Reports Document - Newcastle University Students Union

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Meeting of Students’ Union Council

2
nd

May

2013




REPORTS DOCUMENT


2


Reports Docum
ent


Students’ Union Council, 2
nd

May

2013


Reports are submitted in advance in writing.

Unless you wish to challenge a specific report, Council
will vote to
accept all the reports simultaneously.


You must signify to the Chair that you wish to
challenge a report.




TABLE OF C
ONTENTS


i)


STEERING COMMITTEE REPORT



ii)

GENERAL REPORTS


a)

Athletic Union Executive Committee


b)

Societies Executive Committee


c)

Education
Executive Committee


d)

Media Executive Committee


e)

Community Executive Committee


f)

Welfare & Citizenship Executive Committee


g)

SCAN Update

h)

Scrutiny Committee Report

i)

University Senate Report



iii)

PART TIME OFFICER END OF TERM/YEAR REPORTS


a)

Chair of Students’
Union Council


b)

Campaigns Officer

c)

Community Officer


d)

Convenor of Debates


e)

Ethics & Environment Officers


f)

Gender Equality Officer

g)

International Students’ Officer


h)

LGBT Officer



i)

NSR Station Manager


j)

Officer Without Portfolio


k)

Postgraduate Students’ Officer


l)

Racial Equality Officer


m)

RAG Officers


n)

Scrutiny Officer


o)

Students with Disabilities Officer


p)

Student Parents & Carers’ Officer




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iv)

SABBATICAL OFFICER END OF TERM/YEAR REPORTS


a)

President


b)

Education Officer


c)

Welfare & Equality Officer

d)

Editor of Courier



e)

Activities Officer


f)

Athletic Union Officer


v
) STATE OF THE UNION REPORT




vi)

QUESTIONS TO THE SABBATICAL OFFICERS


vii)

QUESTIONS TO THE PART
-
TIME OFFICERS





















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i)

STEERING COMMITTEE REPORT




ii)

GENERAL REPORTS



a)

AU Executive Committee



The AU
Executive has met once since the last Union C
ouncil and that was on the 15
th

April.


It was a very long meeting in which awards that were to be presented at AU Ball we
re discussed;
t
his

included
; Royals, Half Royals, T
eam Royals, Half Team Royals, Club
Colours, Team of the
Year,

Most improved Club of the

Year and Club of the Year.
AU Ball preparations were
also
finalised.


Katie Rimmer was in attendance and this was a great first meeting for her to attend!


A current grant restructure is continuing.


We are looking to changing the policy
with regard

to Sports Clubs gaining sponsorship from Bars,
club and promoters. The Clubs are being informed within the coming weeks.


Laura Mason,
Athletic Union Officer



b)

Societies Executive Committee



The
Societies Executive has met once since last Students’ Union Council, on the 15th April. Two
societies were ratified
-

Free Trade and Law4Non Law.


The new funding mechanisms for next year were heavily discussed.

The C
ommittee generally
approved of the
grants, and all been subject to not taking club and bar sponsorship.


The current grant structure was also reviewed and made more simple and electronic. The initial
grant was changed to include 25% to be able to be spent on so
cial functions but not alco
hol. T
he
special grant was made more specific for one off events and an equipment grant was introduced
throughout the year so we can keep a record of the equipment societies have.


There will

be another meeting to tie up everything at the end of the year

and show Rosie the
ropes.


Jasmine Walker,
Activities Officer


c)

Education Executive Committee



The Education E
xec
utive has met to discuss Attendance Monitoring;

it also
discuss
ed

the
Teaching Excellence
Awards and to judge the winners and

plan the event.

Sadly due
to exams
there has not been the opportunity to hold another Education E
xec this term.

There has been
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the decisi
on to alter the make
-
up of the Education Executive so that it comprises of School Reps
and the Postgraduate O
ffice
r, as

it was agreed that members of Union C
ouncil should not be on
the committee.

This change will f
ormally be adopted at the next Union C
ouncil
meeting
with a
constitutional change by the next Education Officer.


Rachael Thornton,
Education Officer



d)


M
edia Executive Committee



Media Executive met on April 18th to judge the Student Media Awards. The nominees and
winners in
The Courier

awards were decided, as well as plans for TCTV and NSR's awards. TCTV's
nominees and winners have been decided, and NSR's nominees have also been shortlisted.
Prize values were decided on, as well as ideas for decorations. Canapés for the evening ha
ve
been sourced, posters have been designed and the majority of prizes have also been organised.
A further Media Executive Committee meeting will be convened on the week commencing April
29th to further discuss the Media Awards and other aims for the final

weeks.


The Courier

has produced two issues, with two still to be printed before the end of term. The
first issue coincided with the launch of the new Courier website, which received 230,000 hits
within a week, with 18,000 unique users. The final issu
e of term will feature a 12
-
page Summer
Special pull
-
out with additional cultural coverage.


NSR has continued broadcasting its 24
-
hour stream with 15 hours of scheduled shows. It hosted
a gig in the Students' Union featuring Bleech and two local acts.
It is also running a competition
in conjunction with Spotify and Jose Cuervo to win a special Hot Chip and Maccabees DJ evening
at the Students' Union. During Easter, several members of NSR attended the Student Radio
Conference, which they found to be ve
ry beneficial.


TCTV is continuing to produce shows in the final term, and is continuing production on its
Wordpress website. TCTV President is to meet with Editor of
The Courier

to work out a
structure for the station for next year after the final issue

of
The Courier

has been produced.


Ben Travis,
Editor of Courier



e)

Community Executive Committee


Community E
xec
utive has met once (Monday 11
th

March) since the last C
ouncil
meeting
. The
following was

discussed:




The new Housing M
otion to ban advertising letting agencies.

All in agr
eement and will be
proposed by Community E
xec.



Updates from w
ards.



Thought to be

a good idea to combine with Northumbria to do a campaign on raising awareness
of what student rights are at work.



Campus
S
ecurity now wearing cameras on jackets.

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It was decided that Community E
xec
utive

would not meet again this year unless a specific issue
arose and a member called for it.


Esta Innes, Welfare & Equality Officer



f)

Welfare & Campaigns Executive Committee


Welfare & Campaigns Executive has met once (Wednesday 13
th

March) since the last C
ouncil
meeting
.


The following were

discussed:




The best ways to implement a Consent Campaign,

e.g. in F
reshers pack
s,

or something that can
be left in their flats.



The
pros and cons of changing the post of Gender E
quality
Officer to W
omen
’s O
fficer
.



How we can improve sexual health provision
and discussed the merits of SHAG W
eek



it

s
popular but does it have a real impact
/is it effective?



A boycott of P
age 3.

All in
agreement



a
motion would be proposed by WAC and set up a
facebook page to g
u
age interest
.



The H
ousing motion.

It was decided Welfare & Campaigns Executive

would

only meet again this year if a

specific issue
arose and a member called for
it, due to the fa
ct that the last Union C
ouncil is 2
nd

May.

In my
absence Emily Waller,

Welfare and Equality Officer elect
, agreed to C
hair.


Esta Innes, Welfare & Equality Officer



g)

SCAN
Update Report


Membership


The SCAN mailbase has 3650 people on it, this include
our contacts at partner
organisations/charities, a range of stakeholders from within the local community but is mainly
made up of Newcastle University students looking to volunteer.



SCAN Projects


We currently promote over 200 volunteering opportunities

on behalf of 98 local charities and
worthwhile organisations as well as running our own student led projects. New groups continue
to contact us looking for student volunteers, there is also an increasing trend of businesses
contacting us for volunteers so
metimes to replace paid positions, this is something SCAN do not
support.


NUSU SCAN ‘Student Eats’ Allotment Project


The allotment has been our main focus and we now have two pollytunnels on the plot, this week
we have planted a range of vegetables inclu
ding cabbage, turnip, lettuce, radish and beetroot.
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We will soon be constructing greenhouses and other planters on site and also around the
student union building.


We are always looking for more volunteers to help out and are particularly wanting to hear
from
any students around over the summer.


Upcoming Events


West Jesmond Primary School ‘Green Day’


Friday 24
th

May 10
-
3pm

As part of West Jesmond Primary Schools ‘Green Day’ we will be teaming up with their young
children (aged 8 and under) to help
makeover the school garden, planting flowers, giving their
seating area a lick of paint and possibly constructing an archway leading into the garden!

