Rep Council, January 2023

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The second Rep Council for 2022/23 was held on January 25th.

Actions from Previous Meeting

Timetabling issues raised in the previous meeting were discussed at the Officers’ Liaison meetings with University professional services staff, where a formal system was proposed to account for absences due to extracurricular activities. The related requests for a Student Charter review and for clarity on on-campus teaching requirements are currently with the Students’ Union’s senior leadership team.

Following news of a second round of strikes, Len met with UCU a few hours before the meeting to confirm that no assessment boycott is currently planned; the council was happy to maintain its position of support unless this changes.

The university has committed to providing gender-neutral bathrooms in all new buildings, but was resistant to providing them in existing spaces – Len is looking into the reasoning behind this, and whether the Union can proceed to do so in its own spaces.

Officer and Trustee Updates

The Officer team provided updates on progress through their manifesto – as well as the usual indicators on their pages at, these updates can now also be viewed through the Rep Council page at As the Trustee Board had met too recently for its update to be provided, that will be circulated following the meeting. Board minutes, as always, can be found at

Better Staffs Updates

This was followed by an update from the Better London and Better Staffs Forums that had been held earlier in the month. Efforts in Stoke focused on the cost of living crisis, identifying where students are most impacted and recommending a battery of mitigating measures which were ratified in full.

The Better London Forum, which was this time split into three separate sessions, continues to identify organisation and management concerns that the Officers and Site Rep continue to fold into their work.

Discussion Items

The Engagement Team delivered an update on academic societies, announcing that academic representatives will be offered free membership of the relevant academic society, and that academic societies will be encouraged and supported to engage with their representatives.

Department Reps across Health, Science and Wellbeing reported hearing concerns around Learning Support Statements, particularly with regards to upcoming examinations. Len had already contacted Jo Blaiklock, Head of Inclusion & Wellbeing, who ensured students with known disabilities but no LSS in place were contacted about exam support. Adjacent to this, the Voice Team were able to provide confirmation that the measures identified LSSs should not be refused without good cause, and that course staff should work with the Student Inclusion team to find an alternative wherever possible.

Actions going forward:

The session resulted in the following actions, to be included in updates for the council’s next session in March 2023:

  • Len to provide an update on the UCU strikes for social media and newsletter
  • Officers to create and circulate a briefing and action plan for potential strike escalation
  • Len to request an estimated cost for making bathrooms in legacy buildings gender-neutral
  • Len to explore the replacement of gendered bathroom signs in the Sisulu building with Union HR
  • Hannah to liaise with venue staff to ensure the Verve bathroom remains accessible during club nights
  • Hayden to follow up on offered harm reduction contacts
  • Hayden to chase a response from Estates re: failing lights on the route to Clarice Cliff
  • Choto to encourage varsity teams’ adoption of rainbow laces and extend the visibility of the campaign beyond varsity
  • Len to raise the dismantling of the Digital Kiln at Liaison
  • Hayden to work with Harley Street to explore a solution to requests for GP appointments being made at Coalport
  • Choto to circulate Fair Play Varsity Pledge to Rep Council
  • Hannah to circulate brief update/summary of Trustee Board Strategic Process Review to Rep Council
  • Hannah to clarify, particularly for Stafford reps, which campuses will be affected by proposed car parking changes
  • Len to share power chair feedback with Marketing
  • Hannah to nudge Vice Chancellor regarding Disabled Students’ Network postcards
  • Hannah to share info on VAWG mens’ focus group
  • Hayden to share details of Student Village consultation

A detailed list of all actions arising from this year's Rep Council and Better Staffs meetings can be viewed at