Passed: May 2023 (17th)
What do you want? / Why do you want it?
The Senate is an extremely important institution within the university. The Senate regulates the admission of students, the awarding of degrees and can potentially vote on a motion of no confidence in the Vice Chancellor.
The Senate is made up of 53 members including 6 representatives from Leeds University Union (LUU): 3 are LUU officers (Education officer, International and Postgraduate officer, and Union Affairs and Communication officer) and 3 are selected via a panel containing 2x LUU officers and 1x member of LUU staff. Students can put their name forward and then the panel reviews their applications. Students do not know who, in advance, will sit on the panel.
Leeds University Union officers have received a mandate to represent students, however the selection of candidates via an unelected panel is undemocratic. This current model means that an unelected member of staff, who is not accountable to students, gets to decide who represents student interests on an extremely important body.
An alternative to the undemocratic and unaccountable panel is directly electing the 3x student representative positions that aren’t filled by Leeds University Union officers. Students can already vote for LUU officers, LUU representatives (e.g. political and campaigning representative) and use LUU infrastructure to elect representatives for societies’, not to mention that staff directly elect 9 staff representatives on the Senate. A viable initial alternative would be for the Student Executive to be the democratically elected representatives at Senate. They received the biggest democratic mandate across the campus in LeadLUU elections, with one of their key roles being to represent student interests at the highest levels of Union and University decision-making.
Student representatives for the Senate are directly elected at University of Kent, University of Sussex and the University of Liverpool, it’s time for students in Leeds University Union to follow suit.