This is a great opportunity for anyone who likes to volunteer alongside children and get stuck
into lots o
f different tasks, their children are already very excited about the idea of meeting
university students! The school is in the centre of Jesmond, right at the heart of the student
community so you could be helping the most local school to where you live. L
unch will be
provided .

Contact
Phil

for more information

SCAN AGM 2013
-

Wednesday 15
th

May 6.30pm
The Planning Room

SCAN staff and committee will be there from 6pm if you would like to come along
and chat
beforehand.

We hope you will stay around and share a drink and some food with us afterwards.

Please RSVP to
elizabeth.gulliver@ncl.ac.uk

so that we have an idea of numbers, thank you.


h)

Scrutiny Committee Report




The Committee met on the 22
nd

April 2013, and analysed the Operational Group minutes. The
Scrutiny Officer Elect observed the meeting. The Chair met with the President, and many of the
committee’s queries were satisfactorily answered. While this is the final official scrutiny report,
the committee will operate to the end of the academic year, and will send out an update after
the exam period.


The President submitted the ‘Maintaining Strong Governance’ motion, and the corresponding
reformation of the PTO structure has been discussed b
y the Operational Group. The committee
recognises the need for reviews on a regular basis, but it does warn Councillors that should this
motion pass, there will be no direct representation for parents, carers and postg
raduates, and
the position for Racial
E
quality
Officer
will be unfilled.

Scrutiny is concerned that this could
seriously tarnish the Students’ Union reputation for inclusivity.


A room for TCTV has still not been found for next year, despite having been requested in the
relevant motion. Howe
ver, a very viable alternative is currently being discussed, which would
include a TCTV workstation in the Courier office. This should suffice for the storage of equipment
and any editing tasks.

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The committee commends the efforts made by the Welfare and E
quality Officer and the
Activities Officer to create a Maternity Policy for the University. Drafting policy for the University
is not the Students’ Union’s responsibility, and this initiative was well
-
received by the
committee.


The committee would like t
o thank the President and the Chief Executive for being available to
the committee all year round. Despite having raised a few concerns, the committee can only
congratulate all the Sabbs and the staff for all the hard work they’ve put into the Students’
Un
ion. It’s been an incredibly successful year for the Union, and we hope the new Sabbs can
build on this. We further wish the best of luck to next year’s Scrutiny Committee.


Jason Watson, Scrutiny Officer, on behalf of Scrutiny Committee.


i)

University Sena
te Report





iii)

PART TIME OFFICER END OF SPRING TERM REPORTS


a)

Chair of Students’ Union Council




What have you done this term?

Task

Source

Progress

Commentary

Attend all meetings of
which I am a committee
member

Job Description


Attended Officers’ Forum on

18
th

April,
due to attend Steering Committee on
23
rd

and 30
th

April.

Appointments Committee due to meet
in May to choose new External and
Student Trustees.

Attend all Students’ Union
Council meetings

Job Description


Due to attend Joint Students’ Union
Council on 2
nd

May

Attend all General
Meetings

Job Description


No General Meetings have been held

Where appropriate, work
with external bodies

Job Description


Attended NUS National Conference on
8
th

to 10
th

April

Help at Union events when
required

Job

Description


Due to help out with “Inner Child Day”
on 2
nd

May and give a tour to
University Councillors on 18
th

June.

Work with the Education
Officer to inform and train
new Councillors

Job Description
and Previous
Report


Training held for incoming
Officers on
Thursday 18
th

April.

Produce an Officer
Training Diary useful to my
successor

Job Description


As mentioned in my previous report,
this practice seems to have died a
quiet death. No Officer is doing this.

Participate in Disciplinary
Procedures review group

Steering
Committee


This group has not met once yet,
previously planned meetings have
been postponed indefinitely

Implement new ways of
scrutinising officers and
policy implementation,
using ideas from other
Councils.

Previous repo
rt


I am working on a set of proposals
which I will pass on to my successor
and to the Representation and
Democracy Staff.

Part of this has been integrated into
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my proposal for a new Officer report
structure, to be discussed at Joint
Students’ Union Counci
l.

Work to open up reporting
between Trustee Board
side of Union (Trustees,
Ops, Finance Committee)
and Council to improve
democratic oversight of
SU.

Previous report


I won’t be able to oversee any of these
potential changes but I will make
recommendations to my successors
and to Steering Committee

Organise Council exchange
with Sunderland SU.

Previous report


Sunderland are due to attend Joint
Students’ Union Council

Devise comprehensive
policy plan for Student
Conference 2014

Previous rep
ort


Policy is proposed for Joint Council to
discuss

Draw up plans for PTO
reform.

Previous report


I wrote a draft proposal to outline
what reforms could look like, these
have been adapted by the Sabb team
as the core of their recommended
changes. Work w
ill continue on this
into next year.

Write motion for Priority
Referendum and
introducing Referendum
Campaign rules.

Previous report


I decided not to continue with the
Priority Ballot, but have submitted
policy to introduce Referendum
Campaigning rules
to Joint Council.

Work with the Rep and
Dem office to reduce
inconsistency of
advertising and promotion
of Councils.

Previous report


Reviewed Publicity Action plan and
have agreed to create printed publicity
and improve advertising for Joint
Council.

Work with Editor of the
Courier, and NSR/TCTV
Station Managers on
better ways of promoting
and communicating
Council and its decisions.

Previous report


No action taken as of yet but I plan to
meet with the Editor and Editor
-
elect
before the end of the yea
r about this,
along with my successor.

Handover to incoming
Chair

Common sense


I held an impromptu training session
for Jason on 16
th

April, and further
training will be held after exams have
finished.



What has been your biggest achievement?

Getting
the policy passed which mandated the President to leave a mince pie outside the SU for
Rudolph and Father Christmas, now that was a HUGE achievement.

More seriously, I feel that in every aspect Council is more vibrant, exciting and fun than when I
took ove
r last June. Rather than being reduced to discussing the arrangement of the sofas in the
Men’s Bar, Council is getting engaged with the issues that students care about and that affect our
wider world.

Apparently this year was the first in at least the last

8 years that we actually submitted policy to
NUS Conference, so that was good too.



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What could you have improved on?

There’s always room for improvement. I have been disappointed by turn
-
out rates from many
Councillors. We’ve elected a pittance of the
Hall Reps and we never filled all the Councillor places
from WAC or Community Exec.


What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?

Don’t be scared to push back from the Sabbs! They may moan and grumble about having to be
Constitutional or havin
g to follow the same deadlines as everyone else, but it’s your job to stick up
for Councillors.


Don’t, for example, let them attempt to sneak motions in after deadlines have
passed.

Obtain an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Constitution


because no
-
one el
se will, and without
our Constitution we may as well forget the students and just leave it to the staff.


Other information

I would like to use this section to thank many individuals who have made this year a particularly
enjoyable one. I appreciate that t
his may seem particularly boring to those of you who have no
idea who these people are, or just outright self
-
indulgent, but then I’m leaving so frankly I don’t
care.

Firstly, although this year has been at times a rollercoaster


the highs of the first Co
uncil or Demo
2012 were often equally matched by the lows of transport duty during Freshers’ Week or the first
few Officers’ Forums


the Sabbs have been a tremendous bunch of people and I hope we remain
in contact for a long time after I graduate. Laura,
Laura, Jasmine and Ben, you guys were great and
you can be proud of the Students’ Union you leave behind you.


I’d like to particularly thank Esta for being a rock of support throughout this year. Sometimes it has
been giving the tough love of telling me w
hen to back off and let her get on with her own work,
sometimes it has just been knowing when I needed a hug (and offering one). The highlight of
Freshers Week 2012 was without a shadow of a doubt (if only for the sheer absurdity of the
situation) playing
impromptu rat
-
catcher in Esta’s house.


I’d also like to thank Rachael in particular. Rachael has been my Sabb
-
buddy throughout all this
year. There are many memories that will stick in my mind from this year, but undoubtedly one of
them is the first time
I watched Rachael down a pint in 5 seconds. While everyone else was gob
-
smacked at her pelican
-
like ability to sink this liquid, Rachael was positively upset that she’d
slowed down. She’s (almost) always been willing to have a chat, and probably has the be
st taste in
food of any student I’ve met.


It’s a shame she’s leaving the student movement this year because
she would have made a cracking NUS VP HE


and she would have won, hands down.


