Your Ideas

Any student can submit an Idea to change the Union, University or City of Leeds. All submitted ideas go to a forum meeting to be decided on. If the student panel can't reach 75% consensus either way, a campus-wide vote will decide.

Policy ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Below is the current policy about the University, click on the policy for the full details.
There is no current policy! :S
 

Policy about the University

Below is the current policy about the University, click on the policy for the full details.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Should LUU lobby for Postgraduate Funding which is open and accessible to all?

Should Lecturers and Personal Tutors be educated on the difference between sex and gender?

Should students be given a certain amount of free printer credits determined by their degree & year?

Should the University have more microwaves in communal areas?

Should the library send out more reminders when a book has been requested and is overdue for return?

Should we encourage more cycling?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Should the union lobby the university to abolish all in course mandatory charges?

Should local, student led & LUU ventures be given priority in bids for commercial spaces on campus?

Should the seating around Balcony have proper plugs?

Should there be better language support for international students?

Should the University give all staff mandatory face-to-face training around Equality and Diversity?

Should the Union run a 3 year Cost of Living campaign?

Should LUU attempt to save NHS bursaries?

Should the University cover the cost of re-sits?

Should the University of Leeds integrate voter registration with the online enrolment process?

Should the union lobby the University to provide more mental health support?

Should the university offer free foreign language courses for all?

Should LUU lobby against the changes to Higher Education?

Should the union support students in opposing the new online check in system?

Should the Union lobby the University to provide equal opportunities in module choice for parents and carers?

Should LUU work with the University to create individual study spaces for postgraduate researchers

Should the University extend the use of @leeds,ac,uk email addresses for use longer after graduation?

Could some of the computer clusters be free from lectures and workshops?

Should LUU lobby the university to ensure that all buildings have at least one gender neutral toilet

Could some of the computer clusters be free from lectures and workshops?

Should PhD students be allowed to park at the University?

Should the union support postgraduate teaching assistants to receive fair pay for the work they do?

The University of Leeds should only use contractors who pay their employees the Real Living Wage.

LUU should lobby the University to provide more spaces for students of faith.

 

 

 
Date of meeting: 21st October 2012
Better University Forum
Expires:  21st October  2015
Name of proposer:
Rosie Horton
 
What the idea is about:
I would like Leeds University to change the current system of module enrolment in two main ways. Firstly, as anyone who has tried to enrol in a module in the last two years will understand, the current system is outdated. Too many students try to access the portal at the same time and the system crashes, leaving students stressed and often missing out on modules as they spend up to an hour trying to log in. I would like our university to revise the system, and split module enrolment into faculties. For example, Modern Laguages would enrol on Monday, Politics and Music on Tuesday etc. This would limit the amount of students trying to log on and would hopefully stop the portal crashing. It shouldn't disadvantage any students as they will still be competing against the same peers for the same modules.
Secondly, I would suggest that the time of module enrolment be moved from 9am to 12pm. As a student in South America I was up at 4am trying to log in. 12pm is a lot more sociable for the students in America/Central and South America and wouldn't disadvantage students the other side of the timeline, such as Hong Kong or Australia for example.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
I believe the current system needs to be reviewed and changed as each year there are the same problems with module enrolment.
 
 
Date of meeting: 15th November 2012
Better Union Forum
Expires:  15th November  2015
Name of proposer:
Matthew Puddick
 
What the idea is about:
I would like 3-hour timetabled sessions to be banned. There would be a  few exceptions to this ban; lectures where people from outside the University are brought in, labs, and sessions in short fat modules (as defined by the student exec)
 
Why have you proposed it?:
Even if there are breaks students cannot be expected to concentrate for 3 hours successfully. Splitting up a 3-hour lecture into 3 1-hour lectures or 1 2-hour and 1 1-hour throughout the week would provide a far more pleasant and productive learning experience. It would also lessen the impact if students were unable to attend a lecture for whatever reason. With the increase of fees to £9000 students should expect their learning experience to be more important than ease of timetabling.
 
 
Date of Referendum: 15th March 2013
 
Expires:  15th March  2016
Name of proposer:
Boglarka Szabo
 
What the idea is about:
Starbucks should not be sold in the University.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
Starbucks has been accused of tax avoidance - in the last 14 years of trading, they have paid just £8.6 million in corporation tax.
 
Why is the Union still supporting (and worse, making a profit for)a multi million corporation which still gets away with not paying correct tax?
 
The Union has boycotted sale of Nestle products on account of the company's behaviour, so surely we should do the same with Starbucks.
 
As students we should be conscious of the power of corporations such as Starbucks and make sure we are not supporting illegal behaviour such as avoiding paying their tax.
 
 
Date of Referendum: 15th March 2013
Expires:  15th March  2016
Name of proposer:
Emma Simpson
 
What do you want?
We would like to ban BAE Systems from the University of Leeds campus. This ban would prevent the company from coming to careers fairs held on our premises, giving talks to students or otherwise occupying any other kind of presence at the university.
 
The ban would cover at least 3 areas:
1.  That BAE Systems would not be allowed to hold recruitment talks or Careers Fairs stalls
2.  That the University should sell its shares in BAE Systems, if it holds any.
3.  That the University should not accept any future research money from BAE.
 
Why do you want it?
BAE Systems is among the world’s largest defence contractors.  Its subsidiary BAE Inc. is one of the six largest suppliers to the United States Department of Defense. Both these facts make it seem like an attractive employer, but BAE has several times come under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for supplying weapons to Chile, the Czech Republic, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tanzania and Qatar.  In all these countries, the arms supplied by BAE have been passed onto other oppressive and dictatorial regimes with  known for human rights abuses.  As recently as 2004, records show that BAE continued to make payments to Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator charged with numerous human rights abuses and torture[1].  A subsidiary of BAE is refurbishing 105-millimetre guns for the armed forces of Morocco, who illegally occupy Western Sahara [2].  
BAE is fuelling conflict for profit. According to UNICEF, 2 million children have been killed by war in the last decade, and 90% of conflicts’ casualties are innocent civilians. BAE, in their often highly illegal trade of arms, are the sponsors of these deaths. This is not the kind of company that the University of Leeds, with its emphasis on equality, diversity and justice, should have on campus.  Other institutions have taken steps to limit BAE's involvement on campus such as the University of Manchester, who's “Ethical Investment Policy” prevent it from holding shares in arms companies like BAE.
 
[1] Revelaled: BAE's secret £1m to Pinochet, The Guardian, 15th September 2005.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/15/bae.freedomofinformation
 
[2] Cordesman et al, 2010, The North African Military Military Balance, Force Developments & Regional Challenges.  
 
 
Date of Referendum: 21st February 2013
Expires:  21st February 2016
Name of proposer:
Alice Smart
 
What the idea is about:
That essay submission at Leeds University should entirely be done online, with the requirement to submit paper copies removed.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
• If all essay submissions were online, students would save money on printing.
• While lecturers may prefer to mark paper copies, they can choose to print essays off themselves rather than placing the financial burden on students. Students are now paying 9k a year and face many additional hidden course costs including the cost of printing essays. By making all essay submissions online, this would remove a key hidden course cost.
• Many departments already have online only submissions so we know that this idea can work in practice.
• Online only submissions would allow students to submit their essay from home. This would be useful to students who have to travel a significant distance to get into uni, and students who have other time commitments such as student parents. Furthermore it would mean that students wouldn’t have to come back to Leeds early after Christmas and Easter simply to hand an essay in.
 
 
Date of Referendum: 21st February 2013
Expires:  21st February 2016
 
What do you want?
 
1) That the Unions Affairs Officer of the Students’ Union will urgently meet with the university’s senior management to ascertain how many Syrian students at the University of Leeds have had their funding streams disrupted and to demand:
 
a. That university management waive or reduce the fees or extend the payment periods for all Syrian students affected by the conflict, whether sponsored or self-funded, so that they can complete their studies.
b. That university management should not make any Syrian student sponsored by the Syrian government personally liable for their tuition fees but should register their tuition fees debts against the Syrian authorities. 
c. That the university make hardship grants, scholarships and bursaries available to all affected Syrian students, whether sponsored or privately funded, to cover their living expenses.
d. That the university allow any Syrian students who have already been forced to suspend their studies to return to complete their degrees and have access to the necessary finances.
e. For this support to be extended to other students who have been affected by similar circumstances, such as Libyan students in 2011. Such exceptional cases should be determined by the Executive Officers.
 
Why do you want it? 
 
As of the 2nd January 2013, an estimated 60,000 Syrians had died as a result of the violent conflict in Syria.
 
At present an estimated 670 Syrian students are studying in UK Higher Education institutions, at least 250 of whom were sponsored under the Syrian Government under the British Council's Capacity Building Scheme but whose funding has been stopped by the Syrian authorities.   
 
