Student Council passes motions

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Two Part-Time Officers (PTOs) of the Students’ Union have changed their job titles after submitting and successfully passing motions at last week’s student council.

Moving for an update in her job title and job description, Lucy Morgan is now the Marginalised Genders Officer of NUSU. In her motion, Lucy declares it is her purpose to assure there is representation across the board for all gender identities and to acknowledge the different levels marginalization that exist across gender relations.

Speaking to The Courier, Lucy said: I submitted the motion to change my job title because I felt that ‘Gender Equality Officer’ was too vague and dismissive of the implications that structural sexism have on women, non-binary people and other people whose genders are marginalised.

“It’s really important that Student Unions have liberation officers to represent the voices of specifically marginalised groups of people. Student council and Newcastle Students Union should be really proud of their decision to pass this motion – it shows we are becoming more progressive and inclusive of marginalised identities.”

Lucy’s motion passed with 69% of voting members in support and 23% against. As a constitutional motion, it required 2/3 of the majority vote to pass.

The other PTO, whose job title was changed with a constitutional motion, was Blessing Christian, who put forward a motion to rephrase ‘Students with Caring Responsibilities Officer’ to ‘Student Parents, Guardians and Carers Officer,’ with the reasoning that its more explicit description would help students understand it more easily. With a whooping support of 100% of attendees in favour, the motion passed.

The final constitutional motion passed for that evening was the mandatory Nightline training for the Welfare and Equality Officer before the start of their term in the Union. The motion passed with 98% support from attendees.

Another 100% motion that went through council was Regen-James Cregg’s motion of introducing electoral registration as part of registration for University.

Lucy Morgan’s second motion for the final council of the meeting term considered her ongoing campaign to support victims of sexual assault #StandByMe. Lucy’s motion called for increasing availability of support networks for survivors of sexual assault and mandated the Welfare and Equality Officer to “lobby the Vice-Chancellor to support the statement and call for change on our campus and at a national level.” This motion also received overwhelming support by council attendees and passed with 93% of the vote.

Finally, the council passed a motion to mandate the Activities Officer to organise more social events around the Students’ Union, including a summer festival. The motion was put forward by Robel Bayisa and passed with 74% of the vote.

This council meeting saw all proposed motions pass the vote, an unprecedented event in any meeting before it. The evening concluded with an open debate on the meaning of abstention votes in council and the traditional raffle.

Last modified: 7th March 2016

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