Moving on from the Sabbs, we now come to the PTOs. Dave and Rachel
have been just amazing
running NSR this year. As a former Deputy Manager of NSR I have looked on at their efforts with
either astonishment at how much they have managed to get done or pride at the quality NSR is
now. I remember when I first started in NSR:

we were operating out of a boiler trunk
-
room, using
computers that looked and felt like they were made out of papier
-
mâché. Now it feels like Steve
Jobs himself designed the NSR studio.

Caroline, Martina, Emmeline, Christos, Andy, Sophia and Emily have al
l been good friends to me
this year. They’ve been a constant source of fun, amusement and camaraderie. Without Caroline
and Martina I would have never realised quite how surprisingly dangerous it is to go down an
access ramp in a wheelchair, without Christ
os and Andy I wouldn’t have such an excellent range of
Stonewall T
-
Shirts, without Emmeline I simply would not have had as many hugs this year. I’m very
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proud to have done my part with Diversity Day, Mental Health Awareness Week, Trans Awareness
Week and a
ll the other fantastic campaigns that these guys have run or helped run.


I would have included Obren in the list of positive epithets above, except that Obren really is in a
league of his own. The words urbane, panache and aplomb were invented for this ma
n. I have no
idea how he manages it but he seems to have more friends than Mark Zuckerberg. Without Obren
I would have never known what the word grandiloquent meant and I would have happily gone
along with my life thinking that braggadocio was a starter se
rved in Italian restaurants.


Ben Coulson deserves an extra mention as well. Alternatively silently brooding or euphorically
happy, Ben is the only person who got more excited about Barack Obama’s re
-
election than me
during our Dimbleby
-
style election
night. The first term of this year (before his PhD really kicked in
I suppose!) was an absolute blast. I still remember vividly doing a double act during SHAG Week in
banana suits.

Running out of space here, so I won’t mention the FWOs (there’s FW13 to wor
ry about first),
other than to say thanks for making me a Chief! Also a big thank you to Harriet & Rosie for being
fantastic RAG Officers this year


it’s not something I would have thought of doing at the start of
the year but it’s probably the best new t
hing I’ve done in third year. I really recommend it to all
the incoming PTOs: get involved with RAG week!


I’d also like to thank our revolutionary comrades in NFEN: Pete, Luke and Ella. I can’t say that I see
eye to eye on every issue but without them thi
s place would be a dull technocracy.


Now we come to the Staff. Thanks to Simon, Lindsey, Graham and Janet, for all putting up with
this precocious man who thought he knew how to run a multimillion pound charity from the day
he waltzed in to Park Terrace’s

top floor. Thanks for humouring me whenever I made suggestions
on how they could do their jobs better or whenever I came up with my latest fad to disrupt their
carefully planned schedules. And thanks most of all for keeping their doors open.


Thanks also
to the two Susans of the General Office


I’ve worn many hats in my three years here
in the SU as members of various committees, a PTO, a club treasurer, a four
-
time election
candidate, and throughout it all I’ve always known that without them the Students
’ Union would
be as disorganised and dishevelled as Ricky Road on a Sunday morning. One Officer once said to
me that ‘what you have to realise is that the SBs have only one speed setting: and that is
supersonic’. I can’t think of a better way to put it.


There are also many other members of staff who I’d like to give a quick mention to. Kay, Viv and
June for always saying hello to me whenever I sauntered past the reception desk. Mark, Jenny,
Emma, Emily and Jo in the Activities Office and Peter, Michelle a
nd Arlene in the Finance Office
who were a great help last year.


Penultimately, I would like to thank George Watkins and Emily Parkin in the Rep and Dem Office,
without whose fantastic work this year would not have been a success. George’s aid over last
s
ummer, offering me one to one sessions, was incredible. George managed to build my confidence
up after taking an almighty blow at Joint Council last year. This year has revealed to me that
George has a hidden mastery of diplomacy, able to offer tough medic
ine without ever making it
seem like a bitter pill, to the extent that if he ever became Foreign Secretary, I would expect that
he would have resolved the Israel
-
Palestine situation within his first week of office.

Emily’s ability to just make things happ
en


a stall here, some flyers there, ‘would you like a buffet
from M&S to go with your slides’, ‘oh don’t worry about that, I’ll just conjure up some CDM
12


students to do it for you’


all with the least of effort is a skill that I know I will never be able

to
match.


Often it was just having the patience to put up with this annoying man who flounced into their
office and interrupted their work on something far more important because he was bored and
wanted a natter. Other times it was just telling me (very
politely) that my latest grand scheme
wasn’t going to work and I should stop wasting my time on it. But both have been totally
indispensible this year and they are an absolute credit to this organisation.


Finally there is one person who deserves thanks mo
re than even these extraordinary people. And
that is Sheila Barnes, who manages to have the patience of a saint, typing skills with finesse akin to
a French pastry chef and the Constitutional wisdom of a High Court Judge. Although I’m sure some
of the stuf
f I’ve managed to get through Council has created weeks, even months of extra work for
her, she’s never been anything other than (apparently) pleased to see me, although I think I may
have caught the occasional (very faint) sigh. Her retirement this year i
s truly the end of an era for
the Students’ Union and this place won’t be the same without her!


So once again to all the people I’ve mentioned (and those I’ve inevitably missed out), so long, and
thanks for all the fish.



Charles Barry, Chair of Students
’ Union Council


b)

Campaigns Officer


What have you done this term?

This term has been quite a quie
t one due to being a short term

and having quite a few deadlines
to deal with, but I am looking forward to helping the Welfare and Equality o
fficer with the
Inner
Child in M
ay. I'm also hoping to raise interest in the blood drive in May. I have spoken to people
who m
ay run for president of the LGBT S
ociety, and w
ill try and work with the LGBT O
fficer to
ensure this continues next year.



What has been your big
gest achievement?

I haven't really done anything this term so far, but I would say my biggest achievement is
drumming up some interest in campaigning around blood ban issues next year.



What could you have improved on?

I think I could have done more this
term, for example helping organise inner child day or stressed
out student events, but it's been a busy term for me academically.



What piece of advice would you give to your successor?

I'm hoping to have a really good handover, and work with my successor

as I found taking over the
role quite daunting last year, but the main thing I would say is be very organised, and make sure
you know what needs doing and when, and make sure it gets done.



Andy Todd
,
Campaigns Officer



c)

Community Officer


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d)

Convenor of

Debates




What has been your biggest achievement?

Overall I feel that the most successful debate in my role this year was my second one on
racism in football as I was lucky enough to have Obrin help me with this and football is a real
interest of mine. It
was a great privilege to have two very high calibre external guest speakers
come in and speak on the panel. This really did make for a great debate and I know from
audience feedback that I really was an enjoyable evening for everyone that attended.



What co
uld you have improved on?

My biggest regret this year was not organising another larger debate last term with more
guest speakers. As when I applied to the role last year I really wanted to organise a public
debate on overspending of football clubs and pla
yers and hopefully arrange for some local
professional footballers to come in and really take the calibre of the debate onto the next
level. However unfortunately due to work and additional unexpected and uncontrollable
events coming up last term this was
unable to occur. However having a guest speaker from
Gateshead united and show racism the red card attend one of my debates I consider to be my
greatest success.



What have you done this term?

Unfortunately with regret I must confess that I am not going to
be unable to run a public
debate this term as I really need to prioritise

on my

academic commitments, coursework
deadlines and summer exams.



Any additional sections that the report writer deems necessary

I feel that I have a reasonably successful year as t
he Convenor of Debates. Over the course of
the academic year I have run three public debates which is what was stated in my original
manifesto. Unfortunately with regret I must confess that I am going to be unable to run a
public debate this term as I real
ly need to prioritise

on my

academic commitments,
coursework deadlines and summer exams.



The three motions were:



THW blame

chart music

for the sexualisation of modern media
;



THW would punish football clubs for racist incidents committed by both fans
or players
;



THW would make sustainability a compulsory subject taught throughout school
education
.


Peter Style, Convenor of Debates



14





e)

Ethics & Environment Officers



What have you done this term?




Finished work on Fairtrade


collected over 80
signatures for Fairtrade petition.



Developed annual promotional cycle with EAT@NEWCASTLE to take account of all Ethical
and Environmental events and days.



Continued work with the Sustainability Committee in relation to Green Impact Award and
the developmen
t of their website.



Attended Officer Forums and Union Councils.


What has been your biggest achievement?




