The penultimate Student Council of the academic year met on Thursday 18th March. The first following NUSU Elections and it was great to see some newly elected officers in attendance.
Motions submitted were varied and with six to hear the meeting started promptly with the reports, questions and notices sections.
With no Business Motions submitted the first to be proposed was constitutional motion 301 “NUSU to support and recognise RON campaigns”. This motion, most probably inspired by the recent NUSU Student Elections, called for an official process to run a RON (Re-open Nominations) campaign, giving funding and support to match that of other candidates running. There was much debate on this matter and although proposer Haaris answered the many questions the motion failed to gain the 2/3rd majority needed for a constitutional motion to passed.
302 Motion Title “Updates to the Disciplinary Framework” proposed again by the Chair of Scrutiny to tidy up the constitutional guidance documents passed with two procedural motion debated and added.
Onto the Ordinary Motions (require simple majority vote) and 401 Motion to “Make student group constitutions accessible online”. The third of Haaris Qureshi’s motions resolving to ensure that any student groups with a constitution has that and any by-law documents available to them on the appropriate place on the NUSU website (e.g. the society page).
This motion passed and will give students improved viewing of constitutional documents.
402 Motion “NUSU Sabbatical and Liberation Officers to arrange smaller meeting groups with University senior leadership team for marginalised student groups” aimed to give a stronger voice and platform within the university structures for underrepresented groups. The motion passed with 82%.
403 Motion Title “Lobby the University to review its Student Financial Support Fund eligibility criteria and process to be fairer and more accessible to students” followed. This motion proposed to mandate NUSU Officers to lobby the University’s Student Discretionary Awards Forum to conduct a review of the eligibility criteria, process and policy document relating to the Student Financial Support Fund to assess areas for amendments, and for this review to be published and accessible for students to see the review and results. The motion passed with and so the lobbying will continue with a strong student voice behind it.
404 Motion on “NUSU to join the Lift the Ban Coalition to support the right to work for asylum seekers” called for NUSU to take a public stance on support for asylum seekers as well as lobbying the University on amending policy in line with Lift the Ban guidance. This motion passed and is a welcome progression in supporting those seeking asylum.
405 Motion on “Supporting Humane Refugee Relocation to the UK” again called for direct action in supporting others in need.
‘Newcastle Must Act’ is a ‘City Chapter’ of a larger, Europe-wide organisation ‘Europe Must Act’ and is an apolitical organisation with a goal to encourage local council and MPs to show their support for more humane reception and treatment of refugees, specifically for relocation of asylum seekers from the Aegean island hotspot camps. This motion proposed to sign the petition, raise awareness and to continue ongoing cooperation with Newcastle Must Act and Newcastle University in supporting asylum seekers and advocating for their safe and humane reception, collaborating with University of Sanctuary work. This motion passed, great news and a supportive step forward.
The motion section took up the allotted time of 120mins and the Chair ruled to extend the guillotine in order to allow for student notices. Notices ranged from awareness of the NUSU Celebrating Success Awards to promoting the forming of a Charles 1st Pipe Smoking society.
Catch up on all the action with NUTV's coverage here.
Join us for the final slice of NUSU Council for this academic year on May 13th. If you would like to submit a motion for this Council, the deadline is 10am on 30 April. The meeting on 13 May will also include NUSU's AGM and the elections for the Marginalised Genders Officer and the Ethics and Environment Rep. If you would like more information about putting yourself forward, please email.