Hello and welcome to the first ever Big Ideas blog! For those who don’t know, I’m Jackson, the Union Chair of Huddersfield Students’ Union. My role is to chair various democratic and governance activities that take place at the Students’ Union, like the Accountability Panel and the Big Ideas jury. Now you’re probably wondering to yourself, “what is a Big Ideas jury?”. I’m glad you asked!
The Big Ideas Jury (sometimes called the Student Panel) is the cross-campus Union forum where students decide on which areas of work the Officers and Staff Team should be working on.
Sounds fun, right? This is a private party, though! You have to be selected randomly to be part of the panel - just like a real jury.
We select around 30 students to come along to each jury – this random sample is based on student demographics, so the panel should be representative of the whole student body.
Decisions made by the Big Ideas Jury have to be made by consensus – we work together to try to find a solution we all agree on. The things we discuss are real ideas from real students! As the Chair of the jury, my role is to keep the jury in order, ensure that all the big ideas tabled for debate are heard and to make sure we’re not there all night!
So that’s an introduction to the Big Ideas jury, but you’re probably asking yourself “what’s a Big Idea?”. Let me explain:
All students can add a Big Idea to our website, it then spends two weeks on there for fellow students to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down or add any feedback or comments. Our Officer Team then select which ideas should go to jury for a decision.
Not all Big Ideas make it to the jury – some of them are so good, and everyone agrees with them, so our Officer Team get to work straight away.
Where ideas might need a bit of extra feedback, or the Officers want to make sure this is high on our members’ priority lists, those ones make it to the jury.
So that’s how Big Ideas work, now back to the jury.
Here’s an update on what went down at the recent jury. We had five big ideas up for debate:
1. An idea from the Student Assistant for our LGBTQ+ Network – that there should be a function on Microsoft Teams for us to add our pronouns.
2. Our second idea is that you should be able to borrow headsets from the Library, in the same way that you can loan a laptop.
3. The third idea is to lobby to create a bigger bus stop on Queensgate for the Storthes Hall bus – with social distancing, you can currently only fit two people inside – not great in November in Huddersfield!
4. Our fourth idea is for there to be compulsory accessibility training for all members of University staff.
5. The final idea is to create a Project Buddy scheme, to support students to make friends digitally, and connect with others in these difficult times.
After over an hour of debates and discussions, our jury passed all the Big Ideas tabled in the agenda! So, what happens next? Well, all the passed motions will now become actions for the Exec Officers, supported by the SU Staff Team. Keep an eye on our website to see how they get on!
If you have a Big Idea, why not upload it to our website, you can also go there to vote on other people’s ideas here: huddersfield.su/bigideas
Our next Big Ideas jury is next term – keep an eye on your inbox and you might be one of our random selections!
Thank you for reading, you never know - we may see you at the next jury!