Monthly Archives: December 2012

Review of Autumn Semester 2012/13


New logo

The beginning of term saw a change in branding for the Association with a new logo!

New Logo

Increased online presence

Along with this website being created, we also added to our social media presence with a new Twitter account, Facebook page, and Freshers’ Profile.

bema social media

Alternative Freshers Week 2012

The 17th to the 22nd of September saw the launch of our Alternative Freshers Week which included Games Night, Bowling, Shisha, and a dinner.  Photos can be seen here.

bema shisha

Black History Month 2012

During October, BEMA hosted seven events for Black History Month:

  • Grand Opening Event – included a film screening of ‘Injustice’ and talks by guest speakers such as Vanley Burke.
  • Chanting Down Babylon: Black Radicalism in Britain – talk by Dr. Kehinde Andrews.
  • Focus on Jamaica – included a talk by Dr. Cecil Gutzmore and a film screening of ‘Life and Debt’.
  • Introduction to Black Feminism – talks presented by UoB Women’s Association.
  • Back to Africa: Is Marcus Garvey’s ideology still relevant today? – panel debate.
  • Racism is a Queer Issue – talks presented by UoB LGBTQ Association.
  • Immortal Technique – BEMA & HipHop Soc go to Immortal Technique gig at The Drum.

Photos can be seen here.

Campaigning against racism on Campus

BEMA has been playing an active role in promoting zero-tolerance to all forms of racism this year, and will continue to do so next term.

anti racism bema

The Great Debate @ University of Birmingham

On November 15th, we hosted the Great Debate at the University of Birmingham which included a panel discussion looking at issues surrounding employment, discrimination, crime, education and much more!

Photos can be seen here.

Bollywood Film Nights

At the end of the term, we launched our monthly Bollywood Film Nights with a screening of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.  The next film screening, decided by popular vote, will be Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

Bollywood Film Nights


This year also saw the launch of our new BEMA Rep scheme in which we have recruited 9 wonderful BEMA Reps!

BEMA Reps 2012/13 are: Ni’Mat Raheem-Parry, Raymond Simmonds, Sahar Abdulrahman, Samira Musa, Najmin Begum, Nerisa Anwar, Ranjana Rani Chanda, Fahmida Rahman, and Malia Bouattia!

See our BEMA Reps here.

Guild Council

Our Guild Councillor, Azfar Shafi, has been attending Guild Council on behalf of BEMA this year which has so far seen three key changes to Liberation Associations:

  • Liberation Autonomy – Associations can now hold by-elections for vacant liberation officer positions, and these officers are made accountable to the Association instead of Guild Council.
  • Distinction – Liberation Associations have been given a clear distinction from other student groups.
  • Freshers Fest – Associations are to work with the Sabbatical Officer Group to ensure that next year’s Freshers Fest is more inclusive of the student population.

Azfar’s Guild Council record can be found here.

What to expect next term?

  • Alternative Refreshers Week.
  • Cultural Exchange Councils.
  • Imperialism Awareness Week.
  • Bollywood Film Nights.
  • Arab, Asian, African, Caribbean students talent showcase.
  • Alternative Careers Event.
  • Bake sale.
  • Open Meetings.
  • AGM (electing a new committee + ratifying constitutional changes).
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Voting record Guild Council 6/12/2012


Here’s how I voted on behalf of BEMA at the Guild Council held on 6th December.

As you can see, many motions were starred (*) by attendees at Council to open them up for discussion, but after all other procedure was conducted very little time was left for motions, and very little were voted upon.

So, all the starred motions left undebated here will be deferred to an ‘Emergency Guild Council’ (EGC) to be held early next term, before the regular January Guild Council.

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BEMA condemns Guild of Students’ de-recognition of UoB Students for Justice in Palestine Society


On Tuesday 4th of December, the University of Birmingham Students for Justice in Palestine society (SJP) was de-recognised by the Guild of Students.

The reasons given by the Guild of Students for de-recognition were the following:sjp
– Student Development were not formally informed by the society of their EGM (electing a new committee) that took place last week.
– Certain forms were not completed on time by the society.
– The society was on probation due to circumstances occurring two committees ago.

As representatives of the ethnic minority student population, BEMA feels the de-recognition of a society that campaigns for justice for the oppressed population in Palestine (a cause which resonates with many ethnic minority students on campus) is wrong for the following reasons:

  • The decision shows disregard for the efforts of the volunteers that were on the most recent committee which organised events such as a talk by the political journalist Ben White, a performance by Raast (Palestinian-music group), a fundraiser for the  Women in Hebron cooperative, as well as hosting weekly talks prepared by students.
  • The decision ignores the ambitions and enthusiasm of the newly elected committee consisting of 13 ethnic minority Muslims (11 of which are Muslim women), an underrepresented demographic often disengaged from Guild activity.
  • The society had just regained it’s momentum after having been crippled by a Student Groups Committee decision the previous academic year to ban committee members from standing again.
  • We believe that due to the recent increase in tensions in the Gaza strip, taking away support for the only society on campus that solely focuses on aiding the Palestinian cause is untimely and lacks empathy.
  • We do not believe that a student group should be held responsible for actions that happened in previous years and that are beyond their control.
  • There are discrepancies in what the society was told was necessary to organise an EGM.

As a result, we believe that de-recognition of the society is a disproportionate and unnecessary punishment for the reasons given by the Guild of Students.

BEMA continues to support student volunteers that wish to aid the oppressed people of Palestine and urge the Guild to overturn the decision as soon as possible, or (failing that)  in the first Guild Council meeting of next year.

Voting intention for Guild Council (6/12/2012)

Voting intention for Guild Council (6/12/2012)

Hey, below is a summary of the motions up for discussion at Guild Council, and how I intend to vote on them as BEMA’s representative.

Let me know if you have any input or objections to either motions or intention.

Guild Council starts at 6pm and is open to any student

it will also be streamed live (a link should be available from

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