Student Council is the decision making body of the Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS).  It is the forum for UWS students to voice their concerns and where they can make decisions about the direction of the Students’ Association and the University. 

Our policies shape the direction that the student's association take and can be about anything that concerns students. For example, current policy means SAUWS works together with UWS to work on things as varied as improving food offerings on campus to improving support for student entrepreneurs to lobbying for a library fine amnesty.  Policy also leads on more national areas - and means that SAUWS will always campaign against fee charges or fee interests for students. It might even be something small, such as the banning of Blurred Lines from being played in association spaces. 

If you would like to 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!

Policy Idea

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  • 5 score
    5 voters

    Plastic straws: Environmental sustainability and disability inclusion do not contradict one another.

      Soon SAUWS, as part of their supply with starbucks, will be switching to paper based straws and will no longer supply plastic straws. We have seen the anti-plastic straws campaign that has gripped the third sector: we’re given the impression that if we don’t ban their use entirely, then the planet is doomed. However, what has been missed from this narrative is that many disabled people need a bendy plastic straw in order to independently consume fluids. Because of the exclusionary nature of anti-plastic straw campaigns abhorrent comments have been levied at disabled students around the UK when they are raising concerns of an all-out ban with plastic straws in their students’ unions. As part of this SAUWS should encourage its services to reduce the use of single-use plastics but not ban plastic straws from their services entirely. Instead student voice/council should recommend to the SAUWS board of trustees to make a small fund available to allow for plastic straws to be made available alongside paper based straws so students who have motor or sensory based needs can continue to be able to drink beverages independently.

      Why you think it is important

      This policy is important as it promotes both environmental sustainability with accessibility and the right to independent living. Consumer-focused sustainability campaigns, like 'The Last Straw' can ignore the injustice of removing essential aids, discriminating against disabled people because it’s more convenient than tackling the main causes of pollution. When the richest 10% produce over 50% of global emissions, and just 100 companies producing 71% of global carbon emissions, it isn’t disabled people that are responsible for the scale of environmental destruction we’ve seen the last century. In fact, it’s often disabled people who are on the frontlines of climate disasters, being disproportionately impacted by natural hazards.

      Is there anything else you think we should know?

      Source: Submitted by Beth Douglas
    Daniel Hutchison
    11:03am on 14 Mar 19 I think some stats about plastic pollution of the oceans is also important for this argument. While we're led to believe that not using plastic straws is the best way to save the planet, in reality, it does very little. Plastic Straws account for 0.03% of ocean plastic pollution while fishing nets account for 46% of ocean plastic pollution. If we really wanted to cut the plastic in the ocean, stop buying or eating fish.
    Rachel McFarlane
    11:25am on 27 Mar 19 Since this has come in I've seen lots of people buying re-usable straws, they bend, they're I believe metal also to fold up and put in your bag etc easy to carry around with you. Would it be possible that as the uni sell re-usable cups we can bring in re-usable straws also suitable for people with disabilities so they don't have to use paper ones as this isn't always suitable for them?




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