Voting intentions for Guild Council 30/1/2014


Here’s how I intend to vote as BEMA representative at Thursday’s Guild Council (6pm, Guild Council Chambers, open to all. Also streamed by Redbrick.)

Other stuff this week:
National Demonstration, Wednesday 11am. BEMA will be there, hope we see you – but stay wise; BME people always first to get tooken by the police.
-BEMA lunch, Wednesday 1-2pm Harvey Milk room
-Societies Fair II, Thursday 11-4pm Great Hall Aston Webb

Let me know of any issues/questions with my voting
(axs278 [at]

Motion title Motion summary My voting intention
11a) Removal of Senior Management Team
Deferred from December Guild Council
Guild officers to remove Senior Management Team of the Guild (who are non-students, non-elected, and sit above the officers in running the Guild) and replace them with a team that works under the Officers and Guild Council, so that the Guild can become truly student-led. For 

Guild management have too much say over the Guild’s direction as it is.

11b) Supporting Student Campaigns
Deferred from December Guild Council
Guild should facilitate and support external/national campaigns (namely the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts) by offering the Guild’s services for internal (student-rate) fees. For 

Would be good to have other national student groups supported by the Guild where their aims align too.

11c) Supporting a National Movement
Deferred from December Guild Council
Guild will provide reduced-price spaces and support national campaigns that campaigns that align with Guild’s policies and priorities. For
11d) Guild TV Guild Council
Deferred from December Guild Council
For Council to be streamed and recordings stored, with no ‘dead zones’ in the recording – because these dead zones break up the flow of the recording. Against 

Guild Councils were streamed online for the first times over the course of last year, to open up the process to those who couldn’t/didn’t want to come to Council physically.

This was voted on at Council with the assurance that there would be a dead zone area where people would not be filmed if they didn’t feel comfortable expressing themselves for a recording.

This motion looks to take that away and that’s a bit crap.

11e) Beliefs and Commitments
Deferred from December Guild Council
Guild’s Beliefs and Commitments document (which are updated throughout the year via Council motions) to be ratified at the first Council of each year (by a supermajority vote of 2/3rds). Against 

Each Belief and Commitment has already been reviewed, debated and passed by Guild Council with all the democratic legitimacy it has.

Introducing this is unnecessary and allows a minority of Council to overturn earlier Council because the supermajority ratification.

11f) Swearing
Deferred from December Guild Council
Ban swearing from speeches n Guild Council (because some groups find this particularly offensive) and have those swearing subject to Council disciplinary. AgainstRationale is decent enough but too hardline, maybe just that unnecessary swearing should (continue to be) discouraged.


11g) Guild Development Forum
Deferred from December Guild Council
To abandon the Guild Development Forum Facebook group because people keep fighting there. AgainstThey tried this two years ago; the product was the GDF.

Students can’t have nice things; makes more sense to moderate the page than give up.

11h) Communal Councillor Webpage Set up a page on the Guild website where Guild Councillors can collectively submit Guild Council-related literature (voting intentions, etc.). For
11i) Freshers’ Fest Guild to look into ways of making Freshers Fest (the alcoholic side of Welcome Week) more inclusive to members of marginalised groups, including working towards breaking down the distinction between [alcoholic] Freshers week and other Freshers events. For
11j) Demands Guild believes that the following nine demands* be implemented by the University. For 

No doubt.
Ratings to Defend Education Birmingham.

11k) Appointments Panel make-up Proposed removal of University representatives from the Guild Appointments Panel, which influences who is proposed to join the Guild’s Trustee Board. For 

Having University representatives here is a threat to the guild’s political autonomy and they should have no place in high-level Guild political affairs, especially given that the Trustee Board can override the decisions made by any other body in the Guild.

11l) University Disciplinary Action Sabbatical Officers of the Guild to call for the University to cease disciplinaries against students involved in protest action, and Guild to support students going through the proceedings. For
11m) NUS motions For the Guild to submit a motion to NUS National Conference advocating a one-member one-vote system for electing NUS Officers and National Executive Council Block of 15 members. For 

Would hopefully ensure that those elected are more representative of the national student population than the small Labour party-affiliated subsection that they’re voted in by currently.

More information on NUS Conference can be found in this post (series) from last year.


* Demands:
1 That [Vice Chancellor] David Eastwood and the University of Birmingham should take back their position that fees should be increased.
Instead, they should lobby the government for fees to be reduced, and bursaries to be increased.

2 That the University of Birmingham make a public statement against the privatisation of student loans and in defence of the public university. The Vice Chancellor should sign up to the Council in Defence of British Universities or the Campaign for the Public University.


3 That the University’s total income per student place from halls should be frozen next year, and that the cheapest fifth of halls should have their prices decreased.

4 That all staff working for the University of Birmingham – including those employed in house, by external contractors, and the Guild of Students- should be paid a living wage.

5 That the pay ratio between the lowest paid and the highest paid staff in the university should be reduced to 10:1.

6 That a body should be set up made up of elected students, academic staff, and support staff. This should have ultimate oversight over the restructuring of departments, the University’s investment decisions, and its lobbying positions.

7 That the University produces a publicly available Ethical Investment and Procurement Policy which is reported on annually with plenty of opportunity of engagement with staff, students and other key stakeholders.

8 That financial statements of the University’s academic departments, and non-academic services should be published so that they can be scrutinised and the University’s decisions be properly held to account by the community.

9 That the Nursing course faces no loss of investment and no redundancies.

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