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Referenda Case

All Student Vote (Autumn 2020)

Warwick SU Supports UCU’s Call for Online Teaching

This Union Notes:

This section should include any facts, figures or statements that you believe are relevant to the topic of your policy. Remember in this section clear and effective referencing is important.

1. That coronavirus cases are rising across the UK with millions in local lockdowns, including nearby cities such a Birmingham. 1

2. That, as of 16th October 2020, over 20 000 students have been infected with COVID-19.2

3. That students are not immune to COVID-19 with some in Manchester now in intensive care following infection.3

4. Warwick UCU’s ‘Five Red Lines’ have not been met by the university – the R number is rising, the Warwick community’s commuting patterns have consequences for the entire West Midlands, classrooms are not COVID-secure, communication has been neither safe nor clear and face to face teaching is not safe for all staff.4

5. In the period from 2nd March to 14th July 59% of deaths from COVID-19 were from disabled people, clearly showing that they are at high risk from this pandemic.5

6. That racial bias in healthcare, among other factors, puts ethnic minority students more at risk from COVID-19.6

7. That Warwick Pride, Anti-Racism Society, Anti-Sexism Society and Ghana Society have all released a statement in support of the SU campaign for Online Teaching.7

8. That the UK has one of the highest per capita death rates from COVID in the world, due to the government’s incompetent handling of the crisis.8

9. That the SAGE Advisory Group told the government that all non-essential university teaching should move online on the 21st September.9

10. That as of Monday 12th September there are 187 cases on Warwick campus and 29 off campus totalling 216, a 731% increase on the week before.10

11. That Warwick UCU have passed a motion to ballot for strike action if teaching remains blended.11

12. That the Protect Our People Campaign was launched on 14th September 2020 encompassing the issues of moving all teaching online, waiving the rent of the rent strikers and reversing the cuts to the STP budget.

13. That continuing behind the scenes work on the campaign has focussed on increased mental health support for students and the accessibility and quality of online teaching.

14. That there was opposition to the lack of consultation prior to the campaign, that can be mitigated with this motion going to ASV.

 

This Union Believes:

This section should include opinions or supporting statements for your policy.

1. That staff working conditions are our learning conditions.

2. That campus is an unsafe learning environment during a pandemic.

3. That students were sold a lie as to what this year would look like in order for the university to collect tuition and accommodation fees.

4. That all teaching, with the exception of labs and practical classes, should move online for the safety of students, staff and the local community.

5. That the SU has a duty to protect lives and advocate for the marginalised. Many officers included this in the manifestos that they were elected on.

6. That striking is a last resort option for staff who are not being listened to by the university in regards to safety and protecting lives.

7. The disruption a strike would cause to students’ education would be much greater than fully online teaching.

 

This Union Resolves:

This section should be about how you want the SU to react, the outcome of this policy. Remember to mandate specific departments/sabbatical officers; this will make things easier for future accountability

1. For all sabbatical officers to publicly support any UCU strike, or action short of strike (ASOS), should the university fail to make all online teaching the default, sharing UCU social media and attending picket lines if they take place (following Code of Practice: Picketing on the gov.uk website12).

2. For the continuing Protect Our People campaign to encompass the following points:

a. That Warwick Students Union is in support of fully online teaching.

b. For the Welfare Officer to lobby the university for increased mental health support for students to combat the isolation of online teaching, or for those in self-isolation as a result of COVID-19.

c. For the Education Officer to lobby for online teaching that is as accessible as possible following consultation with marginalised groups and other stakeholders to find out what is best for them.

d. For the Education Officer to lobby the university to make sure that the quality of online teaching is increased to match a face to face experience, with more training for tutors, and more tutors to provide a better quality of education for students.