Voting intentions for Guild Council 27/3/2014

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Sorry for the lateness on this – here are my voting intentions on Guild Council motions/Democratic Structures Review amendments being discussed in Guild Council tonight at 6pm.

Also our last event of Imperialism Awareness week is at 6pm today – Far from Post-Colonial: The continued struggles of Indigenous peoples.

For more information of the Democratic Structures and Officer Reviews being proposed, see the write-up here.

Any questions/issues email me at axs278 [at] bham.ac.uk

Peace,

Azfar

 Amendments to Democratic Structures/Officer review
5a) Guild Affairs name change
I intend to vote For this amendment
Change proposed name of ‘Guild Affairs Officer’ (taking place of Vice President Democracy, Resources & Sustainability) to ‘Democracy and Sustainability Officer’
5b) Officer Open Forum
I’m unsure how i’m voting on this amendment
Proposes the establishment on Officer accountability/scrutiny sessions to be held at least twice a term, separate to Guild open meetings.
Would like it f these could be integrated into the main meetings ideally, but otherwise think the issue of Censures being able to be proposed on the spot at these Forums without Officers having time to prepare a defence needs to be addressed.

5c) Home students
I’m unsure how i’m voting on this amendment
Dissolve the position of Home Students Officer and the Home Students’ Association and instead having Home Students representative speakers at the envisaged Open meetings to ensure Home students’ representation. Not sure, want to hear from the current Home students Guild Councillor at least.

5d) Guild General Summit
I’m probably voting For this amendment
Proposes 7 Guild Open/General meetings per year which feed into a Referendum, changes the name of these meetings to ‘General Summits’.
Don’t like the name, but this governance structure seems good.

5e) Sabb positions
I’m voting For this amendment
Make all Liberation officers full-time (Black & Ethnic Minority; LGBTQ; Women’s; Disabled & Mental Health)

5f) NUS policy
I’m voting For this amendment
A forum/meeting will be created specifically to discuss/pass motions going to NUS National Conference from the Guild.

5g) Full-time Officers
I’m voting For this amendment
‘Sabbatical officers’ name change to ‘Full-time officers’;
‘non-Sabbatical officers’ to ‘Part-time officers’.

5h) Accountability in Assemblies
I’m voting For this amendment
Brings accountability sessions into general meetings; reprimands and censures can be proposed in them.

5i) Add amendments to General Assemblies
I’m voting For this amendment
Project group working on the DSR to find a way to implement an amendments system into motions proposed at Guild open meetings, which is currently not an option but is really necessary for deliberative democracy.

5j) Amendment submission
I’m voting For this amendment
Outlines a system where amendments can be implemented into Guild open meetings

5k) Indicative voting
I’m voting For this amendment (I think)
Indicative (pre-meeting) votes on proposals will not be published, but instead will be used for the purpose only of gauging/reaching a minimum number of votes to continue with the voting process on to the actual vote.

 

Motion title Motion summary My voting intention
11a) University Disciplinary Action
Deferred from February Council
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

 

but may not be necessary now that the students have been reinstated

11b) Appointments Panel make-up
Deferred from February Council
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.

11c) Ideals

Deferred from February Council

Re-wording of the ‘Demands’ motion which fell in January Council, re-iterating that the Guild should support demands of the University made by the Defend Education group (this motion removes two of those demands though: one regarding Hall fees and one about the University publishing its financial reports) For

 

All of the original demands should have been supported though.

11d) Disaffiliation

Deferred from February Council

Guild to un-endorse the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC).

Mainly because:
NCAFC condemned the Guild’s response to the National Demonstration on campus, it
encourages Unions to be more wide-ranging in their political endeavours, and its members have requested support for its activities through the Guild since endorsement.

Against

 

Nothing objectionable about those particular points mentioned here, in my opinion.

 

11e) In the event of a tie… If votes on a motion etc. fall to a 50:50 tie, then that will be settled by a ballot of all the Sabbatical Officers nstead of just the President. For

 

11f) Priority Ballot motion Guild Council motion order to be decided by a ballot of Councillors prior to Council.

Cannot change order of motion during Council.

For

(mostly)

 

Dunno if any there could be a way to make exceptions for time-sensitive motions though.

11g) I’m a Believer (in protected characteristics) Faith/belief societies give greater protection to meet Equality Act guidelines; cannot be de-recognised except where there’s no committee/voluntarily. For
11h) Returning Officer Returning Officer who oversees Guild elections shall be chosen by Guild Council, rather than the University. For
11i) Postgrads who teach Guild should campaign for Postgraduate Teachers, alongside the UCU academics’ union and the Postgraduate & Mature Students’ Association to secure better pay for the postgrads. For
11j) Freshers’ Fest Committee Bring the Freshers’ Fest committee into the Guild Bye-Laws and so ensure its protection in the long-term For
11k) Full Members can do it Guild sub-committee elections which are currently open only to Guild Councillors shall be open to all Full Members of the Guild For
11l) Fab for All Guild to conduct urgent review into accessibility at Guild club nights+ implement better arrangements for disabled students For
11m) When is the right time to pull out Election candidates can withdraw at any point up to close of ballot Unsure

 

Election rules do need to be changed so that candidates can drop out with shorter notice than currently is possible, if welfare reasons etc. come up.

But having it up until close of ballot might mean the risk someone abusing that politically to another candidate’s benefit – would be happy with this amended to take that into consideration

11n) Student staff speaking rights Allow student staff to speak in Guild Council on issues pertaining to them directly or indirectly, which they can’t do at the moment, provided they don’t disclose on specific cases and declare conflicts of interest. For
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