A number of reviews of Student Democracy have taken place over the last few years; one recent positive change has been the role review, which changed the full-time officer roles as well as some of the Non-Executive roles. Previous reviews have either been ineffective or not fully implemented. In order to properly support the new officer roles, and also ensure that students engage with our democratic structures, we are proposing to change our current model.
Why are changes being proposed?
The current model of Student Parliament does not work effectively. Some improvements have been made, including allocating additional staff support and hosting more meetings, but these have not seen a significant improvement in attendance at Parliament or impactful outcomes. Some changes will be made regardless of the democratic structure, including: more publicity, action points following approved policy, and increased focus on officer accountability.
In its current format, a very small group of students engage with Parliament, and those who do are not completely satisfied with it. The policy that passes is not always properly scrutinised and can lack evidence of consultation. Parliament itself does not allow for proper debate on an issue, as the Schedules require students to speak for or against a motion. This leads to meetings being off-putting for those who haven’t attended before.
The proposed changes have come about as a result of research from the sector, information from previous surveys and consultations with students, and working groups consisting of officers and trustees.
What happens next?
The proposed changes and documents can all be found in the accompanying tabs. Please have a look through to see what the changes are.
We will also upload supporting documents (including an amended version of the Schedules and Articles) soon.
There will be an update about the democracy review at Freshers’ Parliament, which is taking place on Thursday 19th September. This will be followed by a session the following week allowing for more in-depth discussion. There will then be a referendum concerning the proposed changes – dates will be confirmed shortly.
We would like your thoughts on these changes. If you have any comments, please feel free to get in touch at email@example.com