of the full Motion. There are 70 people on Union Council who

     represent students and doesn’t see why this is an issue

     C Geenes submitted a procedural motion to remove Union Resolves 3. The current

     nomination form requires ten students to nominate a candidate and Union Resolves 3

     proposes three students, which is not enough representation

     S Teladia spoke against the procedural motion. The issue is not about how many

     students nominate a candidate but getting onto Union Council to represent minorities

Failed A vote was held on the procedural motion, which failed by two votes

     T Wood submitted a procedural motion to suspend all further procedural motions until

     the end of this meeting

     B Woracker spoke against the procedural motion. Union Council is about democracy

     and should be able to analyse and have a debate to get issues covered correctly

Failed A vote was held on the procedural motion, which failed by a majority

     R Burridge gave a speech against the full Motion

     J Okojie waived the summation to B Woracker, who said he is also involved in the

     national liberation campaign. There is a need for respective communities to support a

     representative who knows the issues. It would undermine these Officers to have any

     student voting for them

Passed A vote was held on the Motion, which passed by a two thirds majority

     Emergency Motion: Representation of Minority Groups

     J Okojie spoke in favour of the Motion, on behalf of M Williams. These Officers also

     have particular groups to represent

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 5 of 9 23 February 2009

     R Hayward spoke against the Motion and made Union Council aware of the difficulties

     in the voting process. The only way round the issues is to self-define as mature/post-

     graduate etc. This is not easy because you are this type of student and not self-defined

     as such. This is not ideal but logistically it can’t work until there is a better voting

     system in place

     Eleanor Litten gave a point of information that the difference between these Motions is

     you self-define for liberation but with this one you actually are. This Motion can be

     passed but the system will need to be updated

     J Okojie gave a summation and said that liberation and minority groups are represented

     in the Constitution. Each group needs to elect those who can represent their issues

    Failed A vote was held on the Motion, which did not get the two thirds majority needed to pass

     A Ani submitted a procedural motion to adjust the agenda and add an emergency

     Motion on a disqualified election candidate and lack of information available

     T Wood spoke against the procedural motion and said the Motion did not contain

     enough information on what was required from it. The Motion was also an attempt to

     reinstate a candidate who was disqualified last year

     A vote was held on the procedural motion to accept this emergency Motion, which

    Failed failed by a majority

    4 Women’s Officer Report

    J Okojie gave a report on her progress this year. J Okojie thanked the University

    Equality and Diversity Unit; Caron McKenna; Paul Burt; Rob Wells; Mark Watkins; B

    Woracker; S Teladia, A Earthrowl and N Abass for their support. In the first term, J

    Okojie had set up the first Women’s Society, which will be meeting more often next

    term. J Okojie has also attended local and national training; worked on an alcohol

    awareness campaign; One World Week and Black History Month. A campaign is to be

    held this term for Students with Caring Responsibilities and J Okojie has also worked

    on LGBT History Month and attended a Reclaim the Night march in Manchester.

    International Women’s Week is being held from 8-14 March

There were no questions

    6 NUS Delegates’ Report

    R Burridge said that ten delegates attended the extraordinary conference, with seven

    delegates voting. All the votes from these seven delegates were ‘yes’. The Motion

    passed and the new NUS Constitution is now effective. R Burridge read an extract

    from Wes Streeting, NUS President, about his views on the protest held at NUS

    extraordinary conference

There were no questions

    7 Discover Islam Week

    Javed Khan, ISOC President, gave an introduction to Discover Islam Week. The

    purpose it to let students have a greater insight into Muslim student life. It is hoped

    there will be more interaction between students about cultural differences. Many talks

    are being held at open events and questions will be answered. ISOC will keep students

    informed of all events taking place

    8 Governance Report

     T Wood gave an update on Governance. CUSU is currently in the process of

     registering as a Charity. There is a need to register to remain independent from the

     University when the new Charities Act is formed. In November 2008, four Trustees

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 6 of 9 23 February 2009

     were approved by Union Council. In December 2008, one Trustee withdrew and

     replacement was sought. Also in December 2008, the University Board of Governors

     elected Mike Short as Trustee. In January 2009, Duncan Goose agreed that his name

     could be put forward to Union Council as the potential fourth Trustee. It is hoped to

     complete the Charity registration by September 2009. T Wood gave a biography of

     Duncan Goose for information and asked that the following recommendations were


     ? That Council approve the work done so far to fulfil the policy passed in November


     ? That the Union should, in its negotiations with the University, ensure that the Union

     rather then the University should have overall control of its budgets and finances

     ? To note and welcome the appointment of Mike Short as the Board of Governors

     nominee to the Board of Trustees

     ? To approve Duncan Goose as a external Trustee Questions A Ani said thanks to T Wood for all the work on this change to the Students’ Union D Quince asked about cost of the project T Wood said there was no costs yet but they were expected for lawyers and consultants on the issue of financial control A Ogah asked about the choice of those on the Board of Trustees T Wood said that Union Council had voted on the five Sabbatical Officers and five external Trustees, which includes one nominee from the University Board of Governors Passed A vote was held on all the recommendations, which passed by a majority

