The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

First Senate session of the academic year – live updates

The Mancunion will be giving you live updates of motions debated and passed in Senate

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Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:13 PM

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.

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:15 PM

Remember, everything has to be passed by a two thirds majority before it can become part of Union policy.

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:16 PM

Alex Tayler, General Secretary, has taken the stage and is introducing the members of the Exec team that are present.

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:17 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:18 PM

Saqib Mahmood (Wellbeing) has now come up to explain the steering report. This committee scrutinises any policy passed through Senate that are potentially unconstitutional

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:21 PM

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.

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:21 PM

First proposal to be discussed: “The Students’ uUnion is to hold a referendum to review sabbatical officer roles”

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:22 PM

Alex Tayler is explaining, officer roles haven’t been reviewed for 6 years

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:22 PM

5500 students were surveyed and part of the results found the exec team don’t engage with international students enough

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:23 PM

If passed, all students at the University of Manchester will have a vote on what officer roles the Students’ Union will have

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:24 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:25 PM

Question: is the result final?

Answer: it will be more of “preferendum”, can’t guarantee but can’t envisage a scenario where the student choice would not be final
Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:25 PM

No one has chosen to speak against the motion

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:25 PM

Voting has now opened — A is for a referendum and B is against

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:28 PM

Voting has now closed for this motion

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:30 PM

The results are in: the motion has passed, and a referendum WILL take place on a review of sabbatical officer roles

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:32 PM

Next motion: the creation of an LGBQ and trans committee

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:32 PM

This was proposed by Rob Noon, the Student Union’s trans officer

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:33 PM

There was a problem with the voting software so we have moved on to the next motion

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:34 PM

This is proposed by Sara Khan, and it regards affiliating the Students’ Union with the NCAFC, or the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:36 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:36 PM

This ties in with a current Union policy to support free education, as clarified by Education Officer Emma Atkins

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:39 PM

Question: how much would a yearly donation be?

Answer: we’ve agreed to a figure of £500 because the same figure was used to donate to Action for Trans Health
Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:39 PM

I’m now handing over to Head News Editor, Cameron Broome

Tristan Parsons 28th September 20176:40 PM

Emma Atkins, Education Officer, is speaking against the motion

Tristan Parsons 28th September 20176:42 PM

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

Tristan Parsons 28th September 20176:43 PM

Participant in response to Emma’s point: don’t see how anyone would lose from empowering a national campaign

Tristan Parsons 28th September 20176:44 PM

Another point made against the motion – NCAFC is allegedly failing trans members

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20176:45 PM

I’m now handing over to Deputy Editor Tristan Parsons

Tristan Parsons 28th September 20176:46 PM

Emma: do have a free education policy and against marketisation of education; affiliation unnecessary in terms of continued support for these

Tristan Parsons 28th September 20176:46 PM

I’m now heading over to Head News Editor Cameron Broome

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:49 PM

Sara says she accepts NCAFC can do more for trans people but suggests that NUS has treated trans people poorly too

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:49 PM

Voting has now opened on the motion

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:50 PM

Just announced that the previous proposal on the LQBTQ trans committee passed

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:51 PM

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

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:52 PM

Voting has now opened

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:53 PM

Voting has now closed

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:54 PM

The motion to affiliate with NCAFC has NOT passed

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:54 PM

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

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:56 PM

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

Cameron Broome 28th September 20176:59 PM

Question: love riding bike, work in Owens Park and have friends there. Would I be able to use bike locks?

Answer: your bike wouldn’t be be left there for a long time. Thiefs often target bikes that have been visible and left in a place for a long time. We need need CCTV. There were 14 bike thefts in one month in Fallowfield – security can do their best but CCTV needed.
Cameron Broome 28th September 20177:00 PM

Question: has state said wouldn’t give funding?

Answer: Started ignoring me, kept pushing until they had a meeting. Went 2 or 3 people above me, and last thing I was told was amount it would cost and that they wouldn’t do it. It’s been ongoing for 2 years.
Cameron Broome 28th September 20177:01 PM

Question: which halls of residences does this extend to? E.g. do part own halls, such as ones on Denmark Road, be included?

Answer: In an ideal world then everyone would be covered but would trial in the ones University owned – need to start somewhere. But in an ideal world yes, better CCTV definitely needed.
Cameron Broome 28th September 20177:01 PM

Voting has now opened

Cameron Broome 28th September 20177:02 PM

I am now passing over to our Editor-in-Chief, Kirstie O’Mahony

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:03 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:04 PM

Sara Khan is back on the floor and is proposing a motion named simply ‘Save Our Staff’

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:05 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:06 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:06 PM

Sara Khan thinks that the staff cuts are being made in order to invest more money in new buildings on campus

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:07 PM

Voting on this motion has now opened

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:08 PM

Liam Armstrong’s motion to lobby the university to provide secure bike storage in halls has passed

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:09 PM

Voting has now closed on the Save our Staff motion, and Riddi Visu (Diversity) is now proposing a review and restructure of Fund It

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:10 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:11 PM

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

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:12 PM

A participant is pointing out also that some societies make alliances when they vote which can push smaller societies out of the funding pot

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:13 PM

Question: exactly how will Fund It be reviewed and restructured?

Answer: we’ll ask the societies for feedback and go from there
Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:13 PM

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”

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:13 PM

Voting on this motion is now open

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:15 PM

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”

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:15 PM

The Save Our Staff motion has PASSED: big news for the relationship between the Union and the unversity

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:16 PM

Voting has closed on the motion to review and restructure Fund It

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:17 PM

The results are in: the review and restructure of Fund It has PASSED with 92 per cent in favour

Kirstie O'Mahony 28th September 20177:18 PM

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.