Syrian students at other UK universities will be unable to complete their studies, due to the conflict, either they or their sponsors can no longer pay their tuition fees.
Syrian students who return to Syria before completion of their sponsored qualification, will face severe financial penalties from the Syrian authorities.
 
The Foreign Secretary, William Hague MP, ensured that Libyan students affected by the conflict in 2011 were able to continue their studies and should extend this gesture to Syrian students. 
 
Proposer: Christine Gilmore
 
 
Date of Referendum: 21st February 2013
Expires:  21st February 2016
Name of proposer:
Lauren Stocker
 
What the idea is about:
The University to label different computer clusters as either silent or non-silent to give students a choice of quiet work environments and areas to study at computers where conversation is allowed.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
Currently the University has no policy on computer cluster noise levels - it is unclear whether they are meant to be silent or if group working or the use of programmes like Skype is allowed.
 
Feedback from students via email, through consultations and in casual conversation has highlighted a demand for silent study areas, and areas where students can study as a group at computers and be able to work together actively and discuss things without fear of disrupting others.
 
 
Date of Forum: 18th February 2013
Expires:  18th  February 2016
Tim Brazier
 
What the idea is about:
The union and the university should use and encourage students to use electricity companies that use renewable energy sources.
 
I understand the buildings on campus are powered by the universities own(leased from a third party) combined heat and power plant but off campus sites such as halls and the sports grounds should be powered by renewable sources.
 
Companies such as Ecotricity or Good Energy (the second of which only uses renewable power sources) offer prices that match or are less than that of the 6 big UK energy companies.
 
Also more could be done to communicate these options that are available for students living in private rented accommodation.
 
There is also potential that this could be linked to the universities 'It all adds up' campaign as well as the Green Impact Campaign.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
To reduce the universities and its students carbon footprint. The university has set targets of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2014 and this would be a large step towards that target.
 
The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions also has the obvious environmental benefits in preventing further greenhouse effect and global warming.
 
 
Date of Forum: 18th February 2013
Expires:  18th  February 2016
Andrea Ortiz Karpf
 
What the idea is about:
The university has a nursery on campus. However, it is extremely expensive (about £1000 per month) and it has a waiting list of over one year. I want the university to provide child care to students that is both affordable and accessible.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
As a parent and a student, it is very difficult to manage taking care of children and studying. This is mainly because child care is extremely expensive. The university nursery is apparently very good and conveniently located; however, it is so expensive that it is only affordable to staff. It also has a waiting list that is so long that most people are likely to graduate before they can get a place for their children.
I consider that the nursery should have places reserved for students and special rates as well. It seems that the university has taken into account the needs of lots of many different people, there are many ways in which people with disabilities get special attention (which is great) but, it seems to have forgotten about students with children who have to juggle between studying and working to get some money to pay some days of nursery. Even if you worked full time, you wouldn't have enough to pay for a full time nursery!
 
 
Date of Forum: 18th February 2013
Expires:  18th  February 2016
Katie Siddall
 
What the idea is about:
I would like to ensure that the Union continue to work with the University to make sure that personal tutoring is as consistent as possible and that each student gets the same level of support. Each year the Leeds University Union Education Officer, Welfare Officer and Activities Officer will be responsible for this work.
The University prides itself on its outstanding learning and teaching, and should continue to commit to ensuring that student experience is the best it can be. The University should also remain accountable to students through effectively responding to various issues raised in the different feedback forums.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
 
There are some outstanding examples of personal tutoring in this University, and we are really pleased to see that so many students benefit from the strong relationship they share with their tutor. However, some tutors have different commitments and priorities, and are unable to allocate the time to spend on their tutees. This can mean that while some tutors take on this task wholeheartedly, others might not fully engage with the process. This creates inconsistency in the quality of experience students receive.
The experience you have should not be a lottery, every student deserves a quality experience and we would like to see the University commit to making this happen. Currently two students in the same school can both be just as eager to make the most of their relationship with their tutor, but due to difference in staff priorities one gets a better experience than the next. This is unfair.
Outcomes
•         More positive feedback from students in future when they are surveyed.
•         The National Student Survey results which relate to personal tutoring will continue to improve. 
 
 
Date of Forum: 30th October 2013
Expires:  30th October 2016
Name of proposer:
Kieran Prendergast
 
What the idea is about:
I think there should be a second prayer room available, ideally located near the union or the Parkinson building.
 
Why have you proposed it?
There is currently only one large prayer room available on campus. Some students, particularly those in the language centre, struggle to make the journey to the current prayer room and back in their lunch hour and I think it is unfair to disadvantage students when there is so much space on campus.
 
 
Date of Forum: 30th October 2013
Expires:  30th October 2016
Name of proposer:
Alice Smart
 
What the idea is about:
The Union should lobby the University to provide more postgraduate bursaries.
The Union should play a part in the national campaign to open student finance to postgraduate students.
 
Why have you proposed it?
It is a lot harder to get financial help both from the University and nationally, to study at a postgraduate level than it as at an undergraduate level. At present there is a variety of University based funding that undergraduate students are automatically assessed for included bursaries and the National Scholarship Programme as well as the statutory Student Finance system. There is no such mechanism for postgraduates at present.
Student finance allows students to get an undergraduate degree without paying for it until they are in employment, but when it comes to postgraduate degrees, there is no formal system of student finance so students are more often than not asked to pay their fees before they have finished their course.
Having a post-graduate degree is a valuable asset to have in the increasingly competitive graduate job market and should not be reserved for only a privileged few.
 
 
Date of Forum: 27th November 2013
Expires: 27th November 2016
Name of proposer:
Rebecca Evans
 
What the idea is about:
The University parking service to provide free parking permits for disabled students who do not have a blue badge. 
 
Why have you proposed it?
The University parking system currently charges students who need to use disabled parking permits on campus. This seems unfair on these students, who need to use these passes not out of their own choice and end up having to pay for them.
 
 
Date of Forum: 27th November 2013
Expires: 27th November 2016
Name of proposer:
Charlotte Warner
 
What the idea is about:
For the Union to lobby the University to improve courses, which are under threat, through campaigns, and for LUU to sign, promote and support the current petition by UCU.
 
Why have you proposed it?
The school of healthcare produces a great amount of healthcare professionals who often after graduation work in the healthcare services in and around Leeds. The closure of such courses will therefore add a great amount of strain onto the local, critical services, not being able to meet the demands of the public and reducing the quality of care. 
 
With the NHS under strain anyway the closure of these courses would increase the national skills shortage - therefore adding more strain to the NHS. 
 
The courses are valuable for the future; they should be improved to ensure we are receiving the best training to ensure quality care for the future. 
 
 
Date of Forum: 27th November 2013
Expires: 27th November 2016
Name of proposer:
Bradley Escorcio, speaking on behalf of Verity Park
 
What the idea is about:
I would like for the meal cards (used by catered students, but, available to everyone) to work in other places other than the refectory. For example, the Salad Bar in the Union.
 
Why have you proposed it?
Particularly for catered students, it is nice to have a change from the refectory food. It is often more practical. It may reduce queuing time as the queues will be spread throughout food areas in the union as opposed to the refectory alone. It could promote a more healthy/varied diet. You would have more to choose from and are therefore more likely to choose something different each day.
 
 
Date of Forum: 10th February 2014
Expires: 10th February 2017
Name of proposer:
Joel Evans
 
What the idea is about:
The Countdown to the Games boards installed in The Edge and The Union where put as a symbol for London 2012. 
 
As part of the legacy I think we should use them to countdown to University sporting events throughout the year and major global ones. 
 
Events that could be included:
Main Varsity plus varsity events throughout the year such as Cross Country, American Football and Cricket. 
Alumni Sports Day
Christie Championships
Sochi 2014
Glasgow 2014
Tour De France - Grande Départ
Healthy Week
Sport Relief
 
Why have you proposed it?
There are lots that go on around campus that students just don't hear about so this would be a good way to promote the fantastic stuff our clubs do.
 
We also have them installed not doing much at the moment. 
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th February 2014
Expires: 13th February 2017
Name of proposer:
Nabeel Mohamed
 
What the idea is about:
I want the University to increase the maximum number of credits we can take in an academic year from 130 credits to 150 credits. 
 
Why have you proposed it?
1. It can give students the option to take a wider range of modules. They can select more of their interests. This will be particularly beneficial for students who don't have many credits left for elective modules.  
 
2. There would be no considerable financial cost incurred by the University whether a lecture hall has 65 or 75 students as long as there is spare capacity on the module. 
 
