Propose a Motion
Motions are what you want to have discussed at Student Council and the changes you are trying to make. Whether it is something you would like NUSU to focus on, such as a Campaign, or a change to NUSU’s constitution. On this page you can submit your motions to be discussed and voted on at Student Council.
You can check out details of motions discussed at previous meetings here.
How to write a motion
Council motions are set out in a particular format so it is easy for those voting to understand what the motion is attempting to change and why.
There are 3 parts to a council motion:
- Council Notes - where you state the facts relating to your motion, including references where possible.
- Council Believes – where you state your opinions about the issue you are trying to change. This can be as emotive and contentious as you like, however Steering Committee will remove any comments which are offensive, personal or defamatory in nature.
- Council Resolves – where you state what you want to change and how. This is the part that will become NUSU policy if the motion passes.
You can include any references you have when submitting your motion. Please link them with a footnote to the appropriate point in the motion.
You can also add the name(s) of students/student group(s) who support your motion in the ‘seconded by’ section of the form. This may add weight to your motion as it highlights to Council that it is not just yourself who supports this motion. However, it is completely optional to add.
Motion title: ‘Christmas’
Students’ Union Council Notes:
- It’s Christmas in less than 3 weeks’ time.
Students’ Union Council Believes:
- In Father Christmas.
Students’ Union Council Resolves:
- To mandate the President to ensure a mince pie, carrot and glass of sherry are left outside the Union Building for Father Christmas and Rudolph.
Submit your motion
Once you submit your motion
Once you have submitted your motion it will automatically be put forward for the next meeting of Student Council for which the deadline for submitting motions has not passed. Click here to see the dates for Student Council this academic year and do make sure that you are able to attend to present your motion. If you are unable to attend to present your motion, please let us know. We may be able to defer your motion to an alternative Student Council meeting that you can attend or find someone to present your motion on your behalf.
Before the meeting of Student Council that it will be presented at, it will be checked over by Steering Committee to make sure that what is being proposed is factually accurate, not inappropriate and that the motion is grammatically correct. Plus they will confirm what type of motion* it is. If what is being proposed is not factually accurate or is deemed to be inappropriate, Steering Committee will get in touch with you to discuss your options. Where a motion is not grammatically accurate, Steering Committee may re-order or re-word the motion. However, these changes will not change the meaning of your motion.
Once it has been approved by Steering, it will be included in the Motions Document section of the Council Documents for that meeting. This document will be available to access before the meeting on the Council Documents section of the website.
At the meeting you will then present the motion. Usually you will have two minutes to propose your motion. There will then be an opportunity for those present to ask you any questions about your motion, before people are invited to speak for or against your motion. Following all the speeches for and against the motion, it will go to a vote. Depending on what type of motion it is* this will determine what percentage ‘for’ the motion is needed for it to pass:
- If your motion is deemed to be an ‘Ordinary Motion’ (a motion that would create a standard policy for NUSU) then it requires a simple majority of at least 51% for it to pass.
- If your motion is deemed to be a ‘Constitutional Motion’ (a motion that changes the constitution of NUSU) then it requires a 2/3rds majority of at least 67% for it to pass.
*The vast majority of motions you submit will be classed as Ordinary or Constitutional Motions. For a full list of the motions that can be submitted, check out the standing orders.
The outcome of the vote will be announced at the meeting and if your motion passes it will become Policy of the Students’ Union and the relevant Officer will work to take forward the actions listed in the Resolves section of the motion.