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2015 11-25-guild-council

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Guild Council agenda for 25 November

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2015 11-25-guild-council

  1. 1. Guild Council Agenda: 25 November 15 Building One: Bateman 2:30pm to 3:30pm
  2. 2. Agenda • Governance (15 minutes) – Introductions / Apologies – Standing Orders – Being kind to one another – Discipline / Student Ideas • Student Ideas (40 minutes) – 18 Ideas • Other Business (1 mins) – Automatic Passes – Automatic Fails • 60 Seconds (4 minutes) – Sabbatical Officer Reports
  3. 3. Standing Orders 1. This Council instructs the Sabbatical Officers to not campaign for either side of any EU Referendum campaign run by the Guild or the students of Exeter.
  4. 4. STOP, THINK and LISTEN • When someone tells you you're wrong: stop, think and listen. • We’re not telling you how to think or what to think. • We’re just asking that you do think. • Council has frequently been a toxic environment this year. • Treat other Councillors as you yourself would want to be treated. • Be kind to one another.
  5. 5. Student Ideas and discipline • Being focussed on inclusion and participation, the Ideas system when designed: – Did not account for Trolling – Did not account for deliberate malice • The models used to create Ideas also failed to engage any disciplinary mode – They were public systems, designed for mass participation • Implicitly, the Code of Conduct applied – This has now been made explicit on the Help page • Student Ideas is a Guild Council system – Any discipline that is required during the operation of Student Ideas is derived from Council’s policy-making power, the Code of Conduct and the membership of the Sabbatical Officers
  6. 6. Ongoing Situation • The Guild (as a body) is required by law to act when we receive a complaint from any student, and there have been several about contentious Student Ideas – the ones still live are those identified as “trolling” in the Council Agenda for today. • We have also received a letter of complaint from a parent of one of the students involved in the submission of those Ideas – threatening legal action if one of the case scenarios came to pass through Council voting to apply that disciplinary method. • Please note that at no stage have staff named the individuals involved – nor do we intend to, and have resisted calls from Councillors or Officers to release names, since it is this kind of legal threat that was being risk managed through anonymity. • It is clear that emotions and conflict are running very high – and that the attempt to diffuse the situation by getting Council to act was in fact a trigger for escalation rather than a cooling-off moment.
  7. 7. Reminders to Council • Council is not a court of law. • Council is an Open Meeting, and there is no option to close it to members on any basis. • Council and Councillors do not have qualified privilege when dealing with complaints, since there is no basis in law for this to happen, therefore anything said falls under the ordinary rules for defamation. • On that basis – none of the students who submitted Ideas are to be named by anyone present for any reason. • Also on that basis – the material supplied for the Agenda was specifically aimed at looking at the Ideas themselves, not the submitters; but have clearly been read as inferring personal discipline rather than process or procedure – Council is reminded that its powers lie in process or procedure (Governance) and not disciplinary in the personal sense.
  8. 8. Reminders to Council • We do not regard the identity of the proposers as being apposite to the votes in any way, shape or form – focus on the Ideas as a part of the system, not on the proposers. • Complaints and complainants are also anonymous as a matter of procedure, until any direct oral hearing can be heard – this is why the focus here is procedural and not personal. • Even if you do know the identities of the students involved please do not focus on them as individuals, but instead on the system remembering that any decision has to be applied universally to all Ideas and that individuals cases make for very bad rules.
  9. 9. Issue One • Whilst the Ideas identified at the discretion of the Student Ideas and Votes Officer are still ‘live’ they were accepted and published under the conditions that: – The Code of Conduct application to IDEAS was implicit, not explicit. – The Code of Conduct application to COMMENTS was explicit in the Rules. • As such, even where an Idea has been identified as problematic the proposer cannot be punished for it. – This would be a retroactive application of a punishment which could not have been in the mind of an ordinary student at the time the idea was submitted. – It would therefore be unlawful to apply a punishment other than the failing of the Idea itself on an automatic basis.
