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5th October 2022

Union Assembly votes to keep police off campus

A motion severely limiting police presence on campus was passed by a large majority at the first Union Assembly
Union Assembly votes to keep police off campus
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tonight (October 5) the SU’s Union Assembly voted for a motion limiting police presence on campus.

35 votes were in favour of the motion out of a total of 51 votes cast. 12 students in attendance voted against the motion whilst 4 abstained, with the 2/3 majority being calculated after abstentions were removed.

In total, 68.63% of student representatives voted “For” police being kept off campus whilst the “Against” votes represented 23.53% of those present.  Thus, 7.84% of the Union Assembly chose to abstain.

The motion, proposed by Disabled Students’ Part-Time Officer (PTO) Syd King, argued that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) “have a history of racism, sexism, transphobia and ableist behaviour” so it was inappropriate for them to have a presence on all SU property.

They argued that allowing the police onto SU property contradicted other motions passed by the Assembly such as, promising “more support for Black students affected by racism” and labelling misogyny as “a hate crime”.

Following the announcement King said they were “obviously very happy” and “relieved” about the result because it would “protect a lot of students” from police brutality.

The motion severely limits police presence on campus as it stipulates police officers should only be granted access to SU property on an invite-only basis when their attendance is deemed necessary to protect students. However, how this motion will be enforced is unclear at the time of writing.

Alongside limiting police presence, the motion also includes the Armed Forces as well. They will not be able to go on Student Union property without invitation and will not be able to recruit at events like the Fresher’s Fair.

Jess, a second year Psychology student involved in student activism, commented “the motion is a step in the right direction” (regrading the relationship between students and police) but “more needs to be done to make the University of Manchester truly safe for those who feel threatened by the police force”.

In order to pass a motion through the Union Assembly, previously known as Senate, it must gain a 2/3 majority from all students attendance. A minimum requirement of 40 students is required for a motion to be proposed and voted on.

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