3. Several other UK universities allow their students to select over 130 credits a year including: 
 
- Warwick University (150) 
- University of Brighton (140)
- University of Birmingham (140) 
- University of Dundee (160)
 
4. It is common practice for University students across North America to at least have the option to 'overload' on credits to push themselves further academically. 
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th February 2014
Expires: 13th February 2017
Name of proposer:
Obabi Osunkiyesi 
 
Idea Title:
Should we be allowed more payment plans for tuition fees?
 
What the idea is about:
I want more tuition payment plans to be made available to students. For example, we should be allowed to pay tuition fees in more than two instalments.
 
Why have you proposed it?
If this is done, more students can pick payment plans that match their income flow effectively which would in turn ease the burden of payment on them. This would be especially useful for international students who pay relatively high fees.
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th February 2014
Expires: 13th February 2017
Name of proposer:
Alice Smart
 
What the idea is about:
In the case of any future strike days as a result of the ongoing university pay dispute, Leeds University Union will explicitly express their support for the staff on strike unless it directly conflicts with student exams or graduations.
 
While the Union will stay open to provide services for students, there will be Exec representation on the picket lines. Before any day of industrial action, the Exec will send out an email to all students explaining why staff are going on strike and why LUU is supporting the strike.
 
The Exec will work closely with campus trade unions to make sure industrial action causes as little disruption as possible to your course because we don’t believe your education should have to suffer because of this dispute.
 
Why have you proposed it?
Academic, technical and support staff at the University have had a real terms pay cut for the past four years.  Higher education cuts haven’t just affected our fees; they’ve also led to staff members being paid less.
 
The staff who keep our university running from day to day deserve to be paid fairly for the work that they do.
 
Some of the staff going on strike are students (and therefore members of LUU) themselves. E.g. postgrads who teach.
 
Strike days can often occur at short notice so it would be useful for LUU to have a clear stance (which has been informed by what students think) on our attitudes towards industrial action.
 
 
Date of Forum: 10th March 2014
Expires: 10th March 2017
Name of proposer:
Alice Smart
 
What the idea is about:
- The Union should firmly oppose the recent government decision to sell off the pre-1992 student loan book and any future plans to sell off the post-1992 student loan book which will directly affect current students when they graduate. 
- The Exec should campaign against the privatisation of the student loan book and support any students or societies who want to campaign on this issue.
 
Why have you proposed it?
- It’s completely unfair that our student loan debt is being tampered with without our permission.
- Putting student loan debt in private hands means that there is a chance that the terms and conditions on our loans could change which could mean we’d end up paying more than we signed up for.
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th March 2014
Expires: 13th March 2017
Name of proposer:
Emma Friend
 
What the idea is about:
The University's 'Policy on support for pregnant students and students with very young children' currently signposts students to Care Confidential as an external organisation which can 'assist a student in deciding whether or not to continue with a pregnancy'. Care Confidential was founded as a programme of the pro-life organisation CARE and became an independent charity in 2011. Although they are now independent, the impartiality of Care Confidential has since been investigated by Education for Choice and BBC Newsnight, who found that counselors at some centres the counseling was not impartial. Care Confidential will not explicitly state whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.
 
Why have you proposed it?
Leeds University Union has already passed policy that gives the Union a pro-choice stance on abortion. Students have therefore already shown that when they seek advice from the union, they wish to be presented with information and facts and subsequently supported whatever their decision. I think the University should adopt the same approach when giving advice, as students should be 100% confident that they are being signposted to organisations that will not attempt to influence their decision.
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th March 2014
Expires: 13th March 2017
Name of proposer:
Richard Evans
 
 
What the idea is about:
Simply to have time before the start of an exam to fill in the front page of the answer booklet(s).
 
Why have you proposed it?
An exam is supposed to test your knowledge and understanding of a subject within a certain time period. Filling out the front cover of a booklet is not testing the knowledge and understanding of the subject and therefore should not be done in exam time (currently it is done in exam time because it is not allowed before time starts). This issue is further exacerbated if you have to fill in this information for multiple answer and question booklets.
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th March 2014
Expires: 13th March 2017
Name of proposer:
Kieran Prendergast
 
What the idea is about:
We would like the Refectory to provide a variety of meals that better reflects the variety of the students that are catered to by the Refectory. 
 
Why have you proposed it?
International students often say that the Refectory doesn't have a wide range of cuisine that reflects their cultural, despite the fact that it is the catering centre for the wide range of students that live in catered accommodation on campus. We think it is important for students to feel welcomed and understood by the university and this is a simple thing to do that can make a lot of difference.
 
 
Date of Forum: 13th March 2014
Expires: 13th March 2017
Name of proposer:
Freya Govus
 
What the idea is about:
The University should make a Time to Change pledge to end the stigma surrounding mental health. To decide what to put in the pledge, the University can hold forums and meet with students (and their representatives) to see what they would like to see in the pledge.
 
Why have you proposed it?
During their time at University, many students experience mental health problems. However, due to the stigma surrounding these issues, they don't seek the help available to tackle them. This means that many students suffer, and this can affect not only their studies but their general wellbeing. The University, as a progressive institution, should be taking all the steps necessary to combat this.
 
 
 
Date of the Forum: 15th May 2014
Expires: 15th May 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Bradley Escorcio
 
What is the idea about?
As part of the new strategic plan to be endorsed by students at the Better Union Forum, we carried out some extensive research into the lives of students and held the Biggest Student Forum. Ever to let you have your say on our new vision.
For the University students said they wanted lower financial barriers, a transparent democratic relationship between the University, Union, Students and Staff, as well as easier access to online resources when away from campus.
As well as wanting students to be in control of their own Union experience it is important that the student voice is also heard by the University so you are happier, safer and healthier.
In order to achieve this change the following projects have been proposed in line with the Express Yourself research:
 
• Empowering students to lobby for change in their academic provision (i.e. course content, available course materials, etc.) with improved communications of the changes, wins and outcomes achieved by students. 
• Work in partnership with the University to create a new physical space where students can help to achieve their goals, combining careers advice and support, volunteering opportunities and enterprise activity.
• Engage with community partners and the University to provide career-related skills through initiatives such as accredited learning in citizenship and volunteering, mentoring and work experience.
• Deliver the joint strategy for Sport with the University to engage new students and improve the value students currently get from this activity.
• Empower our department societies and reps to improve ways to support and represent our taught and research students get the best out of their time at Leeds.
 
Why do you want the idea?
Every four years Leeds University Union refreshes its strategy and creates a vision to shape projects over the following four years. In November 2013 we commissioned the Biggest Piece of Research into Leeds Students. Ever. which over 4,000 students took part in. The Express Yourself research improved our understanding of students at Leeds moving us away from a simply demographic analysis to one that took a more insightful look into their attitudes and behaviours towards university life. The 25 minute questionnaire helped us form project groups around seven key areas affecting students;
• Degree and career
• Sense of belonging
• Money
• Safety
• Commercial services
• Sustainability
• Politics and democracy
 
These groups have helped facilitate our work towards a new vision for 2014-2018 and given the endorsement from students we will commission our new strategic plan – setting out how we will achieve these changes to create some great impacts for students at Leeds.
 
 
Date of Forum: 15th May 2014
Expires: 15th May 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Kieran Prendergast
 
What the idea is about:
The University to allow students to book and/or receive information about their graduation dates earlier on in the academic year.
 
Why have you proposed it?
Currently students register in May for July graduation dates. This is inconvenient for people with families who are travelling from abroad or other provisions that students need to make so students should be told earlier in the year when their graduation ceremonies are.
 
 
Date of Forum: 30th October 2014
Expires: 30th October 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Tom Dixon
 
What?
Schools and Faculties should work with School Reps to identify areas where assessment deadlines cluster and seek solutions to avoid this.
 
Why?
Deadline clustering can create unhealthy working habits which affect students quality of work and their general health. The University has a duty of care to protect the health and wellbeing of students, as well as providing them with an environment in which they can reach their potential and succeed. Currently, where deadlines cluster, this is not the case.
 
 
Date of Forum: 30th October 2014
Expires: 30th October 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Tom Dixon
 
What?
The University has spent time and money developing a lecture capture system which will be hugely helpful to students in their learning, but there are still a large number of Schools, Divisions and Lecturers who have yet to adopt the technology. These should commit to using the technology as soon as possible.
 
Why?
Lecture Capture is a brilliant learning tool which should be available to all students, and currently it isn't. Some parts of the University have high opt-out rates and  this means that students in the areas without lecture capture now have no permission to make personal recordings, which stands to disadvantage a large group of students in their learning. The current climate will disproportionately disadvantage students learning in a second language, who are notable to get  written permission to record in the same way that students with special learning needs are.
 