  10. 10. Issue Two • Ideas were submitted on the basis of being anonymous – the purpose to the ‘case statement’ using existing examples was NOT to focus on the submitters of those Ideas – The cloak of anonymity cannot be retrospectively removed. – Staff did not disclose exact details of who had submitted any given Idea. – The cloak of anonymity cannot and will not be removed from the current Ideas which are live on the system BEFORE any vote is decided today. – We used examples because we’re always asked for examples – they were not intended to be used as a definitive statement of purpose.
  11. 11. Issue Three • Most Unions ‘censor’ their voting systems because of situations like this one – We do not, and resist attempts for this to happen – We trust you – and will explain the law to you in full when required to do so on the basis of any ongoing situation – Like today • In the following votes, please remember: – NO NAMES – No retrospective action can be taken
  12. 12. Decisions • Vote One: – To agree that the Student ideas Officer has the authority to make decisions about IDEAS which have already been submitted and published on the grounds that any pre-moderation could be taken as active censorship and would also place an unbearable workload on an unpaid elected Officer. • GREEN: The Student Ideas and Votes Officer has this authority. • AMBER: Abstain. • RED: The Student Ideas and Votes Officer does not have this authority.
  13. 13. Decisions • Vote Two: – To agree that the requirement of law that student members have the right to complain about systems including Student Ideas must take effect using the Officer’s Code of Conduct as a guide to behaviour for all use of the system, including the submission of Ideas • GREEN: Agree • AMBER: Abstain • RED: Disagree • The right to complain cannot be removed – if the consequences are that an effective remedy could not be achieved on any complaint then the system will have to close permanently. • We cannot by law avoid s.22 Education Act 1994, and are legally bound to the consequences of it.
  14. 14. Decisions • Vote Three: – In the case that Student Ideas has not been closed by a refusal to act on complaints, – Who specifically should act on complaints from this point forwards: • GREEN: Student Ideas and Votes Officer • AMBER: SIVO, VP Activities and CPR Manager • RED: Guild Council only • In most internal processes, members of staff deal with first-instance complaints, and appeals are escalated to Sabbatical Officers or other elected Officers. • In the case of democratic systems, this must be much more transparent, and take account of elected Officers opinions at all times
  15. 15. Decisions • Vote Four: – How will complaints be handled from this point forwards, – Remembering that Council is not a court of law. • GREEN: In private, with a redacted report to Council • AMBER: In Council, with a new mechanism to close Council to all non-elected members • RED: In Open Session of Council • The ‘Open Session’ model is the most transparent, but carries heavy risks in the procedural safeguards to prevent libel taking place. • In an open session all comment would have to go through the Chair only and be checked for legal compliance at the time. • Other alternatives can be discussed – but a decision must be made. This cannot be postponed.
  16. 16. Decisions • Vote Five: – These are the previously given examples already determined independently by the Student Ideas and Votes Officer as coming under his interpretation of what constitutes ‘trolling’ – This is not an accusation that anyone is a troll. – This does not apply to the proposers of the Ideas inasmuch as no action can be taken against them as individuals • GREEN: The Ideas should auto-fail • AMBER: Abstain • RED: The Ideas should pass through as usual
  17. 17. Decisions • Vote Six: – The options for this vote originally were written to look as though a changed model of discipline would apply – that is not the case. – Any decision about the proposers of the Ideas identified would be private, and relate only to their use of Student Ideas – not to other democratic purposes. – We apologise for conflating two concepts into one vote, it was a tricky combination of circumstances which should not have been created in this fashion. • GREEN: Temporary ban from Idea submission • AMBER: Abstain • RED: No action
  18. 18. Decisions • Vote Seven: – Effectively, the other ‘half’ of the same question – what action would be taken IN FUTURE for Ideas which have been similarly judged or complained about… • GREEN: Temporary ban from Idea submission • AMBER: Temporary ban from student democracy including elections • RED: No action
