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Aspect 3

Who are the Student Officers?

The student officers are eight students, elected by the whole student population, who work full time at the Students' Union for a year.

I WANT CHANGE!

Currently Policy

The current policies in place at the Students' Union are listed below. Click on any of the policies below to see the details.

Education Funding

The government's decision to lift the cap on tuition fees to £9000 has created a market in higher education where choices will be made based on cost and not ability. The increased debt burden has made the cost of a degree seem unaffordable to many, dissuading prospective students from entering university.

These reforms have also done little to tackle issues of access, cost and support for post-graduate students, who are often forced to pay thousands of pounds without financial support.

Education is a public good, which benefits society, the individual and the economy, and the increase in fees coupled with huge cuts to teaching grants, has placed the responsibility to fund the system with the individual and not the state, which fails to reflect higher educations' public benefit.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To campaign against all forms of tuition fees, and the marketisation of the higher education system.
  • To campaign for the introduction of financial support for postgraduate students.
  • To campaign against cuts to teaching budgets and education funding.
  • To campaign for the reinstatement of public investment in education, emphasising education as a social good.

Passed by Students' Union Council in November 2011 and due for review in October 2014.

Gay & Trans Friendly

This Students' Union believes that University life and society at large should be free from homophobia and transphobia. It believes that no student should be made to feel uncomfortable because they are LGBT. This Students' Union is Gay and Trans friendly, and all activities, facilities, services, organisations and events operated through the Students' Union are open to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans students and should be gay and trans friendly. The Students' Union believes this University has some of the best university provision for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans students, and that this fact should be effectively marketed by the Students' Union and the University.

Passed by Referendum March 2008 (1632 votes for; 272 against; 502 abstentions) replacing policy originally adopted in 1996. It was renewed without amendment in October 2010 and is next due for review in October 2013.

Environmental

This Students' Union believes climate change is one of the greatest threats facing human civilization and disproportionately impacts upon the poorest and most marginalised groups.

That this Students' Union will undertake to:

  • Ensure that it educates its members on the issue of climate change, and be responsible for motivating and mobilizing them.
  • Endeavour to implement the Environmental code of Best Practice and ensure that it is updated and kept relevant.
  • Raise awareness on environmental issues, and work towards achieving associated awards.
  • Call on the University to reduce its environmental footprint and to increase its environmental sustainability.
  • Proactively work with or lobby Sheffield City Council and regional agencies ensuring a constantly progressive agenda working towards achieving a sustainable city.
  • Aspire to be a leader of environmental commitment through acting locally and to help demonstrate and inspire a national movement.
  • Ensure relevant committees will be consulted to advise on environmental issues and to monitor the implementation of the environmental policy.

Passed by Referendum March 2009 (3394 votes for; 235 against; 400 abstentions). It was renewed without amendment in October 2011 and is next due for review in October 2014.

Nestlé

The Union resolves to have no dealings with, or facilitate the promotion of, Nestlé, on the grounds of unfair exploitation of third world countries (based on an independent report by EIRIS which found the company to be 'in substantial violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes').

Passed by Electronic Referendum May 2001 (1762 votes for; 706 against; 48 abstentions) and renewed in 2004. It was renewed belatedly in 2004/5, but Students' Union Assembly (predecessor of Council) decided it should be annually reviewed. In October 2005, Students' Union Assembly agreed to renew it until December 2005, pending a report on the issue by NUSSL, and then renewed it until the last meeting of 2005/06, at which it was not considered. In October 2006, it was renewed for a further year, in line with previous decisions. In November 2007, Students' Union Council agreed to make new proposals to a referendum, and to renew the policy pending the outcome.

In March 2009, a proposal 'that the Students' Union should end its boycott of Nestlé, although not actively promote their products, but engage with Nestlé and other manufacturers on the ethical issues involved in promoting breast-milk substitute' was submitted to referendum but failed (1998 votes against, 1737 for and 442 abstentions). The original policy therefore remained. It was renewed without amendment for one year in October 2010 and was renewed again in October 2011 but only until March 2012 when it was sent to referendum. At referendum in March 2012, the policy passed (4,621 votes for, 965 votes against and 755 abstentions). It is next due for review in October 2014.

