NUS National Conference 2013 – AGM motions (700)

Standard

These are the motions going to Conference under the ‘AGM Proposals section’. These motions deal with the more technical aspects of NUS/Conference process and structure and often entail changes to the NUS’ rules.
As such there are a number of motions that i’m currently undecided on (-) or at least open-minded to, and will need to hear the proposers arguments before making a decision.

For illustrative purposes, here’s a download link to the NUS Articles of Association and Rules 2012, with comments detailing what changes to what rules are being proposed by what motions.
Edit: Slightly updated the PDF in the link; the motion referred to as ’70E’ is now motion 713 in the Final Proposals list.

For any questions please comment below or email me at axs278@bham.ac.uk

For an intro/recap on Conference in general + all the motions click here.
For the Education Zone motions summary click here.
For the Society & Citizenship Zone motions summary click here.
For the Union Development Zone motions summary click here.
For the Welfare Zone motion summary click here

-Azfar

Motions #
(Final)
Motion title Summary of motion Intention
701 Gender Balancing Proposes a number of gender balancing measures to level out the composition of delegations and NUS structures – like the National Executive Council (NEC) and Zone committees. For
702 Zones The role/remit of Zone Conferences to be reviewed and expanded, including giving them the ability to elect more members to NEC;
VP Union Development’s remit expanded over the NUS Charity.
-/For

Sounds like a good idea off instinct, but will need to hear out the objections put forward in motion 702a first.

702a -/+ Amendment Abolish Zone conferences as they are often unrepresentative of NUS membership, and thus relieve of their ability to elect to NEC. -/Against
703 The size, structure of the National Executive Council and Trustee Board Expand role of the elected ‘Block of 15’ members of the NEC, as well as increase support for them within NUS structure. Review elections process for student trustees in NUS; establish group committees to coordinate on specific issues across NUS bodies. For
703a + Amendment Restore budgets for part time NEC members; expand Block of 15->20 by removing Zone-elected NEC members. -/For
703b + Amendment Unelected non-student members of the Trustee Board should not be allowed to vote at Trustee meetings, only give advice at most. For

National Union of Students, and all.

703c + Amendment Review fail-safe accountability mechanisms for NEC members, so that there would be consequences for actions/inactivity. For
704 The size, structure and roles governing of NUS Conference Change process for procedural motions during Conference to require more support from floor before they can be carried through.
Imposes limit on number of motions that can be proposed by Unions/committees, and the Democratic Procedures Committee (DPC) can decide to not publish motions that it doesn’t believe would get discussed due to time.
Against

The limit of motion submissions seems unfair to Unions/committees who are more active or involved, or want to submit motions to a variety of Zones. In this year’s proposals a number of SUs submitted a good number of relevant motions, doesn’t make sense to punish them.

Also the proposals give the DPC too much power over what motions get sent to Conference, which could be abused politically.

704a – Amendment Removes the limitations imposed on submissions and the powers given to DPC in the original motion.
Calls to set up working group for better Liberation member representation at Conference.
For
704b + Amendment Increase delegate entitlements of SUs to previous (2009) levels. For
704c + Amendment Look into extending Conference by a day to allow for more time to discuss NUS policy/motions + a second Conference in Winter, by looking for reasonable savings that NUS can make elsewhere. For

Accommodating delegates somewhere other than the Hilton might help.

704d

– Amendment Remove priority given to Zones on motion proposals; remove some of the limitations imposed by DPC from the original motion.
Will need to hear the arguments against Zones first.
704e – Amendment Lower proportion of support from the Floor needed to accept Procedural motions; make Chair of Conference an elected position rather than it being appointed by the President. For
704f + Amendment Look into introducing a one member-one vote system for Conference elections. -/For

Sounds good in principle.

705 The future of London Consult on creation of a structure based in London that engages and deals directly with Mayor of London/Greater London Authority affairs, as what goes on in London concerns the rest of NUS membership. For
705a + Amendment Defend University of London Union from cuts/funding that may be suggested following a review in May. For
706 Student Sections Re-structure Sections conferences (Sections for International, Postgraduate and Mature/Part Time students within membership) and increase their number of conferences to two a year, allowing their suggested proposals and issues to be brought forward in time for discussion at National Conference. For
706a -/+ Amendment Differentiate the International Students Campaign from other Sections and bring them more in line with the Zones (Education, Welfare etc) in terms of their place within NUS structure. Also give the ISC more autonomy, and implement gender balancing measures for their committee elections. For
706b + Amendment Get Part Time students better representation in NUS; have them weighted equally with Full Time students for SU delegation entitlements etc. For
706c + Amendment Better representation for student Carers in NUS positions/structures, including creating new positions.
Lobby Universities to ensure equality measures are enforced for student Carers.
For
707 NUS Group inter-relationships and ownership Fairer distribution of power over NUSSL (NUS Services Ltd; the NUS purchasing consortium that allows for the discounts offered by the NUS Extra card for e.g.) between member SUs, more stakeholder accountability/involvement in commercial activity of NUS. For
708 Motions and Legal Risk Extra scrutiny measures applied over proposed motions to ensure that they aren’t defamatory, includes giving the DPC and chosen bodies right to reject motion text that falls out of line with that if mutual agreement can’t be reached with proposer. Against

Using ‘defamation’ as a justification to suppress debate is often something open to interpretation and thus abuse.
Allowing DPC to unilaterally rule out parts of motions is also politically dangerous.

711 Affiliation fees Campaign for legally enforceable autonomy and adequate funding for SUs from their institutions; look into more progressive fee system for SUs affiliation fees to NUS. For
712 Using NUSSL muscle to benefit students Make better use of NUSSL/NUS Extra card to get student savings on important purchases/services (like for Hidden Course Costs) rather than just ‘luxury items’. For
713 Issue Led Campaigning NUS motions to do with specific campaigns (e.g. demonstrations) should concern only the issues to be addressed by the campaign, not specific tactics;
tactics to be decided by dedicated campaigns team and informed through consultation with member SUs.
-/Against

Will need to hear more about the rationale behind this, but don’t think a Campaigns team nor attempts at SU ‘consultation’ will be as representative as Conference is of the student movement.

And I don’t have faith in NUS coming up with strong campaigns on their own.

714 Represent Apprentices Creation of regionally-elected representatives for Apprentices, who often can’t be represented by NUS. For
715 Strengthening Delegate elections Improve/strengthen NUS delegate elections in SUs; crack down on those that don’t elect them properly. For
716 Black Quota as well as a Women’s quota Look into implementing quota for more proportionate ‘Black’ student (African/Asian/Arab/Caribbean) representation in NUS structures/delegations. For
717 NUS to recognise that 14-16 students are under represented in FE Lobby to change the law so that FE learners <16 years can be represented by NUS, which currently is not permitted. For

.

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  1. Pingback: NUS National Conference 2013 – Introduction | BEMA

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