  19. 19. Anonymity • The Student Ideas system was anonymous this year because: – Marginalised students require anonymity to protect their identities when dealing with sensitive issues of discrimination or other matters that might come to Student Ideas – It did no harm, directly, in the first place – It encouraged greater use of the system this year than last year – It fits in the concept of “secret ballot” in the use of a discretionary power • GREEN: Keep anonymity • AMBER: Abstain • RED: Scrap anonymity
  20. 20. Social Justice • Where the Student Ideas system is used for social justice there is an incredibly simple method to prevent ‘trolling’ or any other activity like it… – Only persons who identify as marginalised within the scope of the concept they are proposing may submit Ideas on that theme: – i.e. Only trans students may propose trans-specific ideas, only LGB persons may propose LGB-specific ideas, only students of colour may propose issues relating to their experience of racism, etc. It would only stop a tiny proportion of Ideas. – This would have eliminated 8 Ideas, and cut out all of the complaints and issues so far this year. • GREEN: Change to this approach of acceptance • AMBER: Abstain • RED: Stay with “anyone, about anything”
  21. 21. Remaining Decisions • Any other vote required in case a clear case-study has not emerged from the previous votes to determine… – If there should be a disciplinary model on Student Ideas – Who has authority to decide discipline – Who has authority to remove Ideas which do not breach the laws of England and Wales – How complaints are answered – i.e. what is the effective remedy which answers a complaint about an Idea which is live on the system
  22. 22. Neutral Ideas Ideas which do not fail or pass on all criteria, or which have direct spending implications
  23. 23. Student Ideas 48 15 30 3 0 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Cafes to stay open until 6.30 Notes: Business School café in particular mentioned twice (La Touche.) Needs a co-ordinated response and marketing campaign to encourage use without causing losses to be made campus- wide. 83 RATING MEAN 4.52 MAJORITY 87% VOTERS 69
  24. 24. Student Ideas 6011 6 6 10 4 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Education to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Push January exams forward one week (instead of starting on the 04/01/16, start on the 11/01/16) Notes: No comment in context. Likely to meet resistance, but has a qualified majority in favour and the mean is over 4 (agree) 83 RATING MEAN 4.13 MAJORITY 56.7% VOTERS 97
  25. 25. Student Ideas 6113 5 7 12 0 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Graduation ceremony to take place in Exeter Cathedral Notes: Falmouth used as a good example of off-campus ceremonies. All positive comment. 82 RATING MEAN 4.10 MAJORITY 56.7% VOTERS 97
  26. 26. Student Ideas 41 17 3 1 4 2 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Better cutlery at Pieminister Notes: Sustainability mentioned – although most wooden cutlery is (by sourcing and design) more sustainable than plastics. Metal cutlery couldn’t be used for take-away, and could slow service to provide eat-in/take- out alternatives. 79 RATING MEAN 4.36 MAJORITY 77.9% VOTERS 68
  27. 27. Student Ideas 35 15 9 0 12 1 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:The Guild Shop should sell Guild branded underwear Notes: No Comments74 RATING MEAN 3.86 MAJORITY 52.8% VOTERS 72
  28. 28. Student Ideas 39 12 2 1 20 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:The Guild should respond to all job applications Notes: May result in additional administration work in specific cases. This is a capacity burden, not a cost-able expense. The Guild is happy to meet the expectations of its’ members where those can be clearly stated. 67 RATING MEAN 4.52 MAJORITY 85.7% VOTERS 56
  29. 29. Student Ideas 31 14 1 2 3 0 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Welfare & Diversity to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:After school clubs/holiday club/toddler group for students studying with children Notes: No Comments Any planning should involve the existing Student-Parent group and Family Centre where possible. 59 RATING MEAN 4.33 MAJORITY 78.4% VOTERS 51
  30. 30. Student Ideas 24 12 5 5 20 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Welfare & Diversity to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Baskets in the laundry rooms to put peoples washing in when they haven't come to collect it Notes: No Comments.52 RATING MEAN 4.06 MAJORITY 60.4% VOTERS 48