Anti-Racism/discrimination/hate crime

The Students' Union notes:

  • Racism and hate crimes must be taken seriously as they pose a threat to Sheffield students.
  • An inclusive nature and respect for and the celebration of diversity is at the heart of the Students' Union.
  • A large number of our students come from ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • A hate crime or incident is any behaviour perceived by the victim to be motivated by hostility, prejudice or hatred of their race, ethnicity or nationality; religion, faith or belief; disability; sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Students' Union believes:

  • Every student has the right to live in an atmosphere that is free of discrimination, harassment and intimidation.
  • Social and cultural diversity should be celebrated.
  • Hate crimes and racism should not be tolerated by the Students' Union, and those who commit acts of hate crime or racism should be stopped and disciplined.

The Students' Union resolves:

  • To adopt a 'zero tolerance' approach to racism, discrimination and hate crime.
  • To campaign locally and nationally to mobilise students against racism.
  • To use the NUS Hate Crime Report to prevent racism and hate crime on campus.
  • To ensure equal access to all aspects of University life for all students.

The original anti-racism policy was passed by referendum in March 2003 (4502 votes for; 203 against, 377 abstentions) and was renewed without amendment by Students' Union Council on several occasions until March 2012. The amended policy (above) was passed by referendum in March 2012 (5,657 votes for, 186 votes against and 420 abstentions) replacing the previous policy. It will be due for review in October 2014.

Housing

Housing

The Students' Union believes that students have the right to live in safe and affordable housing in Sheffield.

University and Partnership Housing

The Students' Union will lobby the University to provide:

  • A range of contract lengths and accommodation types so that no student who is eligible for accommodation under the first year or graduate guarantee is priced out of University accommodation;
  • Sufficient family accommodation and support for students with families;
  • Good welfare and social provision for students living in University and partnership accommodation, with fair and transparent procedures for disciplinaries, contractual disagreements and deposit returns.

The Students' Union will:

  • Oppose increases in University rents above the RPIX inflation rate unless for agreed improvements;
  • Advise, support and represent students living in University and partnership accommodation through the Welfare Officer and Student Advice Centre.

Private Rented Housing

The Students' Union will:

  • Help students make informed house hunting decisions with advice and information through the annual Welfare Officer led Smart Move campaign;
  • Support students through the housing advice offered by the Student Advice Centre;
  • Ensure that the interests of students living in the private rented sector are represented at a local and national government level.

Originally passed by Referendum March 2004 (4323 votes for; 39 against; 144 abstentions). It was renewed in March 2007. An amended version was approved by referendum in March 2010 (3471 votes for, 75 against, 243 abstentions). A further amended version (above) was passed by Students' Union Council in February 2013. It is due for renewal in October 2015.

Companies Involved in Animal Testing

This Students' Union believes the adoption of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV's) 'Go Cruelty Free' standard will allow the easy identification of cosmetics, toiletries and household products that are free from animal testing. This Students' Union resolves to stock a range of cosmetics, toiletries and household products that meet the BUAV standard, alongside any other unclassified products, providing informed choice to students.

The original policy was passed by Referendum in March 2007, and was renewed by Students' Union Council in November 2009. The amended version (above) was approved by referendum in March 2010 (2198 votes for, 1113 votes for no policy and 476 abstentions), following a report to Council from a Select Committee. It is next due for review in October 2012.

Policy currently under review 2013

Disabled Students

This Students' Union believes that all students, regardless of disability, are entitled to equal opportunity when participating in all aspects of University life. Furthermore, this Students' Union is committed to ensuring that all of its facilities and services are delivered in ways that are accessible to disabled students; as they should be to ensure representation of the diverse student population. This Students' Union will therefore support both staff and student volunteers to have a good awareness of additional support needs and how best to deliver their services/activities in ways which fulfil these needs. This Students' Union will not tolerate any discrimination on the grounds of disability.

This policy was originally passed by Students' Union Council on 22 May 2008. It was renewed without amendment in October 2010 until December 2010, when the amended policy (above) was passed. It is next due for review in October 2013.

Solidarity with Gaza Students

Israel's 2008-09 attack on Gaza killed over 1400 Palestinians - 300 children. Thousands of homes, hospitals, schools and universities were also destroyed.

Since 2007, Israel has imposed an illegal blockade on Gaza barring people, goods and aid from entering or leaving. Damage caused by Israel's attack cannot be repaired. Food and medicine are scarce. Students lack books, desks and paper.

Education will play a vital role in rebuilding a safer, peaceful Palestine.

This Students' Union resolves to:

  • actively campaign for an end to the siege on Gaza.
  • take practical steps supporting Palestinians' right to education by fostering links with - the Islamic University of Gaza.

The policy was passed by referendum in March 2011 (1754 votes for, 959 against, 1146 abstentions) and is next due for review in October 2013.