 
Date of the Forum: 26th November 2014
Expires: 26th November 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Nicholas Ciccone
 

What the idea is about:
As a postgraduate I would like to be able to use my surname as my @leeds.ac.uk email.

Why have you proposed it?:
I am currently undergoing a PhD at The University of Leeds. As a postgraduate researcher collaboration with academics and contacts outside of the university is an essential part of developing within academia and industry.  Giving out a nonsensical combination of letters and numbers as an email appears unprofessional. I believe it the right of anyone that has spent this long in education to be represented by their own name which is associated with the institution they are studying at.

Should The Edge be more affordable?

Date of the Forum: 26th November 2014
Expires: 26th November 2017

 

Name of proposer:
Stella Vellendi

What the idea is about:
I suggest that The Edge should be made more affordable for students not living in halls.

Why have you proposed it?:
At the moment, the membership fees are very high, up to £30.80 per month for students not living in halls. For many students, the fees are too high and thus cannot use The Edge. Especially for students that aren't already very active or committed to sport and exercising, the price can put them off and they may choose to prioritise using their money on other things. Sport and exercising need to be available and attractive for everyone as they are important to both physical and mental health of students. Making The Edge more affordable for students will increase the number of students using the facilities and thus improves student welfare.

 

Should the University provide a minimum of past or sample paper questions for exams, and assessments, and mark schemes on a school specfic basis?

Date of the Forum: 26th November 2014
Expires: 26th November 2017
 

Name of proposer:
Sophie Anna Bellin

What the idea is about:
I think the University should provide a minimum set of past paper questions (or examples if past papers are not available) for every exam. I also believe that with these past papers, mark schemes should be given (where applicable).

Why have you proposed it?:
I believe that past paper questions heavily influence how an individual revises for an exam and ultimately what grade is achieved. I also think it is unfair to not give mark schemes as people with different educational backgrounds will have different understandings of what a question is asking for. Giving mark schemes also gives transparency as to how exams are marked. For example, last year, a module leader told students that "specific terminology" was not of importance in the exam. However, on the return of exam results, the general feedback was that "the correct terminology was not used". For essay-based mark schemes, an explanation of structures expected could be possible whilst I understand that actual essays cannot be given.

Should all computer clusters have water fountains?

Date of the Forum: 26th November 2014
Expires: 26th November 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Elf Verkaria
 

What the idea is about:
I believe computer clusters should have freshwater fountains installed at the site or nearest accessible place.

Why have you proposed it?:
Many level 3 and Masters students work in computer clusters overnight who often carry large water bottles to quench their thirst. It will be much more convenient to have access to freshwater service for the same.

 
Date of campus-wide vote: 12th December 2014
Expires: 12th December 2017
 
Name of proposer:
Tom Dixon
 
What?
To be able to say that Leeds University Union believes all education should be free.
 
Why?
It's impossible to suggest that all people are born equal. Education is an equaliser. Education is the best way to ensure that whatever circumstances you're born into, you have the ability to achieve your potential. I argue that it's the role of the State to provide that opportunity for students, and it's our right as students to expect that from society. In no way should students or anyone in society have to pay for that right. Education is a public good that we should all be proud to contribute to, in the same vein as the NHS. We should take as much pride in providing education to all as a way of overcoming any inherited disadvantage as we do in providing healthcare to those who need it.
 

Should the Union endorse The UNESCO Youth statement and hold the University to account?

Date of Forum: 5th March 2015

Expires: 5th March 2018

Name of Proposer:
George Bradley

What the idea is about:
The Union will officially endorse the UNESCO ESD youth statement in partnership with the University and hold the University to account in line with their new strategy.

Why have you proposed it?:
The UNESCO ESD youth statement was drafted by a team of 50 young people from across the globe to create strategic recommendations to facilitate education for sustainable development and youth empowerment. The University of Leeds have decided to endorse this statement. As a Union we should ensure that we hold the University to account and facilitate youth leadership in sustainability through our campaigns, activities and events.


Should LUU lobby for Postgraduate Funding which is open and accessible to all?

Date of Forum: 5th Feb 2015
Expires: 5th Feb 2018

Idea Proposer:
Tina Brocklebank and Dee Kaur
 
What the idea is about:
 For current Government proposals for postgraduate funding to include those over 30.
 
Why have you proposed it?
Those over the age of 30 have as much to offer the job market as those under the age of 30 and should not be discriminated against in terms of their funding as a result.


Should Lecturers and Personal Tutors be educated on the difference between sex and gender?

Date of Forum: 5th Feb 2015
Expires: 5th Feb 2018

Name of proposer:
Skye Golding and Lily Aarons

What the idea is about:
During staff training events there should be a short, compulsory tutorial on the difference between biological sex, gender identity and gender presentation. This should include examples of when and where the uses of certain terms are appropriate, in order to be more sensitive and inclusive of students who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Why have you proposed it?:
There have been several instances in which trans* identifying students have felt marginalised and sidelined in lectures and seminars and have felt unable to speak up. Issues surrounding gender identity can be complex, but a small thing such as the correct use of terminology can make people feel much more comfortable and included.

 

Should students be given a certain amount of free printer credits determined by their degree & year?

Date of Forum: 5th Feb 2015
Expires: 5th Feb 2018

Name of proposer: Peter Phillips

What the idea is about:
I want the University to give students a certain amount of free printing credits determined by the year they are in -  (i.e. 3rd years will receive more than 2nd years, who will receive more than 1st years).
The student's school will then give them an additional amount of free credits. The amount of credits schools give will be negotiated by the respective student reps.  This means that in subjects where more printing is required (e.g. history, politics), these students will able to receive a fairer amount of free printing credits. Students would receive this allowance by semester, and this system would allow students to carry over any unused credits to the next semester. The environment is taken into consideration as the printing credit allowance is limited, so students would not be able to freely abuse the system.

Why have you proposed it?:
It is clear that with the increase use of computers and laptops as a form of note taking, essay writing and research; printing has become an essential part of University work. Therefore, it seems wrong that students have to pay to print their work, on top of the £9000 tuition fees. Having an allowance of free printing credits would encourage students to print off their work, thus further enhancing their education, plus keep student costs down. Furthermore, since students would receive a limited allowance of credits, the printing services would not be abused and thus paper would not be wasted.

Should the University have more microwaves in communal areas?

Date of Forum: 5th Feb 2015
Expires: 5th Feb 2018

Name of proposer:
Lauren Cowgill


What the idea is about:
More microwaves to be in the communal areas available across campus such as the Ziff Common Room, Lyddon Terrace Common Room, the airport lounge in the Worsley building and LUBS.

Why have you proposed it?:
Students should have the option to microwave food they have brought in themselves if they choose to do so. This is less of an option if there aren't sufficient microwaves to do so quickly, especially if students have a tight timetable. The areas mentioned above are used specifically by 1000 (approx) international students during the summer pre-sessional period and I am requesting this on behalf of these students.

Should the library send out more reminders when a book has been requested and is overdue for return?

Date of Forum: 5th Feb 2015
Expires: 5th Feb 2018

Name of proposer:
Libaan Adan

What the idea is about:
Better system for Library reminders, especially when it’s been requested back.

Why have you proposed it?:
A fine for a book that has been requested and not returned is a crazy £2.50 a day. Yet the library will only post one reminder a few days before the book is due. It's human nature to forget and I don't think it's fair to punish our forgetfulness so harshly. I am not asking to reduce the fine but for the library to be more moral and send out a reminder each and every day it is overdue. Also they need to differentiate the emails because it is easy to assume from looking at the email title that it is simply a reminder to re-new and not a requested book reminder.

Should we encourage more cycling?

Date of Forum: 5th Feb 2015
Expires: 5th Feb 2018

Name of proposer:
Benj Andrews


What the idea is about:
Sufficient secure cycle parking for engineering faculty

Why have you proposed it?:
To encourage cycling
To make cycling to university a better experience

At the moment it is hard to find a good place to park your bike. People have even started locking their bikes to trees! I think for students cycling is the most important form of transport, I won't bore you with the benefits. I’m sure you’re already aware of them. With Leeds falling behind many other UK cities in terms of cycling facilities I think the union can help increase the awareness and experience of cycling to university.

 
Date of the Forum: Thursday 7th May 2015
Expires:7th May 2018
 
Name of proposer:
Nabeel Mohamed Alhassan
 
What the idea is about:
For prices across the 13 cafes located on campus to significantly decrease (by at least 50% in some product lines) the prices they charge for food and drink that they sell to staff and students. 
 
Why have you proposed it?:
As the School Rep for Economics the dissatisfaction experienced from both staff and students over the prices charged Business School Cafe has reached critical levels. 
 
