PROCEDURE FOR COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE STUDENTS’ UNION Complaints Against the Students’ Union – Approved by Trustees 21st January 2008
1. Any Full Member, or student eligible for Full Membership but who has exercised the right not to be a member in accordance with the Education Act 1994, shall be entitled to complain about unfair or unreasonable treatment by the Students’ Union.
Complaints shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:
2.1 Complaints shall be submitted in writing to the President, who shall acknowledge receipt as soon as possible, and not later than 14 days after receiving the complaint respond.
2.2 The President shall
a. decide whether the complaint is not within this procedure and requires to be dealt with by other means; or
b. consider such evidence, written or otherwise, and hold such discussions as he/she shall deem appropriate. In this respect, students and staff may be asked to give evidence; or
c. decide whether there is, or is not, a reasonable justification for the complaint; or
d. determine the proposed remedy in the event the complaint is found to have been justified.
2.3 A written response will be provided within 15 days of the receipt of the complaint by the President.
2.4 Complaints against the President may be submitted to any other Sabbatical Trustee, who shall follow the procedure outlined in this Bye-law fulfilling the responsibilities assigned to the President.
2.5 If the complainant or complainants are not satisfied with the response from the President or other Trustee, they may request that the President convenes a Complaints Panel, outlining the reason that the response of the President or other Trustee is not acceptable. Such a request should be submitted in writing within 10 days of receipt of the response set out in 2.3.
2.6 The President is required to convene a Complaints Panel within 15 days of receiving a request to do so in. The Panel shall consist of 2 Trustees who have had no prior involvement in the complaint. The President shall arrange for a member of the staff of the Union to attend to record the proceedings.
2.5 The Panel shall operate in accordance with the following procedure:
a. appoint a Chair from within the membership of the Panel;
Complaints Against the Students’ Union – Approved by Trustees 21st January 2008
b. receive copies of the complaint, the response of the President or other Trustee, and the request for a Panel meeting;
c. the complainant may be requested to present the details of the complaint to the panel;
d. The President may be requested to present the reasons for their initial decision to not uphold the complaint
e. The Complainant and President may then be questioned by members of the Panel;
f. further information may be considered in writing, or from other persons attending at the request of the complainant or the President and with the prior agreement of the panel.
g. If presented such information shall be open to comment by the complainant or the President;
h. the complainant and the President shall be given the opportunity to make a closing statement, which shall not introduce new information;
i. the complainant and the President or other Trustee shall then withdraw and the panel shall decide on the complaint.
2.6 If the complaint is upheld, the panel shall be empowered to require any Trustee, official, or committee of the Union to take action to remedy the complaint.
2.7 The complainant and President shall be notified in writing of the decision of the panel within 10 days of the meeting.
2.8 If the complainant or President is not satisfied with the decision of the panel they may complain to the University through the Student Complaints Procedure.
3. COMPLAINTS AGAINST STUDENTS’ UNION STAFF
3.1 Complaints against any member of Students’ Union staff shall be considered in accordance with the Staff Complaints Procedure
4. COMPLAINTS AGAINST UNION MEDIA
4.1 Complaints may be made by any person regarding any item published by the Students’ Union Newspaper, or such other written or broadcast media as may be deemed appropriate by the Trustees.
4.2 Complaints made on grounds of inaccuracy, unfairness, intrusion into individual privacy, conflict with the Union’s policy on Equality and Diversity, actions contrary to the Code of Conduct produced by the National Union of Journalists, or action contrary to the OFCOM Guidelines, shall be considered under the following procedure. Complaints Against the Students’ Union – Approved by Trustees 21st January 2008
4.3 Complaints should be submitted in writing to the President, who shall convene a Media Complaints Panel which shall normally be held within 15 days of receipt of the complaint.
4.4 The Media Complaints Panel shall consist of three members drawn by lot from the elected members of Student Council. The President shall arrange for a member of the staff of the Union to attend to record the proceedings.
4.5 The Media Complaints Panel shall operate in accordance with the following procedure:
a. appoint a Chair from within the membership of the Media Complaints Panel;
b. the complainant shall be given the opportunity to present the complaint;
c. s/he may then be questioned by members of the Media Complaints Panel or by the representative of the medium against which the complaint has been made;
d. a representative of the medium against which the complaint has been made shall then be given an opportunity to respond to the complaint;
e. s/he may then be questioned by members of the Media Complaints Panel and by the complainant;
f. further information may be considered or sought by the Media Complaints Panel;
g. such information shall be made available to, and open to comment by, the complainant and the representative of the media against which the complaint has been made;
h. the complainant and the representative of the media against which the complaint had been made shall be given the opportunity to make closing statements, which shall not introduce new information, and shall then withdraw;
i. the Media Complaints Panel shall then decide on the complaint and their decision shall be final.
4.6 The Media Complaints Panel shall be empowered to require that the medium responsible shall publish a reply, statement or apology, drafted by the Media Complaints Panel, in a specified issue or programme of the medium concerned. Such reply, statement or apology shall normally be of equal size and position as the original item against which the complaint was made, unless the Media Complaints Panel decides that a lesser size or less prominent position is appropriate. In addition, the Media Complaints Panel may refer any member responsible for an item against which a complaint is upheld to a Discipline Panel convened in accordance with the guidance document on Disciplinary Procedures.