    3 VP Academic Affairs Report

     Due to technical difficulties, this item was deferred and merged with item 5

     S Teladia gave an update on the work completed so far and future plans:

     ? QAA meetings attended and got students involved

     ? Course Rep Training 130 students trained so far with two more sessions added in

     January due to high demand

     ? Course Rep Socials a pilot scheme this year but hoped to expand it

     ? Working with Helen Albrow and University departments to hold meetings about what students want from services such as the library and IT ? Plagiarism campaign, mainly poster and web-based ? Part of a Working Group for retention within the University ? Got two weeks extra 24-hour library access and extended holiday hours, which was a manifesto pledge ? Hidden course costs have been discussed with the University ? Feedback Campaign planned S Teladia asked if the NSS survey for final year students should be promoted or not. This survey asks students for feedback on University services Questions D Quince asked if S Teladia would be doing a follow up report on the items there has not been time for S Teladia said yes P Jardine said that NSS was in the media last year and asked if the issues have been resolved S Teladia said that she has attended results training but they are not looked into each year

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 7 of 9 23 February 2009

     T Wood added that he has spoken to the Vice Chancellor about the poor media, who is

     committed to tell all lecturers not to put pressure on students for favourable comments

    Passed A vote was held on promoting NSS, which passed by a majority

    5 NSS to promote or not to promote? See item 3 above

    9 Questions of Officers

     A Earthrowl asked when a computer will be available to use on the hot desk in the

     Sabbs office

     T Wood said that there are health and safety issues to resolve in the office first

     B Woracker added that the Health and Safety Sub-Committee has recommended that

     the hot desk is removed if access to the office is an issue

     A Ogah asked about a Committee which interacts with election candidates

     R Hayward said that the Elections Committee supports the Returning Officer and

     introduces regulations as necessary. The Returning Officer is an independent person

     who makes all decision, ensures all regulations are fair and all candidates are treated

     equally. The Committee meetings are open to all students

     D Quince added that he is Chair of the Committee. The Committee is meeting once a

     week at the moment, which will become once a day during the campaigning period

     A Earthrowl asked if there was current policy about an alternative to Coca-Cola in SU

     venues, as there is not an alternative in Fiftyfour at the moment

    TW T Wood said he would look into this issue as an alternative should be provided

Martin Imafidon asked if it should be all types of coke

    T Wood clarified that just two options should be available

    15 Committee Elections Commercial Services Committee S Finnigan was elected

    Communication Committee no candidates, so carried forward to the next meeting

Welfare Committee D Quince was elected

    16 Junior Junction Update L Maccallam and B Hill gave an update on Junior Junction, which was passed at the

    December Union Council for a monthly event to be held. The aim is to provide a

    support network. Meetings have been held with Horizon Volunteering and Donald

    Pennington. The Junction in the basement of Priory Street was a possibility but there

    are access issues and health and safety issues. For various reasons, the Start-Up Café is now being researched as a possibility. L Maccallam and B Hill have involved

    Horizon Volunteering, student volunteers (as they will be CRB checked), HLS Faculty

    and hope to involve SUAC too. L Macallam’s Non-Portfolio Officer budget will be used,

    along with fund raising events. A discussion group has been arranged for after this

    meeting for any further suggestions

There were no questions

    17 AOB i R Hayward said a Constitutional requirement is to publicise those running in the

    elections. R Hayward read out the candidate names and said thisinformation will also be on the website and on Facebook. Voting opens at 00:01 on Wednesday 4 March

    and closes at 17:00 on Friday 6 March. Hustings for Faculty Chairs is being held at

    4pm on Monday 2 March in the Goldstein Lecture Theatre. Hustings for Sabbatical Officers is being held at 4pm on Tuesday 3 March in the Goldstein Lecture Theatre.

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 8 of 9 23 February 2009

There has been no nomination for an A&D Chair and the Sabbatical team will be

    working with the A&D Dean and Faculty Reps to find nominations for a by-election after Easter

ii T Wood said that NUS Awards are held each year, with various categories. A

    Working Group is being put together to submit students to as many categories as

    possible. Paul Burt, Phil Pilkington and T Wood are part of the Working Group, with one Union Councillor being sought to join. Three Union Councillors were interested in

    being part of the group and will talk to T Wood after the meeting

iii A Ani is planning a Disabled Students Forum on 11 March. It is being planned with

    T Wood and the University Disabilities Office. It will be an opportunity to discover

    access on campus and how to resolve various issues. Union Council was asked to

    pass on that the forum is a voice for disabled students

    18 Date of next meeting: 3.00pm, Thursday 19 March 2009

     Union Council Mtg 6 Minutes Page 9 of 9 23 February 2009

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