This guidance follows the decision at Annual Conference 2010 for the NEC to develop support for students’ unions on making informed decisions about controversial and contentious external speakers who are invited to campus by societies and officers.
At the time, this request was made in response to both an increased number of queries from the membership about external speakers and a rise in negative reporting about controversial speakers at universities in the media.
Since then the majority of students’ unions in HE have become registered charities and are now subject to regulation by the Charity Commission. This places legal responsibilities on the trustees of students’ unions to avoid undertaking activities that might place the charity’s endowments, funds, assets, or reputation at risk.
Within this new context the guidance seeks to provide information and advice for students’ unions on:
- considering their legal implications as charities
- onsidering the safety and welfare implications of visiting speakers, and
- how to manage associated risks of external speakers speaking / presenting at events organised by the students’ union (including clubs and societies)
Above all, this guidance aims to enable students’ unions to facilitate students self organisation in the context of above.
We will be rolling out a series of training over the next couple of months to support students’ unions implement this guidance. Alongside this there will be a variety of additional resources and training materials your union can use to train your own staff, full-time and part-time officers as well as student society presidents and trustees.
Download here and for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org