October 25, 2006

I work for you

Throughout the year, I will be using this blog as a bit of a democracy tool. I will be informing all of you guys about the goings on in council – the policies we discuss, whether they were approved (as I am sure that going and looking up the policy file is more than the average student would be willing to do in their free time), and how I voted.

Feel completely free to hold me to account on anything. I will always be willing to explain why I voted in that particular way or why I decided to take any other action I have taken. Just ask me through the comments, through email, or by talking to me around campus. As long as I do not have a lecture to go to really urgently, I will answer any questions.

Last night we discussed the following:
  • Policy 579, Officer support for candidates.
  • Policy 512, Sabbatical officers holding positions of responsibility within the Union.
  • Policy 580, Civil same-sex marriages and equal rights.
  • Policy 583, Union independence.
  • Policy 582, Cannabis in university halls of residence.
  • Amendments to policy 584, Promoting Union democracy.
  • Amendments to appendix 8, Sports clubs.
  • Multi faith working group.
  • Affiliating to “Abortion Rights”.
  • Themed weeks.

Policy 579, Officer support for candidates
This was added into appendix 4, elections. I voted in favour of this change.

Policy 512, Sabbatical officers holding positions of responsibility within the Union
The renewal of this policy was approved. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Policy 580, Civil same-sex marriages and equal rights
The renewal of this policy was approved. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Policy 583, Union independence
The renewal of this policy was approved, with a few amendments to bring it up to date. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Policy 582, Cannabis in university halls of residence
The renewal of this policy was approved, with a few amendments to bring it up to date. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Amendments to policy 584, Promoting Union democracy
The amendments were approved. I voted in favour of making the amendments.

Amendments to appendix 8, Sports clubs
The amendments were approved. I voted in favour of making the amendments.

Multi faith working group
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of the motion.

Affiliating to “Abortion Rights”
This motion was rejected. I voted against the motion.

Themed weeks
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of the motion.

Next meeting of council is in week 6 so I shall add a similar entry to my blog shortly after that meeting. The aim of these entries is to make myself more accountable to all you guys so please let me know if you feel I am not achieving that aim and I will think of something else to increase accountability.


- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Lee Davis

    Whilst it is good that you are prepared to state how you vote, I along with most other people have no ide waht the content of those motions were so can’t decide if we agree with your stance or not.
    The fact that you also appear to have voted with the majority on every single motion could lead people to be a little sceptical.
    Feel free to ignore me as I am an old, cynical, ex-hack ( I was a sabbatical officer in Bangor after my first degree and non-sab at Brunel during my MSc) however there is a fundamenal problem with su democracy as the majority of students aren’t engaged s o it actually ends up being down to a small number of students, the majority of whom are more intersted in getting something on thier CV than a genuine concern for the intersts and wellbeing of the student body as a whole.

    26 Oct 2006, 00:55

  2. Lee, you have made some very good points. I do have a copy of the original council agenda for Tuesday’s meeting but did not think about taking notes of all the amendments that were made to the motions on the night – I did not think about blogging about council until the following day (yesterday) and if I did actually write the entire contents of each motion then the blog entry would be very long. I normally disagree with writing blog entries that appear to take forever to read. This particular entry is, in my opinion, very long but I felt it was really important. If anyone wants to know more about the motions debated, then I will be more than happy to explain them in an email (though this will have to start after week 6’s meeting as I do not have the amendments written in my agenda for week 4. I hope this is helpful.

    As for voting with the majority on all of Tuesday’s motions, I do agree that it does not look good but I just happened to be of the same opinion as most of council and was not in any way letting anyone else at council influence my votes (although I did change my mind with regards to the abortion motion during the debate – this was because I felt that it was unnecessary to affiliate to Abortion Rights as the information would be available from Advice and Welfare, even though I think that pro-choice is the best stance to take on abortion). By the way, sorry if I have just said something really controversial. Feel free to disagree with me.

    In response to your last sentence, I agree that there are many who only stand because it looks good on their CV. I think that this is a stance that should not be encouraged, though I am biased here as I did not even think about my CV when I stood (but do now see that it would look good). I believe that participation in SU democracy (at any level) should be encouraged for the right reasons, and if your genuine motives are to improve the well being of the rest of the students then it can be very rewarding.

    Sorry about my really long rant.

    26 Oct 2006, 11:38

  3. Lee Davis

    That’s ok, I wouldn’t expect you to have to post up the full details, The policies and minutes etc should all be on the union website, though they are ‘temporarily’ unavailable.
    I wasn’t meaning to imply anything untoward in your voting ( I would be more concerned if you had voted the complete opposite in every motion) but as I said I’m old and cynical, and have also come across too many meetings that really only rubber stamp decisions alraedy made.
    I hope you do find your time rewarding, Just be careful you don’t get too involved in too many things that your degree suffers asthere is also a lot of work involved in getting a physics degree.

    26 Oct 2006, 16:21


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