Find out more about The SU's official stance making mechanism.

This page outlines what Standpoints are, and how they work. If you want to submit a standpoint or view our current standpoints, please click on one of these buttons.

Submitting a Standpoint proposal    Existing Standpoints

What are Standpoints and how do they work?

Click the boxes to expand the section and find out more about how the Standpoint system works.

What is a standpoint?

  • A standpoint is a position that The SU adopts on a particular issue, topic, or aspect of University life.
  • Standpoints do not bind The SU to any specific action, but they do demonstrate The SU's stances on a range of issues, and a stance can inform the actions of The SU.

What can't be a standpoint?

A standpoint must adhere to the following conditions before it can be considered by SUmmit Committee:

  • It must not breach UK law.
  • It must be in line with The SU’s charitable objectives.
  • The proposal cannot be ‘Ultra Vires’ – it must adhere to the Charity Commission’s expectation of The SU (e.g. it cannot be party political - read more here).
  • It must not contravene the University’s regulations or Dignity & Respect policy.
  • It must not contravene The SU’s values.
  • It must not contravene an existing Article of SU Governance or SU Policy.
  • It must not contradict an existing SU standpoint.
  • It must not mention an individual by name.
  • It must not propose the creation of new SU policies, procedures, or practices that influence the operation, administration, or management of The SU.

How are standpoints adopted?

  1. The SUmmit committee discusses and debates standpoint proposals, including the wording of a standpoint.
  2. If the SUmmit committee decides not to vote on a standpoint straight away, the committee can vote to enact one of the following options:
    • Proceed to vote on the proposal online following the meeting.
    • Refer to the Head of Student Voice to provide a briefing (at the following meeting) on new or existing research data, student engagement activity feedback, sector activity or other relevant evidence on the issue.
    • Call for statements from the wider student community and discuss at next meeting.
    • Recommend to the Board of Trustees that a referendum be held to determine student opinion.
    • Determine that the standpoint does not sufficiently impact members of our community to become a standpoint. 
  3. When the committee feels they have sufficient information and insight, SUmmit can then vote on the standpoint. SUmmit committee members will usually vote on standpoints directly after the meeting (electronically), within 48 hours.
  4. A standpoint may only be passed if more than half of the total SUmmit committee members cast a vote, and a super majority (over two thirds) of the votes cast are in favour. Standpoints that are accepted will be added to the SU Standpoints document.

How Long Does a Standpoint Last?

  • Once a standpoint is approved by SUmmit, it is valid indefinitely unless specified otherwise, or if it is challenged a later date.
  • SUmmit can decide to assign individual standpoints an ‘expiry date’ or ‘date of review’.
  • Standpoints due to expire, or due for review, will be brought to SUmmit and subject to a vote to either; confirm its continuation or discontinuation, or make amendment(s).

Can Existing Standpoints be challenged?

Any existing standpoint can be ‘challenged’ by a SUmmit member, for this to occur, the following conditions must be met:

  • The Standpoint in question was approved at least 2 meetings ago.
  • One additional SUmmit member must support the challenge.
  • The Chair must approve the challenge and agree that it will become an item at the next possible SUmmit meeting

Can Existing Standpoints be amended?

Any existing standpoints can be amended in the following ways:

  • The SU’s Board of Trustees decide to amend a standpoint.
  • SUmmit votes to amend an existing standpoint following a ‘challenge’.
  • A valid referendum vote passes which requires the changing of a standpoint, in accordance with Articles 28 to 31 of The SU’s Articles of Governance, and subject to approval from the SU’s Board of Trustees.

Can Existing Standpoints be removed?

Any existing standpoints not due to expire can be removed in the following ways:

  • Any existing standpoints not due to expire, can be removed in the following ways: o The SU’s Board of Trustees decide to remove a standpoint.
  • SUmmit makes a vote to remove an existing standpoint.
  • A valid referendum vote passes which requires the removal of a standpoint, in accordance with Articles 28 to 31 of The SU’s Articles of Governance, and subject to approval from the SU’s Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees

The SU Board of Trustees will have the authority to overturn a standpoint. If a standpoint is rejected by the SU’s Board of Trustees, a written response will be sent to SUmmit to allow the proposer(s) to amend their proposal and resubmit to the SUmmit for consideration/approval.


For further detail on Standpoint procedures, you can read the full SUmmit Terms of Reference here.

Read more about SUmmit Committee