LUBS Staff Petition over the summer = 150+ staff signatures. 
LUBS Student Petition over Xmas = 300+ student signatures
 
With the cost of living that students experience rising each year - surely the University should attempt to combat this through not charging extortionate prices at the cafes it manages across campus. 
 
 
Date of the Forum: Thursday 7th May 2015
Expires: 7th May 2018
 
Name of Proposer:  Mellissa Owusu 
 
What the idea is about:
As the school rep for POLIS this year one of the main student concerns I have faced has been the lack of diversity within the curriculum. Students found academic material on reading lists have largely been written by western white males, whilst it may be true that a large amount of work that is appropriate for many subject areas is written by this demographic, there is plenty of work out there that is not. This idea suggests that the University should more critically look at what is taught and diversity should be ingrained at the heart of all academic choices. 
 
Why have you proposed it?
 
The benefits for students would be a wider and broader learning experience that is not limited to a single paradigm of thought. In an age where students pay so much to attend University, the University should be offering a curriculum that has the potential to appeal to a wider range of students as well as give students the most holistic experience of their chosen subject area.   
 
This diversity would look like both more works written by a diverse range of people and works concerning more diverse issues. This is not an argument for quotas, rather an argument that diversity and academic excellence should simultaneously drive academic choices as opposed to one over the other. 
 
 
Date of Forum: Thursday 7th May 2015
Expires: 7th May 2018
 
Name of proposer:
William Carter
 
What the idea is about:
Those who are called to compete for their country for sporting events should not be forced to forfeit an exam and be made to sit a capped re-sit. Rather, their achievements should be supported by the university and they should be able to sit the re-sit as a first attempt - so avoiding a forced cap on the marks.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
As a competitor for GB I am called to compete throughout the year, and this includes during exam times. However university policy states that this is not a reason for a first attempt due to mitigating circumstances. I won’t be the first or last athlete this effects and I believe the university should be more supportive of those who are in my position.
 
 
Date of Forum: Thursday 7th May 2015
Expires: 7th May 2018
 
Name of proposer:
Lawrence Thompson and Jessica Reed
 
What the idea is about:
Dial House is a place of sanctuary open 6pm - 2am Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Visitors can relax in a homely environment and can also have an hour of one to one support from the team of Crisis Support Workers. They transport the visitors to and from the house by taxi, to make their journey safe and comfortable. Dial House is funded by Leeds City Council and the Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
 
We would like the University to setup a Mental Health crisis centre for students in Leeds. This idea could be implemented in cooperation with Leeds Beckett and Leeds Trinity. It could be jointly funded by those entities and the relevant CCG. The point of this idea is that the University should use its convening power to get these bodies in the same room and create this Mental Health crisis centre.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
The University has recognised it has a duty of care to its students in securing Mental Health support for its students: this is a commitment the University signed up to when Robert Partridge, Director of Student Opportunity, signed the Time to Change Pledge. This duty of care is greater in the case of those students who live in Halls of Residence. It also has a duty of care to those students supporting housemates/ flatmates of someone who is experiencing Mental Health crisis. At present, there is a strategy in place for dealing with Mental Health crisis but we feel it would be enhanced by the provision of a Mental Health Place of Safety. This would create a clearer escalation of need for staff involved in the process and would reassure students that there is support available to them, even in crisis scenarios.
 
Commitment to the LUU motto of "Love your time at Leeds" doesn't mean that the University/Union should do everything for students, but it does require that we do everything we can to support vulnerable students. 
 
 
Date of Forum: Thursday 7th May 2015
Expires: 7th May 2018
 
Name of proposer:
Emma Simpson
 
What the idea is about:
I am asking the University of Leeds to join the Workers Right Consortium, an independent monitoring body ran by workers and activists in the Global South to improve working conditions in the garments industry. An affiliate of the WRC is beholden to strict ethical standards regarding where they source their garments from, ensuring that workers producing garments are paid a fair wage, work in comfortable conditions and do not have to be subjugated to the cruel working environments of sweatshops. 
 
Why have you proposed it?:
The University has recently become an affiliate to Electronics Watch, a similar group working to protect workers in the electronics industry. If the University is willing to protect and respect workers' rights in these factories, I believe they should apply the same good practice to labourers in the garments industry. The University commissions and sells huge numbers of garments to students every year. As such a big part of the institution's retail business, the impact the University would have by choosing to affiliate to the WRC would be enormous. We can choose to have a positive impact, and say no to sweatshop production. 
 
 
Date of Forum: Thursday 7th May 2015
Expires: 7th May 2018
 
Name of proposer:
Lawrence Thompson and Hannah Crane
 
What the idea is about:
The main income for Leeds University Union is the block grant given annually from the University of Leeds. This is because the University values the development offered by the Activities Department to students who lead societies. The idea is that LUU should lobby the University to increase funding for clubs and socs, as part of their duty of care to students. This would be a sound investment: many students say they learnt the most and developed many of their skills through LUU. The only disappointment is that this experience is not available to more students. The Activities Department would have to prove its working as efficiently as it could and would have to prove that it is benefitting students.
 
This idea is about asking LUU to lobby the University to invest in the personal development of its students. We believe they will be willing to fund this increase because it dramatically increases the employability and attractiveness of students leaving this university.
 
Why have you proposed it?:
There is one example which demonstrates this best. There is currently one DevCo for Welfare, General Interest, Political Campaigning, Faith and Culture: over 110 societies. To give each of them one hour meeting a fortnight during a single semester would be over six hundred working hours. As there are only 60 working days in a semester this would be physically impossible. Even if we were to take out any particular category, i.e. the 40 General Interest societies or the 9 Welfare societies, it fails to meaningfully impact on the practicality of having a basic standard of development.
 
We have proposed this idea as we believe that the Activities Department, as it currently stands and is forecasted over the next year, does not have sufficient staffing levels to deliver a standard of development consistent with minimum contact time and minimum standards. Therefore this needs to change.
 
Date of forum: 29th October 2015
Expires: 29th October 2018
 

What the idea is about:

Students in catered accommodation pay for food and rent all together. Part of the money goes to your Refresh Card which you use to buy food. That card has ten pounds credit a day which you cannot carry over to the next day. However, we almost never spend the maximum amount, so we are losing money every day! It is already paid but we are not going to use it so, why not give it to people who really need it? I propose that LUU should lobby the University to give this money to charities and food banks in the local community.

 

Why have you proposed it?

I want to do this because I feel so lucky for being able to study higher education and this is a chance to give back and help people that unfortunately are not as privileged as I am. The university made a bigger profit than Tesco last year, so they can afford to give the money to a good cause.

Should Leeds University provide compost/food waste bins as standard?

Date of forum: 29th October 2015

Expires: 29th October 2018

Idea proposer: Joshua Alston

What the idea is about:

This motion would require LUU to lobby the University to make compost and food waste bins a standard element of the bins provided in student halls of residence. Further, there would be larger and more numerous compost and food waste bins provided on campus.

Why have you proposed it?

At the moment the University fails to provide for the recycling of food waste on campus, with these bins only being available upon request. To promote recycling it is important that they exist as standard in every hall, as people are more likely to take easily accessible actions. Within the context of the campus many people are not aware of the locations of the food waste bins, and continue to use the more numerous  and accessible general waste bins.

Should the Union take a stance against the recent changes to Junior Doctor contracts?

Date of forum: 29th October 2015

Expires: 29th October 2018

Idea proposer: Nick Spencer

What the idea is about:

In September the government decided to impose new junior doctor contracts from August 2016, despite months of negotiations with the British Medical Association – the Union for doctors – who condemned the majority of the changes due to risk to patient and doctor safety.

This policy would mandate the Union to oppose and condemn the contract changes facing current and future junior doctors from August 2016.

I would like to see the Union take a stance against these changes so that they can represent students, when they can’t necessarily represent themselves. I want to see LUU help to raise awareness of these changes amongst the student body, and illustrate how it will affect students as well as lobby the University to represent their students.

 

Why have you proposed it?

·         The term ‘junior doctor’ describes almost every UK doctor that isn’t a consultant.

·         The new contract changes redefine ‘sociable hours’ to 7am-10pm Monday-Saturday. This means that working at 9pm on a Saturday will be paid the same as 9am on a Monday. It also removes vital safeguards that stop employers over-working doctors.

·         Many doctors are also facing a 15-40% pay-cut, depending on their role. Although there is a 15% increase in ‘base rate’, all banding of jobs is being scrapped. This is the system that allows doctors’ pay to be reflected in the responsibilities they take and the amount of anti-social hours they are required to work.

·         The new contracts are a huge disadvantage for women who take maternity leave, those needing breaks in their training or those spending time in academic medicine. These people no longer have any pay protection and start at the bottom of the pay-scale.

