Page:Councillors Toolbox

Councillors Toolbox

SU Council meets every other Thursday during term at 5:30pm. The dates for Meetings for the 2017/18 Academic Year are:

Meeting 1 - Thursday 1st November 2018 (Week 6) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 2 - Thursday 15th November 2018 (Week 8) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 3 - Thursday 29th November 2018 (Week 10) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 4 - Thursday 13th December 2018 (Week 12) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7

Christmas Vacation & Exam Period - 15th December 2018 - 3rd February 2019

Meeting 5 - Thursday 14th February 2019 (Week 2) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 6 - Thursday 28th February 2019 (Week 4) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 7 - Thursday 14th March 2019 (Week 6) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 8 - Thursday 28th March 2019 (Week 8) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7

Easter Vacation - 6th April 2019 - 28th April 2019

Meeting 9 - Thursday 2nd May 2019 (Week 10) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7
Meeting 10 - Thursday 16th May 2019 (Week 12) Hicks Lecture Theatre 7

Agendas, Papers and Minutes - You will receive the papers for SU Council Meetings via email 1 week in advance to give you chance to read through everything. At the front will be the agenda for the meeting so you can clearly see what is coming up and the minutes of the previous meeting so you can remember decisions made last time. 

To get an idea of items that will be brought to SU Council meetings throughout the year you can always check the Schedule of Business.

Quorum - Two-thirds of elected Councillors must be present at a meeting for any business to be conducted. 

Motions - A motion is a formal proposal that can be on whatever matter students believe important on how the Union is run, what its aims are and how to achieve them. Motions are typically shorter term ideas or solutions whereas Policy is more long terms with a 3 year minimum life span. 

Policy -  New Policy proposals and updates on Policies from the Officers will be discussed at each SU Council Meeting. Students’ Union Policies are here to ensure that the values which students feel are important, such as the environment, equal rights, and education funding, are reflected all the way through the SU. You can see all current SU Policies here. 

Debate - When discussing a motion or policy proposal there is a structure to the discussion as follows: 

  • a speech for the proposal;
  • a speech against the proposal;
  • an equal number of speeches for and against the proposal;
  • speeches around the proposal;
  • a speech summating on the proposal.
  • If an amendment is suggested to the proposal the discussion of the amendment will also follow this format. 

After all amendments have been debated there is: 

  • a speech against the proposal as amended;
  • an equal number of speeches for and against the proposal;
  • a speech summating on the proposal.

You can read more about the structure of SU Council Discussion in Bye Law 3, 6.5 of the SU Constitution

Officer Accountability - Officers will give an update on their Objectives to SU Councillors at each meeting and answer any questions that you have on their work. 

If you are unable to attend an SU Council meeting you must submit your apologies no later than 12pm on the day of the meeting in writing to

Councillors absent without acceptable written apologies from two meetings of Students’ Union Council shall be deemed to have resigned.

A Committee consisting of the Students’ Union President, Chair and Vice Chair of Students’ Union Council shall determine whether apologies submitted for Council meetings are acceptable. If apologies are not considered acceptable then this will count as being absent without apologies.

Councillors who are unable to attend a meeting and who has submitted apologies may nominate a proxy. Information on nominating a proxy can be found here.

More information on the responsibilities of Councillors can be found in Bye-Law 3 Students’ Union Council Section 3.4

A Councillor who is unable to attend a Council meeting and who has submitted acceptable apologies may nominate a proxy to attend in their place, provided that you let us know at 48 hours prior to the meeting.

It’s a good idea to meet with and brief your  proxy in advance of the meeting to make sure they are aware of topics coming up at the meeting and what to expect. Make sure your proxy has a copy of the Council Papers and enough time to read them and ask you any questions.

A proxy for a Departmental Councillor must be amember of the relevant department and where possible should be a course representative.

A proxy for a Representative Councillor must be a member of the relevant representative group and where possible should be a member of the relevant Representative Committee.

A proxy shall be treated as a member for the duration of that meeting, i.e. they shall be counted in the quorum and shall have speaking and voting rights.