LUU should run the Better Forums three times a year

Passed: November 2018 (19th)

What do you want/Why do you want it?

To propose a new model for LUU’s democratic calendar, consisting of three sets of the three ‘Better…’ Forums across the academic year alongside the introduction of more interactive debates. The number of forums across the year,their proximity to each other, and the amount of Policy passed means that there is little time to work on developing ideas with proposers or staff.

We know that Ideas get submitted that could be implemented without going to Forum. Often these are the Ideas that are voted for unanimously. There is often insufficient time for these Ideas to be researched and the Proposers given an opportunity to come in and talk to staff. Instead they go to Forum - resulting in low quality discussion.

Occasionally Ideas are brought forward just to ensure that a Forum can go ahead - this mainly affects Better Leeds. We need to focus effort on looking for the issues that are impacting students and giving ourselves time to develop those Ideas.

We recognise that cutting out a forum won’t in and of itself increase engagement - it’s about what stripping that set of forums out will allow our Exec and staff to work on, and how it will affect our members.


Expires: November 2021 (19th)

Submitted By: Chris Morris

Officer: Union Affairs

Area of Work: Democracy


Bye-Law Update Required:

The move to three forums, and the ability for the officers to decide if ideas can be actioned, will require Bye-Law changes to pass through Forum. The following are the proposed changes’

Bye-Law (1) Ideas;

11. Ideas can be implemented, without advancing to Union Forum and becoming Policy, if the Officer Trustees agree unanimously that the proposal falls within the ordinary business of the Union and that it is clearly a win for students.

(i) The proposer retains the right to request their idea be heard at Forum if they are unhappy with either progress or the way the idea is being implemented. This right can be exercised after a minimum of three months since the idea was submitted.

12. Ideas can be deferred from being discussed at a Union Forum if the Idea is identified by Officer Trustees as:

(i) Posing a financial threat to the Union

(ii) Posing a legal threat to the Union

13. If an idea has been deferred under Bye-Law 1.12 then the extent of the threat will be investigated.

(i) During this investigation, the Union member who submitted the Idea will be given the option to:

(a) Change their Idea so that it is no longer acknowledged as a threat under Bye-Law 1.12 before it is submitted to a Forum

(b) Withdraw their Idea

(ii) If the member does not use the options in 13(i), the Officer Trustees must determine if the Idea poses a serious financial or legal threat to the Union. In which case the idea cannot proceed to Forum, and the decision with reasoning will be confirmed in writing to the proposer.

14. If an idea proceeds to Forum that was deferred under Bye-Law 1.12, any concerns regarding legal and/or financial risk will be summarised by one of the attending Officer Trustees.

AND

Bye-Law (2) Union Forums;

8. Quorum for Union Forum meetings shall be a majority of the representatives entitled to attend, and a minimum of two ideas per Union Forum

15. Each of the three Forums will take place a minimum of three times per academic year.

Updates

August 2020: As below, approved Democracy Calendar for 2020/21 has three rounds of Better Forums (November, March & May) - with at least the first set of these taking place digitally.

March 2020: The proposed Democracy Calendar for 2020/21 also contains three rounds of Better Forums.

September 2019: Democracy Calendar for 2019/20 features three sets of forums. No further updates likely as this is now an embedded part of LUU's Democracy Calendar - though the impact of a move to three Forums will continue to be assessed. The first year saw more ideas be discussed at Forum than the previous year where we held four sets of Forums, and panellist feedback remained very positive.

January 2019: Bye-Law changes approved, now live on LUU's Governance page. We'll be assessing the impact of a move to three Forums at the end of the academic year.

November 2018: The Bye-Law changes now need to be approved by LUU's Board of Trustees