Voting intention for Guild Council 31/1/2013


Hey people,

here’s how I intend to vote at the official January Guild Council, as a representative of BEMA.

If you have any input or views on the motions i’d be happy to take them into consideration – also if you have views that you want shared at Council I can do that on your behalf if you wish.
Just contact me at

Elections will be held on the day for a new Chair of Guild Council.
The role of Chair means ensuring that Council is run fairly and smoothly whilst maintaining neutrality,
and also involves collaboration with the Guild’s Vice President of Democracy & Resources to work on democratic systems in the Guild.
Any member of the Guild can show up and run for election on the day, and will need to deliver a short speech selling themselves, and take questions afterwards.

Guild Council is open to all members of the Guild, and takes place from 6-10:45pm on Thursday the 31st of January in the Guild Council Chambers.
It will also be streamed live by GTV (Guild TV) and be tracked by Redbrick.

Also – make sure you come to BEMA’s Imperialism Awareness week of events – starting next Tuesday with a talk on the true nature of Imperialism, and a screening of The Battle of Algiers.


Motion title Summary of motion My voting intention
7a) University meetings
(Deferred from last Council)
For the Sabbatical Officer group to refuse co-operation with any University attempts at restricting officers/elected student representatives from engaging with the University. For
Allowing the University to exercise any such power over the Guild and our representatives undermines the credibility and effectiveness of the Guild in representing the interests of students.
This motion is in response to recent such actions by the University.
7b) RA Training
(Deferred from last Council)
Improve the quality of training of RAs (Resident Associations for Halls). For
7c) Action
(Deferred from last Council)
The Guild will encourage and support students’ actions in defence of education, including protest by walkout, occupation and actions that disrupt University’s events. For
Definitely; the current climate for Higher Education is very unsettling, and the University’s happy complicity with the government’s destructive policies is not something students should be accepting in apathy.
Action is thus justified, and the Guild has a duty to support students here.
7d) Student Housing
(Deferred from last Council)
Guild should actively support financially viable alternative solutions to improving the state of accommodation/rent in Selly Oak et al., including affirming support for housing co-operatives.
Also to produce a comprehensive report on issues students have had with housing (landlords issues etc.)
7e) Hunting with Dogs Make it official Guild stance to stand against hunting foxes with dogs. For
7f) Sports Representation Guild Councillor Positions Add Guild Councillor positions to represent UBSport groups – 6 from the Sports Club miniforum and 2 from the Intra Mural Sport League. For
Think it’s a good chance to engage a different demographic than we might be getting in Council at the moment.
7g) Censures and Reprimands Change procedure so that any call for the Censure/Reprimand of a Guild Officer be pre-submitted min. 7 days before a Guild Council, so that they have the chance to prepare a defence. Unsure
I do think that giving Officers time and notice to work on a defence of themselves is fair, given that Censures can present actual threats to their positions now.
But I think the 7 day limit is too rigid and extended.Also having the limit for Reprimands seems a bit much, when they’re less severe punishments.
7h) Accommodation Survey Survey to be conducted into the welfare of students in Halls by Vice Presidents of Welfare and Housing & Community. ForThis survey is intended to find out how the cost and allocation of Halls to students affects their enjoyment of and welfare at University, and will report back to the Guild and the University’s Accommodation management group.
Definitely a worthwhile endeavour for the sake of looking after students, and especially so if it can better inform policy on accommodation fees.
7i) Annual Winter Birmingham Food Drive Guild to organise and promote an annual food drive in aid of vulnerable local communities. For
7j) Set Black History Month grant Set an annual grant of £2000 for BEMA to organise BHM events ForNaturally.

Organising a strong and informative BHM that is beneficial both to BEMA members and the local community costs money, and Guild’s financial support would be needed for this every year. Useful to have that money set aside ahead of time rather than go through complex process.

I can see opposition to this motion arising from the figure of £2000, which admittedly is pretty steep.
Also a motion passed earlier this year mandated the ringfencing of part of the Guild’s budget for Liberation associations like BEMA, so maybe this motion is a little redundant.

7k) No-Entry Policy for Blackface Create a no-entry policy to all Guild events and club nights for students who black up their skin for fancy dress ForImportant to have this in place so as to make the Guild a more comfortable place for BME members.
No-entry would only be for that event and not a ban, so any member who is genuinely ignorant about the nature and history of blackface isn’t being unduly punished. Merely educated.
7l) Amendments Make it regular practice that amendments to motions being debated are now submitted min. 3 days before Council rather than during it.
Would give Councillors time to consider and consult upon these changes.
The debating and discussion of motions in Council can and should be a fluid process, and often amendments are made on the spot to account for new opinions and information coming to light as a result of debate. This would definitely impede that fluidity.
Under this motion, amendments can be made during Council but only if a ‘procedural motion’ requesting this passes in Council, which adds an extra cumbersome element to Council that it would do better without.
7m) Membership area is for Members Ban/stop local school children taking up space in the Guild (sofa area etc.) Against
Sounds a bit mean.
7n) Support for Syrian students Guild to commit to defending Syrian students’ ability to continue studies, if situation in Syria is affecting their financial/funding status here. For
While professing to know next to nothing about the crisis in Syria, I can support this as a humanitarian gesture.
7o) The Guild opposes Birmingham City Council cuts Raise awareness of, and prepare campaigns against, public expenditure cuts being made by the local council. For
Good Lord yes – if implemented these £600 million cuts to the government’s spending on public services will completely destroy welfare systems in place in Birmingham, and BME communities will always be disproportionately hit harder by them.
Healthcare, childrens’ services, crime prevention, cleaning services will all be left to ruin and in its place will only rise further intolerance and hardship.For more information check this analysis of the situation
also  if you want to get involved, join the first opposition action next Monday in the city centre.
7p) Sabb n Fresh Mandates entire Sabbatical Officer team to attend at least 4 Guild club nights per semester, unless they have religious/cultural/medical objections AgainstThis isn’t something I feel particularly strong about really.

But 4 times a semester, and forcing it upon Officers, seems unfair.

7q) Fabs for Non-Sabbs Allow free entrance to Guild club nights for non-Sabbatical officers (i.e.Ethnic Minorities Officer, International Students Officer etc.) on request For
Why not, as long as it isn’t forced upon them.
7r) Deferring to Liberation Associations Motions at Guild Council can be deferred to (relevant) Liberation associations to deal with upon vote at Council For
Got some slight concerns with the logistics of this, but regardless it’s a good motion that gives Liberation associations further autonomy.
7s) Putting the fun back in Volfunteering Mandates President + Vice Presidents of Welfare and Activities & Development to do some fundraising for charity For

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