YUSU Policy Development Review

Our current policy process is the system of how students can submit ideas to shape the direction and priorities of YUSU. We want to make this process more transparent, easier to use and more accessible to a wider range of students. The process has been under review over the summer, with an independent consultant collecting the views of elected officers and ordinary students. This has resulted in 5 new big ideas for the new process, which we want your thoughts on. These are:

The 5 Big Ideas

Click on each idea to expand!

When you have an idea that you want YUSU to implement, it will now go down one of these three strands. This would create an overarching “Make a Change” process for all ideas you have. This system would have the benefit of allowing simple, material ideas to be implemented quickly and more complicated ideas to be consulted on or debated more deeply. The diagram below shows how it would work:

Do you like the idea of the “Make a Change” process with these 3 strands?

Our new website will have this exciting feature where you can submit all ideas in one place. Ideas will be published live on the website and students will have the opportunity to vote on ideas that propose simple and material changes (YUSU Actions). Whether they are actioned would depend on the proportion of up and down votes, putting the decision in the hands of all students in a quick and easy format. YUSUggestions allows ideas to be tagged to certain strands, commented on by students and visibly assigned to student leaders. Student leaders will be able to comment with updates on how successful ideas are being implemented, ensuring progress remains transparent.

Below is a mock up of how the website pages could look:

We recognise we need a larger and more representative group of students that make the decisions within this process. This group would be responsible for moving ideas through the YUSU Policies and YUSU Debates pathways.

We want to know from you who you think this decision making group should be. The most viable options we have identified are:

  • A Citizen’s Jury - a group of students selected at random that make up the policy forum for that year
  • Combined Officer Group with a number of randomly selected students
  • The current Policy Review Group with an increased membership - this is made up of students who apply and are appointed to the role
What do you think of these options?

We are open to considering other options, so please do share any ideas you may have.

In addition to taking decisions to approve or reject ideas, Policy Forum members would work with students and officers to consult on, debate and enhance ideas.

The current PRG focuses predominantly on just the passing or rejection of policy.

Do you think the Policy Forum should play a greater role in policy development?

Due to the demanding workload, operational nature and administrative side of the Policy Coordinator role (chair of the current PRG and proposed chair of the new Policy Forum) it is suggested that they would be paid for their work. They play a more operational role than other student volunteers, with several requirements including delivering the policy process. This demands a time commitment and level of engagement that removes the autonomy intrinsic to other student representative roles.

Do you think this should become a paid role?

As this is a non-representative, operational role we are proposing that the role is recruited via an appointment process run by a student panel, rather than being elected. This is partly due to the fact the Education Act dictates students cannot hold an elected paid role for more than 2 years. So electing a paid Policy Coordinator would limit an individual's potential future plans to become a Full-time Officer.

What do you think? - should the Policy Coordinator be:
  • Elected?
  • Appointed by a student panel?