A Zoom with our wonderful Council members was not the way we had planned to put Student Council to bed for another year but was no less dramatic as previous final Council meetings.
First, let us say a thank you to the Chair, Stephen Dawes, and Steering Committee for getting the behind the scenes work completed and delivering the virtual meeting. The final Council was a joint Council when the current and incoming NUSU Officers attended to discuss possible future campaigns, projects and policy changes for the upcoming academic year. It also gave outgoing NUSU Officers a chance to summarise their year in office and to give first words of advice and guidance to the incomers. However, it was not the fact that it was the joint Council that motivated Steering Committee to go-ahead with the meeting, it was the motions that students submitting before the end of the year that propelled the unusual way of delivering the meeting. Final council is really important to those final year students who want to leave a legacy or have a desire to improve the experience for others who will return next year.
Unfortunately, because of technology restrictions we weren’t able to offer invitations to non-voting members, but the meeting was recorded and also live streamed by NUTV – massive shout out to NUTV for their continued support!
Watch NUTV’s coverage here
Spoiler alert: all of the motions passed, some we a small margin and one with an amazing 100%. The drama heated up during the debate on the motion ‘Amendment of Tuition Fee in next academic year due to Covid-19’. The motion focussed on International students who do not receive a student loan. There was some debate on the plight of home students who have also been affected by the change in teaching however, the motion passed with the understanding that International students can be at the very sharp end of the current issues.
Here’s how it looked on the night.
- 101 - Name change within Housing Policy - Business Motion - automatically passed
- 301 - Changes to Ethics & Environment Representative Role - 83% yes/17% No (1 abstention)
- 302 - To clarify the role of Marginalised Gender Officer - 74% yes/26% No (4 abstentions)
- 303 - Introduction of Student Life Exec - 80% yes/20% No (1 abstention)
- 401 - Update to NUSU Inclusivity Policy - 78% yes/23% No (2abstentions)
- 402 - Adjustment of Tuition Fee in next academic year due to COVID-19 (included procedural motion)- 58% yes/43% No (2 abstentions)
- 403 - To Support Pledge to Support "End Rough Sleeping in Newcastle" - 95% yes/5% No (5 abstentions)
- 404 - Sexual Misconduct Policy - 100% passed (2 abstentions)
You can see the motions in full here.
Again a big thank you to all involved, good luck to final year students and (hopefully) see you next year at Student Council to those returning students.