Bottled Water

This Union Resolves:

  1. To install a minimum of 5 free, clearly advertised drinking water fountains in convenient locations in the Union within 12 months.
  2. To sell long-lasting, affordable, re-usable bottles in the Union Shop within 12 months.
  3. To make students aware of the environmental and economic impacts of bottled water, in turn gradually promoting a culture change regarding bottled water.
  4. To lobby the university to install free water fountains throughout campus.

Passed by Students' Union Council on 16 December 2010 and due for review in October 2013.

Stop Selling Bottled Water

This Students' Union Notes:

  • 40% of bottled water comes from taps, but costs about 500 times more.
  • Producing a bottle uses up to seven times the amount of water it will eventually contain, as well as quarter of the bottle of oil.
  • It is Union policy to install drinking fountains in the Students' Union and sell re-usable bottles in the Students' Union Shop within 12 months, and to make students aware of the environmental and economic disadvantages of bottled water.

This Students' Union Believes:

  • Many students spend a lot of money on water which should be more freely obtainable through the provision of water fountains and the sale of reusable bottles.
  • The University of Sheffield, as a leading university, should lead the way in environmental sustainability.
  • The Students' Union should be active in assisting the global reduction of consumption necessary to avoid irreversible climate change. This is also in accordance with the Students' Union's Environmental policy that includes aims to reduce waste and energy consumption.

This Students' Union Resolves:

  • To stop selling still bottled water in the Students' Union shops within 12 months.
  • To lobby the University to replace bottled water sold in its outlets with long-lasting, affordable, re-usable bottles.

This policy was passed by referendum in March 2011 and is next due for review in October 2013.

University of Sanctuary

This Students' Union notes:

  • Asylum seekers and refugees encounter immense barriers to Higher Education.
  • Asylum seekers are charged international fees by Universities, cannot work in the UK and cannot access student loans and government grants.
  • Refugees often struggle to fund themselves through Higher Education.
  • Sheffield was the first ever 'City of Sanctuary'.
  • The University of Sheffield intends to sign up to CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics) and to become a 'University of Sanctuary'.

This Students' Union believes:

  • Education is a Human Right and should be accessible to all on the basis of merit, not ability to pay.
  • Asylum seekers and refugees would particularly benefit from Higher Education because it would help them successfully adapt to life in the UK.
  • Asylum seekers and refugees culturally and intellectually enrich our campus, our city and the UK.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To educate our members about the difficulties encountered by asylum seekers and refugees by working with student groups (including STAR, the Red Cross Society, Amnesty International Society, United Nations Youth and Students Association).
  • To lobby the University to successfully become a 'University of Sanctuary'.
  • To lobby the NUS to seek a national agreement on university provision for asylum seekers and refugees.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in May 2011 and is next due for review in October 2013.

Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment

This Students' Union notes:

The NUS Hidden Marks report found that 68% of women students had experienced sexual harassment and 14% had experienced serious sexual or physical violence. Many students reported persistent harassment in bars/clubs and reported that this kind of behaviour was seen as normal.

The NUS' defining characteristics of sexual harassment are that 'it is unwanted, persistent and of a sexual nature', including:

  • Unwanted sexual comments/invitations.
  • Groping, pinching or smacking of your body.
  • Having your clothes lifted without agreeing.
  • Someone exposing themselves to you without consent.

NUS Women's Campaign established the zero-tolerance campaign to help create environments where all students can enjoy their time in their Students' Union without persistent and unwanted attention of a sexual nature and many Unions have already successfully implemented the policy.

This Students' Union believes:

  • All students should be able to enjoy the Students' Union without experiencing sexual harassment.
  • That sexual harassment should not be tolerated by the Students' Union, and those who commit acts of sexual harassment should be stopped and disciplined.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To adopt a 'zero-tolerance' to sexual harassment policy.
  • To use the NUS definition of sexual harassment.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in May 2011 and is next due for review in October 2013.

Internationalisation

This Students' Union notes:

  1. Internationalisation is defined as the process of bringing an international perspective to every aspect of the student experience.
  2. Over 20 per cent of students at our University are international students.
  3. Forty Students' Unions, including our own, have taken part in the National Union of Students' Internationalisation Audit.

This Students' Union believes:

  1. Every student at our University should have access to an international experience that will enhance their academic and career prospects.
  2. International students enrich the University through the social and cultural diversity which they bring to Sheffield.
  3. Integration is the active process of students from different backgrounds educating each other about their cultures, thereby expanding their understanding and appreciation of the globalised world we live in.

