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Union Policy

Our Student Council passes policy demonstrating what students are passionate about and what we are working on. Click on each of them to learn more.

Advertisement and Accessibility for Society Events; Expires October 2021

- That Student Union staff do amazing work to make sure that events are advertised well and as accessible as they can make them. 
- That currently there is a lack of advertisement of events from Societies, Student Media and Sports Teams through the Student Union unless students actively go out of their way to contact the Student Union to do so.
- That currently there is not one whole place where all these events are advertised and available for comparison or making sure that they don’t take place at the same time.
- That currently many of the University buildings aren’t accessible for disabled people.
- That there is not currently a central London space for University students to socialise and hold events in the evenings and weekends. 
- All student events should be advertised fully by the Student Union so as to gain full attention from the student body.
- All student events should be advertised in the same space so that students can compare these and organise events to not overlap each other.
- That all Student Union and University spaces should be fully accessible to all disabled people.
- That there should be a central London space for students to socialise and hold events in the evenings and weekends.
- That a potential new student union pub/bar in central London could hold easily accessible, logistically easy to get to, regular events that would be a good potential income for the Student Union so that the Student Union could upgrade its spending priorities such as paying its staff the London Living Wage.
- That a potential new student union pub/bar should hold regular events that do not involve alcohol. 
- That the Student Union will have a new section on their website of a full calendar of events for events organised by Societies, Sports Teams, Student Media, The Student Union and The University. Events booked through the Student Union booking system will be automatically added onto the calendar.
- That Student Union staff will continue to do their best to include these calendar events on the Student Union’s social media pages.
- That the Student Union will lobby the University to carry out a disability audit of each university building so that all events are completely accessible.
- That the Student Union will lobby the University to provide a space in central London into a bar/pub space so that students have a central London space to socialise and hold events in the evenings and weekends.

Abode Creative Cloud for All; Expires October 2021

Students in DCDI courses should have access to Adobe Creative Cloud on their own laptops for a discounted price. This should be offered by the university. 
This should be sold at the SU shop. If successful, Adobe can be offered to other colleges. 
- To look into whether we can offer remote access login.
- To lobby the university to buy Adobe licenses and offer it to students. 
Adobe Creative cloud is currently at £16 a month for students.

New Officer Roles; Added to by-law December 2019

Moving to officer portfolios will help student by creating a more effective team that will focus on specific remits. This will lead to a clearer workflow and will allow students to recognize their first point of contact when addressing their issues. The inclusion of officer portfolios such as the postgraduate education will also allow a more inclusive community that addresses different groups of students. 
Moving to officer portfolios will help SU as a whole as it will create a simpler environment for staff members in identifying the goals of the team as well as assigning the officers to university committees. This will strengthen the SU's relationship with the university and will remove any confusion over which officer to go to. This will also ensure the SU is compliant with the education act 1994 and NUS conference rules. 
- To adopt the new by-law 6 in replacement with the previous one. This can be found in the appendix. 
- To create four new Campus Liaison roles to represent each of the four primary campus in a representation officer format who shall be elected by students from their campus.
- Any future amendments to Bye-Law (6) need to be presented as a report indicating justification/reasoning for the amendment.

SU Elections Turnout; Expires December 2021

That the turnout of 271 (around 1%) at the recent SU by-elections is not sufficient enough to show an example of flourishing student democracy. That all election candidates and campaign teams during this election did their absolute best to enable a flourishing student democracy by reaching out to students as much as they could. That the Students’ Union held a very useful election briefing for candidates prior to the election. 
That some SU rules regarding elections have the unintended consequence of stifling student democracy by reducing the opportunity for SU officers and election candidates to reach out to students about the elections. 
1. Campaign Teams will be allowed to campaign on all University property except study areas. 
2. Campaign Teams will be allowed to campaign in University and private halls with permission of the halls managers. 
3. Voting and Campaigning shall last no longer than a week in order to support candidate wellbeing. 
4. The Students’ Union will email all students solely with the specific knowledge of the election details including how to stand as a candidate, how to vote. This will take place before nominations open, when voting opens and with a reminder before voting closes at every SU election henceforth. 
5. The Students’ Union will email all students solely with the specific knowledge of details of a briefing meeting for people who are interested in standing for the elections with details of what the positions up for election entail, election rules and advice and guidance for campaigning. That this will take place prior to nominations opening in every SU election henceforth. 
6. The Students’ Union will ensure that candidates have as much to spend as possible (within reason) on their election campaign. 
7. The Students’ Union will hold a voting stall in a visible space, where students can vote, at least once per campus during the voting period. 
8. The SU will host hustings of candidates in all future elections including by-elections. 
9. The SU will lobby the University to enable all of the above to take place within University rules and regulations.

