Leaving Statement from Chris Smith (LGBT+ Officer 2017/18)

The next couple of weeks officially mark the end of my term as LGBT+ Officer!

I would like to thank everyone who has helped make this year so amazing for the Network, whether committee or non-committee, by volunteering their time to help benefit our community. Together, we’ve put together several successful campaigns, raised a ton of money for charity and hosted and co-hosted over 30 different events!

Special shout-outs go to Alex and Jonny at UoN LGBT+ Voices who headed up their own campaigns and events alongside the Network with tremendous success, as well as Sophie, Andy, Luke, Jase and Liv for doing such amazing work on committee – I’m so proud of you all!

Being a Part-Time Officer is definitely like having a part-time job – there have been highs and lows, but with help from the other SU Officers and the brilliant support from the Student Union staff (especially those in Representation Development) it’s been such a pleasure heading the Network this year. I know that James will do a great job taking up the role  (hopefully he’ll be able to get through my 20,000 word handover document by September – bit of summer reading never went amiss 😉) and I wish him the best of luck in the upcoming months!

If you haven’t already, make sure to follow the new SU LGBT+ Officer account below to keep up with James next term.

It’s been so great to meet you all, and I wish everyone in the Network a happy Pride month and a fantastic year,

  • Chris Smith (LGBT+ Officer 2017/18)


References to ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

We have been alerted to the fact that references to ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ in our newsletters may make a few members uncomfortable, due to the transphobic nature of comments made by RuPaul earlier this year. If this is something that has affected you we apologise sincerely – it was definitely not our intention to come across as supporting those comments and we will definitely be more careful in the future when it comes to referencing the show.

If you have any comments or concerns, make sure to contact the LGBT+ Officer at sulgbtofficer@nottingham.ac.uk, or use the Feedback section on our website.

  • Chris, LGBT+ Officer 2017/18


Fantastic resource for trans people!

http://genderkit.org.uk/ is a new and brilliant resource for trans people. It details a myriad of ways in which one can change their gender construction – including legal documentation, names, pronouns, identities, hormone treatments, and all areas of the body (including binding, corseting, make up, surgery, tucking etc.)

Definitely check out the resource and be sure to share it with your friends!


Nominations for Campaigns and Welfare Officers

Hello everyone!

Nominations are now open for the roles of Campaigns Officer (x3) and Welfare Officer (x2) for the LGBT+ Network committee!

The deadline for submitting your nomination is 12pm on Monday 9th October.

If you are at all interested, head to https://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/societ…/society/…/elections/

For more information about what the roles entail, head here:


Hope that you are all well, and feel free to message the new page (www.facebook.com/uonlgbt) or myself with any questions,


Results from ‘LGBT+ Network Feedback Survey’ (3.25.17)

Regular surveys help us to gather information and improve our Network. Thank you for providing feedback and helping us better represent the voice of UoN LGBT+ students!

48 people took part in this survey. Though not representative of the entire Network, all information provided will be taken into regard by next year’s committee (commencing September 2017.) Results have been rounded to the nearest 1% for clarity.

All topics raised will be further explored at our first open committee meeting in the new academic year (date tbc.)

1. Are you happy with the Sunday cafe socials being held at Mooch?

Indifferent – 44%

Yes – 38%

No – 19%

These results show that the majority of students are either indifferent or content with Mooch Sunday socials, so we will continue to host socials at Mooch – however, we are aware of those who feel that Mooch is not ideal in this regard, so there will be regular socials at alternate locations with different atmospheres (including bringing back Kitty Cafe socials!)

If you have any ideas or preferences to where you want a social to be held, please use the Feedback tab on the website or message a committee member!

2. Would you be happy with the Network holding a ‘gender bread’ stall in which we give out free ginger bread and discuss gender identities?

Yes – 68%

No – 19%

Indifferent – 13%

Whilst the majority of participants had a positive reaction to the ‘gender bread’ stall idea, we are aware of the main issues associated with such a campaign – mainly, the problems that could arise with cisgender individuals discussing trans+ gender identities. In response to this, we aim to produce literature that will helpfully approach these topics in the correct fashion (and to avoid cisplaining). 

Additionally it was mentioned that using the ‘gender bread’ campaign may be inappropriate as this is primarily aimed at children. We do not wish to come across as patronising and subsequently, the committee will discuss this and try to come up with an alternative approach.

3. How many Network events have you been to this academic year?

0 to 4 – 46%

5 to 9 – 44%

10 or more – 11%

It’s fantastic to know that we have such interested and dedicated members! We are currently looking at ways to improve how we publicise events so that more members are aware that they are happening and are willing to come. This will involve restarting the weekly mailing list, readjusting how the events are processed via Facebook, and updating the calendar on the website. Again, if you have any ideas on how you would like to be informed of events, use the Feedback tab or email sulgbtofficer@nottingham.ac.uk!

4. How welcoming have you found the Network this year? (Open question)

We received 41 responses, most of which were positive!

Some topics broached did include:

  • More external campus representation desired, particularly Sutton Bonington – It is our aim for next year to host at least one social a term dedicated to those LGBT+ students on Sutton Bonington, of which there are several. We’re going to be in contact with the Guild as much as possible, and hopefully our presence at the SB Welcome Fair will attract some attention and we can gather more information up-front on how best to help in this area! 
  • Established crowds – Naturally, close friendships will be formed at events as people meet and get along. However, this can sometimes cause new members to feel alienated. To help with this, we are aiming to host a Refreshers social in January 2018, as well as organising more welcome/ get-to-know socials (which will be more diverse) in October than have been hosted previously. There are in addition to the regular weekly socials that will go on throughout the year.

