At the Union Council meeting of 31st March 2022, a proposal was submitted by the Men’s Welfare Officer 2021/22, Will Styles. The proposal concerned the publication of a statement by the members of Union Council to acknowledge that they recognise and support the applicability of the Equality Act to male students.
A statement was drafted by Will Styles, as proposer of the action. This was circulated by email to all members of Union Council who were given the opportunity to comment and propose amendments to the suggested statement. There was one response in support of the statement and no other comments or amendments were received.
The statement reads;
It has been considered and approved at the UPSU Union Council that this Council wishes to issue a statement regarding the words of the UPSU Board of Trustees which were shared in 2017. This is due to and following a letter from the Men’s Officer, Women’s Officer and Welfare Officer to The Board of Trustees asking them to redact their words, though this was declined sighting them being “factually accurate”. The words in question were;
“The UPSU Trustee Board noted that references in the UPSU Constitution to equal opportunities and the UPSU Equal Opportunities policy must be read in the context of the relevant equal opportunities legislation. That legislation, both in its initial form and as subsequently amended is specifically designed to address equal opportunities for groups which have suffered historic and ongoing discrimination. Those groups did not, and do not, include men (other than in the context of equal pay, which is a qualitatively different issue.)”
The discussion at Union Council led to a decision which was not unanimous, though the majority wished to issue an independent statement considering the above context.
Our statement on this is that we, the highest elected student body, the Union Council of UPSU, DOES recognise and support the applicability of Equalities Legislation to Men and therefore their right to equal treatment under the law.
This is in specific reference to the Equality Act of 2010 and, considering the context of the words of The UPSU Board of Trustees, it is strongly felt that clarifying this applicability to Men is paramount and beneficial to our student body.
We refute any suggestion that our Male Students should be treated any less than equally, as described under the Equality Act and in our Equal Opportunities Policy.”
Minutes of the meeting and full proposal