SU Transparency; Expires December 2021

That the SU should be a wholeheartedly transparent and democratic organisation.
We note that the governing body of the SU, the board of trustees, does not regularly provide the opportunity for students to view their goings on through publication of their minutes or detailed financial statements. 
The board of trustees shall publish the minutes of every trustee board meeting The board of trustees should publish the full breakdown of accounts for expenditure on the SU website annually That if any student council motion is not ratified by the board of trustees that the board shall write to the student council to explain why this was done. 

Reconfiguring the UWSU website; Expires December 2021

- That the SU website should be as automatic as possible to put new society members in contact with society leadership to ensure smooth running of societies.
- That keeping inactive societies on the SU website is misleading. 
That the current system of seeing only a name next to a University ID number without notifications when a new member joins is a time consuming process to get in touch with society members about events. 
- The SU shall amend the SU website so that society leaders get a weekly email update of new members.
- The SU shall amend the SU website so that it provides a list of full contact details of all society members so that society leaders can readily contact their members without having to convert University ID numbers into email addresses manually.
- The SU shall give all societies at the start of the academic year full information on what the society can and cannot do -the SU shall support societies to continue to develop and be sustainable.

Society Expenses; Expires February 2022

Societies go through a very long and time-consuming process of claiming their expenses with the new system in place. This causes a lot of frustration and it can let people down or make them give up easily, especially as they are not getting paid and also have to pay from their own money for projects, until reimbursed by the UWSU. 
There should be a more efficient system that would help societies be more organised with their expenses and also go through a faster process. UWSU should find a software such as Rydoo that would only require students to type their data and upload a picture and then submit (by a certain day of the week, in order to get the expenses by day X; e.g. submit by Wednesday, approval day is Thursday, get the money on the following Wednesday).

Society Transparency; Expires February 2022

Society committees do not get enough transparency for their own events on the UWSU platform and have no control over their attendee data and ticket updates. There is also an inconvenience to only be able to create/update the event page on the UWSU website only by emailing the UWSU societies coordinator, and societies should be able to control their event like they would on other websites such as Eventbrite. 
Since UWSU is rebuilding the official website, they should also develop the events platform to function as a normal ticketing platform where societies have access to create the online events by themselves, update the page, check how many attendees have bought/booked tickets, see the contact details of their attendees, send reminder emails or post event emails and overall deal with a more friendlier platform that would encourage them to promote their events on.

Mental Health; Expires February 2022

- 1 in 4 people has a mental health problem. 
- Mental health is a significant barrier to education. 
- Mental health can happen to anyone at any time, for any reason or no reason at all. 
- Anecdotal accounts from Westminster Students of long waiting lists and poor service from the university counselor provision. 
- Being at university should not inherently contribute to poor mental health. 
- All students and staff should be able to access the support and services they need and it is the right of students and staff to feel safe in and around university. 
- Mental health first aid should be regarded in the same way as first aid. 
- There should be as few barriers to mental health support as possible. 
- Students should be equal partners in shaping their own mental health services. 
- If a student has a difficult time in university – in the union, in lectures etc. – staff must know how to deal with the situation effectively and safely. Students and staff have voiced their need to have this form of training. 
- Everyone in the university community should feel equipped to manage their mental health. 
- That the SU call on the university to fully invest in mental health services on campus to meet need. 
- That the SU call on the university to ensure that all frontline academic and non-academic staff are equipped to respond to student and staff mental health issues similar to the Green Dot training currently being provided on the issue of sexual assault. 
- That the SU call on decision-makers in our community and nationally to ensure that students can access fully resourced mental health services when they need them. 
- That the SU request more flexible hours from counselling services in the University.
- That the SU will encourage the counselling services to remove the 2-strike system and place with a case by case basis made by a mental health professional.

