External Speaker Framework

September 6, 2022

As your Students’ Guild, we want to foster an environment where our members can participate fully, feel able to question and challenge, express new ideas, discuss controversial and or unpopular opinions within the law, and all without fear of intolerance or discrimination. We are committed to the principle that both debate and deliberation should not be suppressed, and we encourage and support our members to engage, within the law, in both a constructive and responsible manner to contest any ideas they oppose openly and vigorously.

In 2021-22, we conducted a review of our Digital Event Protocols and External Speaker Policy – this was to make sure that the policy would work for the whole community, particularly with the increased reliance on digital events.

We’ve worked with student groups who have regularly encountered issues with processes, and we believe we’ve developed a flexible and supportive framework that promotes and protects the right to freedom of expression, whilst also helping to ensure activity does not interfere with or deprive other people of their rights in accordance with all relevant legislation, both for online and in-person events.  

What does this policy include?

  • Our commitment to Freedom of Expression
  • A Risk Management Framework and Procedure
  • An Operational Management procedure
  • Process and Procedure for events approval
  • An extraordinary external speaker approval procedure
  • Comprehensive training for groups, around Freedom of Expression, the External Speaker Framework, and speaker discussion Forum to empower and support students in running these types of events
  • An Annual review of the External Speaker Framework with consultation from key stakeholders, including the University, Students’ Guild and Student Leaders to ensure it is fit for purpose and effective.
  • Collaboration with the University to work towards increasing the number and diversity of debates, discussion and conversation taking place, by creating:
  • Staff support for events considered to be high or medium risk to ensure student leaders have access to the support they need to run events successfully and safely
  • Accessible online resources for Speaker Events to support students when running their events
  • A Clear Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures