Welcome to RGU:Union's AGM Motion List. Here you will be able to find the AGM motions which have been submitted by the RGU student body. These motions will be discussed, debated and voted on by students at the RGU:Union AGM 2021/2022!

These motions can also be ammended before they are voted on by students. If you have any amendments/suggested changes to these motions, then these can submit be submitted here or at the meeting itself.

If you have any questions about a particular motion or require further information on the AGM, then please contact the President (Communication & Democracy).

 

CARBON FOOTPRINT SIGN

Motion Proposer: Lorina Dupuy; Motion Seconder: Maja Huebers.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

After what we have been through with Covid-19 we can easily see what the next challenge of our generation will be: Global warming. Yes, big companies have a huge impact on global warming but it's not by thinking that your actions won't change anything that you will be able to create change. Robert Gordon University still has some work to do before becoming more sustainable. We would like to see the university moving forward towards an eco-friendly system.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

Schools and Universities are the foundation of our future. If the place where we are getting education from isn't sustainable how can we expect an improvement in eco-friendly jobs? We want to see actions, not just talks.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

We would like to ask the university to display its annual carbon footprint in a form of a graph and with a comparison to other universities in the UK. The idea would be to display this data in the university's buildings as well as easily available online. We want the students to be aware of how sustainable their university is, and we hope it will motivate the university and the students to take further action in this race against global warming. What we are trying to do might not change everything and it won't solve the climate crisis but it's by raising awareness and motivation that RGU will try to significantly reduce its carbon emissions.

 

 

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IMPROVE COOKING FACILITIES AT 53.3 DEGREES IN GRAY'S

Motion Proposer: Ruth Wilson; Motion Seconder: Rebecca Rae.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

In Gray's, the lone person who is left to operate the coffee bar (the only place in the building to buy lunch) can only cook two paninis or toasties at a time.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

As paninis take roughly 4-5 minutes each to toast, this results in long wait times, even with short queues. It is our understanding that the coffee bar was installed to reduce the load on the main canteen, however, with the canteen closed, you either need to wait for ages waiting on your toastie cooked, or walk to another building on campus. This takes up a lot of time, especially when many students at Gray's like to work through their projects during lunch.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

While we understand that it's Aramark that operates the 53.3 degrees coffee bar, we propose that a combination oven/merrychef (which can cook food quickly) is installed at the coffee bar. We believe that this way students and staff would be more encouraged to go to the coffee bar and spend money if they didn't have to wait so long on food being served.

The Union should work with Aramark to ensure appropriate serving equipment is in place at Gray’s to reduce excessive wait times.
 

 

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INADEQUATE JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Motion Proposer: Patricia Nkem Innocent; Motion Seconder: Yashree Thakorbbhai Patel.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

A good number of international students here in RGU experience inadequate job opportunities due to the lack of UK work experience.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

This is a concern because if/when international students are not offered the opportunity to work because of a lack of UK work experience, they will be unable to get this much needed experience and it may take longer to identify an organisation prepared to grant the opportunity. This could result in mental health challenges, as students may find it difficult to study due to worrying over the UK job experience.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

International students should be introduced to firms, organisations, or institutions that offer international students career prospects, with or without UK job experience, at the time of enrolment.

In addition, job and career opportunities including volunteer jobs, should be showcased from the first semester, not just the second. 

Furthermore, work placements should be introduced in all department (with a choice of individual exemption), as this will give international students an opportunity to gather experience in their chosen field of study.
 

 

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PARKING ON CAMPUS (1)

Motion Proposer: Emily Robertson; Motion Seconder: Felicity Miller.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Parking on Campus only being for permit holders based on location.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

If you live in a remote village with limited transport, you rely on your car to take you to and from Aberdeen. Parents can also rely on more than one settings and these usually don't open until 8am and close at 6pm. The train/bus times can be unreliable and you have to go to Aberdeen city centre, before getting on additional transport to get to Garthdee. This can turn a 20/30 minute journey into 2 hours. With classes starting at 9am and finishing at 5pm this can be catastrophic for parents being unable to park on campus. There is also the worry if your child becomes unwell, how quickly you can get to them.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

For Parking, we agree that it should still be priority based on location, but feel an app could be developed to better utilise the car park. This could be a booking system with bronze silver and gold passes. Bronze could be those with caring responsibilities, Gold those with highest geographical need. The person who books a space on the app could also put in the hours they require for parking i.e 9-1 and it can be on a pay as you use basis. Not everyone who has a permit requires it 5 days a week and there is also those on placement who wont use their permit but are still paying for it. This would make the system fairer.

The Union should campaign for the introduction of a parking management app.
 