5. How, in your opinion, could the Network improve? (Open question)

Feedback included:

  • Giving members ‘concrete ways to give regular suggestions instead of just polls with limited options’.
  • More ‘openness from the committee’
  • More ‘transparency on committee operation’

I (Chris) completely agree that an efficient way of obtaining comments and concerns from students, as well as ensuring transparency from the committee, is crucial in making sure that the Network is representing the LGBT+ student voice as much as it can. 

In response to this, I aim to start a public LGBT+ Network Facebook Page, in addition to the current group. This will, hopefully, allow the following:

  • A concise and direct manner of relaying important Network information (including directly expressing what the committee are getting up to)
  • A buffer between the general public and the Facebook Group (which will remain an active safe space for UoN LGBT+ students and our direct allies only). This will stop any spamming from those who 
  • A way for Network members and members of the public to directly message the page, so that requests and feedback can be easily sent and speedily answered.
  • A clear way of advertising large scale events and website posts that will not become hidden underneath other posts.

6. Suggestions for Events and Campaigns

Ideas included:

  • More cafe events outside of Mooch (esp. Kitty Cafe) including non-alcoholic meet-ups
  • Discussion Groups and LGBT+ education sessions
  • Continuing with inclusive and interactive campaigns 
  • Meet ups with queer religious members
  • Continuing with events for asexual members and a more widespread acknowledgement that asexual people are welcome and included
  • Socials to alternative club nights (e.g. Ocean/Crisis)
  • Continued promotion of external campaigns like in Awareness Week

Thank you for the brilliant ideas! The Social Secs for the upcoming year are working hard to find places to host cafes and socials that differ from the usual Mooch setting. This includes places such as Lee Rosy’s, the Dice Cup Cafe and the Kitty Cafe etc.. Due to popular demand, weekly Mooch socials will still be happening! Additionally, socials with particular intersections will be hosted as regularly as possible, through the Network as well as through collaborations with other Networks in the Students Union. 

In regards to the campaign ideas, we currently do not have any campaign officers on committee. However, we are going to run another election in the new term, after which two campaigns officers and two more welfare officers will hopefully be added to the committee. Until then, we are hoping to run as many campaigns as possible alongside our social events! 

The 2017/18 Committee are incredibly excited to be able to help grow the Network in the next year, and we will take on all your feedback throughout. 

Thank you for reading and for answering the survey!

Chris Smith 





Old Committee Questions 2013/14

Written by Jack Salter (LGBT+ Officer 2013/14)


We are always striving to be better as a network. In order to do this, it’s important that we get feedback from you, our members. 

So that you can better understand what we’ve been up to as a committee, and how we have made the decisions we have, we invited you to question the team about our activities. 

Below are the answers to the questions posed to us. There were at total of 17 questions submitted, but the committee felt that 5 of these should be redacted as unhelpful and personal. We thank those who posed genuine questions – they gave us a lot to think about!

Anybody whose question was not answered is entitled to challenge that decision by emailing sulgbtofficer@nottingham.ac.uk . 

 The Open Committee Meeting will take place in C20, Portland Building, University Park at 5pm on Wednesday 2nd April.

Questions for Jack

Why do you think you’ve struggled to keep a trans officer on your committee? is committee a safe space for trans students? (I’ve heard some pretty awful stuff about the way non-binary people have been treated, which is worrying )

I don’t want to speculate as to the reasons why our previous Trans* Officers have decided to leave the Committee – they have their own individual reasons for doing so and I and the rest of Committee respect that. I understand that it has been a disappointment to not have a continuous Trans* voice on committee this year for the members, and I hope that whoever takes the post in this By-Election is encouraged to run for the role for the full year next year. However, I can say with assurance that Committee is a safe space for all members – we will always try to help and encourage each other, and any issues that we have we try to resolve openly and without resorting to becoming too personal. This means respecting the sexual/romantic orientation and gender identity of all members, and working to be inclusive of all Network members on the same grounds.

Jack, many people have said to me they were upset about the way you pretended be an air hostess when you were calling out the destinations on the London trip because people thought it was sexist and classist.

I am sorry if I caused any offence in my actions on the Manchester & London trips. I was intending to make a light-hearted parody, which might make the process of waking up after the journey back a little easier. I had no intentions of sexism and classism at all, as I feel very strongly against them both. I can only apologise if I slipped up on this occasion. 

Jack! As far as I am aware you have done nothing as Officer this year, why is this? I don’t mean stuff that the Officer has to do like committee meetings and stuff I mean things beyond that. Please don’t try to waffle your way out of this and at least admit if you think you haven’t done a very good job this year.

I was aware from the beginning that my year as Officer may not be one of massive “wins” which could be shouted about, but I do not think that I have done “nothing” as Officer this year – on the contrary, I have thrown my heart and soul into this position and have tried to change many things within the network.

At the beginning of the year we rebranded the Network, which has in my view made the Network more recognisable, more of a community and also a more inclusive and inviting place to be. I’ve also worked very hard at building relationships with the other Officers and the staff of the Union, getting them on board with the LGBT Campaign and strengthening our cause. I think that we have a great solidarity behind us there and I’m so proud of that, but I’ve also not been afraid to raise my voice as often as I need to. I’ve also been building relationships with the Union’s staff, the University (including the LGBTQ Staff Network and the Student Services department) and helping them in their strive to become one of the most trans-inclusive and supportive Universities in the country. I think I can confidently say that our concerns are taken more seriously by the University than ever before. I have also spent time cultivating a relationship with the local Police force in Nottingham, ensuring that if any serious incidents of hate crime occur in the city, our members are informed and therefore can protect themselves (fortunately this has not happened so far this year).

One of the things that I am most proud of this year is how well the Part-Time Officers have worked together, shown most clearly in the event “ID: Liberation and Me” that we ran, which really put intersectionality on the map as a Union. I am such a strong believer in Intersectionality and I was so proud to be able to work in a team that felt the same – we managed to deliver our message to a great variety of students across the day and I’m pleased that the incoming Part-Time Officer-elects are keen to run the event again next year.

