Student Council Roundup

The second Student Council took place last Tuesday (19th November 2019) in the Blomeley Rooms within Queen Mary Students’ Union Hub. The following motions were discussed, debated and vote on during the meeting;

 

Should the Students’ Union support UCU during the Strikes?

  • Students' Union President (Talhah) presented on this and he has accepted all amendments which include informing Principal by email regarding the outcome, ensuring everyone who doesn’t cross picket line isn’t penalised as well as letting UCU send an email to all students from our channels.
  • Question was asked about student reps attending University meetings if the policy was to be passed.
  • Talhah clarified that it doesn’t mandate them not to attend meetings, but he would like them to boycott if possible.
  • Another question was asked about what constitutes a picket line – something that has been asked before, especially during the last strike.
  • Talhah stated that Students' Union buildings are not included in the picket, neither is Advice and Counselling, the full list can be found in our FAQs.  
  • Moved to vote. Motion passed.

 

 The Students' Union should lobby the university to provide subtitling on QReview videos

  • Question asked about lecturers walking around from microphone and how this would affect the capturing of the audio and the subtitling.
  • Annika stated that lecturers would be asked to be more considerate of walking around and how this can affect accessibility but if the audio cannot be heard, subtitling wouldn’t be possible.  
  • Motion moved to a vote, motion passes.

 

Technology of QReview requires updating

  • Motion regarding Q Review technology being updated, and tutorials being recorded.
  • Questions around regarding whether this would mandate all schools or if exceptions would be made for certain courses where confidential information is discussed. This is especially an issue for courses at Barts and The London.  
  • It was clarified that if confidential information is discussed, then this tutorial would need to be exempt from being recorded.
  • Moved to a vote, motion passed.

 

Should toilets have specialist/new bins?

  • Shamima proposed the motion as the original proposer was not present – involved changing bins within the toilets to ones with bigger and easier waste disposal opening tops.
  • There was one request to remove the words girls from the motion, in an effort to make it more inclusive, this amendment was accepted.
  • Moved to a vote, motion passes.

 

Should the Students’ Union lobby the University to implement a Housing Guarantor Scheme?

  • Motion about the Students' Union implementing a housing guarantor scheme – request to change the wording to lobby university to implement a housing guarantor scheme, which was accepted.
  • This motion moved straight to a vote, which passed.

 

Should the Students’ Union declare a Climate Emergency, and lobby the University to do the same?

  • This motion asks the Students' Union to declare a climate emergency, as well as lobbying the University to declare similar.
  • A question was asked on reasons for the University’s resistance to declare one.
  • Talhah stated that they have said they does not want to make empty promises to students, but he believes that it is imperative that this is done, and sooner rather than later.
  • Moved to a vote – motion passes.

 

Should the Students’ Union publicly acknowledge its own issues of institutional racism alongside lobbying for the University to do the same?

  • Shamima proposed this motion, which wants the Students' Union to acknowledge its problem with institutional racism, create a working plan of how they are going to tackle this, as well as encouraging the University to do the same.
  • Question was raised about how they plan on creating the plan to tackle this issue.
  • Shamima wants to contact past Executive Officers, investigate why its not as representative as it could be, as well as asking current staff members as well as a student consultation.
  • Question was asked on who would be looking at this investigation – Shamima responded that this would be tackled by her and a staff member.
  • Move to vote – motion Passes.

 

Should the Students' Union change references of BME to BAME?

  • Annika proposed this motion, which aimed to combat the discrepancies between the University and Students' Union around references to BAME, which can lead to issues of self-identification.
  • This motion moved straight to a vote and passed.

 

Should the Students’ Union lobby the University to mandate compulsory Consent and Bystander Intervention workshops for first years?

  • This motion detailed the Students' Union lobbying the University to facilitate mandatory Consent and Bystander Intervention workshops for all first years, which are led by students.
  • This would include the University providing space, allocated time on the timetable and covering the cost of the training.
  • Facilitators of this workshops will be trained by a specialist in the field, including many different aspects including knowledge about sexual assault and harassment, as well as knowledge of support services available.
  • Question on around lobbying the university for funding – which was clarified with they would be asked to fund this scheme, as well as providing space in everyone’s timetable and space for these sessions to occur.
  • Questions about opting out the training, especially if the topic is sensitive to individuals – there will be specific workshops that will be run by survivors of sexual assault specifically for other survivors. If anyone is triggered, there would be help directly after the workshop if needed. There will also be an opt-out process for those who feel uncomfortable with the sessions.
  • Motion moved to a vote – motion passes.

 

Bye-Law Change for Student Media Chair

  • This motion dealt with the idea that the Heads of Media feel like the Student Media Officer role should be abolished and they proposed for Student Media Chair (elected by them) to replace this role.
  • The motion passed, but this bye-law change is needed for it to take effect.
  • Questions asked how the current Officer feels about this motion – clarified that she agrees with this motion and the thought behind it and believes this will be a better way of representing Student Media.
  • Motion moved to a vote – motion passed.

 

Should the Students' Union change Bye-law 5: Executive Committee?

  • Two versions of this motion were presented for Council to vote on. The first version of this motion included the following Executive Officer Structure;
    • President
    • Vice President Barts and The London
    • Vice President Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Vice President Science and Engineering
    • Vice President Welfare
    • Vice President Education

 

  • The second version of the structures were as follows;
    • President
    • Vice President Barts and The London
    • Vice President Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Vice President Science and Engineering
    • Vice President Welfare
    • Vice President Communities

 

  • There were a few questions that dealt with what the difference between Vice President Education and Vice President Communities.
  • Talhah explained that the version with Vice President Education would enable the Vice President Education postholder to focus on more broad education issues, as well as the voice of those students who often encounter barriers to their education – including international, postgraduate and distance-learners.
  • Whilst the Vice President Communities was the voice for students regarding community, equal opportunity and liberation-related matters.
  • They would also be the voice of students who often encounter barriers to their education, including postgraduate and international students and distance-learners, but they would also liaise with marginalised students (including but not limited to BAME students, LGBT+ students, students with disabilities or specific learning disabilities and women students). They’d also be responsible for widening participation in Students' Union activities among marginalised and liberation communities.
  • The motions were taken to a vote and Version 2 was voted in favour of by an overwhelming majority.