The Guild of Students at the University of Birmingham will not be implementing a Living Wage for staff, it was announcedWritten by Phoebe Radford on 19th April 2018
‘Your Ideas’ Sees Most Successful Round Yet
'Your Ideas' ended its second round of voting on Friday 2nd December with the Guild describing it as the ‘most successful round ever’
The Guild’s Your Ideas initiative takes suggestions submitted online by the student body and gives students the opportunity to vote and comment on them through the Guild website. The Officer Team looks at each suggested idea and if a particular idea gets at least 200 votes and over 50% of them are positive, they are mandated to discuss it. However, they may look into an idea regardless of its result if it is particularly popular or an officer was already considering it.
The most recent round of voting, which closed in week 10 of the first semester, saw 4,790 votes cast and 11 ideas successfully passing. Of the successful ideas, there was an equal share of four ideas each within the Guild Development and Welfare & Community zones respectively, as well as three successful ideas within the Education zone. None of the four ideas proposed within the Sports & Activities zone passed. The successful ideas from this most recent round of voting were:
- More ticket machines at University station
- Gender Neutral Toilets
- Online Printing Credits
- Sanitary Bins in University Accommodation
- Disaffiliate from Castle Cars
- Introduce Microwaves to eating areas on campus
- Allow food and hot drinks in the library
- Traffic Lights
- Solar Panels on University Buildings
- More Vegan options in the Guild
The idea that passed with the lowest margin of positive votes was for there to be more vegan options at the Guild, with 78% of a total of 214 votes in favour of the idea. Meanwhile, the idea with the highest percentage of positive votes was the idea to be able to top up printing credits online, with 99% of votes cast in favour - only three out of the 217 votes were against the idea.
Despite passing as an idea, allowing food and hot drinks in the library received 42 votes against, suggesting that some students are satisfied with the current ban on food and drink in most of the library's study areas. However, this number is still dwarfed by the 325 votes in favour of relaxing those rules.
An idea suggesting that a small amount of Meal Plan credit be allowed to rollover from one week to the next reached only 190 votes in total, failing to reach the required 200 votes minimum. Nevertheless, the Officer Team has shown willingness to look into ideas that receive extremely positive responses, so given that this idea received 185 votes in favour, it's possible that yet another idea will be added to the growing list of areas for improvement that the Your Ideas program has generated.
Not every idea was a great success, though. A suggestion for a night of Egyptian Shaabi music - a form of popular Egyptian working-class music that developed in the second half of the 20th century - at the Guild, was met with an overwhelmingly negative response. Only eight of the 65 votes cast were in favour, producing the lowest positivity rate out of all the ideas voted on.
The idea that received the least attention and the lowest number of votes was an alternative ‘constitution’ for the Guild that has been met with criticism from Guild staff. Only 57 votes were cast on this idea, and only 20 of these were in favour.