Know your rep week is all about supporting and promoting all the work that your elected student reps do to represent your academic interests. Student summit is a meeting where elected reps and students discuss, vote on and potentially action matters which have been raised on the ideas forum. To be discussed at summit an idea needs to have at least 25 votes. The ideas discussed at this summit included:
1. A crèche or childcare facility
Claire Smedley (the elected Student Parents Officer) had added an idea to the forum suggesting that a creche/nursery facility at the University was much needed. The idea has so far received 56 votes and lots of positive comments on the forum. At summit it was suggested there might be some safeguarding issues for the children using the facility and there would be a need for more research to develop concrete ideas about how it would run. For example, could Early Childhood students use it for work experience or volunteering if they are studying a related course? Could we learn from other universities which have already implemented something?
Outcome - The Student Parents Officer was charged with finding out more about how this operates elsewhere, in coordination with the Vice President (Welfare) Jacob Blatherwick who will escalate to the appropriate University department.
2. Reinstating the number 5 bus
Emily Salé (the RAG Chair) had posted the idea of reinstating the free number five bus service which was removed from operation earlier this year. You clearly feel strongly about this as 73 of you upvoted the idea. In response the university has apologised for not including students in the decision to scrap the route. The merits and challenges of reinstating the number 5 bus were discussed. It was noted that students felt that the removal of the bus had caused inclusivity issues for people who have a disability, as well as safety issues for people who have late lectures and need to travel in the dark. Some stated that students could miss 2 or 3 buses at busy times due to them running at capacity which is making them late for lectures and forcing lecturera to break while the students come in. The possibility of a bus which ran by the Aldi supermarket and hospital was seen as a definite plus. Alternatives to reinstating the bus were discussed such as having subsidised tickets and running other buses more frequently. Many felt that a more thorough paid service may be better but were worried others may be less favourable to the change having experienced a free system. It was stated that the university will be reviewing the bus system before the next academic year and that elected union officers will be heavily involved in the process.
Outcome - Vice President (Education) Scarlet Moss will
consider lobbying for an affordable bus service for all students, rather than a free bus services for halls residence, consulting with students as appropriate.
arrange for a ‘walking / cycling time’ inter-site map to be created through Union design team
facilitate communication on which bus routes takes you where, to encourage people to utilise the No. 7 and No. 4 to ease up the No. 6.
3. Introducing student rest/nap areas
An anonymous student had suggested the idea of “an area on campus for those students who have a long commute” which “would allow them to recuperate when they have a long gap between lectures” and “have a rest break whilst studying” - this had received 38 votes so far. People felt there was a clear divide on what this is asking - a rest and nap area are quite different in their purpose and challenges. Vice President (Activities) Dani Quill was worried that this could encourage an unhealthy lifestyle suggesting that you should balance your schedule and If you are fatigued, go home and rest. Health and safety concerns were raised about the potential for sexual assault and robberies. Vice President Jacob Blatherwick was worried about creating a culture at university that does not prepare you for work where you can’t take naps. The idea was possible with some, including Buxton Chair Sue Spingall. People felt the university needed more relaxing areas, like halls common rooms, as the atrium is currently very chaotic. It was felt the quiet space (in the library) wasn’t always used appropriately as some students use it as a gossip, and not work, space. It was noted that there was a rest area in the multi faith centre which is a quiet zone. A quick bit of research found that Manchester and Edinburgh universities have similar spaces but you can only have them for 20 minutes. It was felt further research was needed.
Outcome - Vice President (Welfare) Jacob Blatherwick will create a social media campaign on current spaces around different campuses
Unfortunately we did not have the 21 students needed in attendance to have a vote and make any of the items policy. They will remain on the ideas forum for you to up and down vote before being carried over to the next Student Summit (TBC). If you want to further the discussion on these items they will remain on the ideas forum via the links above. If you have an idea you would like to propose on the forum please follow the link or speak to your programme representative. Do you #knowyourrep? If not you can find them here.