A new constitution is being submitted to the Union General Meeting this week by two members of Women’s Committee following the rejection of the original YUSU proposal by the student body.
The total number of votes in favour of the SU’s proposed changes, which would have removed liberation posts from the Executive Committee, fell more than 10% short of the percentage needed to pass, at 54%. This is thought to have been the result of the “Vote No” campaign spearheaded by Grace Fletcher Hall, the ex-Women’s Officer who resigned her post in protest against the proposed changes, and Rose Rickford, a member of Women’s Committee and James LGBT Rep.
Fletcher Hall told Nouse that when the changes were rejected, SU President Micky Armstrong and Services Officer Nat Thwaites McGowan agreed to discuss revisions to the proposal to bring it in to line with the requirements of the “Vote No” movement.
According to Fletcher Hall, this motion was rejected by Executive Committee, who decided that “despite the fact that the student body rejected the constitution, they weren’t willing to take changes on board”.
In repsonse to this, Fletcher Hall and Rickford decided to submit their own revised version of the original YUSU proposal, which will be considered by UGM on Tuesday 21st February.
The ex-Women’s Officer commented “Only one constitution can be considered at any one time, and I got mine in first”.
If the proposal passes the UGM this week and the student vote in week eight it will pass into Union law.
According to Fletcher Hall, her proposal “has pretty much all the changes Nat and Micky wanted to see put forward”, with the additional provision for four liberation officers on the Executive Committee.
She said “I think they’re pleased that by us submitting the new constitution they’ve got the ‘no’ camp on their side” adding “I’m not sure about Exec. though”.
Neil Barnes, the SU Education and Welfare Officer, said that the changes, which allow four Equality Officers a place on the Executive Committee, address all the issues raised by the “Vote No” campaign, but refused to acknowledge that this might be beneficial to students, saying “The new proposal doesn’t make any drastic improvements at all”.
Both Armstrong and Thwaites McGowan have expressed muted approval for the new proposal.
Having submitted a constitutional proposal with which she is satisfied, Fletcher Hall has decided to restand as Women’s Officer in the SU by-elections, the results of which are soon to be announced.