Following a discussion at the Union’s Board of Trustees meeting in November of 2018, the University of Lincoln Students’ Union’s ‘External Speakers’ policy has been reviewed and subsequently revised.
The Students’ Union has followed published Charity Commission guidance when welcoming external speakers to events, including those organised by Clubs and Societies. Under the guidance, external speakers were required to sign an ‘External Speakers’ form, which outlined the legal responsibilities of those speaking to not break the law in order to protect the members of the charity and the charity itself from harm including reputational.
Following a recent inquiry into to the Charity Commission’s guidance to Students’ Unions from a Houses of Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights during the summer of 2018 where the Charity Commission acknowledged that the guidance might in fact damage the reputation of Students’ Union and limit debate of controversial, but legal, views on campus, the Board of Trustees assessed their risk appetite around External Speakers and this process has now been amended.
Events which feature external speakers will now continue to be assessed but the risk determined on a case by case basis. If deemed necessary to mitigate a risk, as part of the review process, a member of the organisation’s Senior Management Team, acting on behalf of the Trustees, may require that the ‘External Speakers’ form be signed to ensure acknowledgement and that the members of the Charity and the Charity’s reputation are not put at risk. This will no longer be a steadfast requirement and will only be used following consultations with relevant agencies such as the NUS, Police or University authorities.
For more information on the Union’s policies, and how we are run, click HERE.