Arts Students’ Union exists to defend and extend your rights: we campaign throughout the year on a range of issues at a course, college, university and national level to improve the lives of our members and the shape of wider society. Whether it's working with Course Reps or fighting against cuts to the arts, we strive to ensure that creative campaigning is at the heart of our organisation.
Below are some of our recent campaign wins, and you'll find the latest updates on all our campaign activity on our blog. Whether you want to be more actively involved in our campaign actions, have ideas about what issues the Students' Union should be campaigning on, or just want some more information about what it is that we do, please get in touch with your Campaigns Officer, Sahaya James: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental health support: This year we lobbied the university to increase the budget for counselling by £250,000 to help with the increasing demand for support. With this they have doubled the amount of mental health advisors, hired an additional two full time counsellors and extended access to weekends and evenings.
Extenuating circumstances: We lobbied for changes to the extenuating circumstances policy to ensure the university’s process is as easy, robust and accessible to students as possible. This included changes such as mental health to be listed as a serious medical condition and no longer needing a police report for cases of sexual assault. To read about all the changes check out Scarlett’s blog.
Unconscious Bias Training: From 2017, unconscious bias training will be mandatory for all staff. We believe this training is a step towards creating an inclusive culture that identifies and helps eliminate hidden bias - whether this is race, gender, disability or sexuality - with the aim of reducing discrimination.
Gender Neutral Toilets: In November 2015 we launched our first transgender awareness week and a petition for gender neutral toilets. This campaign was successful and UAL now has gender neutral toilets across all 13 campuses.
24 Hour Library: Our petition for a 24 hour library gathered over 2000 signatures in 48 hours. We won, and we now have longer library opening hours at every college, and a 24 hour library at CSM KX during spring and summer term.
Fix the Fees: We stopped tuition fee increases for continuing home and EU students for 2017/18.
Anonymous marking: From 2015/16 UAL has agreed to introduce anonymous marking wherever possible to make sure everyone is marked fairly and without any bias.
Cheaper printing: In 2015, we made the University reduce the price of colour printing by 50%. Now we’re lobbying to make it free!
Mental health support: From 2016 the University is going to be introducing a new mental health adviser to support the growing number of students who experience mental health issues at university. On top of this, we’ve lobbied for mental health to be listed as a serious medical condition on the extenuating circumstances guidance for 2015/16.
Scrapping international student sign-ins: Until recently, international students had to come to LCF High Holborn every week to prove their attendance. We thought this was detrimental and unnecessary – and we got the University to scrap the sign-ins.
Living wage: Working together with trades unions, we convinced UAL to pay all of its staff, including outsourced staff, no less than the London Living Wage.
Free Wednesday afternoons: UAL agreed Wednesday afternoons would be free for all undergraduate students so that they can take part in extra-curricular activities such as sports and societies. If you’re studying a BA course and have anything scheduled for Wednesday afternoons, please get in touch with your Activities Officer, Leah Kahn, and we’ll sort it out: email@example.com