What an interesting Council that was. A number of very controversial motions discussed and a lot of new faces joining the debate. The glassware motion presented by VP Finance Rory Mitchell, the offensive clothing motion and sports tours motion signal a shift away from dry constitutional matters filling Council to more that directly affect students, a shift welcomed by many.
Logistical issues were considered with both the Offensive Clothing Motion (how would you police it?) and the Sports Tours Motions (Lewis Timms felt that students might take their newly granted autonomy to go on tour in war zones or have a social in the Vice Chancellor’s Office) though most councillors agreed with the principal and spirit behind the motions, so both have been deferred for later meetings.
VP Welfare and Diversity Georgie Court and VP Finance and Commercial Services Rory Mitchell will consider the best approach to offensive clothing which may not be a ban but an awareness campaign, whilst I will rework the wording of my proposed Sports Tour Motion so as to avoid any confusion that may lead students to conducting their warm weather training in the middle of Helmand Province.
The Glassware motion was one that roused quite a number of opinions, some were vehemently opposed to the current cups on welfare and practicality fronts (particularly Councillors who were also bar staff).
There remained a few options, go back to the old style, keep the new style or trial some larger (half pint) soft style cups. A demonstration by the Executive was enough to convince Councillors that the larger cups are enough to “have a solid drink out of” and so they will be trialled until the Christmas Break.
The recommendations of Procedures Committee were considered but it seemed Councillors only wished to discuss the last part, the Ratification of the Global Development Officer Elections 2012. Following a spirited presentation by the Executive in support of ratification, there were a number of questions which at times seemed a little like attacks on the Procedures Committee members, but despite the strength of feeling involved the debate remained civil.
A vote was then conducted on only one part of the recommendations (the rest will be considered at a later Council) and the Global Development Officer Elections were ratified by a vote of 17-10 leaving just a four vote margin – hardly the landslide the Executive will have hoped for.
This was a very brief look at what was a lengthy Council and it will end with a final plea to the Chair of Council, David Haines. Next time can we have less motions on the agenda so we can discuss them more thoroughly and not stay in the Union until 10.15?
Catch up with Union Council as it happened last night here.