All 10 entries tagged Union

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February 19, 2007

The Union's Website

Writing about web page

Is it just me or is the design of the Students' Union website a little crap.

When I'm logged in I count 21 main navigation buttons! Have they ever heard of a sub-menu? 

October 05, 2006

The Warwick Mathematics Society

Writing about web page

From the start of the 2006/7 academic year, the society known as MathSoc, has become The Warwick Mathematics Society.

Under this new name, we hope to continue to do the things we’ve always done, revision guides, the Mathemagacian etc. But we want to do them bigger, better and with more involvement from society members than ever before. We believe that the WMS can become one of the biggest and most active student societies on campus.

I’m sorta responsible for all that jazz!

Don’t forget to visit us at Socs fair on Friday!

July 13, 2006

Cleaning up Democracy

Part of democracy committees job for next year is to clean up whats called the 'web constitution'. This is basically the part of the Union's website under the 'democracy' button. Part of this includes having a copy of the University of Warwick Students Union Constitution. Having read this document many times, I thought I'd sit down and think about what needs to be done. It struck me that the biggest problem about the constitution, and further almost all union output, is that its a word document. Now I think Word is a great program, it does have its uses, and does some things very well. But when it comes to web integration, it really sucks. Its not semantic, uses proprietary styles, and is a pain to search. Also, having to maintain, word files, pdfs and html copies of everything is really lame.

When looking over all the documents a few things are apparent:

  1. Documents are highly repetitive within themselves
  2. There are repetitions across documents
  3. They are hierarchical
  4. Only the content need be stored, not the styling

It seems clear that one format would be perfect for storing the Union's documents, XML.

It would be very easy to output to documents in a variety of formats, especially the web, where we could leverage the power of style sheets. It would be easier to maintain, as the content would be in one place, not three different files (word, pdf, html).

I think it would be great for Warwick to lead the way in this, if it ever happened.

April 05, 2006

Live Blog: Smoking, ban thereof

With only two weeks until the Union's deadline to implement a smoking ban, which won't happen, I thought I'd offer my two cents:

Firstly, yes the majority of students want a no smoking union, it was passed at referenda after all!
Then exec decided that it wouldn't be possible, financially, to implement. They couldn't however go in to details for whatever reason, not explaining this was a huge mistake, As a student, even if we couldn't know all the details we deserved some explalination. It was almost as if exec decided that they wouldn't implement the ban, then went looking for a reason. I'm not suggesting thats what exec did, but thats how it looked to me.

In week ten of term two I attended the meeting of exec, a good chunk of it was about the smoking ban and a large part me that was in closed session, so I couldn't sit in on it. Thats a big problem with all this, the Union's own rules prevents it telling the students what it sometimes does! Anyway, exec were discussing the smoking and non-smoking areas of the union. What enforcement would be required etc, at this point I suggested a map at each entrance showing where the different are. I can't believe they hadn't thought of this before, it just so obvious.
So the start of the term approaches and we won't have a ban, and the union may even build areas to smoke in, I say, buy a dining shelter from B&Q, cost: about £100.

March 05, 2006

Referenda Results

Financially Supporting and Advising Pregnant Students of Their Choices (CARRIED)

For: 59.9%

Against: 30.6%

Abstain: 9.5%

Votes: 1577

Restricting positive gender discrimination (CARRIED)

For: 70.8%

Against: 16.3%

Abstain: 12.9%

Votes: 1548

Ensuring Freedom of Speech for Media Societies (CARRIED)

For: 66.3%

Against: 21.9%

Abstain: 11.8%

Votes: 1512

Fairtrade and Ethical Supplies in the Union (CARRIED)

For: 79.2%

Against: 15.2%

Abstain: 5.6%

Votes: 1650

Updating our Constitution (CARRIED)

For: 64.3%

Against: 9.5%

Abstain: 26.2%

Votes: 1478

Comment (now expanded and updated!)

So my motion 'Restricting Positive Gender Discrimination' passed, and council got it wrong. I feel ever so slightly vindicated. I just have to make sure Exec makes the changes to the appendicies that the students want.

