At the end of last academic year and after almost three years of research, the Students’ Union (SU) passed major changes to the set-up of SU Council, to be implemented from September 2013.

STUDENT COUNCIL

SU Council is now reserved for the discussion of issues raised by UoN students; members of the SU submit a motion to be discussed, which is then voted upon by a panel of twenty one students.

The panel is a randomly selected from around 34,000 students, with a “quality study” which attempts to ensure that those on the panel represent a diverse range of backgrounds. If a student is consecutively selected during the same year, a different student will then be chosen.

The SU Officers and SU Council attendees debate the proposals following their presentation by the person who submitted them. The selected panel has the opportunity to then ask questions before casting their vote. In order for a motion to be passed it must be voted for by at least fourteen members of the panel, any less and the motion will either be subjected to a referendum or fail to be passed.

DEMOCRATIC PROCEDURES COMMITTEE

The Democratic Procedures Committee is responsible for making decisions over any regulation changes and any new rules to be introduced into the document that governs the SU. This Committee consists of three officers and nine cross-campus elected students. It meets three times a year, usually prior to SU Council. Elections to the Committee are held in tandem to JCR elections and are run through the portal.

SCRUTINY PANEL

There are six Scrutiny Panel sessions throughout the year, consisting of six cross-campus elected students. Prior to the panel, the SU Executive Officers and the SU Environment and Social Justice Officer write a report, which is then read by the scrutiny panel who then subject the officers to questioning over the contents of each report.

The purpose of the Scrutiny Panel sessions is to hold the full-time officers and the Environment and Social Justice Officer to account over their work, including policies implemented and their progress in meeting manifesto pledges. Officers are questioned two at a time and given a rating for their achievements thus far.

If the scrutiny panel gives an officer a low rating, the panel will then make suggestions on how the officer can improve and expect to see progress made at the next scrutiny panel. All other part-time officers are held to account through their own committee networks.

Ella Funge

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Image: Fibblesan via Flickr

UoN students are welcome to attend SU Council, Democratic Procedures Committee meetings and Scrutiny Panel sessions. 

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