Other than that, I know you asked me not to waffle on about things that the Officer is meant to do, but I have tried so hard to make sure that I have supported the Committee and the members as much as I can this year. I have a team of 15 fantastic people around me, who work tirelessly for this Network and I think that has to be recognised. I’ve been seriously impressed with the work that they’ve been doing this year and I hope that I’ve given them the level of support that they needed to perform this year. Really, I think that’s the main part of my job: I am a megaphone for the voice of this Network and I have tried my hardest to include you in what I do. That might mean not getting mega-wins, but that doesn’t bother me. If I leave this network feeling as if it’s a place that our members feel safe, supported and included, then I feel like I’ve done a good job.

Questions for Campaigns

What do you do with the councils and how does it help the LGBT Network here?

What was your speech about?

What actually happened with iSoc and The Tab?

I sit on Nottingham City Councils LGBT Scrutiny & Consultative Forum as well as a Hate Crime Forum, and I recently collaborated with Nottingham County Council and their “Education for All” conferences. I’ve been working with the City council for two years, and with the County council for one. Neither one is in the Campaigns remit, but I feel as though both of these contribute to the LGBT Network at UoN.

The Scrunity and Consultative Forum is made up of representatives from the LGBT community – voluntary and community organisations, LGBT media outlets, healthcare professionals etc – and provides advice and consultancy on Council policies and services. These services and policies are directly relevant to you as a citizen of Nottingham. I took concerns about Healthy Gay Nottingham closing down, trans* welfare provision not being adequate and even student parking fines to the panel. Making connections with people at the council has been invaluable, and they have been really supportive of our network.

I basically got involved with the Nottinghamshire County Council on a personal capacity as I grew up in Nottinghamshire. The work I did with Nottinghamshire County Council was to bring LGBT+ education into schools, colleges and youth clubs. I was a keynote speaker at two of their conferences and as a result I’ve had a lot of requests from primary and secondary schools who want better LGBT education. This has been a wholly personal endeavour, but I’ve recently opened it up to students who want to be involved with the Out In Schools campaign. The previous campaigns officers started doing out in schools, but it fizzled out a bit because there weren’t many schools open to the idea. My aim is to personally connect with schools in an attempt to try and get a pool of schools to build links with after I have left. I’ve been into eleven schools so far including primary and CofE schools, so I feel as though this work really is beginning to accumulate into a brilliant project.

I’m also going to be working with Diversity Role Models over summer to establish some proper training, so this work is going to benefit the network and Nottingham(shire) in the long term!

I assume you mean the speech from the “Education for All” conference? I was asked to speak about growing up in Nottinghamshire as an LGBT student and what education policies would have made it easier for me at school. I spoke about how on referral pads there is a box for racism and bad behaviour, but none for homophobia. I spoke about how teachers just aren’t being trained to deal with homophobia, but statistics show that teachers *do* want to be trained on how to deal with it… If you email me at campaigns@uonsulgbt.org then I can email you the speech. I spoke along with a representative from Stonewall and from Leicestershire Council (who have a brilliant system for tackling LGBT+ bullying!)

Some of our members were approached by student media outlets who attempted to provoke antagonism between the LGBT Network and the Islamic Society. This is with regards to an event run as part of the ISoc’s brilliant “Discover Islam” week, of which some of our committee attended and were warmly welcomed. I co-wrote a statement, along with Isoc, condemning the rhetoric of the student media outlets.

I think the best article to read if you want more information would be:http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/…/nus-conference_b…

As someone who has been here for nearly five years, the Campaigns calendar is better now than it has ever been. So way-hey!

My question is… Can you please do an event with the faith networks? In light of the iSoc scandal I think you could do more with the faith networks.

Yes! I think that is a fantastic idea, and something I would be very happy to do. When I wrote the statement I talked to many members of the Islamic Society committee who said they’d love to have a cafe or a myth busting session. We discussed doing something at the last committee meeting, so watch this space!

What have you done in terms of campaigns?

Prior to being elected to the committee in October, I helped with planning the Spirit Day events and ran one of the stalls for most of the day. Lucy and I worked together and with the subcommittee in planning the events for history month – the Elly Barnes talk, the sleep out and the pride fundraiser.

I think you are all doing a fine job, however have you thought about doing more campaigning around council motions?

On the one hand, I think campaigning around council motions is a fantastic idea but it does depend on the motion. I was personally for the boycott of The Sun, but I would have felt uncomfortable campaigning for it on behalf of the Network because I feel as though the Network is there to represent the opinion of students in it. Not all students agreed with the boycott, so campaigning for it would not have been a representative thing to do.

On the other hand, there are several motions that we want to talk for council, including a motion regarding the blood ban and GNTs, that I think would be very worthwhile campaigning for. 

Questions for Welfare

Apparently on the London scene crawl, condoms were provided on the coach but dental dams were not… Is there a reason for this?

This is something I will aim to improve next year.

Wahey thanks for considering running for welfare!

Basically it comes down to availability. The uni does have a dental dam system but they’re constantly low on stock so giving them out can be tricky. We’re hoping to get the safe sex on nights out to be more comprehensive, and we’re hoping to fully launch it as a proper thing in the new academic year. For now, we’re running with what we can. Condoms are cheaper and more easily accessible, which is why we managed to get some for London, which was done last minute as it was uncertain if any welfare could go until Thursday.

Also condoms can be made into dental dams  (http://std.about.com/od/oralsextips/ig/make-a-dental-dam/), so they’re somewhat multifunctional until we can sort out dental dams as a permanent part of the scheme!

Hope this explains the absence of dental dams, we’re working on it!

