Live reporting from the penultimate senate of the academic year
Hey everyone, Editor-in-Chief Kirstie O’Mahony signing on. At the moment we’re waiting for people to arrive, so I’ll just run through the proposed policies that are up for debate tonight.
Policy 1 is called My Bottle. It’s been proposed by Activities Officer Kitty Bartlett along with Jacob Scott, and calls for reusable bottles to be stocked in the Union Shop, to deter people from using single use plastic ones. It contains an appendix that lays out an example bottle that could be used, with scope for adding on Students’ Union branding to the side. The policy also calls for support of a wider campaign to reduce waste on campus.
Policy 2 is “Referencing of all motions submitted to Senate” and this has been proposed by General Secretary Alex Tayler. It notes that motions proposed in the past have not had enough evidence attached and expresses concern that people may have been misled on certain policies. To resolve this, Alex proposes that people reference evidence for policies with applicable web addresses and that the steering committee fact check any unreferenced information.
Policy 3 is one proposed by current Diversity Officer (and soon to be International Officer) Riddi Visu, and calls for promotion of graduate entrepreneur schemes for international students. The policy points out that the University of Manchester provides sponsorship for 20 international students to complete a tier 1 graduate entrepreneur scheme, and that promotion of this should be more widespread and accessible.
Policy 4 comes from our colleagues over at Fuse FM, and calls for a dedicated Fuse FM room at every Pangaea festival. This is actually a renewal of an identical policy that was passed in 2010. It expired in 2015 but was continued on an ad hoc basis for 18 months post its expiration.
Policy 5 is one we’ve reported on recently, and has caused something of a stir in the SU – this is of course the infamous proposal to name a bin in the SU building after Sir Nick Clegg. It was proposed by Joseph Clough and states that, given the number of rooms available to name after significant figures is dwindling, a named bin “would be a suitable tribute to his impact on the student experience”.
And lastly, Policy 6 concerns none other than The Mancunion itself. It calls for a split of the online and print divisions of the paper, in an attempt to increase participation in the paper, improve its quality and bring us up to speed with the way in which other student and national papers are run.
Everyone’s tucking into their free burritos while we wait to see if quorum’s been met this evening. 40 is the number of people we need to reach, and at the moment I think we’re under by about six or seven.
Senate Chair Ruth O’Sullivan has started proceedings, meaning we’ve reached quorum (there are still some last minute stragglers coming in).
General Secretary Alex Tayler has gone up to present the steering report, one policy was rejected (No Platform Jo Johnson) and this was done because the University of Manchester’s policy disallows this under freedom of speech policy. It was decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest this policy needed to be overturned in this case.
No one has raised any issues with the steering report.
Alex is now presenting the State of the Union. He’s mentioned that Manchester received the highest number of votes in the country at the recent exec election (see our reporting on this here) and talked about continuing lobbying of the university on student issues.
Voting on policy proposals is now commencing.
Jacob is presenting the My Bottle proposal. He’s brought up that last senate a ban of plastic water bottles was rejected so this proposal is to mitigate what he believes to be fall out of that decision.
Jacob: “The water bottle would be good so people don’t get poisoned by plastic bottles”
Chair has asked if anyone has any questions, clarifications or points against. There are none, so voting has started.
Apparently there’s been an error with some of the voting ‘clickers’ and they’re flashing orange rather than green. This is interrupting the votes coming through to the chair.
The issue has been fixed! Whoops and cheers all round.
Alex Tayler is now presenting the proposal to reference all motions submitted to Senate.
Alex: “it’s to make sure we can make informed decisions”
Campaigns officer Deej is asking “could there be acollaboration between the proposer and the steering committee”
Alex: “potentially but mostly we’d like proposers to do it themselves”
Voting has opened on this policy, and My Bottle has passed with 85 per cent in favour.
Riddi is going up now to present the proposal to promote graduate entrepreneur schemes for international students.
