The revised Byelaw H follows on from the referendum called last year and was constructed in consultation with our respective media outlets. It provides a document that works for all parties, ultimately helping to strengthen the relationship between the Students’ Union and Insanity Radio 103.2FM, rhubarbTV and Orbital Magazine.
Since the referendum was accepted, the Students’ Union set up a working group between members of the Trustee Board and key individuals from the different media groups in order to look at the charter and establish what changes, if any, should be made. The aim was to ensure that Byelaw H facilitates the great work undertaken by committed, talented student journalists, but that also reflects the relevant requirements of charity law.
That work and the subsequent discussions have led to a media charter that everyone is happy with and yesterday’s vote saw a supermajority amendment to the constitution - replacing the need for a campus wide referendum on the issue. We are delighted that we have been able to reach a joint agreement, and feel this is a major stepping stone in helping to rebuild the relationship between student media and the Union.
Insanity Radio 103.2FM's Head of Technology (and proposer of the motion), Jamie Woods said: “It's fantastic to know that the Union is working with us at the highest/trustee level to rewrite the Media Charter, and it's been so rewarding to be directly involved in the text itself.
"From the beginning, we've always said that we want a Media Charter - something to formalise how we exist as media. We just didn't want the old one, as it really didn't reflect on your media as it should have for lots of reasons.
"Now we have accountability on all sides. I think this working group has also been a huge catalyst in repairing our relationship with RHSU, especially as over the past few years there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes conflict and breakdown in communications (honestly on both sides).
"If you're not happy with something about your Union, speak up about it. Because as a member-based organisation, it really will elicit change for the better. It's easy to post on arbitrary hate pages, but the truth is unless you talk to one of your Officers about it, or come to a council or an All Student Meeting and discuss it with your peers, nothing will come from it.”
Vice President Societies & Media Holly Hughes was also delighted with the news: “Working with Insanity, Orbital and rhubarbTV as a unified body on the revision of the Media Charter has been such a rewarding experience, with both myself and the media outlets now feeling much more comfortable with the tone, wording and content of the byelaw.
"I am delighted to have been part of this process, in turn bettering the relationship between the SU and our student led media outlets, and I am excited to see the positive impact this will have on all three student groups and their journalistic success over the coming years.
"At RHSU, we care about making student life better; we want to make change for good and facilitate the best experiences we possibly can - I hope that this example shows this."
Read Byelaw H
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX