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Here’s why you should care about the LUSU referendum

Alright, so bear with us

You may have heard about the upcoming referendum on how the Full Time Officers will be setup in the Union, but how does it affect you?

The big vote is the upcoming referendum on the format of the Full-time officer team in the Union. These are our student representatives in the Union, consisting of the President and five Vice Presidents – each representing different areas of interest to students at Lancaster University.

The upcoming election proposes to remove the roles of Campaigns & Communication and Union Development and replace them with a new Postgraduate Officer.

This vote will decide how students are represented in the Union, changing the number of representatives and roles themselves for an indefinite amount of time.

What are the responsibilities of the relevant roles?

VP Union Development is responsible for democracy, commercial services and governance, meaning that they are in charge of ensuring fair elections in JCRs, Sports Clubs and societies and representing the students in the decision making of Union owned businesses such as Central and Sugarhouse. They are also in charge of overseeing the social activities of student groups, a particularly relevant responsibility in light of the recent Snowsports controversy.

VP Campaigns and Communications supports the student media outlets and is responsible for clear communication between the Union and the students.

The new proposed role of Postgraduate Officer would be responsible for Postgraduate education and welfare policy & campaigns, leading the Postgraduate Academic reps & chair the PGR forum as well as liaising with Graduate College & Doctoral Academy.

How are the previous responsibilities being split up?

– Democracy/ Governance: No mention in the new proposal.

– Commercial Services: This will be added to the President’s and Welfare officer’s responsibilities.

– Overseeing social activities of students: There is no mention of this in the proposed changes (even with the recent issues with white T shirt socials).

– Student Media: This will be added into the role of VP Activities who already represents Sports Clubs and Societies in the University. NUS already suggest this role should be split into two different positions.

– Communication: There is no mention of this specifically, although the Welfare Officer would lead campaigns on welfare issues (not on decisions made by the Union though).

Why is this vote important?

This vote will decide how students are represented in the Union until the next review.

For more information see the Student Union group on Facebook, and to see all of the counter arguments for the vote go to the Facebook page “Vote No in the LUSU Referendum”.

Voting opened on the 28th of November and will close at 4pm on Friday the 7th of December. To have your say and vote click here.