No new policies were presented at the third Senate of the academic year, with the session being dominated by the election of committee members.
The Women’s Committee, Steering Committee, and Postgraduate Committee were among the panels to gain more members, with the role of NUS delegate going to an online election over the weekend.
Liberation and Access Officer Sara Khan was among those appointed to Women’s Committee, and Women’s Officer Ayla Huseyinoglu joined the Steering Committee. Also appointed was a City Centre Community Officer, two members of the Postgraduate Committee, and members of the Welfare Committee.
Exec Officers also gave their Officer Reports, updating attendees on their progress since the last Senate. Welfare and Community Officer Adam Haigh told students he had been working with the Union to encourage students to vote, and was working on getting student views for the council’s bus consultation.
Haigh also highlighted his role in the successful occupation of the John Owen’s building, saying that he hoped the review of the investment portfolio would encourage the University to divest not just from fossil fuels, but also from “arms and hopefully other destructive companies as well”.
Huseyinoglu announced that workshops with the Good Lad Initiative – a programme that hopes to facilitate conversations with men about topics surrounding rape culture and consent – would definitely be happening in March, as well as discussing upcoming meetings with several groups across the University working to tackle period poverty.
Khan discussed the launch of her priority campaign ‘Decolonise UoM’, telling Senate, “I think there is a lot of engagement and enthusiasm for decolonisation.” She also detailed work she had done on the Alternative Lecture Series with Dr Kehinde Andrews, convener for Black Studies at Birmingham City University.
In his State of the Union speech, General Secretary Kwame Kwarteng spoke about how the Union supported students taking part in the John Owens occupation, saying: “We look forward to making sure the University adhere to the things that they agreed they would”.
Kwarteng also highlighted work the Union had done to ensure students weren’t unduly affected by strike action.