How I voted as the Campaigning and Political mini-forum representative on the Guild Council on the 18/11/2010
In the interest of transparency I have decided to publish how I voted in the motions at Guild Council on Thursday. All items listed below were the only ones which were starred, which means they got debated in council, the un- starred ones got passed automatically.
Motion: Cuts and Fees vs. Motion: Birmingham Students say NO to cuts and fees (later carried)
I voted for the 2nd motion, (Birmingham Students say NO to cuts and fees)
These two items were taken together, in the interest of sparking debate within Guild Council. This is the NUS line and keeps representatives of the Guild in University meetings and committees, which if we directly challenged the university on things like the Brown review, we would not have a voice in. Better to be inside the meeting arguing students case than being a fringe party on the other side of the door; shouting not being heard.
Motion: Changing the name of the HSBC room to the Harvey Milk room (carried)
I voted in favour
This motion got amended slightly to include the room being used for student purposes in the future and to withdraw the clause to denoting some kind of capitalist agenda with calling it the HSBC room in the first place. It was called the HSBC room because no one had put forward an alternative name. It seemed sensible and it allows a great man to be honoured in our Guild.
Motion: Ethical Investment (not carried)
I voted against this motion
This motion proposed to include tobacco, alcohol, gambling, arms manufactures, and pornography into the guilds ethical investment policy, excluding the Guild investing its surplus in these industries. I thought students would find it hypocritical of the Guild to sell a lot of these items within the union and then have an investment policy against that. With arms manufactures as well, some students with engineering degrees etc will be looking to work in these sorts of legitimate industries and the guild would then be hypocritical to let them on campus in the jobs fair for example.
Motion: Guild Council frequency
I voted against this motion.
This motion called for more Guild Council meetings in the term similar to what the Guild Council did before the referendum. I voted against this motion because it would be contradicting the referendum where nearly 2000 students voted in favour of changing the structure of Guild Council to have less formal meetings replaced by open forums where any student can come along and express their issues and concerns. This is to give the average student more of a voice in the Guild, in theory. I think students would like to let this policy bed in, no matter what there view on the referendum; seeing as there have only been one round of open forums as of yet, it would be premature in before changing anything.
Motion: Amendments to the suppliers list (carried)
I voted against this motion.
This motion called for the RA’s suppliers list to become a recommended list rather than a mandatory list of companies that they can work with. This is to drive down costs and make sure RA’s are not being manipulated by companies. I voted against this motion although it went through because it was evident there had been problems with the suppliers list previously but the officer team seemed to have reformed the list prior to the motion going to Guild Council. Reforms such as if a company can give a cheaper cost; they can be placed on the list instead of another etc. This motion might be subject to legal issues in the future due to the University demanding things like a mandatory suppliers list in financial audits.
Motion: Disability policy (carried)
I voted in favour.
This bill was amended and re-named the mobility and access policy. The motion calls for the Guild to establish a mobility and access policy working group, to monitor access to the Guild and its events and to ensure all disabled facilities are working.
If anyone has any issues with the way that I voted please get in touch at the committee e-mail address or my number 0752513519.
Full detailed minutes of the meeting will be published on the guild website soon.
Remember that know your world is next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.