·         Contracts could be incredibly damaging for specialities such as emergency medicine, psychiatry and general practice, who are already under incredible strain. GPs alone are facing a 30% cut in their pay.

For many medical students, this is a looming prospect. Current 5th year students become junior doctors in 10 months and will have no option but to enter these contracts. However, as students, we can’t strike. Campaigning is very difficult due to our schedules and our professional restrictions in which we are bound the General Medical Council. Anything we say in the media could have huge negative implications on our careers, the medical school and the profession itself.

Should the University use its profits to reduce the impact of the removal of DSA on students?

Date of forum: 29th October 2015

Policy expires: 29th October 2016

Proposed by: Gemma Turner

What the idea is about:

LUU should lobby the university to take responsibility to support disabled students. At the moment the government have massively cut DSA funds to support disabled students and expect the university to replace these funds. With these changes LUU should lobby the university to make sure students’ needs are at the heart of decision making and do not cut back on support for disabled students.

Why have you proposed it?:

Disabled students should not have to pay more financially to experience the exact same degree as their peers. DSA cuts will limit funding to support students with technology, software, accommodation and even getting around campus. With the University earning more than the supermarket Tesco last year we should make sure they use their money to ensure disabled students can access the education they want. 

Should LUU work with the University to provide consent classes during Freshers week?

Date of forum: 25th November 2015

Expires: 25th November 2018

Proposed by: Emma Healey, Anja Komatar, Eleanor Price

What the idea is about:

Consent classes should be part of the induction week timetable for new students along with library inductions and personal tutor meetings etc. These should make clear what consent is and what it is not and be given by trained consent workshop leaders. This would bring us in line with many other universities.

Why have you proposed it?:

A recent survey by The Tab found that 38% of female Leeds university students had experienced sexual assault. This is unacceptable and both the union and the university ought to be taking a stance to ensure that our students can feel safe at university.

Should we introduce an online booksale to reduce the cost of buying textbooks?

Date of forum: 25th November 2015

Expires: 25th November 2018

Idea proposer: Samuel Ross

What the idea is about:

An online booksale system for students to buy and sell textbooks necessary for their degree. The system would either be run centrally through a university payment method or provide students the opportunity to buy/sell directly to each other, allowing second hand books to be bought at a fraction of the cost of buying brand new.

Why have you proposed it?

The cost of textbooks is high - especially with multiple modules per academic year, and often the library is unable to provide enough copies for the number of students in need of specific course texts. Even with student grants, the cost of buying new textbooks is often excessive. By introducing this booksale system, all students would have access to the course texts they need at prices they can afford. This also allows students to free up space by selling their unneeded textbooks and make back money on their original purchase. 

Should there be more and functioning water fountains?

Date of forum: 25th November 2015

Expires: 25th November 2018

Idea proposer: Isaac Lichtenstein

What the idea is about:

I want there to be more water fountains around campus and those that are already there to work better.

Why have you proposed it?

Because I am often thirsty after attending an intellectually stimulating lecture / seminar.

Seriously though, often I find myself on campus with my own water bottle (as there is no bottled water on campus - which I believe to be great!) and really want to fill it up. I'd much rather fill it up at a water fountain than in the toilet.

Also I reckon more people would then drink water, bring their own bottles and avoid soft drinks.

Should the union lobby the university to abolish all in course mandatory charges?

Date of forum: 4th Februrary 2016

Expires: 4th Februrary 2019

Idea proposer: Nathan Blott

What the idea is about:

Some departments in the university, including my own, require student to pay for materials that are essential to progress the year. I propose the union should lobby the university to abolish these charges.

Why have you proposed it?

Most students at this university are already paying in excess of £9000 P.A in tuition fees. To add extra charges for any equipment, whilst threatening restricted access to core teaching without it, is both unethical and unfair.

Should local, student led & LUU ventures be given priority in bids for commercial spaces on campus?

Date of forum: 4th Februrary 2016

Expires: 4th Februrary 2019

Idea proposer: Jon Clark

What the idea is about:

I believe that every effort should be made to ensure that any commercial space on campus sees the majority of income generated put back into the university and the students' union, and with this in mind, would propose that local, student led and/or LUU ventures be given priority during bidding processes for new and existing commercial spaces on campus.

Why have you proposed it?:

The inclusion of a Cafe Nero in the recently opened Laidlaw Library is a cause for concern.

The international coffee giant was the winner in a bidding process which included Leeds RAG (who were forced to drop their bid), and means Nero have now opened a branch opposite a number of local, independent coffee shops and cafes.

In addition, both the Waterside Cafe (Roger Stevens) and Parkinson Court Cafe sell and distribute Costa coffee. This means that the money you spend there leaves our local economy and funds large multinationals, as opposed to the campus we call home.

Recently, a space vacated by Starbucks has been taken over by LUU under the name Balcony, and this means that every time you spend there, the income is going to support the clubs & societies, support services, club nights and gigs that LUU provides.

It seems only right that money spent by us on campus (in addition to our already considerable fees) stays on campus and in our local economy, benefiting us as opposed to already successful multinationals.

Should the seating around Balcony have proper plugs?

Date of forum: 3rd March 2016

Expires: 3rd March 2019

Idea proposer: Melz & Toke

What the idea is about:

The space is great. The café is great. The people are great. But in this day and age, it is really hard to get by without plugs. Let’s ask the University to give us plugs at every table by the Balcony.

Why have you proposed it?:

There is a constant need for seating appropriate for study. There is probably no student who has not been desperately looking for a place to study. We could get dozens and dozens of seats ready for use if they had proper access to plugs.

Should there be better language support for international students?

Date of forum: 3rd March 2016

Expires: 3rd March 2019

Idea proposer: Thiago Guimaraes

What the idea is about:

Structured language courses for international students

Why have you proposed it?:

English skills are essential for good academic achievements. Currently, the Language Centre offers high-demanded short workshops only for some students (those who score less than 65% at a compulsory written test for newcomers). Many international students need and want to continue to learn English on regular basis and in a structured way.

Should the University give all staff mandatory face-to-face training around Equality and Diversity?

Date of forum: 3rd March 2016

Expires: 3rd March 2019

Idea proposer: Melissa Owusu

What the idea is about:

The University should give all staff mandatory face-to-face training in equality, diversity, and liberation

Why have you proposed it?:

The student population is getting ever more diverse, more and more students define as, for instance, a gender identity that wasn't even in the language 20 years ago. So as our student populations grows ever more diverse staff need to be made aware and be sensitive to these societal shifts. Many students across campus deal with racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism and many other forms of discrimination and staff should be taught how to deal with such incidents and ensure they are not party to any form of discrimination.

Should the Union run a 3 year Cost of Living campaign?

Date of Forum: 3rd May 2016

Expires: 3rd May 2019

Idea Proposer: Toke Dahler

What the idea is about:

I want the Union to prioritise the cost of living for students. It is the single biggest concern students have – and the financial pressure is only going to get worse with the scrapping of maintenance grants and increased living costs. I want the Union to consistently identify and campaign on areas where students can save money. This idea would allow that.

Why have you proposed it?:

A lot of areas can be cheaper for students. For Better University, cost of sport, hidden course costs, resit fees and printing are current priorities. In Leeds, costs of housing and transport are massive. And the Union itself can be supportive with lobbying, student co-ops and a range of other areas.

Should LUU attempt to save NHS bursaries?

Date of Forum: 3rd May 2016

Expires: 3rd May 2019

Idea Proposer: Melissa Owusu & Freya Govus

What the idea is about:

Lobby the Government, University and MPs to not scrap the NHS bursaries and to recognise that these students are undertaking unpaid work for up to half of their course which should be rewarded with a wage or bursary. To support all students in any campaigning around this issue.

Why have you proposed it?:

Currently the bursary means these students are paid roughly £3 for each hour worked during clinical placement. This does not cover living costs, but it does offer some support. NHS courses find some of the highest rates of mature students (many with dependants) and students from widening participation backgrounds, the removal of the bursaries puts this in serious trouble. Students on these courses undertake many other costs such as DBS checks, placement travel, uniforms and Occ. Health referrals and the government has made it unclear who will now foot the bill for this.

These courses require up to 45 weeks of participation in a year, leaving hardly any time for part-time paid work to top-up income.

This legislation has caused over 155,000 people have signed a petition and over 5,000 people marched through London on 9th January against this decision.

The majority of other courses with £9k fees paid by student loans have changed incrementally since 1998 – this change would see nursing, midwifery, social work and allied health professional courses put through this change in one year.

Should the University cover the cost of re-sits?

Date of Forum: 3rd May 2016

Expires: 3rd May 2019

Idea Proposer: Melissa Owusu

What the idea is about:

I believe the University should not charge individual students for the cost of their re-sits

Why have you proposed it?:

Re-sit fees are one of those extra course costs that has not been reviewed since the cost of University (£9k per year) was shifted from the government onto individual students. I think we can all, hopefully, agree that nobody wants to re-sit an exam, and the current price plan at Leeds exceeds most Universities. I fundamentally believe that finance should not be a barrier to progression at University and the added cost of re-sits adversely affects some students in a way that it doesn’t for others.

The University will only allow students to have one re-sit as of next academic year, this single re-sit should be absorbed by the University so the ability to re-sit does not ever come down to a student’s individual ability to fund the re-sit up front. Further, even if the re-sit was granted without payment upfront, no student should have to have the weight of paying money to the University in order to enrol on their next year of study, as the constant calls for such a debt to be repaid can lead to severe anxiety. Essentially let’s just abolish re-sit fees!!

 

Date of Forum: 27th October 2016

Expires: 27th October 2019

Idea Proposer: Jamie Ali

 

Idea Title:

 

Should the University of Leeds integrate voter registration with the online enrolment process?

 

What the idea is about:

 

I propose that we lobby the university to adopt a similar voter registration system as they have at the University of Sheffield. This system, with the support of Sheffield City Council, has been very successful. It has meant that electoral registration is integrated with the University’s online student enrolment system. This made the electoral registration process integral and requiring an active decision rather than simply linking students on to the gov.uk registration portal. The Sheffield model led to 64% of students registering to vote, which is substantially higher than the number of students who are registered here in Leeds.

 

Why have you proposed it?:

 

LUU itself already puts great effort and resource into registering students to vote at election time, but the number of Leeds students registered to vote remains stubbornly low. Following a change in the law at the end of 2015, voters must now register individually, meaning that Universities can no longer register students en masse. Integrating individual voter registration with the university enrolment process means that the university can take advantage of the institution’s ability to reach every single student at the University of Leeds.

 

As we have seen with changes to tuition fees and student grants over the last few years as well as in the recent referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, when students don't vote (or, perhaps even worse, can't vote!) bad things happen to them. So, we need to do something about this.

 

Date of Forum: 27th October 2016

Expires: 27th October 2019

Idea Proposer: Martha McGuinness

 

Idea Title:

 

Should the union lobby the University to provide more mental health support?

 

What the idea is about:

 

More than 3 counselling sessions available at a time to students and a follow up phone call/email.

 

Why have you proposed it?:

 

Three counselling sessions are offered to students before they go on the waiting list again, but if someone is vulnerable this can be dangerous to their health. The follow up call or email, whilst time consuming, would be beneficial to ensure students safety and that is far more important than time or money.

 

Date of Forum: 27th October 2016

Expires: 27th October 2019

Idea Proposer: Adriana de las Cuevas Salgado

 

Idea Title:

 

Should the university offer free foreign language courses for all?

 

What the idea is about:

 

University is about creating bright people and bright futures. It is a place for knowledge; the perfect place to grow academically but also as human beings, therefore knowledge should not be restricted to whoever can afford it.

In this university, unless you can afford to pay for the extra module classes, your only option is to take them as discovery modules. This way you have to drop one of the modules related to your degree; which is what you chose to study in the first place. Nowadays, languages are essential and their learning should be encouraged for all.

Languages empower people and open their mind to different cultures. In the globalized world we live in today they are a key element for success and for a better understanding of the world. They open many opportunities in your own country but they also expand your professional reach.

Other universities already offer this possibility in Leeds. For example Beckett University offers them to its students but there are many others around the UK who also think this way. Let´s make it happen here!

 

Why have you proposed it?:

 

I want to make this happen because it would be beneficial for everyone.

It would make University of Leeds students better candidates for future opportunities, but it would also increase the interest in other cultures.  Therefore, implementing free foreign language courses in the university would help the multi culturalism of the university. It would contribute to a better understanding of different cultures from the students, helping foreign students to integrate better.

 

Date of Forum: 27th October 2016

Expires: 27th October 2019

Idea Proposer: Melissa Owusu

 

Idea Title: Should LUU lobby against the changes to Higher Education?

 

What the idea is about:

 

The government have proposed a number of changes to UK higher education through the Higher Education Bill. These changes all culminate in the marketization of the Higher Education system as opposed to a system that is publically funded and driven only by academic curiosity - not money. These changes include the ability for institutions to raise tuition fees, it gives an independent body (Office for Students) the ability to open and close Universities more easily and assumes teaching quality can be quantified by a collection of vague metrics.

More information can be found here:

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/articles/higher-education-bill-mps-debate-huge-shake-ups-to-the-sector

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/resources/tef-briefing-august-2015

This would take the form of LUU lobbying the Vice Chancellor & University.

Why have you proposed it?:

 

As education should be a public good and not driven solely by the competition of the market – Universities should not be raising fees any further and we need to put pressure on the government to continue funding higher education. Education should be open to all and the recent proposals are not conducive of this.

 

Date of Forum: 27th October 2016

Expires: 27th October 2019

Idea Proposer: Nathan Blott

 

Idea Title:

 

Should the union support students in opposing the new online check in system?

 

What the idea is about:

 

For the union to campaign against the new check - in system and to support those students who choose to boycott it.

 

Why have you proposed it?:

 

This year the university has enacted a new policy whereby students must check into lectures. they must do this by their phone using location specific bluetooth beacons or they must visit a cluster and sign in every day to allow them to manually do this.

The new check in system undermines the opportunities and experiences that set university apart from school and college. University is a place where people come to learn because they want to. Where they should be able to explore their own learning styles and access resources in a way that supports their personal learning style. This system - imposed in the greater context of new stricter rules for international students - is draconian and infantalises the university community.

Furthermore this system unfairly impacts students with learning difficulties. Speaking as a student with learning difficulties lecture catch up has allowed me to access material in a way that allows    me the extra time i can sometimes require. From speaking with others i know i am not alone in feeling that often the recordings are more accessible than the lectures themselves. With this new system we are forced to attend the live lectures which are often too fast.

 

Date of Forum: 23rd November 2016

Expires: 23rd November 2019

Name of proposer:

Paige Kesemeyer

Idea Title:

Should the Union lobby the University to provide equal opportunities in module choice for parents and carers?

What the idea is about:

This idea would see the University providing more flexible and balanced timetables, exam dates, and allow for greater representation for parents and carers attending the University. 

Why have you proposed it?:

I feel as though as a parent I was restricted as to what degree course I could choose to progress onto. The past year I have studied BA social Science foundation year, meaning my first year was only 3 days’ contact between the hours of 10am – 1pm this was easily accessible for parents and careers alike. Schools and childcare options are more accessible at these times and finding care for students with care responsibilities were more accessible.

However, during exams our last exam of the year was set in the June school holidays, which could have easily effected a student’s chance of attending and finding alternative care, putting them at a disadvantage for revision compared to other students without caring responsibilities. I viewed the timetables online for next years modules. I needed to enrol on the courses that fitted with my caring responsibilities before they got fully booked up. This means I was deciding my future and my course based on what I could attend and what was more accessible for me, not what I was capable of or what I enjoy doing. I couldn’t choose what I wanted to do as I couldn’t find care or support for a 9am lecture or a 5pm finish. My child is four years old and attending a primary school from 9am – 3pm in Sheffield. I commute as I cannot just leave the family home due to my child's requirements due to his disability.  

I am a single parent/career and he relies solely on me which again got me thinking: How do other parents and careers feel about this? Do they feel the same? And do they also let their education suffer or push themselves more than they should to gain an education because of the same reasons? For me this is not acceptable. Why are parents and careers not given a thought when looking for education choices to better their lives and the lives of the people they have responsibility for?

 

Date of Forum: 23rd November 2016

Expires: 23rd November 2019

Name of proposer:

Polly Galis

Idea Title:

Should LUU work with the University to create individual study spaces for postgraduate researchers

What the idea is about:

There is a general consensus amongst Postgraduate Researchers within the School of Languages, Cultures & Societies (LCS PG(R)s), that study and social spaces are inadequate and that LCS PGRs are undervalued and underrepresented, as proved by a recent student-led survey. We feel that the discontent in our school constitutes an example of the unfair treatment received by PGRs across the University, and we are appealing to the LUU and University body to create new study spaces in all schools and to ensure a broader recognition of postgraduate researchers’ contribution to academia.

Why have you proposed it?:

Our survey showed that the majority of students found the quality of facilities to be unsatisfactory, and the majority are neither likely nor unlikely to recommend the LCS to prospective students based on their appraisal of the facilities. The reputation and development of the University is thus at stake as a result of this problem.