This Students' Union resolves:

  1. To promote and deliver internationalisation by acting on the recommendations of our Internationalisation Audit.
  2. To work with the University in delivering their International Strategy.
  3. To promote and encourage integration within our student community.
  4. To bring our Students' Union to the University's International Faculty in Thessaloniki through sharing best practice exchange with student groups.

This policy was passed by SU Council on 19th May 2011 and is due for review in October 2013.

Child Friendly

The Students' Union notes that student parents make a valuable contribution to our student community and diversity, that higher education should be accessible at any stage of life and that the inclusion of student parents is important to widening participation.

This Students' Union believes:

  • Where possible and appropriate, services, activities and facilities should be child-friendly.
  • No student should be discriminated against because they have children or are pregnant.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To lobby the University to be more accessible for student parents and work with the University to develop a student parent policy
  • To use the Student Parent Charter (reviewed annually by the Student Officer team in consultation with those with student parents and those with caring responsibilities) as a guiding document for our own practice and to lobby the University to improve its accessibility and support for student parents.

This policy was agreed by Students' Union Council in December 2010. It was amended by Students' Union Council in February 2013 and is due for renewal in October 2013.

Widening Participation

This Students' Union notes:

  • National progress in improving the participation of young people from lower socio- economic groups in Higher Education has been slow.
  • A recent survey commissioned by the Sutton Trust found that an increase in fees would deter many secondary schools students from progressing to university.

This Students' Union believes:

  • Education is a Human Right and confers key human capabilities.
  • Higher Education should be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit (in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
  • Higher Education should help generate greater equality of opportunity.
  • The University of Sheffield and its students have a responsibility to help young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds gain access to Higher Education.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To engage directly with local schools, the LEA and the University to instigate mentoring schemes and other outreach activities designed to widen participation in Higher Education.
  • To lobby the University to ensure that widening participation is an institutional priority.
  • To campaign for Higher Education related information and guidance, and outreach and mentoring programmes, to be provided to primary school level onwards.
  • To campaign for a national bursary scheme.

This policy was passed by referendum in March 2011 and is next due for review in October 2013.

Living Wage

This Students' Union notes:

  • The Living Wage campaign is a national campaign to pay workers a fair wage.
  • 66% of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation after paying the living wage.
  • 70% of employers felt that the living wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation's commitment to be an ethical employer.

This Students' Union believes:

  • The minimum wage is not enough for workers to provide their family with the essentials of life.
  • A living wage affords people the dignity to provide for themselves and their families.
  • All staff at the University of Sheffield and Students' Union should be paid a wage that allows them to live by their own means.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To lobby the University to pay all staff a living wage (updated annually by Centre for Research in Social Policy) and to provide funding for the Students' Union to do the same.
  • To ensure that a living wage is implemented without disadvantaging any current staff.
  • To seek accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.
  • To lobby the government to replace the minimum wage with the living wage.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in April 2012. It was amended in November 2012 and will be reviewed in October 2014.

International Fees

This Students' Union notes:

  • International Students from outside the EU are charged increasing tuition fees.
  • These fees are currently unregulated and have no cap.
  • Tuition fees for overseas students currently range from £12,000 to £30,000.
  • Postgraduate overseas students may also have to pay additional hidden course costs.

This Students' Union believes:

  • It is increasingly difficult for overseas students to enter the UK for Higher Education.
  • International Students add great value to the University, Sheffield and the UK not just economically, but also culturally and academically in research and knowledge transfer, as well as enriching the student experience by providing an insight into different approaches and cultures.

This Students' Union resolves:

  • To oppose all tuition fee increases for overseas students that are above the rate of inflation or above the actual cost of the respective course.
  • To lobby the University to make their use of such tuition fees transparent and to give clear information to all international students before starting their degree about tuition fees for the duration of their course.
  • To work with the NUS International Students' Campaign to lobby the government to put a cap on how much universities can charge in overseas student fees.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in May 2012 and is next due for review in October 2014.

Anti-Sexism

The Students' Union notes:

  • Sexism is defined as 'prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, or conditions or attitudes that promote stereotypes of social roles based on sex or gender'.
  • Sexism has a disproportionate effect on women and their lives, but can also impact men.
  • Any notion of superiority based on sex or gender is unjustified.
  • No student should be made to feel uncomfortable because of their sex or gender.

