Student Voice

Student Council

Student Council sets Student Union polices – these policies determine the work of the union such as mandating Sabbatical Officers to campaign on a particular issue, or setting new rules for the Students’ Union. Any UWS student can submit a policy idea and invite comments or suggest edits and then student reps have full voting rights and will debate this at student council. This year Student Council will be held virtually on Zoom.

Student Council is chaired by the Union Chair, who has been elected to hold the Sabbatical Officers to account. The Union Chair for academic year 2020/2021 is David Laffan.

If you are interested in submitting a policy you can do so below.. Policies are debated at student council in order of popularity to make sure the issues of most interest to students are always heard - so if you suggest an idea encourage your fellow students to come online and vote for them! To submit policy log in at the bottom right of this page and then scroll down to the New Ideas button!

If you would like all current policy and see how our Sabbatical Officers are making progress on previously passed policies you can click here!

ANY student can submit policy using the form below - your ideas don't need to be complicated! 

Once policies are submitted they will be put online here, and any student may comment or ask for clarification.

If you submit a policy suggestion you will be invited to student council to present it - but you don't have to. In your absence the Union Chair will read your submission - and then your elected student reps will vote on the policy.

So give us your ideas, and help us work for you!

You can view:

The List below are the policies which are set to be discussed by the Student Council. 

Policy Idea

Back to list
  • -3 score
    3 voters

    Replacement Certificates for Surname Changes

      My idea for a policy would be to provide a mechanism to update student certificates to reflect name changes even after the award has been issued. Can we please have the ability to order a replacement certificate after a change in name? or at least introduce a case-by-case review system to support students who have gone through a name change? Could there be an appeal or form that could be available to students who require the name changed on their certificates?

      Why you think it is important

      I believe this is important for a presentable consistent list of qualifications to be put forward in job applications. Different surnames on different certificates require an explanation that some people may not want to repeat to potential employers. I think that having the ability to have all of one's qualifications under the right surname gives them confidence in their job application. Obviously this won't be a common scenario, but I can't imagine that this scenario is entirely uncommon, I also appreciate that this is no fault of the UWS but it would support students tremendously that have gone through family troubles that are severe enough to require a name change. Surnames can carry horrible memories and associations that people want to remove from their life and I don't think that it's fair that currently, some UWS students will have to carry for the rest of their life a certificate with a name they are trying to remove.

      Is there anything else you think we should know?

      I am a student who's had a change of surname since my last degree due to a broken family and as a result of the name change, not a decision taken lightly, I have some qualifications from the UWS that do not match. The SQA has provided me with my academic certificates under my correct surname, but the current UWS policy doesn't allow me to have my most important qualification amended to match my other qualifications. Everywhere else in every context has supported my name change. However, when I applied to update my previous qualification to reflect my corrected surname, I received this explanation - "Normally the University does not allow name changes on parchments after an award has been conferred, that is when you are included on the graduation list (unless the name change is related to a gender reassignment). An award parchment will show the name under which you enrolled, studied and graduated. It is therefore important to ensure that any corrections or changes to your name are recorded during the registration process and that appropriate documentary evidence is submitted to Registry before a qualification is conferred...Due to the above, I confirm, as due process had been followed, I am unable to consider your request. Please note that there is no mechanism available to you to appeal or submit a complaint against this decision." I'm sure that most will agree that we are not in control of when certain things happen in life, especially from the actions of others. I think university policymakers should consider this proposed idea to support students and to consider the emotional and mental effects; there is already an exception mentioned for name changes associated with gender reassignments. I think that it's important to note, if a cost needs to be implemented to support this, I'm sure that people who have gone to the lengths I've gone to will happily pay to have their qualifications unified under the same name. From what I understand, all that would then remain would be to simply reprint a sheet of paper with a name update?
    No comments have been made.



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