Tag Archives: Guild Democracy

Vote NO to the Democratic Structures and Officer Review Referendum



This week (commencing 28th April) the Guild is holding two Referendum questions, which could potentially involve significant changes to the way the Guild works in terms of democracy and representation.

BEMA wish to make it clear that we strongly support voting NO to both the proposed
Q1 (Democratic Structures Review) and
Q2 (Officer Review),
and we urge both our members and other voters to do the same.

Our previously-voiced concerns about the threat these proposals present to Liberation groups can be found here.

The issues these proposals present to campaigning within the Guild can be found here.

In-depth information about the proposals can be found here.

Issues of the undemocratic nature of the referendum can be found here.

The surrounding controversy on the subversion of democracy within the Guild can be found here.

So all that’s left for us is to (briefly) re-iterate the main reasons we oppose both the new referenda proposals – and particularly our belief that these proposals, if passed, would seriously inhibit the work that Liberation Associations can do on behalf of oppressed groups within the University, and further sideline us within the Guild’s decision-making bodies.

For more information on the reasons for voting NO follow updates from the
Vote No campaign at:

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Voting intentions for Extraordinary Guild Council 13/3/2014


A number of amendments will be discussed tonight at the Extraordinary Guild Council on the Democratic Structures and Officer review, which will decide options for the campus-wide referendum next term on changes to Guild democracy.
Some ideas proposed in the Review are decent but in implementation seem poor alternatives to Guild Council. My other issues with the Review can be found here.

Below are a description and voting intentions on the amendments proposed to make the Review proposals more viable options – I’m judging them here on their own merits, (mostly) regardless of how I feel about the Review on the whole.

Any questions/queries get at me axs278 [at] bham.ac.uk


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Problems with the Democratic Structures and Officer review (from a Liberation perspective)


The Democratic Structures and Officer review proposes some significant changes to the way Guild democracy works, especially with regards to the role of the Guild Sabbatical Officers in leading the Guild and orienting its activity.

In the Extraordinary Guild Council today (6pm, Guild Council Chambers) we will be discussing amendments to the Review that could potentially ameliorate some of those issues, and may result in the proposals going forth to the campus-wide referendum in April/May being viable alternatives to the current Guild set-up. There will be a write up on those amendments in a tiny bit, following  this.

There is a lot to be said about the Review and the models proposed, but they will not be covered here – below is only a few brief thoughts on why the proposals (as proposed) in the Review are concerning from the perspective of a Liberation Association (further details on why the proposals are wack more generally can be found elsewhere).

Apologies in advance for the general sloppiness of the post and any incoherent content; was a bit rushed and am a bit sleepy.


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Voting intentions for Guild Council 20/2/2014


(Voting record from January will be up soon, my bad on the delay).

Here’s how I intend to vote on behalf of BEMA at the February Guild Council tomorrow (Thursday 20th, 6pm, Guild Council Chambers – open to all, will also be streamed by Redbrick.)
If you have issues/questions about the intentions, let me know at axs278[at]bham.ac.uk.

Also, the Guild is scheduled to have an all-campus referendum in May on certain key issues of representation and democracy in the Guild.

That referendum and the options available there are being informed by a Democratic Structures and Officer review ongoing, which currently propose two main changes:
*Getting rid of part-time Guild Officers (including the elected position of Ethnic Minority Students’ Officer) and replacing hem with autonomous committees
*Getting rid of Guild Council as the primary student-run democratic body of the Guild and replacing it with an online system for suggesting changes and termly open assemblies to vote on them.

These changes are significant and so the Guild is looking for input on them, and the proposals will be discussed at Council.
You can let me know if you have any thoughts on the proposals and I can pass them on in Council.

(For what it’s worth I think both proposals have good points to them but I don’t like how prescriptive they are and I am currently opposed to the removal of Liberation officers and the new democratic model on the whole because it seems less reflexive than Council).


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About the Guild’s General Meeting, 4/6/2013 (and why you should be there)


Edit: This General Meeting was adjourned during its original sitting and will recommence on Tuesday the 26th of February.

Edit 2: Both General Meetings have been cancelled by the Guild, will be rescheduled – date tbc

Edit 3: This has now been rescheduled again to Tuesday the 4th of June.

Hey everyone,

a few weeks ago (circa 29th April) you would have gotten an email to your University account (@bham.ac.uk) about the General Meeting being held by the Guild on Monday the 28th of January Tuesday the 26th of February Tuesday the 4th of June.

Below i’ll explain what the points being debated/considered/voted upon there are, the arguments in favour and opposition to the points (‘special resolutions’) and how i’ll be voting.

The General Meeting is open to all members of the Guild and I strongly recommend attending and using their vote, because what happens there could substantially affect the way the Guild functions in the future and its effectiveness in representing its students.
For anyone who can’t attend on the day, there’s also the option to submit a proxy vote, and to either pre-submit your vote or get someone else to vote on your behalf.
While i’ll only be attending to vote on my behalf (not in any BEMA capacity) i’d be happy to be a proxy to anyone if they so wish, just let me know at axs278@bham.ac.uk – proxy vote submission deadline is  Sunday the 2nd of June, 6pm.

N.B. As it stands i’ll be voting FOR every special resolution myself, and so noting this you may find that this colours my perspective on the resolutions, as presented below. I’ve tried to include the counterarguments as i’ve found them, but I can’t claim to be impartial here without being disingenuous.
Hope this allows people to make a somewhat more informed decision, still.

General Meeting
Tuesday 4th June
(deadline for proxy voting nominations: 6pm Sunday 2nd June)
Avon Room, University Centre (R23 on campus map)
Open to all members of the Guild (i.e. everyone, unless you explictly opted out of membership at any point)

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