The annual promotional cycle, this had not previously been in place before.


What could you have improved on?




Our Fairtrade Event fell through, the s
peakers let us down. We would have liked this to
be more successful.


What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?




Make sure to keep on top of emails.



Keep track of the Committee meetings and offer as much help as possible.


Ross Chapman
and Alasdair Morrison, Ethics & Environment Officers



f)

Gender Equality Officer




What have you done this year?


This year, a lot of my focus has been around the sports clubs, as this was an area that I felt had
not been focussed on before in terms of
gender equality, and specifically in terms of the
frequent sexism that some people came to suggest was prominent within the Athletic Union.
With the help of Laura Mason and Esta, I contacted all of the female sports presidents, and
then the remaining body
of presidents (i.e. the male ones) in order to gauge their opinion on if
sport was fairly run at Newcaslte; if there were any barriers they felt existed to their fair
participation. The results were extremely telling, of the female sports presidents who go
t back
to me about half had some complaint to make about gender discrimination. Some of the more
common points that have arisen are:


o

Grants not equally divided between men’s and women’s clubs for a certain kind of sport.
Women’s Rugby in particular felt that they had been discriminated against as, despite
being the more successful team in terms of BUCS points, the men’s rugby team were
still
15


handed a considerably larger grant. Their smaller grant meant that they struggled to fund
their coaches.

o

Training times


two female teams admitted that they feel unsafe walking home at night,
due to their training sessions being in the evening, beca
use prime time slots are given as
priority to their male counterparts.

o

Many female students claimed to have experienced some form of minor sexual
harassment at the hands of their peers on Wednesday nights out, in particular groping or
verbal harassment, b
ut also said that this was considered a ‘matter of course’ by most
and that they didn’t feel it was something you complain about because it ‘just happens’.


Another area I focussed on with regard to sports clubs was their male/female splits, and if clubs
that were dominated by one gender were happy with this arrangement. Whilst many said that
they were (e.g. cheerleading), some said that they were actively looking to encourage more
males to join their club. Dance subsequently organised a ‘bring a boy’ day
which they reported
as a success, whilst horse riding got in touch with me asking how to get more boys involved,
and we managed to set up some taster sessions encouraging males to get involved through
Give It A Go, which have increased their membership as
well as getting a few more boys
interested. However the problem still remains that some sports are stereotyped as belonging
to a certain gender and because of this females/males feel they are not as welcome to get
involved, which is an issue maybe my succe
ssor could continue to address next year. After
discussions with Women’s Rugby, they underwent a publicity campaign aimed at pointing out
that women who play rugby are not their masculine stereotype, and that any woman can be
involved, posters of which hav
e been displayed on the LED screens around the SU.


A lot of my other involvement has been with attending Student Councils and various campaigns
run by the Union, such as SHAG week and the Housing Information Fair. More specifically to my
role, I am bringi
ng a motion to the next meeting of Council in aim to change my position from
Gender Equality Officer to Women’s Officer, as I believe this is a position we should definitely
have in place in order to fully represent women (who are, of course, still a libe
ration group,
unlike men). My belief is that the title Gender Equality detracts from a focus on women, and
implies that gender equality already exists, which is detrimental to the need for a women’s
movement.


I have also attended the NUS Women’s Conferen
ce, which was a great opportunity for
networking with other Unions’ Women’s Officers and comparing ideas on how to tackle such
issues as emerging lad culture and the normalisation of sexism. I attended several workshops at
this event, one focussing on how
to get men more involved in the women’s movement.

I have also been campaigning for the No More Page 3 for NUSU campaign which will hopefully
pass as a motion at Council on 2
nd

May.




What has been your biggest achievement?


My biggest achievement has defi
nitely been my communication with female sports presidents,
and managing to bring to the attention of the sports staff at Newcastle some of the problems
which have until now gone unvoiced, such as the feelings of some women that they have faced
gender disc
rimination. A review of the grant and training allocation system is currently in place
and the needs of all
-
female sports clubs in particular have been agreed to be given more focus.
In an arena which is normally driven wholly by what will get teams the mo
st success, it is
16


promising to see people interested in making sure that sport at Newcastle is also as inclusive
and unbiased as possible, whilst remaining a very successful area.




What could you have improved on?


One of my biggest disappointments this year was the Women in the Workplace event that
Emmeline, the Student Parents and Carers Officer, and I tried to organise earlier on in the year,
and which we ran out of time for, due to course work. With hindsight the
refore I definitely
could have improved my timekeeping and forward planning, as I really would have liked to have
run a big event this year, but ultimately just became so inundated with work that if we had run
the event it would have been badly planned and

not reflected very well on the Union!




What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?

For future, I would advise PTOs to plan at the beginning of the year the exact dates of when
they want to run any events, and discuss this with the Sabbs early on to broach the possibility
of this happening. Also to keep in touch with your Sabb buddy as mu
ch as possible and
generally to try and help out as much as possible with any events the Union is running, as it
gives you a great insight into how you can maybe run your own event.


Emily Waller, Gender Equality Officer


g)

International Students’ Officer




What have you done this term?



Created the International Students’ Officer Facebook Page (150 ‘likes’) and effectively
communicated with international students via regular posts about events and engagement
opportunities.



Designed and sent the
International Students’ Officers’ Newsletter to all international
students before Christmas Break



Attended two Councils and three Officers’ Forum Meetings



Delegate in the International Students’ Conference 2013 in Kent.



Organised the Diversity Day 2013


W
hat has been your biggest achievement?


The Diversity Day 2013



Mobilised 15 national, cultural and religious societies to be in the Organising Committee



Application for Marketing Team, Design Team and Sponsorship Team are opened to all
students



Attendance figures: 150 visitors during the daytime exhibition and 280 visitors during the
night
-
time buffet.



Raised £811 for SCAN (Student’s Eat Allotment project)



Got food sponsorship from Zapatista, Little Saigon and Rasa Nusantara restaurants


What could you have improved on?



Newsletter should be sent on a monthly basic to international students



Organising more events in collaboration with societies to connect them together better.



Organising campaigns to consolidate international students bett
er.

17



What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?



The more students are aware of International Students’ Officer Position, the easier your
work will be. Make the most of resources provided by the Marketing Office to make your
position well kn
own.



Find possibility of cooperation with some active societies targeted international students
such as International Society to better approach and advertise engagement opportunities
with international students.



Support the Go Global project and Go Global

Radio Show to promote culture exchange




Sophia Doan/Annie Zhang, International Students’ Officers



h)

LGBT Officer


What have you done this year?



What has been your biggest achievement?








What has been your biggest regret?






What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?



Christos Mexias, LGBT Officer







Since I’ve been re
-
elected into the role, I will make sure that I have the time to
organise an LGBT forum and work more closely with the new Welfare and Equality
Officer.



I have worked with the Welfare and Equality Officer and Freshers’ Week crews at
the beginning of
the year to ensure the smooth running of Freshers’ Week. I
have also worked with the university chaplain to produce LGBT
-
friendly material
for students of faith. Furthermore I have supported the LGBT society in
organising Trans* Awareness Week, the Student
s with Disabilities Officers with
Disability Awareness Week, and I have appeared numerous times on NSR to
speak on topical subjects.

I managed to organise anti
-
homophobia workshops in local schools with the help of
student volunteers and staff from the University. It was one of my key manifesto
pledges and I am extremely happy that I managed to fulfil it. Everyone who
volunteered has ga
ined useful presentation and campaigning skills and we have built


an excellent relationship with schools in the area.

Not organising an LGBT forum, although this is something I intend to rectify next year.

18



i)

NSR Station Manager
s


What have you done this year?


-

Launched new website
.

-

Launched compulsory online training programme to support the manual training of the
equipment in the
studio
.

-

Had a strong Fresher’s Week presence with outside broadcasts each day
.

-

Had a strong presence at Refresher’s Fair
.

-

Attended Northumbria Fresher’s Week and Newcastle College
.

-

Introduced a £5 one of membership fee payment
.

-

Obtained a NCL+ grant to
facilitate the purchase of the new iMac in the prep room and the play
out software


Radiologik
.

-

Introduced a touch screen jingle machine to ease the usage of jingles
.

-

Organised a BBC Newcastle Tour and a Radio Tyneside visit for 20 presenters at a time an
d
made contacts within the industry at other commercial stations such as Capital FM
.

-

Hosted the North East Training Day for Student Radio Association where student radio stations
from all over the North East of England came to NUSU along with guest speaker
s.

-

Attended the Student Radio Association Awards in London in November 2012 (for the first
time) taking 5 presenters.

-

Compiled a bid to host the National Student Radio Association Conference in April 2013. We
were shortlisted and came second to the winne
rs, Leicester University.

-

Attended the Student Radio Association Conference where one of our members was elected as
the SRA North East representative.

-

Updated the NSR constitution in order to be more relevant and contemporary
.

-

Increased broadcasting hour
s from 10am


10pm last year, to 9am


midnight this year.

-

Hosting the SRA chart show to broadcast nationally on Sunday 28
th

April
.

-

Held our first gig of the year on Thursday 18
th

April in NUSU Venue. Three bands performed and
for the first time, online ticket sales were used. The whole night was a success.

-

Entered into a competition (currently running) with Spotify, against other universities around
the country.

-

Completed our fir
st ever live broadcast of Stan Calvert at Kingston Park
.

-

Working with the Media Exec to organise the NUSU Media Awards
.

-

More awards for NSR this year (7) at the NUSU Media awards than ever before with a record
number of presenters nominating themselves for

awards allowing us to have 5 nominees in
each category


the same as The Courier
.

-

Recorded adverts and jingles for societies to advertise their events throughout the year
.

-

Working with the Student Wellbeing service to provide music at their event on Thurs
day 9
th

May.

-

Steady number of live sessions and interviews in the studio
.

-

Strong online written content and reviews
.

-


Creation of online members


database
.



What have been your biggest achievements?


-

Working closely with Northumbria and to a lesser
extent Newcastle College. Uptake has been
very positive for this first year and we firmly believe this is something that should be taken
forward in future years
.

19


-

The new website has brought NSR into the 21
st

Century and put us on a near equal footing in
terms of online presence with The Courier.

-

Our live broadcast from Kingston Park for Stan Calvert
.


What has been your biggest regret?


-

Late introduction of the £5 membership fee. Despite this being out of
our control and only
being able to be implemented for Semester 2, we do feel we lacked consistency and
professionalism here.

-

Not enough effective marketing of the station as we would have liked.

-

Not being played around the Union
.


What piece of advice wou
ld you pass on to your successor?


-

Replace the bid to host the national Student Radio Conference 2014. We were so close last
year and we have all the necessary facilities that

it would be a shame to not re
-
apply.

-

Go back to Northumbria University Fresher
’s Fair


it was a success. 2012/13 was our first year
there, students are now more aware of who we are, how we operate and how we can benefit
them (extra curricular/course/social/something new) and uptake should be just as good for
2013/14 as it was for 2
012/13.


-

Continue to work closely with TCTV and The Courier to provide a comprehensive and strong
student media at Newcastle University.

-

Continue to push to be played around the Union.


Rachael Foster and David Bendall, NSR Station Managers




j)

Postgraduate Students’ Officer





k)

Racial Equality Officer

First Term

During this term;



I served at the Welfare Tent during the Fresher’s Week, besides being on the Fresher’s Crew.



I attended the University Diversity Consultative Group meetings in October
and December.



I assisted during the SHAG Week, serving as a condom fairy.



I assisted in the selection process for representatives for ‘University Challenge’.



I was part of a University delegation on Biometric Attendance Monitoring to University of the
Hig
hlands and Islands, Perth College and Nottingham University Samworth Academy.



In collaboration with the Convenor of Debates and the Debating Society, I organised a debate
titled ‘This House would punish football clubs for racist incidents committed by thei
r fans or
players’; which had the CEO of Show Racism the Red Card and the Secretary of Gateshead
Football Club as speakers.



I attended the NUS Black Students’ Campaign Winter Conference in London.

20


Second Term

This term was mainly dedicated to the organisat
ion of the
'Diversity Day'
which I organised in
collaboration with the International Students’ Officers. We had National and Religious Societies
making exhibitions and presentations and also contributing to a buffet of international cuisine as well
as some

external sponsors.

Furthermore I partook in the following NUSU activities:



The Students' Union Councils of February and March 2013.



The RAG week.



The Students’ Union Council Exchange programme with Northumbria University.



Preparations for the NUS Conferen
ce as a Delegate.



The Welfare and Citizenship Committee meetings.



The Officers’ Forums.



The Diversity Consultative Group meeting.



I set up a week long ‘Diversity Poster Campaign’ outside the Students’ Union.


Third Term


This term I did the following;



Attended the NUS National Conference 2013 as an elected Delegate from 8
-
10 April in
Sheffield.



Attended the Diversity Consultative Group Meeting.



Attended the Officers’ Forum.



Attended the Students’ Union Council of May 2013.



Assisted with the ‘Inner Child
’ event.



Attended the NUS Black Students’ Campaign Conference from 11
-
12 May in Leeds.


Reflections


My greatest achievement was definitely the successful organisation of the ‘Diversity Day’.

I could have improved on the very few hitches with the execution of the ‘Diversity Day’.

To my successor, plan ahead! You can never over plan!



NUS National Conference was quite an interesting and worthwhile event; I would encourage all who
are passion
ate about education to partake i
n it.


Obren Amiesimaka, Racial Equality Officer



l)

RAG Officers





What have you done this term?


This term we have started to plan our handover to the new RAG officers and encouraged them to
look for new committee members for September. The year has taught us how important a large
committee is, and the new officers have taken this on board and already

found a group of new
members, and continue to look. We have also discussed a number of factors we would like to
change about RAG and the way RAG is run over the year. Having achieved so much in November
21


and January, the question is whether to expand RAG a
nd form categories of different types of
fundraising, allowing a few committee members to concentrate on different tasks.




What has been your biggest achievement?


We haven’t been hugely active in our role as RAG officers this term in terms of involving o
ther
students since RAG week. It would have been great to put on another event similar to the fashion
show, but time seemed limiting. What we have been successful at, however, is dealing with the
aftermath of RAG week, and we feel we have left the new offi
cers in a great position for the new
academic year.




What could you have improved on?


We always feel that more could be done through RAG, whether it’s more events or more
involvement; however it is difficult at this time of year with so many deadlines an
d approaching
exams. It would be great to improve on the ever
-
lasting aim of making RAG an all year round
event, and I feel that a larger committee next year with a range of year
-
groups will improve this.




What piece of advice would you pass on to your su
ccessor?


As mentioned, gain a large committee of people with varying skills and responsibilities, and have
an open mind about a change to RAG and its format. RAG is so close to being very successful and
we just need to keep pushing this between us and enc
ourage more students to get involved.

I also feel we should aim to set up an online application process for charities wishing to be part of
the RAG week charities, something I will look into over the summer when I take over Jasmine as
activities officer.


Rosie Leatherland and Harriet Hill, RAG Officers




m)

Scrutiny Officer




What have you done this term?




What has been your biggest achievement?


Chaired the Scrutiny Committee on the 28/02/13 and on the 24/04/13. Met with the
President and Chief Executive as part of duties. Attended three Students’ Union
Council meetings. Assisted in judging for the TEA Awards. I also attended five Steering

Committee meetings and one Officers’ Forum.

22




What could you have improved on?




What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?




Jason Watson, Scrutiny Officer



n)

Students with Disabilities Officer



What have you done this

year?

Christmas Term:



We held a Students with Disabilities ‘meet and greet’ during Freshers’ Week.



We organised a Students with Disabilities’ Forum, which took place on Wednesday 28th
November in the planning room, 4
-
6pm. We were happy with the attendance and received lots
of constructive feedback which we passed on to the Student Wellbeing Service.



We

are in regular contact with the disabilities service at King’s Gate to establish what we can
do to best help, support and represent other disabled students.



We have supported individuals who have needed our advice, and passed on any problems to
those who
can help.



We have set up a twitter account (@NUSUswd) and greatly expanded the following/activity on
our Facebook page ([NUSU] Students with Disabilities Officers)



We secured £600 of funding for our Disability Awareness Week, which we utilised to make ou
r
activities as engaging as possible.


We organised
Disability Awareness Week (week commencing Monday 3
rd

December)
. We had
regular meetings and secured a lot of sponsorship to ensure that it was a success. The week was
as follows:




Monday:

a day dedicate
d to raising awareness for visual impairments, and raising money for
the RNIB. We did a bake sale and sensory challenges.