The point that all refereda motions get passed was raised on another blog, and I was thinking that a referendum gets a lot of publicity and you get a chunk of money to campaign with, so a referenda motion is a great tool to advertise with.

Also the fact that only just above 10% of the student population decided to vote is really crappy.

February 24, 2006

So it begins…

…our referendum campaign, consisting mainly of lots, and lots, of posters. And by lots we mean literally thousands.

February 18, 2006

Positive Gender Discrimination

Writing about web page

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

This was originally supposed to be a comment to the linked post, but grew to long and become a post of its own:

Indeed! I've just found your post, and I'm the one who wrote the original Positive Gender Discrimination motion. Composite, which I was present for all six hours of, has altered the motion quite a bit, but if you want to understand the original motion, as per your earlier questions a little history is required.

At Union Council, term 2 week 3, we were informed that Exec had taken the powers of council earlier in the term so that they could agree with a document prepared by the Warwick Anti Sexism Society (WASS). This document was a response to a government consultation on gender equality in the public sector. The document prepared by WASS made some good points and on the whole I agreed with it, however it contained a line stating that they would like positive gender discrimination available as a tool to public sector employers. Council was given the chance to reject this part of WASS's response, but didn't. So the Student's Union full weight was swung behind the document, and sixteen thousand people said they agreed with it, when perhaps no more than a hundred had read it.

Over the next few days, being troubled by this motion, I asked my fellow students what they thought. Most we outraged, they didn't think the same way as Council and thought that their views were being misrepresented. I asked a question at the AGM, which effectively was "Does the president agree with the use of positive gender discrimination?" Our president replied:

This Union already uses positive discrimination as a tool. Our Equal Opportunities Appendix commits to equality to individuals. Equality of opportunity does not mean treating everybody the same.

Slightly outraged by this I drafted a motion and sent it to Council, after some changes Council discussed the one that was eventually submitted to referenda, and that you read. I'll admit it was the most well written policy ever, but it was going to council so it didn't matter that much. At Council however, it was met with so much opposition, and when asked if council would like it put to referenda, they declined, I felt that Council was so unrepresentative of the student body that this motion just had to got to referenda. So in the space of three hours, I went around halls of residences and campus, collecting 80 signatures to get the motion put to referenda. I didn't have time to write the policy in a referenda friendly manner, but I knew I could do that at Composite.

If you've made it this far, then I'll try to address some of your questions about this.
Firstly why? why does the SU need a policy on this? Well some people seemingly forget that when you throw the weight of sixteen thousand people behind something, you need to make sure that you're actually representing the views of all those people. Referenda is the best tool to get a large number of students aware of this issue. Is it not however, and I freely admit this, the best tool to have a debate on this issue.

You mention that the policy is watered down, and you're unsure of its position, the resolves are what its all about. 2 and 3 basically say this Union will not use, and not encourage the use of positive gender discrimination. I feel that's pretty clear.

The biggest problem with this issue is education, you raise the point of not knowing what positive action and positive discrimination is. This was added in by composite in the final motion, but a major part of our campaign is going to be dedicated to educating the electorate, not trying to sway their vote. Positive action is some action taken to attempt to address the imbalance, without disadvantaging any other group. I know that's massively ambiguous, but basically what that means is flexible working hours, provision of child care, gender specific training courses (for all genders). Positive discrimination takes the whole thing a step further, it will, no matter what others will say, disadvantage hard working men and women, The University of Warwick Student's Union supports the idea that employers should be able to differentiate candidates on the basis of a purely ascribed characteristic, gender, something which the candidate has no control over. (EDIT:) To make it clear, the SU supports:

Positive [gender] discrimination should be a proportionate tool available to public institutions.

Exceptional Circumstances, what do I mean? Imagine a support group for female rape victims, if that group felt that only employing females was appropriate, then that would be fine with me. Exceptional circumstances are not when there are more of one gender employed than another in a particular sector.