  31. 31. Student Ideas 27 14 0000 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Activities to consult/act with Campus Services GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Cup recycling bin in Camper Coffee Notes: No Comments51 RATING MEAN 4.66 MAJORITY 100% VOTERS 41
  32. 32. Student Ideas 278 3 3 2 2 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Education to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information: Capacity boards for the library showing how many seats are taken and how many are available Notes: Displayed on some screens, and available through the iExeter app. Knowledge of the existing services is not universal. 51 RATING MEAN 4.28 MAJORITY 85.7% VOTERS 45
  33. 33. Student Ideas 22 12 5 3 7 1 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Education to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Courses with summative work/essay of 50% weighting should have 'supervision sessions' where students get advice/proofreading on the progress of their work. Notes: Office Hours mentioned. “Policy” that academics may only check the introduction. Obvious concern about plagiarism/additional help over ‘your own work’ – but wanted by a qualified majority. 51 RATING MEAN 3.80 MAJORITY 48% VOTERS 50
  34. 34. Student Ideas 25 9 1 3 15 2 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Release a Guild Statement opposing the Higher Education Green Paper Notes: No Comments50 RATING MEAN 3.5 MAJORITY 35.6% VOTERS 54
  35. 35. Student Ideas 29 3 5 4 10 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Activities to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information: Careers fairs and other events to take place exclusively in non-study spaces Notes: Strong majority in favour of keeping study spaces for study. 48 RATING MEAN 4.31 MAJORITY 64.3% VOTERS 42
  36. 36. Student Ideas 27 5 2 3 2 1 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Education to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information: It would be better if Career Zone events appear on our timetables and reminders are sent ONE day before the scheduled date Notes: No Comments. Additional information includes timetabling of these events – probable addition to ongoing time-tabling project (software sourcing.) Usually VP Activities remit, but ongoing project with VP Education. 46 RATING MEAN 4.45 MAJORITY 69.2% VOTERS 39
  37. 37. Student Ideas 15 611 8 2 3 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:All Students Guild Debates, Elections Hustings, Sabb Question Time to be hosted in The Forum Street Notes: Large neutral segment. No Comments. The Forum Street is not always bookable as events and displays take place there which are University-run. 43 RATING MEAN 3.57 MAJORITY 24.4% VOTERS 45
  38. 38. Student Ideas 2110 2 2 10 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Welfare & Diversity to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Hot water dispensers and takeaway cups available in study areas Notes: Bring your own or buy from the Guild suggested. A&V Hot Water tap. 42 RATING MEAN 4.59 MAJORITY 82.4% VOTERS 34
  39. 39. Student Ideas 18 10 3 4 1 2 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to Guild President to consult/act GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:More Guild Points for using the Guild Cup Notes: No Comments. Extra information states concept as a reward for being environmentally friendly. 42 RATING MEAN 4.11 MAJORITY 60.5% VOTERS 38
  40. 40. Student Ideas 21 11 1 1 10 Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree Confused Votes: RED: Fail Idea – Neutral or Cost Implications AMBER: Pass to VP Activities to consult/act with Campus Services GREEN: Council-decided action or Change Agent present Information:Better lighting up to Lopes Notes: No Comments41 RATING MEAN 4.43 MAJORITY 85.7% VOTERS 35
  41. 41. Automatic Passes • Automatic Passes – 336: Pedestrian Priority – 347: Anything But Fries
  42. 42. Automatic Fails • Automatic Fails – 345: Intramural cancellation forfeiture – 350: ELE course downloads – 353: Statement on Washington Singer solidarity – 355: Statement on anti-violent protest solidarity – 356: Statement on violent protest solidarity – 357: Statement on Student Ideas solidarity – 359: Students not Suspects Policy – 365: Full length mirrors for dance practice
  43. 43. Sabb Reports • 60 second Sabb Reports – VP Activities – Guild President – VP Welfare & Diversity – VP Education
  44. 44. Any Other Business • Correcting failure – No current failing Ideas or projects which require Council votes. – “No Platform” is withdrawn in the submitted form. • Anything else from the floor?

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