Update: SUSU You Make Change Anonymous Submissions Publication to be Voted on at AGM


Following Tuesday’s Union Senate meeting, the recent change to SUSU’s You Make Change feedback system to not publish anonymous submissions will now be put to a vote at the student union AGM on Thursday 29th October.

In a move brought in just before last weekend, a clause on the You Make Change webpage now states:

You can submit ideas or questions anonymously, however these will not be displayed publicly. That does not mean that we won’t still consider and act upon them though.

Following Union Senate discussion of the matter on Tuesday, it was decided that the decision to no longer potentially publish anonymous submissions to You Make Change will be voted upon at the SUSU AGM next week.
VP Sports and Deputy President Steve Gore provided on Thursday an official statement following the Senate’s decision to put the change to a vote at the AGM:
You Make Change is a platform designed for students to submit the great ideas they have to be acted upon by the sabbatical team to create positive changes to student life. Unfortunately the anonymous feature on this platform has been misused by some students and SUSU felt the need to make this small operational change to both reduce the levels of misuse and to set the expectations of students as they submit their ideas.
He further added:
It’s important to note that all anonymous submissions will still be considered and replied to as they have been in the past meaning that this change represents no reduction in functionality. It is also worth mentioning that senate meetings exist to hold sabbatical officers to account, and that this is not the intended function of You Make Change. SUSU is confident that this change does not need to be ratified by an AGM, however following the Wessex Scene’s coverage and discussion our senate has mandated that this change will now be taken to a vote of our members at AGM next Thursday (29 Nov) to ensure that there is no difference in interpretation and to allow for maximum accountability.
The move was originally made without prior consultation of either student union trustees or the Union Senate. It was, however, confirmed by a comment by VP Sports Steve Gore on the original Facebook post to this article on Sunday that sabbatical officers were made aware about the change on Friday. Steve Gore also detailed reasoning then behind the decision:
You Make Change is a platform designed by SUSU to allow students to submit suggestions on what changes they want to see in the Union and University. What it is not supposed to be is a forum for students to anonymously harass and abuse our team, which is unfortunately how some students have been using it. All submissions will still be considered as they have been in the past, the only difference now is that a student must be happy for their name to be put beside it if they want it to be published online.
In his comment on Facebook, Steve Gore further suggested that students could raise the decision if they wished to at the Union Senate meeting on Tuesday.
Credit: Ivan Morris Poxton.
Credit: Ivan Morris Poxton.
Wessex Scene understands that overall, since its inception as a tool for students to ask questions, petition for change and provide feedback to the students’ union, 397 out of 931 total submissions (43%*) have been made anonymously. Additionally, during the current sabbatical term, 62% of all submissions made (72 out of 117) were anonymous. Wessex Scene also understands that all but one You Make Change submission made in relation to President Emily Dawes’ mural tweet controversy before her resignation earlier this week were made anonymously.
SUSU’s AGM will take place on Thursday 29th October in the Café in Building 42 at 2pm.
*All % figures rounded to 1dp.

Editor 2018-19 | International Editor 2017/18. Final year Modern History and Politics student from Bedford. Drinks far too much tea for his own good.

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