Policies about the Students’ Union

Current Policies

AIDS campaign
Decision taken at: Unknown, 1990

Education is vital to ensure that all members of the University are aware of all the issues related to HIV infection and AIDS; no student or member of staff should be discriminated against due their HIV antibody status.

Our Policy:
The Union resolved to give immediate and full support to any student and their partner/family affected by HIV or AIDS or are under threat of discrimination, and to support each and every World AIDS Day.

Status: This is current Union policy (Union Council, February 2020). Next Review at: February 2023. Current Progress: Sussex Stop AIDS Campaign

Support and recognition of student activities
Decison taken at: Union annual general meeting, November 2005

Participation in extra-curricular activities at the University of Sussex is high, despite the limited resources and funding available, demonstrating student enthusiasm worthy of recognition and support. The Students' Union is unable to sufficiently fund these activities, and cuts made to the Union's block grant and University services (e.g. cuts to Sussexsport and the changes to Sussex Fund funding) negatively impact upon student activities.

Our Policy:
The Union resolved to actively campaign for an increase in the Students' Union block grant to reflect student enthusiasm for, and the importance of, non-formal learning for personal development and enjoyment, to work with NUS and other students' unions to spread our campaign and utilise its national campaign to improve the student experience, and to investigate accessibility of Students' Union activities and remove as many barriers to participation as possible.

Status: This is current Union policy (Union council December 2019). Next Review at: December 2022

Sport at Sussex
Decision taken at: Union Council, April 2010

The University has continued to cut the Students' Union annual funding since 2010. This has had a direct impact on Sussex students, resulting in an increase in USSU Sports Membership. Currently sport at Sussex does not adequately support or provide for students with a disability. The Intra-Mural programme at Sussex is not as established and diverse as other institutions. Existing levels of staffing for USSU Sport are inadequate for the high levels of administration, vital to club development. In 2018/19 Sports Reps committee granted the full amount of funding available to them - £10,000. However, the total of bids received was £19,003.32 clearly showing there are activities which students wish to participate in but can't due to lack of funding.

Our Policy:
The Union resolved to lobby for an increase in the Students' Union annual funding to reflect the growth and importance of sporting activity, for the resources to fund Disability Awareness Training for all sports and audit the demand and provision of sport for disabled students at Sussex; to review the Students' Union annual budget allocation to student sport; and support the NUS campaign to keep Wednesdays free.

Status: This is current Union policy (Union Council December 2019). Next Review at: December 2022

Sexual Violence Policy
Decision taken at: Autumn Referenda 2018

Recent figures suggest that at least 62% of students have experienced sexual violence at UK universities, with only 6% reporting their experiences to their universities. The union has had a sexual violence policy since 2004 however the policies were lapsed in 2016 and subsequently not replaced. There is still a need for a sexual violence policy, so this updated and thorough policy has been created to ensure that the union has a strong and clear stance against all forms of sexual violence.         

Our Policy:
To enforce an attitude of zero tolerance towards sexual violence within the Students' Union, and to ensure that those who disclose that they have been sexually assaulted are believed, supported, and treated with dignity and respect.

If implemented, this policy will mandate the Students' Union to;

  • Create a supportive and tolerant environment where survivors of sexual violence feel able to disclose and/or report sexual violence if they wish to do so.

  • Ensure that those who disclose that they have been subjected to sexual violence are believed, and that their right to dignity and respect is protected at all times

  • Enforce a zero tolerance approach to addressing incidents of sexual violence both on campus and beyond

  • To lobby the university to implement mandatory consent classes for all new students .

Status: This is current Union policy (Autumn Referenda 2018). Next Review at: Autumn 2021

Plastic- Free Policy
Decision taken at: Spring Referenda 2019

Plastic is made from unsustainable materials which means that both its production and breakdown contribute to climate change. Not only this but because plastic is not biodegradable it releases toxic chemicals when it eventually does start to break down. These contaminate our food and water supplies and make us sick. As well as this, plastic is well known for killing wildlife and polluting our oceans. By 2050, plastic will outweigh the fish in our oceans. It is becoming more well known that recycling is no longer good enough when it comes to plastics. 66% of 'recycled' plastic in the UK is actually exported, with no assurance that this actually ends up being recycled. Other countries are not a dumping ground for our excessive plastic use! The best thing we can do is eliminate our use of unnecessary plastic and support eco-friendly companies promoting greener materials.

Our Policy:
To reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics across all SU outlets;
Policy Objectives:

  • Eradicate single-use plastic cups and replace with sustainable alternative

  • To lobby the NUS to make a plastic-free alternative to bottled water available on their consortium that can be sold in the Union shop

  • To work with the Union Trading Company to establish a measurable plan to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups.

  • To work with the Union Trading Company to increase the range of zero waste products that we provide in the Union shop

  • Work with Pearl bubble tea to establish a measurable plan to reduce plastic usage

  • Commit to working with Plastic-free Sussex campaign to lobby Co-op and the University to reduce plastic usage

  • Create the position of a sustainability committee to work with SU outlets and review the success of these policy objectives

Status: This is current Union policy (Spring Referenda 2019). Next Review at: Spring 2022