President Update 25/09/17

Lowri Jones - UPSU President
Twitter // Facebook

Manifesto update:

Have your Say sessions
to hold me to account and to give students an opportunity to talk about different things they’d like to see change. Strengthening democracy including expanding the Union Council, empowering part-time officers, creating an online area for all students to get involved with council decisions and motions.

  • Union Council now includes School Reps as well as the Part-time and Sabbatical Officers so that all students have stronger representation in regards to political union decisions.
  • Increasing communication from officers with students e.g. all Sabbatical Officers have their own Facebook pages this year and will be posting blogs with fuller updates. This will increase the visibility and therefore understanding of what officers are up to.
  • Working on the officer role review and pushing for a democratic review.
  • Meeting with the Marketing Team after Freshers to plan regular Q&A / Have your say sessions to be done on Facebook live, hopefully starting from October.

Redo Students as Partners Policy
Ensure students have a louder voice on all matters and are always consulted, with a representative always at the forefront.

  • Working with Maja, VP Education, and key staff members at the union and the university to create a Student Charter and Students as Partners Policy
    - researching other institutions’ charters
    - going out on campus week of 25th September to ask as many students as possible what they expect from the University/Union and what do they think is expected from them
    - hosting two focus groups in the first week of October to gather more in depth feedback from students on the above questions
  • Gaining a fuller understanding of the university structure myself by observing extra meetings and pushing to be involved in committees that the SU hasn’t been before
    - asked the VC about having a Student Governor on the Remuneration Committee and now researching into other universities that do this
  • Arranging sessions for students to understand the university structure better and for more transparency
    - Julian Chaudhuri is exploring this idea with the University Executive Group
    - I posted an update on this online so that students can send over what topics they would like covered at these sessions and how would they like them to be ran
  • Writing a statement around officers being able to refuse to give comment at meetings when papers are tabled on the day or are sent out unreasonably late

A safety, wellbeing and health campaign around drugs, including confidential service on campus for drug-related advice, drug testing kits.

  • Researching the use of drug testing kits at festivals and other unions such as Newcastle
  • Will be attending a working group on the university drugs policy in the coming weeks
  • Developing the broader campaign, now titled Practice Safe Sesh, which will be launched in November with information online for students regarding safe drug taking. 


Key role related activities update

Alcohol Impact 

  • Currently working with James, VP Welfare, to create an action plan

Environment and sustainability

  • Eat, Sleep, Recycle, Repeat

    - Met with the University/Viridor regarding the new waste contract

    - All bins across campus will now have matching labels (general waste and mixed recycling)

    - Met with Ian Short, UPSU Head of Facilities to ensure that our bins will be consistent with the University ones

    - University/Viridor have decided to adopt this awareness/education campaign and will be using it on their material too

    - Posted online for feedback from students regarding what students find confusing/difficult with recycling – will be used in the awareness promotion

    - Will be planning awareness days with UoP/Viridor, student socieities, PCC and hopefully other SUs in Plymouth


Other key updates

Automatic Voter Registration

  • Writing a paper for Union Council to see if students would like us to work with the University to implement this
  • Researching how this has been implemented at other institutions as requested by the VC


The role of the president involves:

  • Leading the Sabbatical Officer Team
  • Internal and External communications
  • Representing Plymouth students in the local community, nationally and across the University, and developing community relations
  • Leading on sustainability, employability and key campaigns
  • Working as a trustee of UPSU


See last update here.