All 4 entries tagged Democracy

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December 05, 2006

Whatever happened?

I’ve been away for a while and return to campus to find out that last week’s referenda were inquorate. Where was everyone? I was a little concerned that I could not find out the results of the referenda on the Union website yesterday but thought that it was because of my lack of computer literacy. I then looked through The Boar this morning and on page 5 saw the headline “No result in disappointing referenda turnout”. All 5 motions were inquorate and will now be debated by council.

I am a little disappointed that this has happened. I remember debating the importance (from my point of view) of Union democracy in a previous entry on this blog.

I know I don’t really have the right to rant as I have been away from my computer (though due to completely unavoidable circumatances) since the end of week 8 and therefore was unable to vote. I would, however, have made sure that I did vote had I not been ill. I gave my dad my login details and asked him to vote on my behalf when I realised I would not be back on time but that happened to be the night the site was down.

It is not my place to speculate on why so few people bothered to vote as I simply do not know. There could be lots of reasons. I can just imagine that it is very frustrating for those who did.


November 08, 2006

Still working for you

Follow-up to I work for you from Warwick life according to Kerri

Last night was the second council meeting of the year so here is my analysis of what happened, of course including how I voted. Just like last time, feel completely free to approach me about anything in this blog entry and I will be more than willing to take the time out to explain for example why I voted in that particular way.

Two policies were lapsed last night after having received no challenge. These were:
  • Policy 585, Warwick Sport
  • Policy 586, NUS extraordinary stitch-up

There was also a motion, “Stop the war”, that was withdrawn.

The policies up for lapse that we discussed were:
  • Policy 324, Adherence of Warwick NUS delegates to Warwick policy
  • Policy 384, GM food
  • Policy 519, Discrimination in the National Blood Service
  • Policy 572, Smoke and alcohol free space in the Union
The new motions that were discussed last night were:
  • Academics spying on Muslim students
  • Honorary membership for Dr Damian King
  • Amendment to appendix 2, Union meetings
  • Amendment to policy 640, Propaganda

Policy 324, Adherence of Warwick NUS delegates to Warwick policy
The renewal of this policy was approved. It was suggested that, as it is a very sensible policy to keep forever, this policy be included in an appendix though there was not an appropriate appendix in which to include the policy so the matter was taken no further and we will continue having to renew this policy every 2 years. I voted in favour of keeping this policy.

Policy 384, GM food
The renewal of this policy was approved. I voted in favour of keeping this policy.

Policy 519, Discrimination in the National Blood Service
The renewal of this policy was approved with a small amendment (replacing “LGBTU Campaigns Convenor” with “LGBTU Campaigns Officer”). I voted in favour of keeping this policy.

Policy 572, Smoke an alcohol free space in the Union
The renewal of this policy was approved with a small amendment (removing “This Union Notes 1 – Union policy 368, Smoking policy” as policy 368 no longer exists). I voted in favour of keeping this policy.

Academics spying on Muslim students
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of this motion, though not before I stumbled with my words whilst attempting to contribute to the debate when I said “The vast… the overwhelming majority of Muslims are perfectly rationable and law-abiding citizens” – I mean, what on earth does rationable mean?!?

Honorary life membership for Dr Damian King
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of this motion.

Amendment to appendix 2, Union meetings
This was actually the most controversial motion of the night. It was rejected. I voted against the amendment as I felt it was not necessary.

Amendment to policy 640, Propaganda
The amendment was approved so as of last night policy 640 will now be called “Inside scoop”. I voted for the amendment.

I hope that this is an improvement on what I said last time. I am, as before, completely open to any comments or suggestions and will always try my best to explain anything you wish to know more about.


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.


October 23, 2006

Democracy

I’m all ears. As both Union Councillor and SSLC Rep, I would like you all to feel that you can come to me with any issues that you feel I can represent you on.

I wrote in my profile the following:

I am also a Student Union Councillor and a maths/physics SSLC rep so if you have any issues whatsoever you want me to bring up in either meeting then I am all ears. Just email me or find me around campus. Representation may be a myth but I will do my best to best represent your views, wherever I am.

If you see me around campus or just want to send a quick email then you are free to do so. I will always look into any suggestions in whatever way is appropriate for that particular suggestion and act upon any findings I make.

Feel free to go mad at me for suggesting this but if there are lots of you who all think the same thing and want to get together and just send one email or tell me only once then let me know approximately how many of you are in favour of the suggestion. It would be really useful as many voices are better than one and if there is a situation where I can’t figure out which is the best way to vote in the best interests of all of you guys, I will consider all of the suggestions I have been given and it just helps to know how many people are on either side.


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