The majority of participants were also international students. This adds to their level of dissatisfaction given that they pay higher fees, often receive funding from external national bodies, and have different expectations to UK students, and this also impairs the University’s image on a global scale. 100% of participants were also full-time students who work on campus during weekends and holidays, which indicates that most PGRs need a suitable work-space at all times throughout the year.

The new spaces dedicated to PGRs in Edward Boyle and Botany House are not adequate for PGRs since there is insufficient space for storage, personal study and for school-specific research activities and general sense of community.

In light of these findings, we believe new and improved study spaces would improve the University’s image and PGR activity and development in every school. We also believe these efforts will reflect PGRs position as valuable members of the academic community.

 

Date of Forum: 23rd November 2016

Expires: 23rd November 2019

Name of proposer:

Daniel Murgatroyd

Idea Title:

Should the University extend the use of @leeds,ac,uk email addresses for use longer after graduation

What the idea is about:

I would like for the university to extend personal use of each students leeds university email address for longer after graduation.

Why have you proposed it?:

Many students use their university email addresses for important applications to postgrad positions, Phd applications and general important logins which are often cut off halfway through. The university currently cuts off access to the email address after graduation which makes it difficult to change the registered address from the university email. Paying £9,000 per year in university fees should at least cover an email inbox linked to the university. 

 

Idea Title: Could some of the computer clusters be free from lectures and workshops?

Forum date: 9th February 2017

Expires: 9th February 2020

Proposed by: Beatriz dos Reis

What the idea is about:

The idea would be to have some of the 24-hour computer clusters free from booking day and night so everyone could have access to a computer and also not to have its work interrupted continuously.

Why have you proposed it?

Most of the computer clusters can be booked for lectures and workshops. During these times the computers cannot be used by students who do not belong to the module and the students who are already working in the clusters are forced to leave. Some clusters like in the Worsley building are free from booking but not all students have access to them. At the same time, the computers provided in the libraries are not enough for the thousands of students that need Uni computers to work. This idea would provide rooms to students that need to work and study without being continuously interrupted and having to search for a free computer for hours.

 

Idea Title: Should LUU lobby the university to ensure that all buildings have at least one gender neutral toilet

Forum date: 9th February 2017

Expires: 9th February 2020

Proposed by: Emma Healey

What the idea is about:

The University ought to have gender neutral toilets in every building - as access to a toilet is a basic right and many students are currently having to misgender themselves or walk a much further distance to have access to a toilet. The University should ensure that gender neutral toilets are included in the plans of every new build or upgrade, as well as converting current single-stall toilets to gender neutral.

Why have you proposed it?:

This has been done at lots of other universities and is a really important issue. It's a small change that they can make that can have a really big impact - whilst they are upgrading the campus, we must also ensure that it is made to work for our students.

 

Idea Title: Should PhD students be allowed to park at the University?

Forum date: 9th March 2017

Expires: 9th March 2020

Name of proposer: Alison Telford

What the idea is about?

I believe PhD students have the right to be able to park our cars at the University as we are treated in most ways like staff. However in this case, it is not an available option for us. Therefore I want PhD students to be offered the chance to buy the "day passes" that are currently being offered to staff.

Why have you proposed it?

Most PhD students including myself are involved in teaching activities as well as living further than 6 miles away from campus. This means that it becomes incredibly time consuming and unreliable to get to the University for specific times. For example, it takes me well over an hour to get into University whereas it would only take me half an hour (counting traffic) to get into Uni if I was to drive. Not only this but I have encountered many train reliability issues when it comes to getting into University for 9am, which is not good when we have teaching responsibilities for that time.

 

Idea Title: Should LUU support postgraduate teaching assistants to receive fair pay for the work they do?

Forum date: 9th March 2017

Expires: 9th March 2020

Proposed by: Ed Berry

What the idea is about:

We would like the Union to support postgraduate researchers in seeking changes to University of Leeds policy for postgraduates who teach. This would be aimed at achieving a more accurate reflection of the amount of time needed to plan teaching activity, offer ongoing support to students, and conscientiously mark essays/reports in the teaching contracts offered to postgraduate researchers who teach. Currently most postgraduate teaching assistant contracts vastly underestimate the actual time needed to undertake the work. It would also aim to achieve greater parity between schools and faculties on what constitutes, say, an hour’s work. For example, there are currently large differences between schools in the amount of time postgraduate teaching assistants are allocated to mark undergraduate work.

The current code of practice (linked below) was drawn up in 2014 with the understanding that it would be reviewed annually. This review is now overdue and offers an opportunity to improve these conditions and ensure that schools and faculties across campus are adhering to these policies in their recruitment and appointment of PGRs to teaching positions. While the code of practice includes guidelines on how much PGRs should be paid for an hour’s work, it does not currently include guidelines on how schools should calculate what this constitutes.

http://ses.leeds.ac.uk/info/22149/a-z_of_policies_and_key_documents/718/postgraduate_research_students_engaged_in_teaching

Why have you proposed it?

Securing changes to University policy would benefit both postgraduates and undergraduates, as well as the University more generally. Currently many postgraduates are forced to work for free, exceeding their contracted hours, just to make sure undergraduates receive the quality of teaching and feedback they deserve. There are a number of particular issues that would improve the experience of all students involved on both sides of this concern:

  • Affording postgraduates more time to mark undergraduate work would result in more thorough and useful feedback. Allowing for more preparation time would mean that seminars would be of higher quality for undergraduates, while also giving postgraduates the time and space to develop their professional skills in these areas.
  • Being a postgraduate teaching assistant can be a rewarding job that gives the postgraduate student vital experience for an academic career. This should be an opportunity for everyone, not just those that can afford to work for ‘free’.
  • Improving the teaching contracts of postgraduates would also allow them to balance teaching with their research, benefitting them in particular and the University’s research output in general. This would likely improve 3-year completion rates in schools where postgraduates have unrealistic teaching contracts, reducing the emotional and financial hardship postgraduates face when having to complete their qualification without the support of funding.

 

Idea title: The University of Leeds should only use contractors who pay their employees the Real Living Wage.

Forum date: 9th March 2017

Expires: 9th March 2020

Name of proposer: Kitty Ottmann

What do you want?

We would like the University of Leeds to ensure they use contractors who pay their employees the ‘Real Living Wage’. Currently the University commission outside organisations who do not pay their staff such as cleaners or catering suppliers the Real Living wage of £8.45 an hour.  Whilst we accept the University is currently tied into contracts with these organisations we request that when the contracts come up for renewal they seek to commission an organisation who respect their employees by paying them the Real Living wage. By employing organisations who do not adhere to the employees’ rights, the University is inadvertently supporting this unethical practice.

Why do you want it?

Recent research published by Oxfam demonstrates the increasing inequality levels in the UK and the growing disparities in wealth. One way Oxfam looks at tackling these inequalities is by focusing on fairer wage systems which is something the University ought to support and show a greater commitment towards. Existing and prospective students are often attracted to Leeds University due to its progressive politics and open minded ethos. Making a stand on this issue and being one of the first Russel group University’s to do so would send a clear message regarding the University’s commitment to its staff and students, something to be proud of.

 Everyone irrespective of their profession is entitled to a fair wage. Companies employing their staff on less than the Real Living Wage is exploitative and something the University should not be supporting. Whilst it is acknowledged that budgets for all institutions are increasingly tight, attempting to make savings by paying staff below the minimum wage is shameful.  Although the University is not directly responsible for the wage rate, by knowingly employing contractors paying below the Living wage is colluding with this practice. Paying below the Living Wage to staff is indefensible particularly given the high salary offered to senior positions such as the University Vice Chancellor. University of Leeds’s commitment to numerous projects within the community as well as the more general politics of the University should not be marred by the unjust practice of underpaying their staff.

 

Idea Title: LUU should lobby the University to provide more spaces for students of faith.

Forum date: 9th March 2017

Expires: 9th March 2020

Proposed by: Taiwo Ogunyinka

What the idea is about?

The University should provide more bespoke spaces for students to practice their faith and worship.

Why have you proposed it?

Currently, as a Muslim student, the only permanent spaces where I can worship are the Green Room in the Conference Auditorium and Cemetery Lodge. Both of these spaces are right on the edges of campus. This makes them current inaccessible for Muslim students who have to pray regularly and may have to travel across campus each time. This means Muslim students currently cannot effectively worship on campus. This has led to the ISOC committee having to hold Friday prayers 3 times just so every student can attend. Due to the spaces being so far apart and not large enough.

With more spaces, as well as larger ones, Muslim students will be better supported by the University.

Moreover, this sentiment naturally extends to students of all faiths and there is much more the University can do to accommodate students of faith. The opportunity to do this is now as the University is in the process of revamping and many of its facilities and building entirely new ones too. 

 

 

Back to top