Why is this: “There will be games (who can put a condom on a demonstrator fastest) etc.” a part of a welfare event? As someone who has anxiety issues, this is going to turn me off. Totally the wrong approach.

Firstly, I want to say that on reflection I realise this could be seen as a bad idea. As someone with anxiety myself, I know sometimes being forced to do things like games can be deeply uncomfortable, so I understand the concerns about this.

To answer why I’m doing this, I’m basing it on research. According to HealthyU, the biggest issue they face getting students to engage in the sexual health provisions in place is that people feel awkward about it. As someone raised by a very sex positive GP mother, I feel I am oddly at ease with sexual matters. It’s this kind of “it happens, let’s have fun with it” attitude that allows me to be so forward asking for help, and getting tested, etc. The aim of the games is to try and get people talking about condoms and dental damns, comfortable with handling them, and just try and take some of the ‘epicness’ out of it. What I mean by that is that people seem to see sexual health as some “other” thing, which is done when needed. I want to make it all more familiar.

So, hope that fully explains the why. As for the how, I’m really passionate about people taking the steps they want to. If you don’t want to engage in the games, if you want to sit and chill, then that’s fine. The games will be on the half hour access breaks, and something to do to entertain yourself if you want to. If you don’t want to, there’s definitely no pressure to take part. It’s just something for those who want to take part in.

I hope that’s all ok, if there any more concerns you can contact me via welfare@uonsulgbt.prg, or facebook me. If anyone wants to comment anonymously, you can via the comments box, but please remember that I can’t respond directly there, only via public responses which takes time!

Questions for Social Secs

I just went to London and I thought it was disgraceful that you left a first year in charge of 60 people just because you wanted to get drunk which both of you did.

I also thought taking off your committee tops was stupid and you should have called the places first. I have experience in being a Social Sec and although some clubs don’t like groups just turning up, if you would ring them then it is fine.

I feel like you all care more about being cliquey and drunk than making sure other people are having a good time.

Whilst Emily took on the role as sober rep, it was still us who were responsible and in charge of the event. In fact, all committee members on the trip were fantastic at helping out and enabling the trip to go as smoothly as it did. The role of sober rep was offered to all members of committee, and Emily was kind enough to volunteer. Though she is a first year, she is an equal as a committee member, and I feel that it would have been an disservice to her to think that she was not capable of fulfilling the role, especially in light of the fantastic job that she did. We also made sure that she knew that she had our full support and that she would never be left to deal with a situation on her own.

London bars and clubs are notoriously difficult to get into, and we’ve had a lot of experience with G-A-Y run places in both London and Manchester and found them unwilling to let in big groups. In light of this, although taking off our committee tops may have been an overly cautious precaution, we wanted to take every measure to make it easier for our members to get into the venues to ensure that they had as good a night as possible. We also made the decision not to ring them in advance in case that this would make them less likely to let us in if they knew we were coming.

We feel that as social secs, our biggest responsibility is to ensure that every member at our events feels welcomed and has a good time. It is something we try our utmost to do, and we really regret if anyone feels that this is not the case. We both made an effort to interact with everyone at the event, although this was limited at times (especially in Heaven) by virtue of the layout and people being in different places.

As always, if anyone has any comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us at events@uonsulgbt.org or Jack at sulgbtofficer@nottingham.ac.uk. Alternately you can use the anonymous comment box on our website, but please note that we will be unable to respond unless you leave contact details.

Being the first year sober rep for the London trip was daunting, yes, but I was not forced to take this position, I volunteered. I was not left in charge of 60 people, all members of committee were equally responsible and were very helpful on the night. I was only sober rep so that in case anything happened, we had somebody with a completely clear head to help out. When I volunteered to be sober rep I had all of committee behind me to support me and they made it clear that I was not solely in charge of people, in fact responsibility was equally shared.

Questions for All the Team

Why have some people on committee dropped out of representing us at NUS LGBT Conference? I don’t think that is very fair.

I am one of the people who dropped out, and I dropped out due to commitments with the Diversity Role Model project I’m working on. I think this project will ultimately be better for the LGBT Network than going to NUS LGBT Conference.

Also, it’s important to remember that committee members are not obligated to attend NUS LGBT Conference and as they’re doing UoN LGBT things alongside studying, sometimes studying takes precedence!

The main reason for withdrawing my nomination is my workload, which is ever increasing and becoming tougher, thanks to the demand of the PhD. I found out last week (after submitting my nomination) that I will be giving my first ever public talk at an astronomy conference the following week after the LGBT conference, and I feel I need that weekend to prepare and do as much work for it. I don’t think I’ll be able to commit to the LGBT conference as much as I wanted to and I think the other candidates will do a much better job representing the disabled members. I apologise for not going through with the nomination as a committee member and I wish all the other candidates the best, but at the end of the day I must put my PhD first.

Hey, I’ve been in your group on facebook for little while but I am really considering leaving…

I hate the use of words like queer, yeah it’s just a word and we should move past these terms. I mean after all how do you take a word power away? make it a joke but I refuse to be defined by my sexuality, I feel if I join in with something with the term queer in it then I am doing just that, being defined by my sexuality…

I feel like a normal person, being gay is not something i go out of my way to think about… I’m just me, not a queer… not a gay… not part of some club. I’m just a person.

We as a network fully support an individual’s right to self-define who they are. We would never seek to put anyone into a box. We know that sexual/romantic orientation and gender identity/expression are deeply personal things and are more of a spectrum than set defined categories.

We also never prescribe how many and what events our members come along to – if you just want to be in the network group but don’t want to come along to any events, that’s fine.

What we try to do here is to provide a safe space and a community for those students at the University of Nottingham who feel they do not fit into a heteronormative society. We will always endeavor to be there for our members when they need us, but that doesn’t ever mean that we require anything back. The Network, we know, is an important place for many of our members, and we will always endeavor to do right by them, but if you don’t want to get involved then that’s your call and we respect that.

