Durham Students' Union

5,286 supporters

    Started 3 petitions

    Victory
    Petitioning Durham University

    Have the next Durham colleges named after women

    Our colleges are our homes. Colleges are shaped by the efforts and successes of students. They are shared communities created by students and staff: our ownership of our college experience is what makes Durham unique. So with a 17th college in the process of being built, we assumed that the Durham way of doing this would be a community effort. Last term a policy was passed by Durham SU’s Assembly suggesting how students would like the new college to be named. This represented a unique opportunity for us. How great would it be for Durham’s 17th college to be named after a woman of the North East or a pioneering person of colour? It also gave the student body some ownership of an element of a masterplan which we weren’t part of creating, and feel somewhat alienated from. But University Council has not been supportive of our input. Initially, the name for the new college was to be voted on in a Town Hall meeting, where staff and students could have their say and vote on a name. Since then, University Council has recognised the opportunity to raise money by naming the college after a donor and is refraining from specifically naming the college before one is found. This means we have gone from having student and academic co-creation, to the decision being completely taken away from us, despite the Vice-Chancellor coming out publically to say that this would be a collaborative effort. Realistically, this decision means the college will not be named with any thought for increasing diversity of the people we choose to honour as a community, something clearly lacking when you realise 13 out of the 16 colleges are named after men. It’s also one thing to name a learning building after a donor, but naming students’ homes is something else, and something that students shouldn’t be shut out of, especially in a University supposed to pride itself on being committed to a culture of student consultation. It is embarrassing that our 16 colleges, named after people who have achieved great things, or are renowned in history, could be followed by colleges simply named after someone who is willing to cough up enough cash. So many of our colleges are in need of refurbishment, what if donations are only supplied to colleges if the college takes the donor’s name? Would the University go so far as to rename Hild Bede if someone offers to pay for the extensive refurbishment necessary there? Does this set a precedent for all colleges in future? Durham students now come together to say that we won’t permit our community to go to the highest bidder. Sign the Durham SU petition to draw a line for the sake of our community We’re calling on the University to commit to the consultation with students that had initially been agreed to as outlined in the motion which can be read here.  As the University’s estates masterplan will see the introduction of more colleges over the next decade, we want the University to commit to meaningful consultation on these colleges too.  

    Durham Students' Union
    7 supporters
    Petitioning Durham University

    Name the next Durham colleges after notable Durham women

    Our colleges are our homes. Colleges are shaped by the efforts and successes of students. They are shared communities created by students and staff: our ownership of our college experience is what makes Durham unique. So with a 17th college in the process of being built, we assumed that the Durham way of doing this would be a community effort. Last term a policy was passed by Durham SU’s Assembly suggesting how students would like the new college to be named. This represented a unique opportunity for us. How great would it be for Durham’s 17th college to be named after a woman of the North East or a pioneering person of colour? It also gave the student body some ownership of an element of a masterplan which we weren’t part of creating, and feel somewhat alienated from. But University Council has not been supportive of our input. Initially, the name for the new college was to be voted on in a Town Hall meeting, where staff and students could have their say and vote on a name. Since then, University Council has recognised the opportunity to raise money by naming the college after a donor and is refraining from specifically naming the college before one is found. This means we have gone from having student and academic co-creation, to the decision being completely taken away from us, despite the Vice-Chancellor coming out publically to say that this would be a collaborative effort. Realistically, this decision means the college will not be named with any thought for increasing diversity of the people we choose to honour as a community, something clearly lacking when you realise 13 out of the 16 colleges are named after men. It’s also one thing to name a learning building after a donor, but naming students’ homes is something else, and something that students shouldn’t be shut out of, especially in a University supposed to pride itself on being committed to a culture of student consultation. It is embarrassing that our 16 colleges, named after people who have achieved great things, or are renowned in history, could be followed by colleges simply named after someone who is willing to cough up enough cash. So many of our colleges are in need of refurbishment, what if donations are only supplied to colleges if the college takes the donor’s name? Would the University go so far as to rename Hild Bede if someone offers to pay for the extensive refurbishment necessary there? Does this set a precedent for all colleges in future? Durham students now come together to say that we won’t permit our community to go to the highest bidder. Sign the Durham SU petition to draw a line for the sake of our community We’re calling on the University to commit to the consultation with students that had initially been agreed to as outlined in the motion which can be read here.  As the University’s estates masterplan will see the introduction of more colleges over the next decade, we want the University to commit to meaningful consultation on these colleges too.    

    Durham Students' Union
    2,970 supporters
    Petitioning Durham University

    Cut college costs at Durham University #RippedOff

    Accommodation fees in Durham have steadily risen over the past nine academic years exceeding the Retail Price Index (RPI) by a difference of over 25%.The University’s commitment to increasing accommodation rates by RPI is merely a small increase to an already exaggerated rate. For 2017-2018, Durham has announced accommodation fees of £6940 for catered, standard accommodation and £5336 for self-catered, ensuite. Had the University used the reasonable increase of RPI for the past nine academic years, the 2018-2019 fees would be at £5775 for catered, standard accommodation and £5139 for self-catered, ensuite. A review of 12 peer institutions’ accommodation rates reveals that while Durham’s upper fees for both catered and self-catered accommodation were by no means the highest, their lower fees were the highest for both catered and self-catered and by a significant margin. Durham’s lowest catered fee is over £1000.00 per year more expensive than the next highest equivalent. The variation in accommodation fees offered by peer institutions is significantly greater than what is offered at Durham. Bar one University reviewed (which only had one catered college and therefore no differentiation in price) the average % difference for catered accommodation is 31.6%. For self-catered accommodation, the average % difference was larger at 48.5%. At Durham, there is a 7.1% difference in price from the lowest to the highest fee option if you want catered accommodation. For self-catered accommodation, there is a difference of 11.9%. For 2016-2017 Durham’s accommodation rates for 2016-2017 include a shared room discount of just £225. Clear evidence exists showing that there have been exaggerated increases in accommodation fees resulting in Durham being an outlier amongst peer institutions. Exploring and setting differential prices on already inflated rates will not fix the problem of too high accommodation fees. A lowering of the base rate of accommodation fees is necessary before any differentiation occurs. High accommodation rates make living in college too high for returning students resulting in a loss of students returning to live in college and a loss of the college as a true student community. The University has been unable to identify why accommodation rates are set so high or where the money from accommodations fees is specifically distributed within the University budget. We are calling on Durham University to: · Lower 2018-2019 accommodation fees to what they would have been had the University been using RPI for the last nine academic years; . Freeze accommodation fees until the conclusion of the review. · Commit to an extensive review of accommodation fees that includes student consultation with a focus on:   -Where the funds paid for accommodation fees are actually spent; -Pricing options including differential pricing; -Options to increase the number of returners.  

    Durham Students' Union
    2,309 supporters