priorities
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Climate declaration and Wellbeing Services among Warwick SU’s top priorities this year

The University of Warwick’s Students’ Union (SU) has released a list of their top 10 priorities for the 2019/20 academic year.

Among the list are commitments to hold the University to account for their climate declaration, disciplinary review and provision of mental health services.

The main goals they intend to achieve “as a team in the year ahead” followed “an extensive process of manifesto compiling, consultation, argument and co-creation”.

Topping the list is their intention to keep the University in check “as it reforms its Disciplinary processes”, which they were “consulted in the drafting of” in addition to the review and “development of the University’s values and guiding principles”.

“Now it is time to ensure those recommendations are implemented, real change is introduced and that the student voice continues to be heard, so that every student can have confidence in the systems that are meant to keep them safe,” the SU said.

“We expect the University to conform to its timelines for implementation, and to start working on the processes put in place for all breaches of these policies, including sexual misconduct.”

Together with the University, the union will also “undertake real action to address the Climate Emergency” which was declared late last month.

Warwick will commit to zero net carbon from direct emissions and the energy bought by 2030, and “zero net carbon from…direct and indirect emissions by 2050”.

We expect the University to conform to its timelines for implementation, and to start working on the processes put in place for all breaches of these policies, including sexual misconduct

– Warwick SU

“We expect that by the end of this academic year the University will have completed its Carbon Strategy with full student engagement, which will set out an ambitious approach to playing its part in averting climate disaster,” the union said.

Furthermore, they will campaign to improve the Wellbeing Services and for “culturally competent care that meets the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the Warwick community”.

The SU continued: “As the University pursues ambitious targets for growth in student numbers, investment in mental and physical health provision must increase to match it.”

They have also prioritised monitoring the University’s efforts in closing the Black Attainment Gap by the 2024/25 academic year, so that “every student can feel safe and supported no matter their background” on campus.

Furthermore, the union opposed “the ongoing marketisation of Higher Education, the commercialisation of University services and the casualisation of…staff”.

As the University pursues ambitious targets for growth in student numbers, investment in mental and physical health provision must increase to match it

– Warwick SU

“We want to focus on cutting the cost of University to fight for an affordable experience where education is prioritised over profit,” the union said, adding that they will “fight alongside” postgraduate students “for their rights as both students and workers”.

The SU also outlined priorities to improve their transparency and democracy, provide students with “the skills and knowledge they need to succeed outside of their degree”, collaborate with the University and “local sporting communities” in “diversifying the sporting culture at universities”, and bring about “a affordable, welcoming and comfortable campus”.

To achieve the latter, services “from study spaces to microwaves, transport to laundry…must see increasing investment, not just to maintain the current standards but to go beyond them”, so that students do not “feel unwelcome or pressured into spending money”.

Addressing the “surrounding communities in Coventry and Leamington“, the SU declared their intention to tackle “ongoing issues” such as hate crime, housing, transport and general safety.

They raised the example of Chinese students being attacked in Canley. Earlier this academic year, the SU launched a hate crime-reporting ambassador scheme.

Commenting on the list, Warwick SU President Ben Newsham said: “They are a mix of both long term goals that will be the work of more than one year and one team, and more immediate short term goals we hope to achieve before the end of our term in office.

“These priorities have been communicated to the senior management of the university, and we are confident that this year we will see significant progress on all of them.”

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