The Mancunion will be giving you live updates of motions debated and passed in Senate
Hi everyone, this Kirstie O’Mahony, Mancunion Editor-in-chief, signing on for the first Senate session of the academic year. Motions to be discussed are the creation of an LGBT and trans committee, a disposable cup tax and a referendum on the roles of our executive officers.
Remember, everything has to be passed by a two thirds majority before it can become part of Union policy.
Alex Tayler, General Secretary, has taken the stage and is introducing the members of the Exec team that are present.
He’s congratulating the efforts of everyone at Welcome Week and cites record numbers of society sinups as one major achievement of it — over 5000
Saqib Mahmood (Wellbeing) has now come up to explain the steering report. This committee scrutinises any policy passed through Senate that are potentially unconstitutional
It’s now time for a new portion of Senate, ‘Questions for Officers’ — it’s new, and is an opportunity for any members of Senate to pose questions to the Exec team. No questions were asked.
First proposal to be discussed: “The Students’ uUnion is to hold a referendum to review sabbatical officer roles”
Alex Tayler is explaining, officer roles haven’t been reviewed for 6 years
5500 students were surveyed and part of the results found the exec team don’t engage with international students enough
If passed, all students at the University of Manchester will have a vote on what officer roles the Students’ Union will have
Question: would voting this motion down equate to no review of the roles at all or will it happen without student input?
Answer from Alex Tayler: it wouldn’t occur, and motion would be put to Senate again in the future
Question: is the result final?
No one has chosen to speak against the motion
Voting has now opened — A is for a referendum and B is against
Voting has now closed for this motion
The results are in: the motion has passed, and a referendum WILL take place on a review of sabbatical officer roles
Next motion: the creation of an LGBQ and trans committee
This was proposed by Rob Noon, the Student Union’s trans officer
There was a problem with the voting software so we have moved on to the next motion
This is proposed by Sara Khan, and it regards affiliating the Students’ Union with the NCAFC, or the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
This is to support action against all staff cuts at the University of Manchester and to send a coach to national demonstrations for free education and to send at least one person to the NCAFC conference every year
This ties in with a current Union policy to support free education, as clarified by Education Officer Emma Atkins
Question: how much would a yearly donation be?
I’m now handing over to Head News Editor, Cameron Broome
Emma Atkins, Education Officer, is speaking against the motion
Emma: don’t have to affiliate with them to do what they do, don’t see why students should give them money; contentious as its a faction of the NUS. We already have free education policy, against marketisation. Affiliating with NCAFC benefits NCAFC more than it benefits the SU
Participant in response to Emma’s point: don’t see how anyone would lose from empowering a national campaign
Another point made against the motion – NCAFC is allegedly failing trans members
I’m now handing over to Deputy Editor Tristan Parsons
Emma: do have a free education policy and against marketisation of education; affiliation unnecessary in terms of continued support for these
I’m now heading over to Head News Editor Cameron Broome
Sara says she accepts NCAFC can do more for trans people but suggests that NUS has treated trans people poorly too
Voting has now opened on the motion
Just announced that the previous proposal on the LQBTQ trans committee passed
Votes are being collected and we have moved onto the next motion proposed by Lizzy Haughton that the SU should lobby for the building of more ‘Green Walls’ on University buildings
Voting has now opened
Voting has now closed
The motion to affiliate with NCAFC has NOT passed
Next proposal is again from Lizzy Haughton in favour of a 20p tax on disposal coffee ups across all food and drink outlets on campus
Residential life advisor, Liam Armstrong, has proposed that the SU should lobby the University / residential services to provide secure, locked bicycle storage facilities in halls of residences
Question: love riding bike, work in Owens Park and have friends there. Would I be able to use bike locks?
Question: has state said wouldn’t give funding?
Question: which halls of residences does this extend to? E.g. do part own halls, such as ones on Denmark Road, be included?
Voting has now opened
I am now passing over to our Editor-in-Chief, Kirstie O’Mahony
Voting has closed — due to technical difficulties the result will be delayed but we’ve just been told that the Green Walls policy has passed with 94 per cent in favour
Sara Khan is back on the floor and is proposing a motion named simply ‘Save Our Staff’
She’s citing the campus expansion and the University’s apparent wealth (having £1.5 billion in reserves) as a reason for protesting the cuts that are to be made to 171 members of staff at the university
The motion would involve the publication of a statement demanding the university reverse the cuts, to support the Save Our Staff campaign and to stand in solidarity with staff should they take strike action
Sara Khan thinks that the staff cuts are being made in order to invest more money in new buildings on campus
Voting on this motion has now opened
Liam Armstrong’s motion to lobby the university to provide secure bike storage in halls has passed
Voting has now closed on the Save our Staff motion, and Riddi Visu (Diversity) is now proposing a review and restructure of Fund It
Fund It is the mechanism by which societies can apply for funding — you propose an amount and present why you want it to a committee of society members, and it then goes to a vote. If passed, you receive the funding. If voted down, you don’t, which leads to planned events being cancelled in some instances
Riddi thinks that smaller societies, particularly cultural ones, have to fight harder against bigger and more established societies that are more likely to get their events voted through and consequently receive funding for it
A participant is pointing out also that some societies make alliances when they vote which can push smaller societies out of the funding pot
Question: exactly how will Fund It be reviewed and restructured?
No one has spoken against the motion and Riddi is summing up: “I want to provide support for smaller cultural societies… and this is a good way of doing it”
Voting on this motion is now open
A participant has asked to change his vote which has led to a re-vote… groans were extremely unsubtle and the participant in question responded by shouting “DEMOCRACY”
The Save Our Staff motion has PASSED: big news for the relationship between the Union and the unversity
Voting has closed on the motion to review and restructure Fund It
The results are in: the review and restructure of Fund It has PASSED with 92 per cent in favour
Senate has now closed. Some important and interesting motions passed tonight — we’re going to now frantically design our front page, so with that, goodnight! I’m now signing off for the evening.