The future of liberation officers within the Student Union has been secured after a UGM motion to abolish the positions failed to pass.
The motion, put forward at the UGM on Thursday February 28 proposed to remove the positions of LGBT Officer, Racial Equality Officer, Women’s Officer and Disability Officer, and abolish their associated committees. In their place, a single “Anti-Discrimination Officer” would be established.
The constitutional amendment was proposed by current LGBT Social Rep Michael Rutherford, who dismissed the current system as “inefficient, distant and unaccountable.”
“Currently, the Union only has representation for limited student groups,” he said at the UGM. “This must change. By voting for this alternative, there will be up to two anti-discrimination officers supported by a strong committee. It will give representation to all students and will campaign against all forms of discrimination.”
Anne-Marie Canning, acting Academic and Welfare Officer and YUSU President, condemned the amendment:”I need these officers. I need their support, I need their help.”
Failing to pass with 440 votes against to 129 votes for, the motion was the only one to fail among the eleven proposed at the UGM.
Current LGBT?Officer, Matthew Pallas opposed the motion and ran the campaign against Rutherford. He said: “I’m delighted that the motion failed by such a high margin – the liberation officers are really important to students at York and do a lot of very good work – even when much of it is often not visible.”
In a press release following the announcement of the results of the UGM, Canning also said she was “pleased the motion had reached quoracy and failed,” and commented that YUSU were committed to fighting all forms of discrimination at York.