The penultimate Council meeting was standing room only with almost 80 attendees. The pizza, just about lasting until the first strike of the gavel was only the start of the drama. With many NUSU election candidates in attendance (don’t forget to vote from Monday 18 March www.nusu.co.uk/vote), the meeting started with the Extraordinary General Meeting to ratify the tabled items from February’s AGM meeting meaning that the agreed motions from the NUSU AGM are now official.
Questions to the PTOs and Sabbatical Officers were, at times, direct and gave the Officers an opportunity to clarify recent events. Sophie McDermott gave an explanation on her decision to have Tom Caulker open the NU Festival of Arts after he was called out by the Disability Officer for using an ableist slur. Chris Wilkinson was asked to give feedback from a recent University event aiming to tackle the attainment gap and Grace Algar invited members to get involved with Islamic Awareness Week (18 – 22 March 2019).
Now on to the motions. They all passed. The end…..not really.
Constitutional motions require 2/3rd (67%) majority
Constitutional Motion on “OFFICER REPORTS”
This will give the elected officers additional opportunities to report on their work, creating greater transparency and increased engagement with the students who elected them.
Passed – 93%
Constitutional Motion on “PART TIME OFFICER (PTO) NAME CHANGE”
Part Time Officers will be known as Liberation Officers, Chair of Council and Scrutiny Officer from 2019-20. This motion passed with a nail biting 67% Yes. The debate highlighted and confirmed that using the name Liberation Officers is more progressive, easier to understand and will not create a barrier between NUSU and Newcastle University.
Passed - 67%
Constitutional Motion “Clarification on the submission of Repeat Motions”
Jonny Hall (proposer) argued that allowing failed motions to return one time only was the most effective way in reinforcing NUSU Council’s strength when tackling issues effecting students. The members agreed and passed this motion with an impressive 94%.
Passed - 94%
Constitutional Motion on “IMPLEMENTING A COMMUTING STUDENTS’ PART TIME OFFICER (PTO)”
An important development for students who can feel isolated and sometimes find it harder to integrate in the whole student experience. The Commuting Students’ Officer will represent and support students who live at home during their degree.
Passed – 85%
Ordinary motions require simple (51%) majority
Ordinary Motion “FOR NUSU to lobby the university to change the late submission policy” The Education Officer has been mandated to lobby the University to change the Policy on Assessment and Feedback to a sliding scale system whereby a student loses a % of their mark per working day that their submission is late for seven days. I’m sure we will read all about the progress of this mandate in (newly passed) Officer Reports.
Passed - 80%
You can watch the whole meeting here on NUTV’s livestream.
With the final Council meeting of the year happening on the 16th May you still have a chance to get involved. Register for a Casual Place here, submit a motion here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
You can follow the NUSU Elections here to stay up to date with who will be your incoming 2019/20 NUSU Officers.