The YUSU Union General Meeting, held on January 31, drew a record numbers of votes and, in an unprecedented result, all the proposed motions were passed.
While the most highly publicised motion was the vote of no confidence of Grace-Fletcher Hackwood, another controversial motion proposed for men to be allowed to attend Women’s Committee meetings. YUSU Women’s Officer, Laura Payne, said that allowing men the right to attend is “the way the committee needs to go” and says the that the majority of 525 was because “people couldn’t understand why it would ever be a problem in the first place”.
Amy Burge, former Women’s Officer who ran the opposing campaign, expressed concern that attendance at meeting might decrease if women felt uncomfortable discussing women’s issues in a mixed environment.
Burge also said that the outcome of the vote rendered the committee “not really a Women’s Committee anymore.”
A motion to change the graduation location of York students from Central Hall to the Minster drew the highest total number of votes. Proponents of the motion argued that since students from the University of York St John graduate in the Minster, students from the University should too.
The motion was passed by 1328 to 457 votes but this does not guarantee that the graduation location will actually change. YUSU President, Anne-Marie Canning, promised that “we (YUSU) are going to try our best” to lobby the University.
The motion ‘York students deserve a student venue’ passed by 1386 votes to 51, mandating YUSU to lobby for a student venue on Heslington East.
A revised ethical merchandising policy was also passed giving the Environment and Ethics Officers the power to decide which companies to source merchandise from.