On the 9th of February, the Students’ Union held its monthly Council meeting in the Senate Chamber, Trent Building. The meeting had some significant outcomes, many of which apply to the SU Election Campaigns.
The most significant motion was the proposal that no current or former Executive Officer, Faculty Co-ordinator or Representative Officer would be able to propose, second or act in support of a candidate for election. Its aim would be to make the whole system fairer by stopping anybody who may have an influence in elections from publicly supporting a candidate. However, it was felt that it was unfair to prevent former Faculty Co-ordinators and Representative Officers from supporting candidates.
As the main motivation of the motion was to prevent current officers grooming their successors, this amendment was applied and – despite momentary confusion as to what was being voted for – the motion was passed. Current Faculty Co-ordinators and Representative Officers are now unable to publically back candidates in the SU Elections.
Similarly controversial was the proposal to replace hustings at the QMC and Jubilee campuses with compulsory campaigning time in certain areas. The intention of this proposal was to create better opportunities for candidates to engage with students and prospective voters. However, after considerable opposition – particularly from representatives of other campuses – the motion fell and was subsequently withdrawn for review.
The Council meeting was also notable for the effort made to improve publicity by conducting a live broadcast of the meeting online. The attempt ended in failure however, as the technology malfunctioned during the meeting itself and could not be resurrected.