As many students may already be aware, the current Sabbatical team are conducting a review of the positions within the Union at the end of the academic year. The Sabbatical review will look at the positions within the Union, how they work and exploring the possibilities of changing and creating new roles. The current team are looking for students’ opinion on the roles, and asking what students want and expect from their Sabbatical team.
A wordpress blog has been set up by the Union, asking students to comment on the Sabbatical roles. The blog encourages students to share their thoughts, enabling students at Southampton to take an active part in changing their Union. The Campaign has been tagged ‘SUSU is evolving. Let’s decide how, together’ and invites discussion on matters such as…
- What students feel the point of a Sabb is
- What the role of a Sabb should be
- What Sabbs spend their time on
- Who else could take some of the roles
- What issues are important for the Sabbs
The website states ‘we’re ready to get this ball rolling’, and includes outlines of the current Sabbatical positions and their constitutional roles within in the Union.
The invitation of students’ comments comes at a sensitive time after the current Sabbatical team have recently come under close scrutiny for a number of issues. Most notably, a letter was read out at last week’s SUSU Emergency Meeting from Emma Bacon, a member on the Union Council for two years and recipient of Union Honorary Life Membership. Members of the current Sabbatical team were criticised in the letter, compared to Sabbaticals from previous years who, it was suggested, were more effective and hardworking.
The organisation of the recent AGM also caused widespread controversy amongst students, articulated in a letter by Aaron Bali, Ethical Co-ordinator and next year’s Environment and Ethics Officer, also read out at the EGM. He said: ‘I feel that the way the meeting was run, the way that the votes were accounted for, and the way in which members of union staff knowingly flouted constitutional regulations demonstrates a fundamental and systemic problem in the way in which the politics of Southampton University Student’s Union is run…what are we going to do about it?’
Approximately £120,000 is spent each year on the employment and expenses of the Sabbatical team within our Union. The blog requesting students’ opinions provides the opportunity for students to voice their feelings about the union, and provide constructive advise on how they feel the roles of the Sabbatical team within the Union can be improved.
The Wessex Scene encourages any readers who want to share their opinions with the Union to leave comments. You can access the wordpress blog here: http://evolvesusu.wordpress.com.
The current Sabbatical team will discuss the results of the comments on Thursday 3rd June, as part of the Sabbatical Review.
Readers can also vote in a poll about the Union here on The Wessex Blog, at: http://wessexblog.com/2010/05/21/should-the-new-sabbaticals-turn-susu-upside-down/