We're working on it!


As you hopefully remember, last term you voted on a whole host of ‘Your Ideas’ (all submitted by students like you!). Well, since then, we’ve been busy working away on the things that you’ve asked us to and thought it was about time we gave you an update on our progress. Read on for more…

Click on each tab to see how we are progressing with ideas passed in each zone. 

  • Red: Idea cannot be taken forward
  • Orange: Work is underway, but not yet complete
  • Green: Mandate Complete/idea up and running

Online Printing Credits

16.02.17: Chris had a discussion with library services, who said they were establishing a ManagePrint Scheme. This would include the ability to pay for printing credits online.

27.03.17: Online printing credits were made available for students in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (LES)

Panopto Roll Out

Prior to Your Ideas Submission: Chris was mandated in his manifesto to campaign for widespread lecture capture. 05.11.16: Chris established a Panopto Working Group to discuss the necessity for Panopto. It was agreed by all members that Panopto was an investment that should be made, however the regulations of use were not clear. 02.02.17: The Panopto Working Group met once again, and it was decided that a Code of Practice on Lecture Capture would be established. Meanwhile, investments in technology would be made throughout the next two years to support lecture capture.

Food in the Library

Alongside the Free the Tea Campaign Ellie and Brandon lobbied the university to open the Wolfson room as space that you can eat as well as study. They also ensured that the library café was open for those who brought food from home and not just those who were purchasing food there.

There is an ongoing discussion about being able to drink in any space around the library. We would appreciate students giving their feedback to this matter directly to library services here in order to support our lobbying.

Study Space

Ellie and Chris have lobbied library services to re-arrange the space in the library, order more furniture and create more ‘traditional’ desk space in the library. They continue to lobby for a variety of flexible study spaces in all new buildings. The Harding and Education spaces that were closed for refurbishment will be reopened at the start of the next academic year. By lobbying the university they also made sure that the Avon Room study spaces were a priority in building schedules and this created over 100 extra study spaces.

Academic Transcripts Free to all students

Work has begun on this Idea and the proposer has been contacted to discuss implementation plans.

Clearer Silent Study Signs in the Library

During exam season there will be 3 silent study rooms, all with signage. The silent room that currently has no desks will have desks before third term starts. There will also be silent study signs for the library more generally reminding students of library etiquette.

Solar Panels on University Buildings

Every new building in the capital plan development will have solar panels on the top if it’s possible to do so. (I.e. if a building has a glass roof, it won’t have solar panels)

Affordable Convenience Store

As passed in Guild Council, the Spar contract runs until 2019 and to end this contract will have huge financial consequences. Although it will be incredibly resource intensive for the Guild to run its own shop, it will be looked at when this contract ends.

Full Time International Students’ Officer

With the idea proposer, Brandon has agreed that this Idea will feed into the officer review that will take place in Summer 2017 and is repeated on a 3-5 year basis.

Affordable Graduations

Ellie is in discussion with staff at the University to ensure that graduations are as affordable as possible. The university have vowed the keep tickets free (at other institutions they cost £30+ each). They will also review other ways to ensure affordability, such as a free photographer to capture moments on the day where photos are posted on social media as well as a review of the gown hire company when the contract expires.

More Train Ticket Machines

Brandon has bought the matter up at Sustainability Task Group (a meeting with university staff members) and a new ticket machine will be placed in the learning centre. Whilst new ticket machines are difficult for us to ‘win’ (as culture is changing to paperless everything) all ticket machines were made contactless following his lobbying. There will also be an app released so that ticket machines are not even necessary. We will continue to communicate developments and changes.

Introduce Microwaves on Campus

There is currently a microwave in the Guild Kitchen (between Costa and Beorma Bar) but we are also lobbying the university to allow us to place microwaves in the Library and Learning Centre. It is a longer process than we might have hoped and we would appreciate students giving their feedback to this matter directly to library services here in order to support our lobbying.

Allow Food and Hot Drinks in the Library

Alongside the Free the Tea Campaign Ellie and Brandon lobbied the university to open the Wolfson room as space that you can eat as well as study. They also ensured that the library café was open for those who brought food from home and not just those who were purchasing food there.

There is an ongoing discussion about being able to drink in any space around the library. We would appreciate students giving their feedback to this matter directly to library services here here in order to support our lobbying.

More Accessible Elections

Our Staff lead for elections met with DAMSA at the start of the 16/17 academic year and discussed this. Following this meeting, Brandon and staff adapted the support available for disabled students when standing for election. The free and fair use list was also revised to ensure that accessible elections could be run. This included cutting the use of unlimited ‘found’ materials such as wood. A financial support plan was also put in place so that elections are affordable for all students.

