All entries for Sunday 10 October 2004

October 10, 2004

The joys of Union democracy

Today I and over fifty others of your elected representatives on Union Council underwent a gruelling day of training for our new exalted positions. They made sure we were all going to be respectful towards each other and the Constitution and Equal Opps regulations, then that we knew how Union democracy works (infrequently, the cynics say), then that we know how to write a policy, and finally we had a mock meeting followed by a feedback session. The day did give us all an opportunity to meet our fellow councillors and to hatch dastardly plots to take over campus and populate it entirely with a cross between mutant freshers and whoever it is on the Boar who writes Mysterons (and to charge for Top Banana).

In a nutshell, we on Council make most Union policy (basically telling the powers that be what to do) and hold those powers that be to account. Anyone can come to Council (the next meeting is on Thursday at 7pm in S0.21 (social studies)) but only members of Council can vote. If you want to get involved, the following positions (according to the agenda) will be filled at the next Council meeting (the ones marked with a * come with a seat on Council):

•Medical Faculty Representative x 1 *
•Institute of Education Faculty Representative *
•Medical Faculty Councillors x 8 *
•Institute of Education Councillors x 2 *
•Arts Faculty Councillors x 3 *
•Social Studies Faculty Councillors x 4 *
•Postgraduate First Year Councillor x 1 *
•Academic Representation Committee Members x 1
•Societies Federation Committee Members x 4
•Campaigns Committee Member x 1
•Postgraduate Committee Member x 2
•Delegates to NUS West Midlands Regional Conference x 10
(Wednesday 3rd November 2004)
•Delegates to West Midlands Area NUS Conference x 2
(Wednesday 10th November 2004)
•Membership to the following Working Groups:
-Welfare and Equal Opportunities
-Student Development

Further to this, there will be a General Meeting on Tuesday, week 4, starting at around 7–7:30pm in the Ramphal Lecture Theatre where anyone can come, make speeches, ask questions, and vote. We need 300 members to make any decisions on policy binding so please come along. Also, if you want to introduce a policy, you need to submit it according to the instructions on the Union website under the 'Democracy' tab with your name and university number and thse of another Union member by 5pm this Tuesday.

Anyway, that's my bit done for Union Democracy for now. Please remember to come along, the more people turn up to a meeting, the more power it has and, correspondingly, the less resides with Council, the Executive, and the Sabbatical Officers.

October 2004

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