If your issue stems from any actions or omissions by the committee, please contact us atsulgbtofficer@nottingham.ac.ukwelfare@uonsulgbt.org or through our anonymous comments box and we will seek to resolve the issues.

Motions before the Sixth Union Council of 2013/14

This Union Should Have a Safe Space Policy

Proposer: Jack Salter (LGBT Officer 2013/14) 

Why Does this Union Need a Safe Space Policy?

·         Everyone should feel able to attend Union events and to participate freely in them.

·         The Students’ Union Bye-Laws on the conduct of members are necessarily reactive and generalised, but some students and student groups require the ability to pro-actively define ‘safe spaces’ in order to protect and/or educate.

How does Safe Space Work?

The Students’ Union:

· Will allow any student group to use this safe space policy at their events in order to foster a safe and healthy environment for students. Safe space events should be advertised as such before the event, and should display this policy at the entrance to & inside the event.
· Will support student groups in maintaining safe spaces where appropriate.
· Will remind students that conduct in contravention of Policy of the Union, including the Safe Space policy, is a Disciplinary Offence.

Behaviour in a Safe Space

Safe Space events should be a safe and comfortable environment free from behaviour including, but not limited to:

· Disrespectful behaviour
· Being careless as to one’s words or actions, particularly in relation to content that may trigger distressing memories or emotions in others
· Not respecting another’s right not to participate in discussions or to not answer questions/ask for no more questions to be directed at them
· Unfairly rejecting a person’s wish to educate themselves by asking respectful questions or making mistakes, subject to the above.
· Making assumptions about someone before they have the opportunity to identify themselves
· Intimidation, bullying or harassment

Protection of Anonymity

·         All students have the right to participate in Safe Space events anonymously and to not have their attendance shared without their permission in order to protect themselves.

·         Safe Space extends to photographs, social media and communication surrounding Safe Space events as well as face-to-face contact before, during and after the event.

Respecting Religion

Proposed by- Yasmin Talsi, BME Officer

Seconded by- Mike Dore, Equal Opportunities and Welfare Office

What is this policy about?

We believe that the Union should:

· Support and facilitate the education of people about religion and the role it plays in many people’s lives
· Campaign against any imposition of religious (including atheist) views on people
· Provide adequate religious facilities for the use of its members
· Ensure the safety of students where the visits of certain organisations to campus might be experienced as provocative
· Lobby the university so that exams and coursework deadlines do not clash with major religious observances
· Lobby the university to ensure that hall students who are fasting or have other religious dietary requirements are properly provided for

Why have you proposed this?

· We believe the union’s members have the right to practice either a religion or no religion during their stay at university
· We believe that the religious sensibilities of the unions’ members should be respected.
· In the past students have felt unsafe when certain groups with known anti-religious views have come and protested on campus
· Some events on campus have involved outside religious speakers with views which have caused offense to our students

 Care.Data Information Campaign 

Proposed By: Matt Styles

What is this idea about? 

·  For the Students’ Union to proactively inform students on the government’s Care.Data programme which involves the selling of patient records to private firms both in and outside the health sector
· To do this through all relevant means including email and social media
· To lobby Cripps Health Centre to send a letter to all of their patients informing them of Care.Data and providing an opt-out form
· To use JCR Presidents’ networks to inform students about the Care.Data programme to allow students to make an informed choice.

Why have you proposed it?

· Care.Data is a government scheme to combine patients’ GP data with other data previously unconnected
· Patients’ date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender will be used to link their records in a central system which may be sold to private healthcare providers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and those interested in selling services to the NHS
· All NHS patients, students included, should be provided with the relevant information to allow them to make an informed decision as to whether their data should be shared in this way
· In April 2014, a BBC survey found that less than 1 in 3 people were aware of Care.Data
· The uploading of data has been delayed twice, next until August 2014, due to criticism from Professional bodies such as the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners
· Students are particularly prone to not receiving such government information due to their moving between accommodation.

Zero Tolerance to Discriminatory (Verbal & Physical) Harassment

Submitters: Krishna Shah, Nina Humphries, Yasmin Talsi, Jack Salter

What is the idea about? 

Taking a stand against verbal and physical harassment based on social characteristics of an individual. This can be defined as unwanted physical and/or verbal conduct that may be sexual, violent, intimidating, degrading, offensive or humiliating in line with the SU Equal Opportunities Policy. This may be on the basis of gender, sexual or romantic orientation, social background, ability, ethnicity, religion or age.

What is it intended to achieve?

· For the Students’ Union to have a simple, well publicised guidance document in place for students to turn to, so that discrimination or harassment is recognised as damaging and unacceptable and dealt with appropriately.
· For the Students’ Union to work with associated groups (e.g. halls, clubs, societies) in order to change cultures and attitudes that might perpetuate or accept this type of behaviour.
· For the Students’ Union to work with external bodies, including the Police, Local Authorities and parts of the night-time economy (e.g. night clubs), to change cultures and attitudes that might perpetuate or accept this type of behaviour, and to protect students from harassment.

Why have you proposed it?  

· To mandate the Democratic Procedures Committee to produce a Guidance Document that makes the Students’ Union Bye-laws and procedures covering harassment clearer and easier to use.
· Because Students’ Union policy expires after three years but harassment is a perennial problem for students, and we should be working towards changing cultures and attitudes to ensure that the problem decreases.


Gender: NUS Hidden Marks Report, UoN Women’s Network Lad Culture Survey, UoN Women’s Network Zero Tolerance research and the NottsSexism twitter page all demonstrate that women experience physical and verbal sexual harassment and that cultures that are prevalent in the university sphere normalise this. Women have reported that they do not feel safe accessing university environments as a result.