Tuesday:

A film showing of ‘My Name is Khan’ in Constance Briscoe at 5:30pm

Not to rush into anything and to be familiar with the correct processes; to be clear
about the facts, since minutes don’t take note of the circumstances in

wUicU 愠
獴慴敭敮W w慳a浡m攮e䙵牴U敲浯牥H 汥琠捯浭iWWe攠浥mb敲猠Vp敡k WU敩e 浩mT猠anT
牥f牡rn f牯洠r敪散ein朠WU敩e op楮楯n猠


WU攠卣SuWin礠佦f楣敲 U慳aa 牥獰潮獩bi汩l礠yo
maintain a certain amount of neutrality. I’ve found that the Chair has great influenc
攠潮o
c潭浩mWe攠op楮i潮H 慮T 獯V䤠I慶a 獯VeW業敳i敮c潵牡来T 浥mb敲V Wo 獰e慫 b敦o牥 m攠
潮 an 楳獵攮

I’d like to volunteer for more events if time permits.

M慮慧an朠卣牵W楮礠䍯y浩mWe攠慳ap慲W of 浹mTuWi敳Ⱐ慮T 癯vunW敥物n朠f潲 浯牥 慣a楶iW楥猠
潵W獩T攠浹m橯b

T敳捲epWi潮.

23




We also organised a Bar Tour in aid of Disability North and RNIB. This was going to be a T Shirt
campaign, promoting that ‘not all disabilities are visible’.
The bars included were Mens Bar,
Sam Jacks and Bambu. This had to be cancelled due to Union regulations.




We raised approximately £200 during Disability Awareness Week, which we split between the
RNIB and Disability North. We were very pleased with this a
mount, as all of our events were
free; the money was entirely made up from donations.



Easter Term:



Met with the English School to discuss their provision for students with disabilities and
particularly their ReCap policy. This was extremely productive,
and the school have made great
steps in improving this already as a result.



Held a forum for students with disabilities in the English School, and given constructive
feedback to the English School as a result.



Positively campaigned about blood donation, trying to convince people to donate on behalf of
those who can’t.


Attended regular meetings relevant to our role throughout the year, including:



WAC



Diversity Consultative Group



Union Council



Estates Support S
ervice disabled access meetings



Officers’ Forum



Meetings with the disabilities service at King’s Gate



Meetings with sabbatical officers and external contacts such as RNIB and Steve Wilkinson to
help us organise Disabilities Awareness Week



ReCap steering gr
oup



Helped with Union events and campaigns, such as:



Freshers’ Week



SHAG Week



Don’t panic! Don’t rush in



Mental Health Awareness Day



NUSU Day



Hall runs



Helping to collect messages in the lead up to the National Demo



Giving tours on open days.



Being

involved participants in Discover Islam week



Attended Diversity Day

We will continue attending meetings and helping with Union events (such as the upcoming

Inner
Child


Day) during this term. We have not (at present) organised any events of our own for t
his
term, due to dissertation deadlines etc.


What has been your biggest achievement?

We are proud about the success of Disability Awareness Week. It was the first one at Newcastle
University, and Welfare and Equality Officer elect is hoping to carry it o
n next year. Our events
were really well attended (exceeding our expectations) and we got lots of positive feedback. The
week, combined with our greatly enhanced online presence this year (on Facebook and twitter)
have contributed to increasing the awarene
ss of our role. We feel that we have engaged with a
24


wide and diverse range of students this year, and we have assisted numerous students who have
approached us for advice and help.


What could you have improved on?

We could have sorted the advertising for
Disability Awareness Week so that it was publicised
further in advance. We believe that we have made our role more public this year, however we
should have gone on more hall runs to improve our visibility as PTOs.


What piece of advice would you pass on t
o your successor?

Get involved with as much as you can
-

it’s really fun, you will get the most out of your role and
meet lots of new people! Also make sure you plan the events on your manifesto early and allow
spare time for last
-
minute changes. Time creep
s up on you and academic work etc. soon piles up,
so try to know what you want to do and when so you can plan everything effectively and get
everything done. The SWD position is not very well known, so try your best to promote it so that
you can do your jo
b more effectively and interact with more students.


Caroline Shorthouse and Martina Dietrich, Students with Disabilities Officers


o)

Student Parents & Carers’ Officer




What have you done this term?


Student family event: Treasure Hunt

Facilitated with the student parents coffee mornings with Kay.

Attended both Mental Health First Aid Course days.

Attended relevant councils and committee forums.

Will help out with NUSU’s Inner Child Day.

Hoping to run a faith + sexuality discussion wit
h Obren (Racial Equality) and chaplaincy

Will try and work with Charles
(Chair of SU Council) and Lindsey Lockey to make Council more
accessible to student parents next year
-

especially if an elected officer can’t make it due to family
commitments!

Will m
eet with Northumbria SUs caring representative.

Working with Elyse and the appropriate team to have student parents join the ‘Give it a Go’ and
‘Go Global’ events.


What has been your biggest achievement?


Student Parents:

Worked with the university on g
etting a
registration tick box for student parents, more money has
gone into ALF funding and there are now clearer contact details for child care ideas on the NUSU
website.

Establishing relationships and making links our student parents at family events
-

there is a regular
group that come to every family event and I have enjoyed getting to know them and their
children.

Following the first ever student parent survey, 146 likes on the NUSPC Facebook page, there has
been more activity and response on the pag
e than previous years.

Vast improvement on last year: events, growing mailing list, links with the university, coffee
mornings…

Student Parents and Carers nominated by a parent for the NCL+ Awards as ‘Most Improved
Society!’

25


Esta (Welfare) and Rachel (Ed
ucation) are writing a maternity policy
-

I have had very little do with
this, but I feel it needs including as it will improve the university experiences of student parents
next year.


Student Carers:

Worked with the university on getting a
registration
tick box for students who self
-
define as carers

Made links with Newcastle Barnardos and The Carers Centre
-

they will refer any students that
come to them to the next NUSPC.

Going to NUS Women’s Campaign Conference and seeing Kelly Temple’s (NUS Women’s Of
ficer)
‘Fair to Care’ Campaign, sitting in on a carers forum and meeting other student carers for the first
time. In first year I never would have admitted to having anything to do with being a student
carer so to represent them at NUSU and to run to repr
esent on a national scale was a big thing for
me. Due to a tie result, in the end I didn’t get it, but I’m sure student carers are in safe hands with
the first NUS Carers Representative

Getting an observer place at NUS Conference. Dissapointed that even t
hougt I wrote a speech for
it, student carers didn’t even get a debate
-

but I am planning on emailing Kelly Temple about what
student unions across the country should be doing for their student carers.

Writung and passing all my motions: FWOs are now man
dated to include mature/part time
student/ student parents etc, s
plit student parents
and student carers officer positions, mandating
delegates to speak about student carers at NUS Conference, and NUS Carers.


What could you have improved on?


Student
Parents:

Due to time commitments ‘Women and Mothers in the
W
ork

Place’ campaign with Emily (Gender
Equality) didn’t work out. I will gather my notes and put it together with handover for next year.

Should have created more awareness of student parents issues at both NUS Conferences.

I should have done more events for families with children of different age groups

If I was CRB checked, I think I would have been able to do more family events or organi
ze baby
-
sitting
-

which one of the parents said they were interested in.


Student Carers:

The Carers S
urvery
was great, but I feel it would have received more attention if it had been
organized earlier in the year, on a separate email and not tagged on to

the NUSU newsletter.

Realised it was expensive to hire a Makaton tutor, with £100 for two hours it would have blown
my entire PTO budget for the year, never mind having a BSL one on top of that! This is incredibly
unfortunate because it was in my manifes
to to educate and raise awareness of these things for
potential carers.

Made connections with LINKS (first aid) to do epilepsy training for a potential ‘carers day’, but I
never expanded on it.

Would have liked to start a carers forum this year, but it i
s difficult encouraging others to self
-
define/ recognize that they are. I

should have done a carers poster campaign then carers meet
and greets, not the other way around! Because of this I am a bit concerned that there will not be a
student carers successo
r next year and the issue will go unnoticed.


What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?


Never forget the main reason you signed up in the first place

Never forget the personal university experiences of the students you are representing

‘H
ow does what I do today affect them?’

26


Doing something is always better than doing nothing

You will never do what you set out to do what you thought, but you’ll go further with it!

I have recorded meetings on a NUSPC Tumblr page, I will post the URL when
it’s ready.