Feedback is currently being sought on the changes made to this process, so it can remain relevant in future years.

More Vegan Options in the Guild

Since opening Street Kitchen, there is a daily changing vegan option available from £3.50.

Condiments in Joe’s Bar

There were more condiments added into Joe’s bar at the start of the academic year 2016. They will remain as bottled condiments from now on.

More Sugar Free Drinks on Campus

Sugar Free drinks such as Coke Zero, Lilt Zero, Fanta Zero etc. were added in Joe’s bar at the start of the academic year 2016.

Realistic Election Manifestos

There were training sessions for every candidate on how to write a winning manifesto and guidelines from current officers about what is and may not be achievable. We were also very careful to ensure that candidates were still able to be creative and did not feel limited by what others thought may or may not be achievable.

Guild Breakfast

This is not financially viable for the Guild at this point, however breakfast is served in University Centre until 11am every week day.

E-Tickets for Fab

This year we have doubled the number of E-Tickets available for Fab. At this stage, we do not believe that moving to an entirely online system would be sensible as this would limit flexibility for students.

More Opportunities for Students to go up Old Joe

Old Joe is not safe to be used as a tourist attraction and therefore the university estates team cannot allow every man (or woman) and his dog up there. However, as an officer team we will lobby where possible for this opportunity to be offered as a prize or reward.

More Live Music at the Guild

Natalie and Brandon have successfully organised two live music nights so far and will continue to do so as long as there is demand. We will also continue to have live acts at large events such as Welcome Week Ball, Winter Ball and Gradball. LUMSOC were also supported to hold ABANDON, their own live music event, in the Underground and we would like to see this continue. There will also be efforts made to put together a page with all music events / the Guild Music scene in the next academic year to be led by the committees of groups.

There are no current ideas in this section

Traffic Lights between Edgbaston Park Road and Somerset Road

After conversing with the council and looking at a previous case for this mandate a few years ago, unfortunately this cannot be taken further due to the predicted congestion levels and the structuring of the road itself.

Nap Rooms

Ross has looked into where this has been done at other unions and, due to the need for space and resource (this would have to be staffed), this could not be an ongoing thing here at the Guild. However, we are introducing a quiet / relaxation space as part of this year’s De-stresstival during the examination period to see how this works.

Library Tea Making Facilities

Whilst we are working first on ensuring food and drink is allowed, we are also lobbying further for this. We would appreciate students giving their feedback to this matter directly to library services here in order to support our lobbying.

Sanitary Bins in University Accommodation

Izzie has worked with accommodation services, to ensure that sanitary bins are trialled at all shared bathrooms in Pritchatts Park from September. If the trial is successful, the University will be looking to implement self-serving sanitary bins across all shared bathrooms in University owned accommodation in time for September 2017. It was deemed entirely inappropriate for sanitary bins to be placed in all bathrooms because this would be incredibly intrusive for students.

Disaffiliate From Castle Cars

When the contract ends in July, we will not be remaining affiliated to Castle Cars and will put out to tender with a new company if possible.

Gender Neutral Toilets (on campus)

Following continuous work with the University over the past two years, we now have buy in from University Estates and a plan for implementing gender neutral toilets at the university and all new buildings will have these. A number of refurbishments are being identified and where requests are made by students in individual Schools this is being met constructively, with a number of Schools across EPS already introducing gender neutral toilets in recent months.

Water Fountains on Campus

We have had conversations with the Director of Estates to establish where exactly the currently stock of water fountain are and have put out calls for feedback from students on where they feel there are shortages. The Aston Webb Student Hub has had two water fountains introduced this year and since the library opened there has been an increase in provision there too.

Assessment Group Trans Representative

This will be added into the Bye-Laws when there is a round of changes (typically over summer).

Gender Neutral Toilets (in the Guild)

We have looked into this change but as this will be a structural / building change it will have to be considered in future capital developments.

Tackling Anti-Semitism

As this was an idea to send a motion to NUS National Conference, we have submitted it and will be presenting it at conference.

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Meet your officer team

Every year, you elect fellow students to your Officer Team, who represent you and lead your union. Each Officer has their own roles and remit which you can view below. You have a chance to make sure your elected Officers are doing what they said they will, by attending Officer Question Time held each term.

 Ellie Keiller - Guild President 2016-17
Natalie Cox - Activities & Development Officer 2016-17
Chris Wilkinson - Education Officer 2016-17
Izzie Nicholds - Housing & Community Officer 2016-17
Rose Bennett - Postgraduate Officer 2016-17
Brandon Hattiloney - Representation & Resources Officer 2016-17
Georgie Freeman - Sports Officer 2016-17
Ross Strong - Welfare Officer 2016-17

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