Sabbatical Positions Set for Radical Change


The Wessex Scene has learned that three sabbatical positions are set to be scrapped and replaced by new positions upon acceptance from Union Council in the coming weeks.

The three new positions – ‘Welfare & Communities’, ‘Student Engagement’ and ‘Communications’ – are set to replace the current Vice President sabbatical positions of ‘Media & Communications’, ‘Welfare & Societies’, and the role of Winchester President. All three new proposed positions will fall under the title of Vice President also.

The re-structure, detailed in a motion proposed by Union President Billy Fitzjohn, is to be taken to the next Union Council meeting on December 13. The motion is seconded by Vice President: Academic Affairs, Rob Stanning.

The current roles of Union President and Vice President: Academic Affairs are proposed to remain the same. AU President is hoped to be named ‘Vice President: Sports Development’.

Details on the proposed positions to be taken to Union Council on December 13 can be found below.

The Wessex Scene, however, has also learnt that two amendments will be brought to council, both of which will be proposed by current sabbatical officers Charlene Batchelor (Winchester President) and Charlotte Woods (VP: Media & Communications).

The first amendment will recommend that extra funding is found within the Union budget for the creation of a seventh sabbatical position to ensure that funding for the current position of Winchester President – set to be scrapped – can continue for one year. This is hoped to ease the sudden withdrawal of support for Winchester campus.

This amendment, to be proposed by Charlene Batchelor and seconded by Sam Ling, recommends prepararing Winchester School of Art to be led by volunteers, with the support of SUSU staff, so that it will be better equipped without a Winchester President in a year’s time.

The second amendment, to be put forward by Charlotte Woods, proposes to swap two parts of the proposed job remits which are set to sit under the roles of VP Communications and VP Student Engagement. It suggests that VP Communications should suppport the Union’s media groups instead of ensuring provision at Winchester and other satellite sites. It also recommends that VP Engagement should instead focus its attention on providing Winchester and the other satellite campuses with necessary support.

This amendment will be seconded by Environment & Ethics Officer Aaron Bali.

A full review of all sabbatical roles within the Union has been underway since last academic year, after a motion to review current positions was passed in the Union AGM this May.

The current position of Vice President: Academic Affairs was re-named before last year’s Union AGM, after it was previously known as ‘Education & Representation’.

Union Executive positions are also expected to be re-shuffled and changes will be proposed in January’s Union Council.

The Sabbatical team and Executive Committee of 09/10 and 10/11 have been debating the roles and encouraged student engagement and feedback via means of an online blog. Comments from the blog have been discussed at subsequent review sessions.

The motion states ‘it is prudent to bring the proposed new structure to council in December’, indicating that the union plans to ensure changes can be applied for the 2011 SUSU Elections due to be held in February.

The original motion also details the expected responsibilities of all Union roles intended to be implemented if passed successfully at Union Council:

Union President

  • Overall leadership of the Union
  • Figurehead of the Union
  • Chair of Trustees

 Vice President (Academic Affairs)

  • Defend students’ academic and educational issues and rights
  • Amplify student voice through academic representation system
  • Promote academic awareness to students

 Vice President (Sports Development)

  • AU Club Development
  • Elite Sport
  • Sports Participation

 Vice President (Welfare and Communities)

  • Student Welfare
  • Promoting Students’ involvement within larger communities
  • Supporting particular student communities to enhance their student experience

 Vice President (Student Engagement)

  • Student Led Groups
  • Supporting Selected Union Standing Committees (JCR & RAG)
  • Supporting Student Media Groups

Vice President (Communications)

  • Ensure excellent Union provision at Winchester & other Sites
  • Leads Union Communications
  • Leads on Democratic Processes and Involvement

These roles may change if the two recommended amendments are passed, or if any other amendments are suggested at Union Council.

More details on the proposed motion and amendments can be found on VP Media & Communications Charlotte Wood’s Blog online here:


Discussion11 Comments

  1. avatar

    Seems like the abstract to what should be a massive document….

    Charlotte Woods

    You’re right -look at the ‘Union Mandates’ part, we will bring the massive document in January, but we could probably answer specific questions at council?

    Sasha Watson


  2. avatar

    A small correction, which seems minor, but is an important difference,

    With respect to the First Ammendment,

    “The ammendment recommends that extra funding is found for the creation of a seventh sabbatical position to ensure the current position of Winchester President, which is currently set to be scrapped, will be allowed to continue.”

    It is proposing that the position is retained for only 1 year, and not on a long term basis, to avoid the sudden withdrawal of support for Winchester campus, and to explore the support needed by satellite and placement students

    Daniel Webb

    Cheers Sam I have adapted the article. Thanks

  3. avatar

    With the Exception of the support for Satellite campus’, (which is the subject of one of the amendments), I think this proposal will go a long way to creating a far better balance to our Sabbatical team.

    With the amendments added this, in my mind, becomes a very strong set up for SUSU’s future teams of Sabbaticals, and goes much further than what I had thought of only a year ago when the motion for splitting Welfare and Societies was first brought up.

  4. avatar

    Wow…. it seems the Wessex Scene has reached the stage of copying and pasting Union Council documents into articles now.

    Daniel Webb

    It’s supposed to be copy and pasted, its an official motion, the explanation of it is above.


    I’ve never seen the BBC copy and paste something from the house of commons

    Daniel Webb

    I’ll remember that in the future. Thanks for the constructive criticism anon

  5. avatar

    Do this year’s sabb/exec team really think they’ve been in their jobs for long enough to decide what’s best for the future? They started this when they’d only just started themselves and even now they’ve only been there for 5 months. What’s to say that, after a whole year in the role, they won’t think differently?

    We’re trusting that the sabb and exec team know enough to know what’s best, but actually, how much have they consulted previous sabbs and execs who probably know better having been in their roles for at least a year?

    There’s so many people out there who have experience of the union and opinions about how it should work, and at what point were they consulted? Or updated on progress? Or given an opportunity to input into the sabb review? It was secretive, done behind closed doors, and Union Council last night was not a fair opportunity for any other student to have any input.

Leave A Reply