Here's the latest for ongoing issues....
Student Fee Strike
27 Jan update: In this third week of the Fee Strike, we reached out to the Vice Chancellor's Office with these clear demands towards student-led negotiations. We have requested that the VCO's response be made in writing and public, and we will publicise it to students when we receive it. Read the letter.
18 Jan update: The SU has been working closely with students to support them on the demand for reimbursements/reduction of fees as well as, the other student demands presented by the Fee Strike. We set up a Town Hall for all students to discuss tactics for escalation (login to read the minutes). We published an article on our website “Guide to Withholding Fees” that we continue to update with information and it also outlines our stance, which is to support and inform our students. We have also attended NUS Meetings, Pause or Pay UK, RCA Action Group and Small & Specialist Institution Meeting, to gather a clearer picture of the nationwide Fee/Rent Strike and share tactics. The SU will continue to update students on this campaign via email, as well as on our Guide to Withholding Fees, and at our upcoming Town Halls
18 Jan update: In light of lockdown, access to campus has become extremely limited in order to keep students safe. We are still pushing for better access as per similar institutions (UAL, Goldsmiths etc) to enable students to collect work left on campus. The SU made a concerted effort last term to get a seat on CARGO (Covid Academic Response Group). This was unsuccessful however, we have been set up with debrief meetings this term, which happen at the soonest availability after CARGO, and are attended by SU Presidents, and 3 members of the CARGO team. The purpose of this is to debrief the SU, as well as give us opportunities for feedback of student views. We accept this offer and are currently reviewing the effectiveness of these debriefing sessions over the coming weeks. Should they result in being ineffective to voice student concerns, we will further raise our need to sit on CARGO. This is also a demand of the Student Fee Strike.
26 Nov update: Thank you to your incredible Reps for attending and voicing your feedback and concerns at the recent Campus Assemblies (with ILTS, E&CO, Reps). You can read minutes of recent Assemblies: SoC, SoD, SoAH, SoA. The next Campus Assemblies will be the following term. School Assemblies, where School Reps meet with the Dean of the School, will commence (some have already) and Campus issues will be further discussed here. Minutes will be circulated from these by your Reps.
18 Jan update: After successful negotiations, RCASU together with UCU and Unite were able to confirm that anyone attending listening sessions has access to a free counselling service specifically working with people affected by racism during and after the session, as well as compensation for time, in the form of a voucher for a black-owned online book store. The SU is now negotiating to ensure we have a seat on the Hiring panel for this new role and are involved in the process of selecting the new Head of EDI.
16 Nov update: As you may have heard RCA has hired a consultancy firm called Nous. This consultancy is working with RCA to help it achieve its objective of becoming an anti-racist institution. We have teamed up with UCU Union and Unite Union to write a joint letter expressing our concern with the "listening sessions" being conducted as part of the consultation process. Read more about it and the open letter.
** Students’ Union participated in a joint union discussion with UCU, Unite, RCA and Nous (the consultancy). Concerns that were raised in the open letter were once again highlighted and discussed directly with all parties. For now, all listening sessions which were due to take place have been paused. This is so that time can be given to reviewing and refining the process.
Damaged & Lost Belongings
18 Jan update: Having created a Lost and Damaged Items Questionnaire, and receiving 126 responses, the SU has shared and presented this data with E&CO. E&CO have devised a more thorough system and are in the process of cataloguing, photographing and noting all items still at Campus. They have since found many items that were perceived as missing. They will then be in touch with all students who still have belongings on Campus, sharing images of said items to decipher if it is theirs/if they still want it. They will be releasing a statement about this process very soon. The SU will continue to work with E&CO to ensure all items are accounted for and returned/disposed of at the owner's request. After this effort, should items still be unable to find, the College will reimburse students for these items.
26 Nov update: The SU continues to negotiate with E&CO around damaged and lost belongings from March 2020. A decision is yet to be made by the College (and CARGO) across how and when reimbursements might be made for these items. The SU will continue to meet with E&CO and discuss how this will be done and will update you here.
18 Jan update: The SU has been in talks with IT. The SU is one of the key stakeholders in planned consultations about the format of the email addresses for the next academic year. The consultations will take place just after Easter. The SU will express the students dislike of this email format and try to ensure it is not repeated for the next cohort.
26 Nov update: Having had no response to this from the College, we will be asking for your opinion about the new Email Address format in our upcoming End of Term Survey so that we can feed this up to management.
18 Jan update: Reps continue to work very hard to represent your needs this term. Please do not forget to give them feedback on programme or College-wide issues that are coming up for you, either via email or using the Feedback spreadsheets that some Reps use.
12 Nov update: You should’ve received an email with the name of your Programme & School Rep, please start providing them with feedback so we can get changes made. Congratulations to all those elected! Read more about rep roles.
Is there anything else you think should be our priority? Email us.