Why does this matter to you, the average student?
The Union is a pressure group, sixteen thousand strong, representing your views! Are these your views? This is a very contentious issue and I just wanted to make student aware of what the Union, and particularly Union Council, is doing.

I would like to point out that I fully recognise that the is a gender gap, and that needs to be addressed but using any form of discrimination is wrong.

I'm sure there are numerous spelling errors, please tell me if you spot one.

February 15, 2006

Good Days

Sometimes you just have a great day, where everything you do seems to work out. Today was one of those days. Lectures were good, and understood, moreover interesting, which is a rarity for Analysis lectures. Then I planned the presentation of my essay which I have to do tomorrow, I love to present stuff on chalkboards, when I'm confident about I, so its going to be cool.
What else? made someone laugh, a rarity these days, good to see that I've still 'got it'.
Open days! Gave an open day tour for the Mathematics dept. today, this may seem really sad, but it was so much fun! I know tons of stuff about Warwick Uni and seem to switch into "steve" mode on these things and come across a really confident, and loud, which really isn't me, or is it, I don't know? But our campus did look good, and I was proud to show people around and talk about our Student's Union.

Free time! seemingly I have some free time! what a rarity these days, I may do something productive, or not, who knows!

November 03, 2005

Long Day

What a long day its been!
up at 5am, yes at five, doing mathematical excursions work, that was due in later in the day, my own fault for not doing it any sooner, but I've just not had the time. Okay, then a purely liquid breakfast, helped one of my housemates put some pictures up, I'm the local DIY'er seemingly. Onto campus for 11, lectures until 3 then 2 hour mathematical excursions seminar, which aren't much fun to be in, because the maths is really really hard, but like a few hours later, when my brain has worked it all out 'behind the scenes', its all really cool.

Okay then I had something to eat, then read the Union Council agenda, and then came up with some points to raise about the general crappyness of a policy.

As for Union Council itself, we had more stupid amendments, the general flow of Council seems to be that at the moment, what happens is someone says that they'd like an amendment, but when asked what that amendment is, they don't know! They say "umm, err, can it say something like this…". I mean everyone's been to like two meetings now, get with the program already.

I then briefly entertained the idea, in my head, of aiming to become chair of council, oh such a bad idea, but I'd probably be quite good :-)
I always seem to moan, it comes naturally, so I'll end on a high note.

I'm going home on Saturday, so I get to see my family, including sister's children, ahh how great is that! Oh and maths presentations to my tutor group tomorrow, awesome!

October 21, 2005

My week that was

Well, what a week!
Firstly, the maths:
Only two interesting points here, a question from mathematical excursions that puzzled nearly the entire class, does a 2-dimensional polynomial that's positive everywhere achieve it's infimum?
The counter example was a very strange function indeed, and leads me to rethink my ideas of continuity and differentiability in R2. This could be a good topic for asecond year essay? generalising Anaylsis I+II into RN (this should have been done in vector anaylsis, but wasn't)
Other point of interest was a Algebra proof that baffled me for an entire day, until in a tutorial earlier today just as we were about to be show the proof, the untire thing fell into place in my head, it was oh so simple, how could i not have seen it. At one point I had had something so similar written down, but failed to progress with it, oh well.

Now the injury, Tuesday I decided to attemp a jump that I'd made before, but failed this time, landing prematurely, being forced to vault the object being jumped onto, and landing the other side of said object onto my hand. 80+kg of my weight was put through my hand, ouch. It hurt a lot at the time, and enabled me to have just 2 hours of sleep, crap.
Next morning, I went to hospital, other side of cov, urgh, and got no less than six x-rays of the effected region, as well as i nice white bandage for "support". They almost gave me cocodamol too, but I refused on the grounds that codeine makes me feel rubbish.

Went to the UGM, mostly interesting, I even spoke, shame it wasn't quorate, next time eh?

I'm sure more than this happened in the last week, oh! I attended some lectures, but have decided to attend some third year ones as second year maths lectures are rubbish, its all too easy (optional vader impression).

Better go, or I'll be late for a film.

January 2023

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