by Gayathri Kanagasundaram
Leeds student unions are coming together to campaign for representation in their local council.
Leeds University community officer Frankie O’Byrne, president of Leeds Metropolitan University Millie Cooper and president of Leeds Trinity University Miki Vyse presented their plea to Leeds City Council on March 26.
Frankie said: “69 per cent of our students believe that we should be making a change to what is happening in our university.”
The representatives are campaigning for the chance to meet with relevant councillors regularly to talk to them about issues affecting students in Leeds and how these problems can be solved at policy making level.
Councillors applauded the three representatives during and after their speech.
Frankie, in his speech to council, said: “We would like to help you and if you don’t mind us being a little bit smug but we would like to think we are the experts of talking to students.”
Miki was instrumental in putting the key speech at the deputation together.
She said: “We have had the idea for over six months and luckily we got in contact with Tom Riordan, the Chief Executive of the council, who helped us out with getting to the point we are at.”
The council referred the matter to the executive board and a decision will be made April 2.
However Miki believes that this is good news for her team and if it goes ahead, it will be a first for a student union nationally.
“One in five people in Leeds are students and at the moment we are not consulted about anything at policy making level.
“Students, especially the PhD students, do a level of research here which is ground breaking and Leeds is known for that. So there is something that we can tell the council, and we can vote on it.”
VIDEO: Trinity students gave their view about university presidents representing them in council.
VIDEO: A clip from a student council deputation at Leeds City Council yesterday, and Leeds Trinity president Miki Vyse talking the main issue with the university which needs council.