How HYS Works

What is Have Your Say?

Have Your Say is the democratic process for sharing and promoting University of Portsmouth students’ petitions. Popular petitions can create positive impacts for students at the Union, within the University and beyond.

How does Have Your Say work?

Petitions submitted first need to be proven to be popular with students. In the first backing stage, you must get the support of 15 students to effectively ‘sign’ your petition, in order for the petition to progress. If an petition fails to get the backing of 15 students, it may not be in the wider student-body’s interest.

Petitions, once backed, are reviewed by the Student Council in a bi-weekly meeting. Some petitions may be very straightforward, that are within the Union’s resources to action more quickly, these petitions are sorted into the ‘Action’ pathway and assigned a UAB champion to take the lead on seeing these petitions get actioned.

Some petitions may concern bigger changes at University, local or even national level, where the Union may have limited influence. These petitions often need the backing of more students in order to action them and make them stick. Petitions that need the support of more students are sorted in to the ‘Reaction’ pathway and are promoted to the whole student-body to get their opinion, and capture whether they agree or disagree with the petition in an online poll. At least 100 students (quorum) must vote in the online poll in order for it to be considered valid and representative of the student-body. Petitions can also be voted either up or down, popular petitions will pass if enough students agree with them but if you don’t agree with an petition you can vote it down too. If the online poll reaches quorum, then the petition is only passed if the majority of students participating (50%+1) agree.

Petitions with strong student support help to give the Union and our representatives a clear mandate to make changes on and off campus, on students behalf, and helps prioritise the petitions that matter most to the student-body.

My petition has passed! What happens next?

Your petition has been popular with most students and has now passed to be actioned by the Union. Your petition, similar to those that were ‘fast-tracked’ to the ‘Action’ pathway, is assigned.

A Student Council champion at the next available meeting. They will work to see your petition come to pass, which may involve negotiations with the University, researching suppliers or actioning Union staff to help get your petition off the ground. Your petition champion will make regular updates to the petition page to keep you and followers informed, you may even keep in contact with them, in person or via email, depending on the complexity of your petition and how involved you wish to be as the instigator.

Not all petition happen overnight. Some changes, especially those within the University, sometimes take a little time and patience to achieve. Have Your Say has been designed to be as transparent as possible, with Student Council representatives able to offer regular updates and accountability for their activity. At any point throughout the process, you can contact the Union, or your idea champion(s) once assigned, if you require an update or are unsatisfied with any part of the process.

How do I submit an petition?

Submitting an petition is relatively straightforward. The title of your petition should clearly communicate what it is you want to achieve or change. It could be in the form of a question, for example ‘Should we ban bottled water on campus?’. The rest of the form helps to capture the details of your petition, how it benefits students and the ways in which it could be achieved. The more rationale and detail you can offer, the more likely your idea will be understood and supported by other students.

Once your petition has been submitted, you need to get support for your petition! As the petition submitter, it’s your responsibility to get other students involved, to share your petition and get backers to have it progress to the review stage.

At review, if your petition can be more easily achieved, Student Council will pass it to the ‘Action’ pathway to be realised sooner. Your petition may require the support of more students in order to be actioned by the Union, in which case you’ll need to share your petition further and get at least 100 students to vote in favour of your petition for it to be prioritised by the Union. The Union will also regularly promote petitions in the ‘Reaction’ pathway at roadshows on campus, in email newsletters and social media.

If your petition is successfully passed by Student Council or other students, then your petition champion should be in touch and keep you and other followers updated of any progress, as they work to realise your petition.

Contact us

The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.

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