BME: 18% of Black students responding to an NUS survey on hate crime have been the victim of at least one racial hate incident during their current studies according to a report of the survey’s findings. The most common types of hate incident were verbal abuse, threats of violence and threatening behaviour. 48% of Asian and Asian British students to the NUS survey reported fear about being subject to racial prejudice. 42% of reported incidents took place in and around educational institutions. More than half (54%) of the victims of race hate incidents surveyed had considered leaving their courses as a result.

LGBT:  Homophobia in Halls survey, LGBT Network year-end surveys, NUS-UoNSU joint project on retention & disclosure, research into night-time security, NUS – Education beyond the straight and narrow – all of these demonstrate instances of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and harassment. There are also repercussions from the presence of lad culture, as drawn out by the Lad Culture Survey. This does mean that some members feel unsafe being out.

Environment – Sustainable Energy 

Proposed By: Scotty Jennings

What is this idea about? 

Lobbying the University to install across all buildings integrated multi-source heat pump solutions:

· Ground source heating
· Air source heating
·  Thermal heat collectors (solar panels)

Lobbying the University to install hybrid solar solutions:

· Thermal Heat collectors (solar panels)
· Photovoltaic panels (solar cells)
– Support the University’s attempts to build wind turbines in open spaces.

Why have you proposed it? 

The above combination of green energy solutions would provide sustainable, cost-saving, CO2-reducing solutions for both heating and electricity

· Save the University Money in the long term
· Reduce CO2 emissions to become carbon neutral and self-sustainable
· Further the University’s Green image
· Improve the University’s ranking in university league tables.

Boycott G4S  

Proposed By: Scotty Jennings

What is this idea about? 

· The Students’ Union not to renew and enter into contracts with G4S or its subsidiaries
· Lobby the University not to renew and enter into contracts with G4S or its subsidiaries

Why have you proposed it? 

G4S have been involved in a number of significant controversies, including:

· Defrauding the taxpayer:
· Claiming security tagging for people who are deceased or not living in the country
· Failing to security tag individuals despite claiming the expenses for such
· Using unacceptable and non-approved violence and force in UK Border Agency detentions centres, including a case of tipping a disabled pregnant woman’s wheelchair up
· Allegations of torture in South African prisons
· Failing to provide for the London 2012 Olympics by:
· Forcing unpaid staff to sleep underneath London bridges without food or toilet facilities
· Underproviding the required level of staffing required for the event forcing the British Army to make up numbers
· Failing to provide adequate training for female teenage security staff
· In 2013 being one of the nominees for the 2013 Public Eye Award, a counter-event created by NGOs, which awards the worst company of the year
· Our Students’ Union and University, as financially-capable and ethical organisations, should have no dealings with such companies.

Lobbying for Change / Environment: Waste and Recycling 

Proposed By: Duncan Davis


What is this idea about?

 · For the Students’ Union to lobby the University to provide better access to recycling facilities in halls of accommodation
· For the Students’ Union to lobby the local authorities (e.g. Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council) to ensure adequate recycling facilities for shared accommodation.

Why have you proposed it?

· The reduction, reuse and recycling of products and materials reduces environmentally harmful levels of consumption
· Many halls of accommodation, particularly on-campus, have a single recycling point for all of their residents; making recycling inaccessible
· There are numerous cases of students living off-campus where no recycling facilities have been provided and access to recycling information is not as accessible as it needs to be for new residents.

Motions before the Fifth Union Council of 2013/14:


Proposed by: Ben Haddock (Project Leader, SU Community Reps)
Seconded by: Mike Olatokun (SU Environment & Social Justice Officer, SU Community Officer-elect)

What is the idea about?

For the Students’ Union to:
Provide information and encourage students to build positive relationships with their student and non-student neighbours.
Encourage wider student participation and turnout with local community groups, events, businesses and facilities.
Encourage students to make their voices heard outside of election periods and engage with their local representatives through community meetings and representatives’ surgeries.
Work to better promote and share the culture & positive achievements of students with the rest of Nottingham.
Work with and support other partners and agencies (University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Council, SU Community Reps etc) to facilitate the above points, where appropriate.
Monitor, evaluate and publish the impact made from the above points on a yearly basis.

Why have you proposed it?

In a survey carried out by students in Lenton last year:
– 66.2% of students and non-students saw themselves as having no relationship with each other.
– 75% of non-students reported problems with anti-social behaviour and noise.

More information about the survey results can be found at: http://www.communityreps.co.uk.

The last ten years have a seen a significant increase in the student population in Nottingham, particularly in places like Lenton.

Students are a phenomenal asset to Nottingham, however our arrival has been to some extent a mixed blessing for some permanent residents, who have seen their area change and have reported an increase in rubbish and late night noise.

This motion passed 16-0

Gender Neutral Toilets

Proposed by – LGBT Officer (Jack Salter)

What is the idea about?

For the Students’ Union to;
Continue to lobby the university for formal agreement to provide and maintain at least one gender neutral toilet in all main buildings on all campuses
To review the current list of gender neutral toilets to ensure that they exist
To work with the Staff LGBTQ Staff Network to further this campaign
To continue to enforce the agreement with the University’s Estates department that Gender Neutral Toilets will be created in all new University Buildings.

Why have you proposed it?

This has been Union Policy for the past 3 years.

The LGBTQ Staff Network has indicated its support in this campaign.

Gender neutral toilets are a form of accessible toilets for:
– Trans people
– People who don’t want assumptions made about their gender
– Parents with a child of a different gender

These toilets are also extra toilets in a building to be used during busy times of the day.

Gender neutral toilets are already in existence in all public buildings in the form of disabled toilets. However, these toilets are specifically for disabled people and should be reserved for this purpose, rather than being repurposed for more general use. A single gender neutral toilet does not take up much space and is an easy addition to new and old buildings

This motion passed 14-2

ThNo support for marking boycotts

What is the idea about?