 

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PARKING ON CAMPUS (2)

Motion Proposer: Jessica McRorie; Motion Seconder: Hollie hunter.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

For those with primarily online coursework it is not worth paying for a years permit when we are on campus for about a week a year.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

We are left with no parking options near campus.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

Return to no parking permits/charges

The Union should campaign for the removal of all parking permits and charges.
 

 

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TIMETABLE FLEXIBILITY FOR STUDENT PARENTS

Motion Proposer: Emily Robertson; Motion Seconder: Felicity Miller.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Timetable times and large breaks between classes.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

Being a parent, the time you have to drop your children off in the morning to breakfast club or pick up from after school club is very tight.

Some classes start at 9am-11am with a 2 hour break and next class 1-3pm which is school drop off and pick up times. This then adds extra pressure to parents to pay additional fees in breakfast/after school clubs. For two children it is £48 a day, add in travel costs if relying on public transport this can add up this cost to £60 a day. 5 days a week is £300 a month £1200. This makes it difficult for parents to attend RGU as this is unaffordable with the cost of living rising. I worry this will lead to more people dropping out. 

Not that parents should get special treatment, but this will cause a lot of money worries and stress.

Mums and Dads should be empowered to be able to attend University without having additional worries.
 

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

There could be a class per year group that parents or caregivers can opt into which can give them hours which fit in with the school hours. Even if it means they are in more days or two/three days and one day a week have a long day so they don’t have to pay as much in childcare costs. The two-hour gaps are too long when you also have travel on each side of this. For 4 hours of classes it can be a 9 hour day.

The Union and University should work with individual schools to ensure consideration is given to students with childcare commitments during the timetable setting process, with flexible scheduling measures introduced.
 

 

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TRANS AND NON-BINARY INCLUSIVITY TRAINING FOR STAFF

Motion Proposer: Maike Wilschnack; Motion Seconder: Kieran Soutter.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Last year a motion was passed that stated RGU would do more to provide for the trans community, however, not enough progress has been made. Neither students nor staff members have the necessary and appropriate information on LGBTQIA+ rights which leads to issues such as misgendering and incorrect pronouns. There is a lot more we can do to make bathrooms and changing rooms at RGU safe for trans and non-binary individuals.

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

The passing of the motion last year gave hope to the trans and non-binary community, but this has not been actioned. The incorrect use of pronouns is not only deeply disrespectful, but also increases gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria has a negative impact on mental health, and can lead to anxiety, depression, and suicide. It has been proven that a supportive environment increases mental wellbeing in trans and non-binary individuals.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

Training should be provided for staff and cis people on the rights and experiences of trans and non-binary individuals. Education for staff and cis people on the problems trans people face in bathrooms in order to make bathrooms at RGU safe.

 

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UNREALISTIC ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE

Motion Proposer: Jayne Smith; Motion Seconder: Ellen Morrissey.

 

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

In recent years a change was made to the assessment schedule of the MSc Social Work course.  Ultimately this has meant for our cohort we had six assignments due in with a total word count of 12,000 words over a 10-day period in December, coming just days after formal teaching ended.

Previously half the assessments were due in December and the other half due in January.  However, we understand that previous students requested a change be made to this to have all assessments in prior to the Christmas break. 

For our cohort this has resulted in a higher than usual number of extensions being granted, and it has had a significant impact not only on the mental health of our students, but also on their personal and social relationships.
 

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

As postgraduate students working towards entering the Social Work profession, surely we can use our own professionalism to time manage effectively with assignments split over December and January as has happened previously.

We understand that the results overall from the cohort were good, but from discussions with colleagues, our learning has been significantly impacted and the assessments became more of a tick box exercise than deep, learning opportunities that will help in our practice. When we have students so stressed out by the quantity of work demanded over such a short time frame that they need to seek support from their GP and be medicated, we have a serious issue that needs addressed urgently!

We all understood the demands that would be placed on us for this postgraduate course, but this unrealistic workload in the demanded time frame is unworkable and should not be repeated in future. To then have four weeks off university after the assessments were handed in was quite frankly an insult and appears to the cohort to have been recovery time as the recognition for the impossible task we were given.

The new assessment schedule is a one-size-fits-all approach which has proven this year not to work!
 

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

The solution appears to our cohort to be very simple, revert back to having the assessments split between December and January, as had been the case in previous years. This would enable students the flexibility to complete all the assessments prior to Christmas if they wished, or indeed, work on the others due in January in late December/early January.  If this is deemed not possible, then the course will require some serious adaptations to reflect the fact that assessments have been brought forward.

The Union and University should work with individual schools to identify the most appropriate assessment scheduling arrangements for each school.
 

 

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