Both student parents and student carers are completely different things and it has been
completely new this year taking into consideration as student parent representative issues like
maternity leave, potential nurseries and a child
-
friendly
NUSU. I am glad that because the position
is now two separate parts, in the future we should be able to see an improvement in the
university conditions and experiences for student parents and student carers.


Other information

Issues dealing with student
parents has taken more of my time and over shadowed the work I
intended to do for student carers, however, I have had the
best
officer job creating crafts with the
children on student family events. In part, it’s because I enjoyed helping out in the family

events
that I am considering post degree options in the education sector
-

but we’ll see!


Special thanks:


Emily and Elyse for their organization of the family events
-

they did not just entertain the
children… (
-
:

Esta for bein
g a supportive and
encouraging Sabb
-
buddy

Charles for taking me under his wing with for NUS Conference and

for

joint writing the NUS Carers
Motion

the one in the teal will always be extra grateful.


To
all the members of the officer team and everyone who works ‘behind the
scenes’

of NUSU:

the
passion in your respective fields has been incredibly inspiring and infectious. Please do not lose
this!



NUSPC Love x



iv)

SABBATICAL OFFICER END OF SPRING TERM REPORTS


a)

President
















27


My biggest achievement this term has been the success of the Newcastle Tea’s with students from
Singapore and Malaysia, distance learners, short courses nominating academics. Also I love tea it
’s
pretty cool to leave that legacy!

-
I should have used my annual leave over Easter!

Thank you all for this year it has been a fantastic year (obviously it had its downs at times) and I
wish Eve the best of luck f
or next year I’m sure she will do an absolutely cracking job!

-

Use your summer and enjoy it!

-

Get sponsorship for the TEA’s

-

You
work with the University not for them

-

This is a job
-

make sure you switch off every now and again!


b)

Education Officer


What have you done
this term?




What has been your biggest achievement?






What could you have improved on?




What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?









Other

information







Begun writing my handover for my successor as well as the joint handover that all the sabbs
are doing collectively



Attended NEC and NUS National Conference 2013



Formed part of the judging panel for the ncl+ awards



Formed part of the judging
panel or the Vice Chancellors Extinguished Teaching Award



Teaching Excellence Awards
-

Seen an increase from 141 nominations last year to 545
nominations this year! Each academic this year has been given mugs to recognise the work
they put in. And hopefully

a successful awards evening!



Finished and handed over the maternity policy to Student services



Worked with HR to ensure postgraduates have worker status



Worked with the PVC Learning and Teaching to ensure timetables are available 9 weeks in
advance for
mature/part time and parents and carers



Conducted school rep interviews, attended a course rep employability day, various SSC’s



Researched what other Universities have in place for take home exams and those with
learning difficulties ready to lobby the uni
versity to implement something similar



Been working to get the Walton library open 24 Hours



Worked with Estates on the issue of free drinking water on Campus



Mortar boards have been brought back for graduation


28



c)

Welfare & Equality Officer



What have you done this term?


I have done a comprehensive written handover for my successor
, as well as worked with other
S
abbs on a joint team handover. I
have organised and ran a stressed out students event ‘Inner
Child Day’. I have attended the National Nightline Conference and also the NUS National
Conference as an observer. From these conferences I have worked with current and future
Nightline Committe
e to create a new constitution for the service formalising procedures and
relationship with the Students’ Union and we are already starting plans for how we can improve
the service next year.



I have written an open letter to Liam Burn about the behaviour

of NEC at Conference and the
atmosphere of intolerance with I have circulated round all North East delegates and observers to
sign if they agree. I have worked with hall reps to start a campaign on lower the cost of laundry
facilities in accommodation.

I have completed a Mental Health First Aid course. I have
supervised the interviews for Fresher’s Crew. I have also been working with Northumbria Police
planning a Consent Awareness Campaign to be launched by Fresher’s Week and also organising
and host
ing a Bike Awareness Day.


What has been you biggest achievement?


Running another Stressed Out Students event, as I think exam stress and mental health are
extremely important issues. It is also building upon the success of January’s campaign which
had
an almost 30% improvement in awareness figures and resulted in a 198% increase in hits to
the Welfare home page.


What could you have improved on?


The changes to Nightline are really big and very important. I would like to have been able to do
more before

I leave but I didn’t go to the National Conference until mid
-
April. I will have to
leave the rest of the changes in Emily’s safe hands.


What piece of Advice would you pass on to your successor?


You can’t possibly do or change everything in a year. Be
more selective about the projects you
take on focusing on quality of change and impact rather than quantity. Stick to your principles as
well.



Esta Innes, Welfare & Equality Officer




d)

Editor of Courier



What have you done this term?

So far this term, one edition of The Courier has been published. The issue featured an extensive
article on the Adidas deal, providing information from all angles on the argument of how the deal
will positively or negatively affect Newcastle University stu
dents. Three more issues will be out by
the end of the term, concluding with a 12
-
page Summer Special pull
-
out in a similar vein to the
29


Winter and Spring pull
-
outs which have concluded the previous two terms. The Courier has
launched a beta version of its
brand new website, and will continue to implement new features and
designs on the website throughout the term. Development on the NUSU Media app continues,
however it is looking unlikely that this will be launched by the end of term, and will perhaps be
co
mpleted for the beginning of the next academic year.


What has been your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement has perhaps been in successfully closely managing a team of 40 sub
-
editors
(the largest ever Courier team) with a range of experience to pr
oduce a close
-
knit, sociable and
enterprising team, who produce a paper and online content which I feel lives up to the standard of
last year’s award
-
winning efforts. I feel that the sub
-
editorial group’s time working on The Courier
will have had a signifi
cantly positive impact on their time at Newcastle University, and the
newspapers which we have produced have largely had a positive effect on campus. I’m also proud
of The Courier’s new website, however I feel to call that my biggest achievement would take

credit
away from the immense efforts of online editor Ben Brown and his technological wizardry. Finally, I
also feel like I have delivered on the promise of working more with NSR and TCTV


perhaps not to
the extent that I would have liked (it’s something

much easier said than done), but I feel that we
have made positive steps in bringing student media together in the forthcoming app, and in helping
TCTV to advance its cause for more funding to be able to produce more content.


What could you have improved

upon?

I could have improved upon my punctuality in getting my reports in, for starters. Mainly though, I
think I could have improved upon keeping The Courier website up to date. It’s generally widely
-
read, and my focus at the beginning of term was to a gr
eat extent fixed on the newspaper itself.
However, once online editor Ben Brown came aboard and began working on a new, more functional
and more convenient website which is much easier to update, I feel that my successor will not face
the same difficulties

of working with a very complex and temperamental website.


What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?

My advice to my successor would be to learn when to take a break, and to enjoy being with your
teams


both Cou
rier and sabbatical. All S
a
bb roles are, but with the weekly rolling deadline of
finishing a 48
-
page newspaper, being Editor is a very intense, stressful and time
-
consuming role.
However, it’s not a license to not have a social life and do what you want to do. And as much time
as yo
u want to put into the paper to make it the best it can be, it’s equally important to take time
for yourself, even when there appears to be none.


Other information

Thank you to all of the PTOs for their efforts this year


you’ve been a great team to work

with, I’ve
thoroughly enjoyed being in an officer team with you. Charles, your Christmas motion/poem was
entirely ridiculous and potentially the best thing that’s ever happened at Council. Sabbs, you’re all
ace to
o, but you know that.



e)

Activities Office
r



What have you done this term?



All the Sabbatical Officers have been working hard on engagement, particularly during the
elections, getting students to run for our positions and vote.

30




I have carried on meeting society Presidents and the total society membership has raised to
11,556.



We have a total of 169 societies which is the highest ever amount.



I have trained current society committees on how to run an AGM and how to handover to th
eir
next year committee to try and make the process as simple as possible.



Working through with the Star System seeing many societies gaining their stars.



Pushing for societies to get more members with the Incentive Scheme.



Society mascot still going on ma
ny society events.



Worked with my Societies Executive Committee and restricted the grant system for societies.
We have introduced a Equipment Grant throughout the year and made all grant forms
electronic.



Homemade Jam is now running really well with rough
ly 15 people turning up to play each night.



Festival of Arts and Music was held and was a success, with 15 societies and 182 students
involved. Positive feedback was given from people who attended the event and the students
who had taken part.



RAG has ra
ised a total of £11,791.32. This will hopefully increase slightly as we are gaining
information on what societies have raised for their individual charities.