For the Students’ Union not to support marking boycotts due to the detrimental effect these can have on students’ academic experience and to publicise this position in a manner appropriate to the scale and specific context of any such boycott.

Why have you proposed it?

Marking boycotts can inflict damage to students’ academic experience. This is of particular concern to:
– Postgraduate taught students progressing to the next stage of study
– Finalists and their ability to graduate on time
– Students taking up internships and placements where they are required to provide proof of marks

Student feedback indicates that marking boycotts can cause a level of unacceptable disruption and they should not be supported.

The Students’ Union acknowledges that Postgraduates who Teach among its membership may choose to participate in marking boycotts for a variety of reasons and respects their right to participate in this type of action according to the dictates of their own conscience.

This motion neither fell nor passed with a vote of 8-8 – it will therefore be going to referendum

Motions before the Fourth Union Council of 2013/14:

Rejecting Torture and the Death Penalty.

Proposer, Dave Cordell

What is your Idea? 

This idea calls for Nottingham Student’s Union to publicly reject the use of the Death Penalty and Torture around the world and to call for its abolition.

Why have you proposed this idea? 

We believe the Nottingham Student’s Union should support the “United Nations Declaration of Human Rights” and the belief that individual rights irrespective of political or religious creed, race, age, gender or sex should be protected.

Torture is still used in many countries today and we believe that Nottingham Students Union should speak out against this practice.

This motion was withdrawn from Council

Donation not Discrimination

Proposed by Jack Salter LGBT Officer.

What is your Idea 

Our Idea is that the Students’ Union supports the NUS LGBT Donation not Discrimination campaign, which calls for gay and bisexual men to be treated the same as heterosexual people when they are giving blood.

This idea also calls for the LGBT Officer and LGBT network to education Students about the unfair treatment of students who engage in same-sex sexual activity and to generally continue with the Donation not Discrimination campaign on campus.

This idea also calls for the Students’ Union to support blood donations organised by the National Blood Service on campus.

Why have you proposed this idea? 

The National Blood Service currently bans men who have ever had oral or anal sex with another man in the 12 months before giving blood.

This is unfair as it policy implies that all same-sex sexual activity is inherently high-risk and perpetuates the myth the AIDS is a ‘gay disease’.

We believe that it is important students are made aware of the current ban and encouraged to give blood.

This motion was withdrawn from council and will instead be submitted to the LGBT Network Committee as autonomous policy

Gender Neutral Toilets

Proposed by Jack Salter, LGBT Officer

What is the idea about?

For the Students’ Union to;
• Continue to lobby the university for a formal agreement to provide at least one gender neutral toilet in all main buildings on campus
• To review the current list of gender neutral toilets to ensure that they exist
• To work with the Staff LGBTQ Staff Network to further this campaign
• To continue to enforce the agreement with the University’s Estates department that Gender Neutral Toilets will be created in all new University Buildings.

Why have you proposed it?

• This has been Union Policy for the past 3 years.
• The LGBTQ Staff Network has indicated its support in this campaign.
• Gender neutral toilets are a form of accessible toilets for:
– Trans people
– People who don’t want assumptions made about their gender
– Parents with a child of a different gender

• These toilets are also extra toilets in a building to be used during busy times of the day.
• gender neutral toilets are already in existence in all public buildings in the form of disabled toilets. However, these toilets are specifically for disabled people and should be reserved for this purpose, rather than being repurposed for more general use. A single gender neutral toilet does not take up much space and is an easy addition to new and old buildings”

This motion was posted by mistake and will be submitted at a later date

Update on Motions before the Third Union Council of 2013/14:

Campaigning Around Local, General and European Elections

What is the idea about? 

For the Students’ Union to;

·         coordinate a campaign encouraging voter registration and turnout of students at the university.

·         encourage informed voting by holding hustings and debates.

·         inform students of the option of deliberately spoiling their ballot papers if they don’t like any of the candidates/parties.

·         lobby local parties and candidates to adopt policies in line with policies of the Students’ Union and opinions of students (as determined by consultation).

Why have you proposed it?

·         Turnout at elections in the UK has steadily decreased over the past few decades.

·         Students and young people have particularly poor turnout.

·         Politicians have little incentive to serve the interests of people who don’t vote.

·         Voter registration is transitioning to individual voter registration so it will take more effort to get people registered.

·         Some people feel that none of the candidates represent them. Not voting is registered as apathy, not disillusionment. Deliberately spoiling ballot papers is a better way to show discontent.

This motion passed by 16 votes to 1

Living Grants

What is the idea about? 

For the Students’ Union to submit policy to NUS National Conference 2015 including the following text:

[for the NUS] “

· To reinstate its position supporting universal living grants

· To call for this to be funded through progressive taxation such as an increase in corporation tax

·To campaign for a grant of at least £150 a week.

Why have you proposed it?

· For many years, NUS had a policy of supporting universal living grants.

· Even leaving aside fees, the student grant goes nowhere covering living costs.

· Since means testing was introduced, students who are estranged from their parents have suffered unneeded stress and financial hardship as many have had to prove estrangement from their parents. This disproportionately affects already marginalised students, in particular LGBT students and others who suffer from high levels of estrangement.

· It is better that some students who do not need grants receive them than for thousands of students to excluded from education for fear of poverty, debt and persecution.

· Money is available to reinstate universal grants – it’s about what society values. We should fight for society to value accessible education.

This motion fell by 15 votes to 2

Support for Industrial Action

What is the idea about? 

For the Students’ Union to publicly support industrial action by UCU, including strikes and the marking boycott.

For the Students’ Union to make a press release stating the following positions:

· We unreservedly support the unions in the current pay dispute.