Riddi: “international students have a number of problems finding post-graduate employment”
Riddi: “the university currently has 20 places to sponsor people on tier 1 schemes but only two or three graduates usually take them”
One question: “does this include EEA students?”
Riddi: “yes it does include them too”
Voting is now open, and the previous policy has passed with 23 abstentions but 100 per cent after that.
Deputy Station Manager of Fuse FM Ethan Davies has now gone up to propose that the station have a dedicated space at every Pangaea festival.
Question from Kitty: “why should Fuse FM get a space over other music societies such as Audio Academy?”
Ethan: “we’ve often collaborated them in the past and are happy to do so in future”
Point against: “there’s a lot of competition and there isn’t the space at the moment so why is it fair to put it in writing”
Point against from Kitty: “there’s been no one from Fuse FM going to meetings but other music societies do”
Point for from Deej: “I think when they get the space they would come to meetings and I think it would be a good way to interact with the media group”
Point against from Jack Houghton: “if you’re the best you should get a room, but you need to prove you are the best”
Ethan: “we’ve done this before and we know what we’re doing”
Point against: “there needs to be equality of opportunity, perhaps a room on a rotational basis with other societies and organisations”
Ethan’s summary: “this would be a great opportunity for students and we’ll take your feedback on board”
Voting has now opened and Riddi’s previous policy passed.
4 people have left which means quorum has been lost. Riddi, Alex and Deej have run out to find more people to make quorum. Apparently there might be prizes for the first one of them to bring students back, how exciting…
The Fuse FM policy did not pass, with 47 per cent in favour.
People have been found and everyone’s very excited that we might be back up to quorum.
Now Deej is reading the Nick Clegg Bin policy on behalf of Joseph Clough.
Deej: “Joseph wanted to reiterate that Nick Clegg got into power and raised tuition fees from £3000 to £9000”
Deej: “the most appropriate thing to name after Nick Clegg is a bin because him and his ilk deserve to be in the wastebin of history”
Question: “why particularly Nick Clegg? Can’t we sling the dead cat at the coalition government as a whole rather than just one person”
Deej: “Nick Clegg is the symbolic resonance – he was the one that got such a huge amount of support [during the election]”
Deej: “Nick Clegg said he was the voice of students and I tihnk it’s fair to say he sold a lot of students out”
Question from Jack: “I don’t mind… but where does it end? Are we going to have a new bin named every senate? Celebrate success and don’t dwell on lies”
Deej: “I think this is a debate worth having but it’s just a bit of fun innit”
Point against: “I can see the rationale and it is quite funny but it just seems childish and spiteful”
Point: “I was reading on NUS today that because the Union is a charity it would be illegal not to be neutral to political parties”
Deej: “but it could be construed as being named in his honour”
Deej’s summary: “Nick Clegg was a wrongun”
Voting has opened.
Alex Whitcomb is reading The Mancunion’s restructure policy on behalf of our Deputy Editor Tristan Parsons.
Alex: “this policy reflects the change in our consumption of news – we need to be more nimble at The Mancunion”
Alex: “we want to split the editorial team into one that deals with content and copy and one that deals with design”
Alex: “I think we’re great but we could do a lot better”
Point from the floor: “why did this have to come to senate?”
Alex: “we wanted to make sure it actually happened and we wanted to keep the union in the loop”
Questions from Jack Houghton: “at the moment all the articles get checked before publication, will this continue with this structure?”
Voting has opened.
The Nick Clegg Bin policy has not passed, with 80 per cent against the motion.
Democracy Coordintor Emmett is now making a notice about the NUS Primary Ballot Elections for NUS delegates.
An email has gone out to students to vote on which NUS candidates to vote for at the NUS National Conference, which he is encouraging people to engage with.
A notice is now being made about the Student Union Awards, arguable the best (and booziest) night in the SU calendar!
The Mancunion restructure policy passed with 100 per cent of the vote.
Senate has now ended – see you in May!