Planning the ncl+ awards, which will be held in the Students’ Union on Tuesday 23
rd

April. So

far the awards have been a great success with 165 applications, an increase on 30 compare to
last year and we have removed a category. I was on the shortlisting panel where we had to get
each category down to 5 nominations and on two judging panels. T
he evening is also looking to
be an amazing night which I am so excited about.



Summer Carnival. The plans and tickets have now been released and put on sale. The price of
the event is £30 and is open to all students. The event has a main headliner and a nu
mber of
other small bands and artists playing, a comedian, some of the cast of ‘Made in Chelsea’, fun
games and activities and a fairground.



Working with the University and the Sabbatical team to put together a program of events for
the Singapore student
s who are coming over in Summer. These are the students who are at
our campus in Singapore and are here to experience life in the UK and at the University campus.



Continuing to work with my 12 CDM students with regular meetings over 2 weeks.



Worked close
ly with Give it a Go , Go Play and Go Global to increase society participation.



Sat on the Alumni Association Student Initiative, where we allocated money to different
projects students apply for.



Sat in catering meetings to discuss Men’s Bar catering, and

introduced a new menu with some
different meals on there, due to student feedback.



Worked with all the Sabbatical Officers on a joint handover document that will be much more
comprehensive and contain information about each position. This will help our s
uccessors
understand each role more and give them a wider perspective of what it is like to be a
Sabbatical Officer.


What has been your biggest achievement?



Gaining £50,000 extra funding for societies.

31




Increasing the amount of support of society officers
with the introduction of new ‘How To’
Guides and engagement of societies within the Students’ Union with the ‘Star System’ and the
‘Incentive Scheme’.





What could you have improved on?




Increase amount of focus on RAG
-

these events could have been

bigger and included more
students, along with increasing RAG’s presence throughout the year not just focusing on one
week of activity.



Marketing of the events that not only I organise but the whole Students’ Union. We have
something amazing things goin
g on, but not all students know about them.





What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?



Don’t work too hard, it is a difficult job and time consuming but make sure you get the balance
with work and home.



Create a friendly
relationship with society committees
-

it is much easier for you to get them to
do things with you. It also helps if you need a favor or something doing.






Any additional sections that the report writer deems necessary



I know that Rosie will do a

great job next year and I wish her the best of luck. It has been such
an amazing year, and I have loved most minutes of it.


Jasmine Walker, Activities Officer



f)

Athletic Union Officer


What have you done this term?

Stan Calvert was another success for
Newcastle this year, and despite the earlier threats, Stan
Calvert continued successfully.


The final score was 78.75
-
56.25 to Newcastle (the obscure
score is down to the athletic results). This score was closer th
an it has been in a long while,
however I

felt that this did make the atmosphere more exciting.

Sports Strategy Committee meeting was very
successful;

the committee agreed that they
should meet more often as they felt that twice a year was not sufficient .


It will now meet four
times a year (
June/Sept/Dec/March).

The University is now looking into the possibility of setting up a partnership with willing
partners to take over City Pool;

we are aware that there are going to be significant cost
implications and these are in the processes of bein
g discussed.

It was also minuted at the Sports Strategy Committee that the AU Officer will be present at the
meeting with the CPRS staff when the scholarships are decided, at the start of the academic
year. I struggled to get invited to this meeting in Sep
tember/early October and I was also aware
that the last 3 AU Officers have also struggled. This should now not be a problem for the AU
Officer to attend next year.

The Rifle Range is being

refurbished this summer to remove the asbestos;

they will be
re
moving the external walls and inserting a better ventilation system in the venue.


Currently at
32


the facility there are no toilet provisions,
although
this is also being looked into as part of the
refurbishment.

Adidas discussions have continuing over the
last term and the contract has now been signed.

Myself and the President, Laura Perry, met with the People and Planet Society President and
Treasurer
with regard to the Adidas deal;

I felt this was beneficial and I look forward to
working with them in the

future.

I have spent a large amount of time organising the AU Ball, one of the biggest events in the AU
calendar, with 740 tickets sold for the 3 course meal and a further 40 after dinner tickets sold.
The event took place at the Lancastrian Suite, Gates
head
, and a

great n
ight was had by all; a

special congratulation goes to everyone that won awards.


What has been your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement would be getting involved in the initiation of the Swimming Pool
Project for Newcastle University.

The partnership

with A
didas has taken a lot of time to reach the point which we

could sign an
agreement.

Behind the scenes I have been negotiating and working hard to get the best deal
for our students.

With this

partnership there are significant financial benefits in terms of
sponsorship money for Clubs and new sports scholarship bursaries bu
t also signific
ant discount
on A
didas sportswear
,

exclusively for
all

Newcastle students.

There are
employability

benefits

in terms of placements in the A
didas group with part
-
time brand ambass
ador roles available on
campus. A
dida
s is

a higher profile brand and will be

a good quality,
optional

kit supplier for
Team Newcastle and intramural teams, pl
us there are opportunities for A
didas to bring big
name sporting stars to campus for unique events (su
ch as Olympic gold medallists who

they
also sponsor).

Being involved wit
h and organising a Ball for 750 Students that was a success.

Formed a group to look at the current grant system and looked into a grant review.

We looked
at the way we allocated our grants at the start of the year to see how we could do this better.
So f
ar we

have come up with 2 solutions;
the discussions are still occurring an
d will be taken to
the next AU Executive
meeting and ultimately it will go to AU AGM at the start of the next
academic year.


What could you have improved on?

I think I could have had a better work life balance this term.

This year I would have liked to have spent more time out and about watching the clubs training
and play.


What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?

Make the most of the year b
ecause it goes super
-
fast and always try to make time for your
Sabb team. K
eep refe
r
r
ing back to your handover document over the course of the year
-

some
useful advice in there!


Any additional sections that the report writer deems necessary

I just want
to take this opportunity to say good luck to Katie, I wish all the best for her, for next
year. I also wanted to say a big thank you to all the staff at NUSU for their support.






33


V
)
STATE OF THE UNION REPORT



Currently, the area of strategic planning the Trustees are focusing on is around improving
communication through providing one consolidated database and by developing a new digital
infrastructure for the organisation.


There are currently at least 12 diff
erent databases in operation throughout the organisation
which were each created separately and are updated through various sources, systems and
methods. They are incompatible with each other in their current forms, the databases cannot
be consolidated and

no interaction occurs between them.


An audit of Newcastle University Students’ Union (the SU) by NUS (National Union of Students)
through the Students’ Union Evaluation Initiative evaluated “Communication” and “Finance” as
“Priority Improvement Areas” i
n October 2011.


Following this, the Trustee Board has committed to improving communication with members,
following the strong focus given and outlined in the NUSU Strategic Plan 2012
-
15
(
http://www.nusu.co.uk/files/strategic
-
plan
-
2012
-
2015.pdf
)


Communication with members is currently one of the weakest areas of the Students’ Union’s
business and there is a belief that before the 2015 academic year, strong communication
methods shou
ld be given a high priority and there should be strategic planning done in the area
of membership
-
relations management.


Newcastle University is currently undertaking to improve the digital experience of the student
life
-
cycle through the “Digital Campus
Initiative” and so this would seem an opportune time to
also rationalise the Students’ Union’s provision.


Over the coming months, SU staff and elected student representatives will be working towards
providing a method for the SU to communicate efficientl
y in more targeted and impressive
ways. Further support for the Students’ Union’s finance work should also be provided so that it
may continue to improve.


There will be a consultation process on
-
going between now and August 2013 to ascertain what
student
s would want to see from an integrated digital system that will support their
engagement with the Students’ Union and student participation in this will be of vital
importance.


Ultimately, the Trustee Board is of the belief that on
-
going discussion aroun
d database
consolidation, and the procurement of a “Membership Relations Management System” should
be supported and given high priority until at least September 2014.


The vision is to achieve one consolidated database for all relevant areas that can comb
ine the
knowledge we gain on each of our members during their time at this University. The Students’
Union has taken a significant “physical leap” forward in terms of appearance through the
regeneration of the building in 2011 and it is the right time to n
ow take a “digital leap” in the
same direction in order to meet and then exceed student expectations.


Laura Perry

President 2011
-
13

34



vi)
QUESTIONS TO THE SABBATICAL OFFICERS




vii)
QUESTIONS TO THE PART
-
TIME OFFICERS