· While we recognise that the marking boycott and strikes may be disruptive for students, we also recognise that industrial action is disruptive for a reason.

· We believe the best way to stop the disruption is for the demands of the unions to be met.

For the Students’ Union to contact the branch of UCU at our university to inform them of this position.

Why have you proposed it? 

This quote from the #fairpayinhe website sums it up nicely:

“UK higher education has a great international reputation and student surveys consistently show that staff are providing a high quality service. Yet the very people who make our universities great have seen their pay cut by 13% over the last four years. The National Union of Students (NUS) supports the joint staff unions in believing that university staff should be properly supported and remunerated. Together we believe that fair pay is an issue of fairness in itself, but also note that there are very clear benefits to students that pay is at a level which attracts excellent staff, and helps to support the maintenance of a happy and motivated workforce.

However, our staff are being asked to work harder and take home less and less money to their families year after year.

UCU, UNISON and Unite have joined together to ask for a modest pay rise to tackle the problems of falling pay levels and to ensure that all universities pay a living wage to their lowest paid workers.”

This motion fell by 16 votes to 1

No More Page 3: Removing ‘The Sun’ and the ‘Daily Star’ from SU-affiliated retail outlets until Page 3 is revoked 

 What is the idea about? 

For SU-affiliated retail outlets to:

– Stop stocking ‘Page 3’ publications, namely The Sun and the Daily Star.

– Enforce this boycott to be until such time as the Editors of said publications remove Page 3 (the displaying of topless female models).

This motion is part of a wider national No More Page 3 campaign.

Why have you proposed it? 

Page 3 endorses a culture of sexual objectification of women, as well as projecting rigid body image ideals which are harmful to all members of our university.

In a place of learning, it is invaluable that every student is treated as an equal; by trading the Sun and Daily Star, our SU-affiliated retail outlets promote a culture where women are viewed first and foremost as objects of male gratification.

Boobs are not newsworthy; UoN is an inappropriate place for the sale of publications which limit and misrepresent over half the population of the university.

The Company Board that controls trading in SU-affiliated retail outlets has provisionally agreed to the motion from a financial perspective, pending student approval.

As of 05/03/2014 28 university Student’s Unions and 6 Oxford University Colleges have enacted a boycott of Page 3 publications.

UoN Feminists promoted the NMP3 campaign by interacting personally with students at our Refresher’s Fayre demo, where we collected over 200 signatures for a petition in just one day.

The No More Page 3 Nottingham campaign’s online petition currently has over 200 signatures.

This motion passed by 14 votes to 3

Update on the Motions before the Second Union Council of 2013/14:

Supporting the Equal Access to Higher Education Campaign:

Submitters: STAR (Student Action for Refugees) 

What is the idea about?

This idea calls for the Student’s Union to support the Equal Access to Higher Education campaign.

It calls for the Union to lobby the University to remove the financial barriers to higher education that are faced by those seeking refugee protections. This would include:

–          Enabling those seeking refugee protection to be able to study as home students

–          Recognising that, as vulnerable groups, students seeking refugee protection should have access to additional support. This may include the provision of fee waivers, bursaries, scholarships and grants

This will require the Executive Team to request a meeting between the Vice Chancellor and representatives from STAR. It would also require the Executive Team to sign a letter to the Vice Chancellor, explaining the benefits of providing equal access to higher education to this university.  This letter should be written with the help of STAR.

Additionally the Union should support national Equal Access campaigns.

Why have you proposed it? 

Currently, the University of Nottingham charges those seeking refugee protection international student fees. As these individuals are denied access to student loans or grants and asylum seekers are not allowed to work, this effectively excludes them from accessing higher education.

We believe that education is a human right and that everyone should have access to higher education based on merit.

This is important not only for moral reasons, but also because these students have the potential to greatly enrich the intellectual and social life of the University.

A number of reputable UK Universities have adopted these proposals.

Over 400 students from the University of Nottingham have signed the Equal Access petition.

Update on the Motions before the First Union Council of 2013/14:

1. To make the Environment & Social Justice Officer role full-time.

The motion states that environmental and social justice issues are at the heart of student values; that student campaigns are effective at making change and that more collaboration could help in delivering greater change. The proposer believes that a full-time Environment & Social Justice Officer could help to foster this collaboration and to provide the full support that student campaigns need. It also states that this role would become more accessible to students as they would not have to balance their course and the demands of the role at once.


2. “Buy Right”

This motion seeks to get the University to sign up to the Workers’ Rights Consortium, to get student representation on the University’s procurement committees and to lobby the University to purchase more ethical and sustainable garments. The reason for this is that there is currently a trade-off between the working conditions of the manufacturer or the production being environmentally friendly, which the proposer believes should not be the case. They state that many other Universities are signed up to the Workers’ Rights Consortium, and that the more that do so, the more pressure can be put on to improve workers’ rights.


3. Postgraduates who teach

This motion relates to the Union’s research into postgraduates who teach, and seeks to empower students to campaign on issues raised in the research, to ensure that postgraduates who teach are given adequate training and to work with UCU where appropriate. The proposer states that postgraduates who teach are being let down in terms of training, recruitment practices and working conditions, and that it is the Union’s job to represent them. The proposer also states that helping postgraduates who teach will have a benefit to undergraduates who are taught by them.

What do you think about this policy? Please tell me if you agree or disagree with this motion in the box below.


4. Student Loan Book Sell-Off

The motion calls on the Union to oppose the sell-off of further parts of the Student Loan Book, to ensure that students’ rights are protected in the event of any further sell-off, and to work with NUS to ensure the terms & conditions of the loans are protected. The proposers state that the terms & conditions of student loans are currently flexible and can be changed at any time, including interest rates and repayments, and that this could be seriously detrimental to our students, by effectively raising tuition fees or causing financial hardship.