Page:Councillors Toolbox

Councillors Toolbox

SU Council meets every other Thursday during term at 5:15pm. The dates for Meetings for the 2019/20 Academic Year are:

Thursday 7th November 2019, Arts Tower Lecture Theatre 4
Thursday 21st November 2019, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 5th December 2019, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 19th December 2019, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 20th February 2020, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 12th March 2020, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 26th March 2020, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 30th April 2020, Diamond Workroom 3
Thursday 14th May 2020, Diamond Workroom 3


Agendas, Papers and Minutes - You will receive the papers for SU Council Meetings via email 1 week in advance to give you chance to read through everything. At the front will be the agenda for the meeting so you can clearly see what is coming up and the minutes of the previous meeting so you can remember decisions made last time. 

To get an idea of items that will be brought to SU Council meetings throughout the year you can always check the Schedule of Business.

Quorum - Two-thirds of elected Councillors must be present at a meeting for any business to be conducted. 

Motions - A motion is a formal proposal that can be on whatever matter students believe important on how the Union is run, what its aims are and how to achieve them. Motions are typically shorter term ideas or solutions whereas Policy is more long terms with a 3 year minimum life span. 

Policy -  New Policy proposals and updates on Policies from the Officers will be discussed at each SU Council Meeting. Students’ Union Policies are here to ensure that the values which students feel are important, such as the environment, equal rights, and education funding, are reflected all the way through the SU. You can see all current SU Policies here. 

Debate - When discussing a motion or policy proposal there is a structure to the discussion as follows: 

  • a speech for the proposal;
  • a speech against the proposal;
  • an equal number of speeches for and against the proposal;
  • speeches around the proposal;
  • a speech summating on the proposal.
  • If an amendment is suggested to the proposal the discussion of the amendment will also follow this format. 

After all amendments have been debated there is: 

  • a speech against the proposal as amended;
  • an equal number of speeches for and against the proposal;
  • a speech summating on the proposal.

You can read more about the structure of SU Council Discussion in Bye Law 3, 6.5 of the SU Constitution

Officer Accountability - Officers will give an update on their Objectives to SU Councillors at each meeting and answer any questions that you have on their work. 

If you are unable to attend an SU Council meeting you must submit your apologies no later than 12pm on the day of the meeting in writing to

Councillors absent without acceptable written apologies from two meetings of Students’ Union Council shall be deemed to have resigned.

A Committee consisting of the Students’ Union President, Chair and Vice Chair of Students’ Union Council shall determine whether apologies submitted for Council meetings are acceptable. If apologies are not considered acceptable then this will count as being absent without apologies.

Councillors who are unable to attend a meeting and who has submitted apologies may nominate a proxy. Information on nominating a proxy can be found here.

More information on the responsibilities of Councillors can be found in Bye-Law 3 Students’ Union Council Section 3.4

A Councillor who is unable to attend a Council meeting and who has submitted acceptable apologies may nominate a proxy to attend in their place, provided that you let us know at 48 hours prior to the meeting.

It’s a good idea to meet with and brief your  proxy in advance of the meeting to make sure they are aware of topics coming up at the meeting and what to expect. Make sure your proxy has a copy of the Council Papers and enough time to read them and ask you any questions.

A proxy for a Departmental Councillor must be amember of the relevant department and where possible should be a course representative.

A proxy for a Representative Councillor must be a member of the relevant representative group and where possible should be a member of the relevant Representative Committee.

A proxy shall be treated as a member for the duration of that meeting, i.e. they shall be counted in the quorum and shall have speaking and voting rights.