MAKING A COMPLAINT

We’re sorry to hear you might have a complaint. We value all feedback and take your thoughts and opinions seriously. You can find out how to pass a complaint on to us below.

To complain about the Students’ Union, email the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Marta Szurmiej, via marta.szurmiej.su@uca.ac.uk

To complain about an elected officer, email the Chief Executive, Andy Squire, via asquire.su@uca.ac.uk

If your complaint is about the Chair of the Board of Trustees, you may email either Riley Clowes, Vice-President Kent, via rclowes.su@uca.ac.uk, or Simone Ziel, Vice-President Surrey, via simone.ziel.su@uca.ac.uk.


These processes can be found in the By-Laws, Appendix A: Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure

Appendix A – Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure

  1. General

1.1 Complaints about the Union, the actions of an individual officer or member of any Union committee in relation to the powers granted to each within the Constitution, shall be dealt with by the Board of Trustees.

1.2 Complaints about a member in relation to their general responsibilities as members shall be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure of these by-laws.

1.3 Any member of the Union has the right to initiate a complaint if they are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Union.

1.4 All complaints concerning elected officers shall be brought to the Chief Executive.

1.5 All complaints concerning the Chief Executive shall be brought to a Sabbatical Officer.

1.6 All complaints concerning a member of staff shall be brought to their line manager.

1.7 The addressee shall attempt to resolve the matter informally within five (5) University days.

  1. Complaints Committee

2.1 If the complainants are not satisfied with the outcome, the addressee shall follow the disciplinary procedure for staff members or, in the case that elected officers are implicated, the Complaints Committee will be convened within a further ten (10) University days.

2.2 The Complaints Committee shall comprise of:

2.2.1 An appropriate staff member from another Union or the National Union of Students.

2.2.2 A Student Trustee.

2.2.3 An External Trustee.

2.2.4 The Chief Executive (who shall act as clerk).

2.3 After meeting to discuss the complaint and hear the case for the complainants and those implicated, the Complaints Committee shall either:

2.3.1 Make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to treat the complaint as a HR matter and as such, follow the Staff Disciplinary Procedure.

2.3.2 Advise how to initiate a petition for a vote of no-confidence.

2.4 If the complainants are not satisfied with the outcome they may go to the University’s Clerk to the Board of Governors and request an investigation by an independent person.

  1. Disciplinary Procedure

3.1 Clubs, societies, and members of the Union shall be expected to abide by the Constitution and its schedules at all times, as well as the Union’s Equality and Diversity policy (Appendix C).

3.2 The Union’s Disciplinary Procedure has authority over any premises managed by the Union and any Union activities, including the activities of any Union club or society, or any misconduct which takes place outside Union premises but relates to the Union and is likely to affect the reputation of the Union.

3.3 If a student, club, or society is deemed to have breached the rules of the Union their conduct shall be examined by the Disciplinary Committee.

  1. Disciplinary Committee

4.1 The Disciplinary Committee shall be convened within ten (10) University days of the alleged offence occurring. The student(s) shall be given written notification of the time, date and place of the hearing, together with written notification of the alleged breach, at least three (3) University days before the hearing.

4.2 The Disciplinary Committee shall comprise of:

4.2.1 All sabbatical officers.

4.2.2 An appropriate staff member from another Union or the National Union of Student (this must not be the same member as the Complaints Committee).

4.2.3 A Student Trustee (this must not be the same member as the Complaints Committee).

4.2.4 An External Trustee (this must not be the same as the Complaints Committee).

4.2.5 The Chief Executive (to act as clerk).

4.3 In cases involving the misuse of Union facilities, resources, or behaviour likely to cause potential danger or offence to students, staff or other persons, the student, club, or society may be suspended from the use of particular Union facilities or resources until the Disciplinary Committee has reached a decision.

4.4 No person shall sit on the Union disciplinary or appeals committee if they are a witness, potential witness, the complainant, or directly connected with the student, club, or society being charged.

4.5 The person bringing the charge and the student, or their elective representatives may call upon witnesses to give evidence. Witnesses may be cross questioned by each party involved.

4.6 The Disciplinary Committee may ask questions of any witnesses, the person bringing the charge, the student, club, society, or respective representatives.

4.7 The Disciplinary Committee shall then deliberate on the matter and decide upon an appropriate action to be taken.

4.7.1 The Disciplinary Committee shall base its decision on evidence presented and examined in the presence of the person bringing the charge and the student, club, or society being charged.

4.7.2 Evidence of any earlier misconduct shall not be presented until after the decision has been reached on the facts of the case, but then may be admitted and considered in deciding on any punishment.

4.8 The ultimate sanction shall be the suspension of Union membership.

4.9 The Union Disciplinary Committee may refer any matter additionally to the University for the Creative Arts’ Disciplinary Panel.

4.10 The Disciplinary Committee must inform the person of their right to appeal and that any appeal should be made in writing to the chair of the Board of Trustees within five (5) University days.

4.11 If the student is not satisfied they may appeal to an Appeals Committee made up of three (3) elected Officers (either sabbatical or Campus Executive) appointed by the Board of Trustees.

4.12 The student, club, or society shall be notified in writing at least three (3) University days in advance of the meeting.

4.13 The Appeals Committee shall hear the reason for the appeal and the rationale behind the original decision. They shall also hear any new evidence that has emerged since the disciplinary meeting.

4.14 The hearing shall normally take place in private however, the student, club, or society may request that the hearing is held in public.

4.15 The decision of the Disciplinary or Appeals Committee will be posted via Union media outlets if requested by the subject of any charge.

4.16 The matter shall be put to a vote and the decision shall be final.

4.17 If one party wishes to waive the in-person disciplinary procedure and defer to an evidence-submission and online decision process, this option can be taken by either party involved.

  1. Complaints process

5.1 The following complaints procedure shall be made available to all students or groups of students who are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Union or claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by having exercised their right to opt out of membership.

5.2 Any complaint about the Union shall be addressed to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

5.2.1 In any circumstances where the complaint relates to the Chair it shall be addressed to another Sabbatical Officer.

5.3 The Chair shall investigate and make a written reply within fifteen (15) University days.

5.4 If the complainant is not satisfied with the response they may appeal to the Clerk of the Board of Governors of the University for the Creative Arts.

5.4.1 The Clerk shall investigate and respond to the complainant within fifteen (15) University days, seeking advice from Union trustees who were not part of the original investigation.

5.5 If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the response provided by the Clerk to the Board of Governors, the University for the Creative Arts’ Board of Governors shall appoint an independent person and a Union external trustee to consider and resolve the complaint.

5.5.1 This decision shall be final.

Members who complain will also be referred to standing mechanisms in the constitution to remove officers and change the policy of the Union.

The Constitution holds the policy for the removal of Officers and changing Union policy.


Clerk to the Board of Governors, Sam Weir sweir.su@ucreative.ac.uk

See contact page for other Sabbatical Officer details: ucasu.com/officers

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