The Students' Union believes:

  • University life should be free from sexism.
  • Students' Union activities, facilities, services, and events operated through the Students' Union should be free from sexism.

The Students' Union resolves:

  • To work with the National Women's Campaign, Sheffield Students' Union Women's Committee and other relevant groups to actively oppose sexism and create an environment free of gender stereotypes and binaries in the Students' Union.
  • The Students' Union values the diversity of our students. Sexism, gender stereotypes and binaries are not acceptable.
  • The Students' Union should work to deconstruct existing barriers to women's participation.
  • To prevent the distribution of items that actively promote sexism and gender stereotyping.
  • To campaign against the negative portrayal of women's representation and gender stereotypes on campus, in the media and in wider society.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in May 2012 and is next due for review in October 2014.

Postgraduate Students Policy

This Students' Union Notes:

  • Sheffield University has over 6900 Postgraduate students (2011) who make up nearly 25% of the student population.
  • Engagement in many areas of sports, activities and representation by postgraduates is disproportionately low.

This Students' Union Believes:

  • Many postgraduates feel the Students' Union has nothing to offer them and is designed for undergraduates.
  • For too long postgraduates haven't had a strong enough voice within the University or students Union on many issues
  • Whilst postgraduate issues are gaining prominence on the national agenda more needs to be done to reflect this within the University and Students' Union
  • Due to the nature of their courses PGT students have less opportunity to engage or be involved in the Students' Union Community

This Students' Union Resolves:

  • To work with the University to further develop Postgraduate engagement and representation across the University
  • To work with all departments across the Students' Union to make sure the services we offer are relevant and accessible to postgraduate students
  • To work with postgraduates to produce a Postgraduate Handbook to provide key information to better help postgraduates assimilate into the Students' Union Community.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in May 2012 and is next due for review in October 2014.

Gender Quotas for NUS Delegate Elections

The Students' Union Notes:

  • The under representation of women is a serious issue at the University of Sheffield Students' Union.
  • Statistically fewer women nominate themselves to be an NUS delegate compared to other cross campus elections (Council and Officer Elections).

The Students' Union Believes:

  • The number of women we send to National Conference each year is not representative of the number of women students at the University.
  • If fewer women go to National Conference then statistically fewer women will run for National Executive Committee, meaning NUS remains unrepresentative of the 7 million students it is meant to represent.
  • These inequalities will not resolve themselves in the near future without firm measures being put in place to ensure women are being elected as NUS delegates.
  • Gender quotas are an effective way to redress the imbalance of women's representation on conference floor.

The Students' Union Resolves:

  • For the Students' Union to actively work on the under representation of women and under represented groups in all elections.
  • For Sheffield Students' Union to adopt a gender quota for NUS National Conference delegates.
  • This quota will be to reserve 50% of elected delegate spaces for women and the remainder as open spaces.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in May 2012 and is next due for review in October 2014.

End Israeli Occupation

Israel is involved in a brutal military occupation of the Palestinian territories (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEukvh_Ajv4). The occupation is responsible for widespread and ongoing human rights abuses against the local Palestinian population, including destruction of homes, theft of land & water resources, imprisonment without trial, torture of prisoners, and construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

This is in violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights & the Charter of the United Nations. The settlements have also been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and the UK government.

The Students' Union believes that Israel should end its occupation of the Palestinian territories and allow the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with international law.

The Students' Union resolves to:

  • Inform our members of the background to the situation in Israel/Palestine and to commemorate Palestine Solidarity Day, working with relevant groups such as the Sheffield Students' Union Palestine Society.
  • Lobby our university to divest itself from and terminate any contracts with companies that are complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
  • Join the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends the occupation and complies with international law (http://www.bdsmovement.net/call).

The original policy was passed by Referendum in March 2004 (2095 votes for; 133 against; 2008 abstentions). An amended version (above) was approved by Referendum in March 2007. It was renewed without amendment by Students' Students' Union Council in November 2009. A new version of the policy was submitted by a petition of over 1000 students and passed by referenda in October 2012 with 2,194 votes for, 420 against and 689 abstentions. It will be due for review in October 2015

Fund Education Not War

Since 2001, Britain has spent over £20 billion waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 1,000,000 people have been killed. The cost of renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system is £100 billion. It would have cost just £2 billion annually to abolish university tuition fees. Instead they were trebled. Furthermore, Sheffield University maintains a large share portfolio in companies who arm the world's most repressive regimes and lobby the government to prioritise funding war over education.