Living Wage; Expires April 2022

- That members of our community, both staff and students deserve fair pay for the important work that they do.
- We note that the current statutory requirements of the National Living Wage don’t always cover the living costs of day to day life for students and university staff, nor does it cover the under 25’s which make up the vast majority of the student community. 
- Businesses have a moral duty to pay their workers fairly as workers deserve an income that allows them to face the real cost of living. 
- Paying the living wage improves the reputation of an employer.
- Paying the real living wage has shown increased motivation and productivity from employees.
- Paying workers fairly improves relations between employers and employees.
- The real living wage directly reflects living costs. The London weighting is especially important as its a city that has increased costs of living due to factors such as rent. 
- That all SU staff should be paid the Real London Living Wage as laid out by the Living Wage Foundation. 
- That the SU should lobby the university to do the same for all their workers, including students and those who work for outsourced private companies that carry out university services. 
- That the SU should consult with trade unions and students on how best to achieve the above. 
- That the SU will as a minimum review this policy and come back to the next Student Council with meaningful progress on how we can achieve all of the above. 
The Living Wage Foundation
Read the policy mandated update from the Trustee Board here, given to October 2019 Student Council.

Support for Trans and Non-Binary Students; Expires April 2022

- There needs to be a recognition of the difference of the issues within sexuality and gender. 
- Trans and non-binary issues are often sidelined for other issues in the LGBTI+ community, and because of the above recognition, there has to be a separation of all these equally important issues. 
- When national support is taken away from Trans and non-binary Students, and all other liberation groups, it is the SU’s duty to step up and support them wherever necessary. 
- All students deserve dedicated representation, especially from fringed liberation groups like Transgender and non-binary people.
- Trans and non-binary students should be able to access support around their gender identity.
- Trans and non-binary students should have a point of access that is more direct to deal with their issues and queries, especially on fringed issues like gender and their safety.
- Trans students should feel safe in university, and be able to access facilities, such as toilets, that allow them to go about basic needs without confrontation.
- Implementation of a Trans and non-binary officer by the next election season Spring 2020 so that longterm trans issues can be combated and resolved through representation.
- There needs to be evidence of support for trans students that is outward and proactive (ie celebrating Trans day of visibility as a University-wide event).
- The SU’s team will work closely with the trans officer and trans community to make sure that all trans issues are tackled including but not limited to pronouns on the university system, actual and accessible gender neutral toilets, mental health support and meaningful training for staff. This also includes a regular SU-run continuation of the Trans Forum, which was organized by Labour Society and LGBTI Society. 
- That the Student Council fully supports campaigns to continue the national trans campaign within the NUS, as well as all other liberation campaigns.

Education and Access to Information Regarding Changes in UK Regulations due to Brexit (Expires December 2022)

- Students should be aware and informed of the policies related to Food, Water, and the Environment that will be affected and changed due to Brexit
- Advice regarding these changes should be communicated to students- e.g. how to sustainably and safely purchase food (chicken washed with chlorine that will start being imported into the UK from the US), regulations on air quality control that will inevitably make it easier for cities and boroughs to go above previous EU limits and how to manage your way around London with poor air quality, etc.
- All students have the right to be educated on these rising issues and the SU have a responsibility to ensure all University of Westminster students are prepared to adapt to societal and cultural changes that will be forced onto people due to Climate Change, especially in light of Brexit that will only exacerbate the issues
- Students should not become victim to the inevitable increase in living costs from Brexit, especially food
- SU should provide information (e.g. social media posts, blogs on UWSU website) on the changes that will affect the students, and made aware that regardless of their political views they will be affected by Brexit
- SU should provide information on how students can lead a sustainable lifestyle, especially on how to purchase safe food
- SU should make it easier for students to talk about these issues and open the conversation in ways that make the students feel safe (e.g. questions asked on social media, sticky note display with questions for students to participate in)
- SU should provide information on where students can read the news from reliable sources (e.g. The Conversation)

Save our Student Bar (expires May 2023)

Student Council notes: 
-The venue poses a financial risk to the Union, but the current resolution chosen by the Trustee board doesn’t eliminate these risks. 
-The reduction in opening hours to only two nights a week could impact the membership by limiting the variety of events the space could put on. 
-The Undercroft/Loft adds to the social aspect of life on Harrow campus. 

Student Council believes: 
-The continued operation of the space provides a safe, social space for all of our members. Particularly it helps students who are low in confidence or those who suffer with anxiety, depression or behavioural disorders such as autism or ADHD to meet new people. 
-The space benefits the physical and mental wellbeing of our members. In line with the Union’s welfare policies, staff take greater interest in keeping members safe. Mainstream commercial outlets are not duty bound in the same way. 
-The space provides much needed student jobs in a part of the city where part time work is more difficult to come by. 

Student Council resolves: 
-For the Undercroft/Loft to open for a minimum of 2 days a week. 
-To train staff to deal with support and welfare queries in relation to bar related concerns 
-To ensure that the process of booking the space for students is made simple and accessible for all student groups
-To consider long term plans for the Space that ensures success in engagement with students.