Union General Meeting sees highest voting numbers since 2008

All six motions have been passed from last week’s UGM, with the highest voting turnout since January 2008 of 1592 voters

All six motions from last week’s Union General Meeting (UGM) have been passed, seeing 1592 voters interact with the motions, the highest turnout since January 2008.

The motions included the decision, tabled by current Sabbatical Dan Walker, to remove the Democracy and Services Sabbatical role, meaning that it will not be included in this year’s YUSU elections. 470 students voted for the motion, with 199 against, and 239 abstentions. Walker will finish his year as a YUSU Sabbatical Officer.

A motion was also passed for the Union to support environmentally friendly food waste disposal across campus and to pressure the University to invest in solutions for food disposal. The motion suggested composting as a possible way this might be achieved.

The Union has also been mandated to rename the ‘New Building Study Space’ as the ‘Brian Blessed Centre for Quiet Study’, which saw the highest turnout of all the motions, with 1052 voting in favour, but 226 against. A successful student campaign has also ensured that YUSU have now been mandated to do their utmost to get acclaimed rap artist and producer Dr. Dre to perform live in Central Hall.

The motion passed to reform the structure of the Union’s democratic process will see Union Council disbanded and replaced by a body called Union Assembly, which will be composed of representatives from different groups within the student body. The Democratic Review motion saw the highest number of abstentions, at 268.

In addition to making decisions which would have previously been made by Union Council, the Assembly will also make some decisions which would have previously been put to a student vote. YUSU have said that this is aimed at reducing ‘voter fatigue’, since the large number of issues which are passed over to a referendum of the whole union can lead to ‘disengagement with the issues up for debate.’

There would still be a number of issues which are voted on by the entire student union, including any issue which failed to achieve a two thirds majority pass or fail in Union Assembly.

4 comments

  1. January 2008? I think you mean February 7th 2008? :)

    And since we know that students are now graduating in the Minster (see UGM, 7th Feb 2008) and that a student venue is being built on Hes East (see UGM, 7th Feb 2008), that “the President [shall] lobby the University to maintain the current let system whereby there are only two rent streams: standard or ensuite” (see UGM, 7th Feb 2008) and that this has also worked…

    … I’m pretty sure that Dr Dre will be performing in Central Hall in no time. No offence to YUSU but if UGMs are supposed to be “active policy” they’ve done a pretty lousy job of achieving anything – and more than that, of actually supporting their own policy. I believe Ngwena and the rest of them supported changing the letting system, have dropped the Hes East venue case and haven’t even considered the Minster. What’s the point in an Assembly and referendum when they’re just going to ignore the students yet again?

  2. “The Answer” : should have asked an officer question or come along to any open meeting and ask in person. But hey prefere to do it under cloak and dagger. Fair play. Here’s an update on all those motions and why they have resulted in the way they are now …

    “graduating in the Minster ” Could never happen for two reasons. Firstly, the only possible dates available in the Minster’s annual Schedule of events for graduation would mean international students on Visa Restrictions wouldn’t be able to graduate. Secondly, the Minster wouldn’t allow it. York St Johns can because of the Church ties they have with the minster. York Doesnt. We found this out by campaigning and moving forward on the policy.

    “a student venue is being built on Hes East” Not the wisest decision at present seeing as the new development is not even 1/3rd of the way complete. Were in phase 1 of 4. The student centre on Hes East was planned for Phase 2or 3 and is in the plans if you search the publically available planning documents. Meanwhile we’ve been working on expaning our current space which since the motion was passed has seen The Courtyard, The Studio, more rehearsal rooms for sports and socities and usage of and further discussions are on going on more space that could be acquired this summer. Infact visit my profile and look at what I’ve been up to today and look whats in my calendar for tomorrow 11am:

    “lobby the University to maintain the current let system whereby there are only two rent streams” After considerable consultation and discussions, although two rent systems seems ideal, I dont think Students living in Clasp accomdation (e.g. Derwent, Langwith, Old Vanbrugh) can realistically be expected to pay the same rates as students in newer colleges like James or Alcuin. Further more i dont think its realistic that those living in James or Alcuin pay the same rent or price as those in new Goodricke. The rooms vary vastly in quality and 2 rent prices does not reflect that. There are currently 5 rent bands in York, one of which is for catered accomodation. There would have been 18 if YUSU officers hadn’t intervened and if you look across other Uni’s with a similar size and bedstock the avarage number of rent bands is around 7.

    Hope that brings you up to speed.

  3. I’m not sure why some people insist on graduating in York Minster. It might be a pretty building, but it has little to do with the University of York. Despite the irony of York St John having ‘ties’ with the Minster yet being a secular university which admits students from multiple faiths, they can have it for all I care.

  4. 3 Feb ’11 at 12:56 am

    Brian Blessed

    Epic win for Ngwena there…

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