The final Union Council meeting of the academic year took place on Tuesday 10th May.
The meeting started half an hour late, as it was sub-quorate. Of 20 jury panellists who had responded to the call, only 15 were in attendance instead of the 16 needed to make the proceedings valid.
Despite this, the decision was made to hold the meeting as planned, rather than delaying it. Sam Peake, Community Officer, noted that any motions passed would need to be ratified at the first Council meeting of next year in order to become Union policy.
“The meeting started half an hour late, as it was sub-quorate”
Benjamin Carr, a third year Law student, was the speaker for the first motion – “Should UoNSU condemn anti-Semitism and commemorate Holocaust Memorial day?”
It was uncontroversial, especially in light of the recent National Action intrusion onto University Park campus. Audience member Freya Cumming-Webb commented that the motion covered two separate points. Motion 1 passed almost unanimously, with 14 votes for, 1 vote against.
Scott Jennings proposed that we change the name of the SU President position to ‘General Secretary’ following in the footsteps of other students’ unions, such as the one at the University of Manchester.
The aim would be to facilitate a flat power structure and thus prevent any discrimination against the other officers by the President, as all elected members of UoNSU would be equally accountable.
James Bramley, Sports Officer, remarked that this was already the case. Arguably then, there would be no problem reinforcing this in the by-laws.
President Angharad then mentioned that the title of President brings increased visibility to students who do not know or understand the structures of the union. The motion failed: 3 votes for, 12 against.
Scott Jennings brought the final motion forward. The motion concerned a request that the UoNSU, via Union Council, affiliate ‘Nottingham Students For Cooperation’ as a new Student-Run Service (SRS), upon ratification of its proposed constitution by the Democratic Procedures Committee.
“Any motions passed would need to be ratified at the first Council meeting of next year in order to become Union policy”
This motion initially appeared to be largely misunderstood by the panellists, although one jury member spoke in support of student co-operatives, as she was part of the Sutton Bonington Student Food Co-op.
Freya Cumming-Webb mentioned that as an organiser of the Nottingham branch of the ‘Student Minds’ mental health charity she was aware of alternative ways in which ‘Nottingham Students For Cooperation’ could be provided with funding, support, and regulation.
Motion 3 did not achieve the 10 votes needed to pass, but will go to university-wide referendum as it received 9 votes for and 6 against.
Unfortunately, the other two motions proposed by Scott Jennings were not heard at this meeting as time was cut short by the late start. They will pass forward to the first Union Council of next year.
One of the unheard motions was for UoNSU to support the Living Wage campaign and anti-casualisation of employment at the university.
The other called for additional Union Council to be held in the final week of term in the event that a motion from this meeting fell off the agenda.
Anjuli R. K. Shere
Image: Impact News Team