Better Staffs Forum | November 2020

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Better Staffs Forums are any student's chance to have their Big Ideas shared, discussed and actioned to create change! Your Union will then take those actions forward to help change the Union, University and even the world. If you want to suggest a 'Big Idea', you can add it to our Big Ideas tool, or just come along for the discussion.

Your Big Ideas: Discussed

Idea 1: Trans Specific Representation on The Students' Representative Council. Everyone present agreed that Trans representation, like the representation of all minorities, is important to ensure everyone's voice is heard equitably. Students at the Forum felt this way important, but noted that as a decision that affects another important part of The Union's governance, the decision should probably be up to Rep Council itself. You can learn more about what Rep Council is, who's on it and what it does in our bye laws.

Idea 2: Mass Testing at the Stoke Campus. Between this idea being submitted and the forum taking place, the government announced their plans for a "Student Travel Window", which involves mass lateral testing at campuses across the country. Noting that whilst face to face sessions are happening on campus covid-safe measures and the ability to access test easily are an important reassurance for students, those present also discussed the logistical challenges of University's having to coordinate lateral testing en-masse themselves with no resources provided up-front as a big barrier. With other University cities also having higher cases that Stoke on Trent, the forum agreed that Staffs being selected by the government as a test site could be unlikely.

Idea 3: Subsidised Funding for Sports Memberships. Noting the varied costs of different sports memberships at Staffs (from £15-£60 per year), the students at the forum agreed on the social, physical and mental health benefits of participating in sport. As part of his manifesto when elected, President Connor Bayliss sought input on how much of a priority this idea should be as we look forward out of the current national lockdown.

Idea 4: University Transparency on Contractual Arrangements. Citing examples that have previously caused frustrating experiences for students (vending machines, Circuit Laundry), students discussed how greater transparency of the University's arrangements with third parties, and how they shape the student experience, would benefit students' understanding and appreciation of accessing certain services and resources.

Your Big Ideas: What's Next?

Rep Council Membership: This idea will be passed to the next Rep Council meeting for discussion and decision by that group of elected student representatives.

Mass Testing: The Officer Team committed to a discussion with University Senior Leadership around the availability of testing on site or locally, even if mass testing isn't feasible.

Sports Costs: With no confirmation on when (or if) fixtures are to resume, and with doubt over when sport can restart following lockdown, The Officer Team are to provide an update via the website and social media once any new information comes to light - e.g. an announcement from BUCS.

Transparency: The Officer Team committed to direct questions around transparency on University contracts that create obligations for students appropriately, most likely at Partnerships Committee. E.g. "How does this affect students and how will they be informed?"

Keep an eye out on our social media for further updates from the Officer Team, their progress with the above actions and the next date for a Better Staffs Forum - hopefully we'll see you there!


Have you got something to say about our Better Staffs Forum or the action the Students' Union will be taking? 

Share your views with us by emailing studentvoice@staffs.ac.uk.

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