Your Big Ideas

Your Big Ideas

Do you have an Idea about how to make the Students’ Union, University or the wider community better for students?

Your Big Ideas are a great way to make meaningful change on campus. Submit your Idea online and share with your friends and course mates. If your Big Idea achieves 50 or more votes in favour after 28 days, it will be taken forward; either to an appropriate meeting such as Students’ Council or by meeting with the appropriate person(s) to help make your idea a reality. If a Big Idea gets approval at Students’ Council, it will become Students’ Union policy and we will work with you on making it happen!

To submit an Idea or vote on any of the current Big Ideas below, you must be logged in using your UCLan student login. Once logged in, the option to submit will appear and to vote, just click the thumbs up or down button - depending on your opinion! 

Previous Big Ideas-turned reality have included free period provisions on campus, an extension to the academic calendar and free disability screening.

Anyone can submit a Big Idea. It’s an easy way to change the lives of students!

Big Ideas Top Tips

  1. Identify the issue you want to solve.
  2. Do your research and talk to others. Staff and Elected Officers can help you prepare to launch or promote your Big Idea.
  3. Plan what you think should be done to solve the issue and decide how you'll know when it’s fixed.
  4. Submit a Big Idea! Go change Students’ lives.

Got a question? Get in touch at yourunion@uclan.ac.uk.

Need some help submitting Your Big Idea? Follow the steps on our how-to video here

 

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  • 10 score
    10 Voters

    Back off with Blackbullion

    Current

      According to a survey carried out by the National Union of Students, 80% of the student population are worried about how they will manage financially as a result of the coronavirus. Further findings are highlighted below:

      • 62% of students sampled hold jobs of some sort alongside their courses, and of these 87% have had to make adjustments to their working since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a reduction of income (meaning many are experiencing a negative impact on their finances).

      • 1 in 10 have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced and have had to take unpaid leave.

      • 55% of students say that the income of someone who supports them financially has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with 1 in 5 saying it has had a major impact.

      • 4 out of 5 students are worried about their ability to manage financially during the pandemic. 1 in 5 are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned.

      • Students can’t claim benefits so are at an added disadvantage.

      At present, in order to access the Hardship Funds at UCLan, it states that you must complete the Blackbullion Budgeting Module (it is estimated that this takes 22 minutes to complete).

      Why is this not working? As a widening participation university, UCLan is host to students who have families and have survived on budgets for years, students who can’t even fully pay for their rent without working let alone being able to afford food or medicine and students from low socio-economic areas that have been devastated by the pandemic. These are not students who need lessons in budgeting (if anything they should be teaching these lessons) but these are students for which governmental assistance through benefits is not available. In short, to force students to take a module in budgeting whilst the country is in turmoil is not only offensive but dangerous and acts as a barrier to hardship funds set up that help students in need.

      This is dangerous on three levels:

      1. Students disengage with the university support systems and in turn leave university.

      2. Students fall into severe hardship.

      3. Students utilise alternate but dangerous means of accessing help - payday loans, loan sharks and gambling.

      In addition, students throughout the process have disclosed to me as the Disabled Students’ Rep that when they have spoken with the i, staff have proceeded to judge their financial statements in an unfair manner. For some mental health illnesses, engaging in risky behaviour such as impulsive spending is a symptom of a manic episode - this means that when staff are making these comments, they are in fact criticising a symptom of an illness that cannot be helped and again, students feel less encouraged to seek support from the university.

      What do we want to change? This big idea proposes that the university ensures that the Blackbullion Budgeting module is not mandatory and makes this clear to students in their applications. It must also be made clear that this is not a requirement to those who approve cases and that cases should not be turned down due to not engaging with the module.

      We want all staff involved with student hardship cases to undergo training around mental health and finances and to see appropriate guidance for staff put in place for when applications are discussed with students.

      We also want the university to understand contextual hardship as not all students pay £89 per week and should factor the rental expenditure of the student on a case-by-case basis.

      We want the Blackbullion module to be advertised to all students at the beginning of the year, not just when someone faces hardship.

      Why should you vote for this idea? We all know what it is like to be struggling financially, not everyone can ask their family or friends for help for many reasons. We also know how demoralising it is to ask for help, to be rejected and to be given information/sent on training that we didn’t need or ask for.

      Let’s make a change so that students can be truly supported by UCLan.

      Please vote for this idea.

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