This Students' Union is opposed to the government funding bombs instead of books, and opposes Sheffield University's investments in the arms companies that profit from this arrangement. Reducing Britain's military spending to the same level as Germany would save £15 billion annually for funding education and other public services.

This Union resolves to:

  • make the case for 'funding education, not war' in our education funding campaigns
  • declare opposition to the University's dealings with all arms companies
  • lobby the University to divest of its shares in arms companies
  • work with Stop the War Coalition and Student CND to raise awareness of money wasted on war and nuclear weapons
  • end all dealings with arms companies, including at careers fairs and in advertising

This policy replaces the 'University Relations with Arms Companies' policy. The Fund Education Not War policy was adopted by referendum in October 2012. It was submitted by a petition of over 500 students as an alternative proposal to a policy submitted by Students' Union Council. The alternative proposal received 1838 votes, with the original receiving 989 votes and 618 votes in favour of neither proposal. It will be reviewed in October 2015.

Watch a video about our 'Fund Education Not War' policy.

Pro-Choice

This Students' Union Notes:

  • That individuals often have difficulty gaining access to contraception and abortion due to inaccurate information, inconsistencies in NHS provision and the influence of those who wish to restrict access to family planning services

This Students' Union Believes:

  • That access to contraception and sexual health services is imperative to good health and wellbeing for all
  • That a woman's* right to choose protected by the law is a fundamental right an essential aspect of women's bodily autonomy and central for guaranteeing the maternal health of women worldwide
  • Women should be provided with objective information, advice and if necessary financial support in order for them to make genuinely informed and free choices

This Students' Union Resolves:

  • To take an active stance in defending a woman's right to choose and to uphold the legal limit of 24 weeks
  • To campaign for the '2 doctor rule' to be removed
  • To campaign for abortion and contraception to always be easily accessible and free
  • To publicise to all students the family planning and sexual health services available in Sheffield
  • To publicise the financial support available from the Student Support Service for students experiencing unforeseen costs in pregnancy.

*For the purpose of this policy, the term 'woman' refers to a person who can get pregnant, of any gender.

This policy was passed by Students' Union Council in November 2012. It will be reviewed in October 2015

No More Page 3

This year has seen the launch of the national "No More Page 3" campaign that seeks the removal of "Page 3" from "The Sun" newspaper. The Students' Union at The London School of Economics has passed a motion to boycott the newspaper by banning its sale in Union outlets, and the University of Edinburgh Students' Union has demonstrated intent to do the same.

This Union notes:

  • 'Page 3' presents an unrealistic, and potentially damaging picture of what women's bodies look like.
  • Newspapers with 'Page 3' type content regularly place the successes of women in other areas (such as sport) in a significantly less preferential position in the newspaper to the women on 'page 3'.
  • The 'News in Briefs' aspect of 'Page 3' found in 'The Sun' presents a view of women as unintelligent and passive, which may be interpreted as misogynistic and/or patronising.
  • Newspapers with 'Page 3' type content are easily accessible outside the Union to those members who might wish to purchase them, and would remain so even with a Union boycott.
  • The objectification of women in the media is more widespread than these newspapers.

This Union resolves to:

  • Remove newspapers with 'Page 3' type content from sale in all of its outlets until such a time as 'Page 3' is removed from them.
  • Support the national 'No More Page 3' campaign in lobbying 'The Sun' to remove 'Page 3'.

This policy was agreed by Students' Union Council in February 2013. It is due for renewal in October 2015.

Food Policy

This Union notes:

  • Many of its members are Muslim and have special dietary requirements.
  • Currently many of the university's staff are unsure of how to handle questions regarding diet requirements due to lack of awareness, especially about Halal food.
  • There are very few places which cater to Muslim students and many of them end up having to go to outlets outside the Union.
  • Some university outlets advertise that they satisfy Halal requirements without certification and are not subjected to checks.

This Union resolves to:

  • Educate staff working at all outlets within the University and Union about different diets and which foods would qualify under certain diets and which wouldn't.
  • Make union outlets and events more accessible for Muslim students by introducing Halal or Kosher options.
  • Introduce the practice of clearly labeling Halal & Vegan foods in shops which sell both Halal and/or vegan and non-Halal and/or non-vegan foods.
  • Bring more outlets into the Union which supply Halal, Kosher or vegetarian food.
  • Lobby existing outlets throughout the university to introduce Halal or Kosher options on their menus.
  • Ensure Halal certification is obtained.
  • Liaise with USIC to ensure Muslim students are being adequately catered for.

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