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.