Your chance to make a difference
Student Voice is the most regular democratic meeting held by RUSU. They take place twice a term. All students are welcome and are encouraged to take part in changing and developing the way the Union is run ensuring it is led by students, for students.
Every Student Voice is different. It is a forum that involves:
Debate on current issues affecting students
Discussion and voting on Priority Campaign proposals
Discussion and voting on Motion submissions
Next Student Voice
We are currently in the process of changing the way you talk to us and help us to make changes.
There will be an update on this shortly.
In the meantime, if you have any ideas or policies please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Likewise, if you have any questions please contact your VP Democracy & Campaigns officer Ceri Jones through email email@example.com or in her office upstairs in RUSU.
The Union Notes:
1. That the right to freedom of opinion and expression is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
2. That the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including the right to manifest religion or belief, is enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
3. That these rights are also protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (Articles 9 and 10), and in English law, including through the Human Rights Act 1998,
4. That the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 includes a commitment that universities must “ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for … students” on university and students’ union premises, and that this includes the duty to ensure that “the use of any premises of the establishment is not denied to any individual or body of persons on any ground connected with-
a. the beliefs or views of that individual or any member of that body; or
b. the policy or objectives of that body”
5. That the University of Reading’s Regulations for Conduct state “Freedom of discussion is basic to a university and all its members must tolerate and protect the expression of unpopular opinions.”
The Union Believes:
1. That the Students’ Union has a duty to uphold freedom of expression and freedom of thought for all members, regardless of political, religious, or other affiliations,
2. That certain restrictions on free speech, including existing RUSU prohibitions on harassment, intimidation, threats, incitement to hatred, and verbal assault, are necessary for protecting students,
3. That the current prohibition of causing offence, contained within the RUSU Behavioural Policy, is counter-productive, as;
a. It places serious and unacceptable restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of thought,
b. It is not consistently applied, as many offensive actions go unchallenged,
c. In any situation where serious harm is caused by an action, RUSU can and should enforce its prohibitions on harassment, etc.
The Union Resolves:
1. To uphold the rights of students to freedom of expression and freedom of thought, for the benefit of students and within the limits allowed by the law,
2. To recommend, under Clause 91.3 of the RUSU Constitution, that the Trustees amend the RUSU Behavioural Policy so that the line which now reads “Behaviour should be lawful and not cause offence” will read “Behaviour should be lawful.”
3. To ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of thought are taken into account in future Policies.
Vote YES if you believe that university campuses should be a place for discussion and debate, not censorship.
Vote YES if you believe that RUSU should treat the beliefs of all students equally and with respect.
Vote YES if you believe that free speech is an important right for everyone, regardless of religious, political, or other affiliation.
When we arrived at this new site –January 2012, it became immediately apparent that the space although very good had absolutely no provision for students to sit or study outside lectures other than outside! RUSU previously campaigned and managed to secure the old chapel. This was refurbished over the summer and now houses tables and chairs, sink and toilet but it can only hold 30 students at a time in comparison to the 500-600 students on this site. Many people from across the years and the specialism at the London Road campus are very dissatisfied with the service we receive. In order to be able to print using the pre-paid system on campus cards students have to travel to Whiteknights campus as there is no top-up machine on London Road. The only existence of any drinking water on the whole of the campus is from one tap in one room.
The lunchtime facilities are inadequate, the food in Eat & Drink very expensive, for example the burgers are more expensive than they are at some pubs. Most sandwiches have run out before midday which leaves students very little to eat. The cheapest and most available food on the menu is chips, due to the fact that most hot food takes on average 40 minutes to be made during a 1 hour lunch break most students are having only chips for lunch. When you are being lectured all day eating only chips is not nutritional or sustaining. The menu recently has shrunk so any quick food is not available any more, it is becoming increasingly like a pub, which for students to eat in during an hour is not appropriate. A student facility which provides limited services so people are not eating properly as a result is unacceptable. There are many more complaints to do with this service but the overall feeling is that it does not come up to scratch and that London Road Campus does not provide effectively for its students.
Aim & Objectives
Outcomes: to have improved facilities- social and study space for all students, (including laptop plug in/wifi, computer access, fast and efficient photocopiers, printing top up station, drinking water) on all programmes across the full day-8am-9pm.
Why the campaign should be run: this is a new campus, with a large number of students and the environment is as yet not conducive to support student’s independent learning, study and relaxation. There is simply no where a student can go once lectures have finished, to eat their lunch, there are no plug ins for laptops, the photocopiers are far too slow.
Eat & Drink- We would like the prices to lower, more “student” friendly foods (sandwiches, salads etc) to come onto the menu, not to be kicked out for consuming your own food, it to become more appropriate for a student space, to be less concerned with making a large profit and slightly more concerned with providing a good service.
This is a priority because it impacts on so many students and impacts now. The vast majority of students are training to be teachers, and the training is full time and very intense. This means on most occasions students will be on the site all day . This is unusual, and this makes this campaign even more important. Students need somewhere to both independently study, whether it be on laptops or computers, or at a desk or to talk, design teaching materials. And they also need somewhere to eat and drink and talk if they bring packed lunches. Eat and Drink is a paid cafeteria and does not allow anyone in other than those buying from them. Finally you should be aware there isn’t even library facilities on this site.
Reading University’s top priority is the wellbeing of its students; on one of the Campuses this is being ignored. On a Campus which is centred about education and learning the welfare of the students is not being taken into account. London Road Campus is not of the same standard of Whiteknights campus in the services it provides or the support it gives. It is not only in the students on that Campuses interest to support this campaign; it is in the interest of RUSU and the students on the other Campus as well. The eating facilities are not tailored to students needs, they are aimed at the general public and the fact that it is on a student campus is merely a coincidence. The service provided is that of a pub, the prices are pub prices and the food is pub food. In a hour break students can rarely eat more than chips, due to the extensive time it takes to make anything else and the fact that it is not properly stocked with sandwiches or anything else quick.
In a University of such a high standard it is not acceptable to put students in the position of having to eat nothing but chips for lunch which are not healthy or sustain, just because they have a limited amount of time, limited amount of option and limited amount of funds. It is equally as unacceptable that there isn’t anywhere for more than 30 students to eat should they bring their own food in an attempt to combat problems at London Road Eat and Drink. Student’s welfare is at the forefront of RUSU’s priorities, this should extent to both campuses and the fact that it doesn’t should be a huge worry.