The newly-formed societies committee has been left completely empty after no students ran for any positions on the committee.
The Societies Committee was a fundamental component of the new structure of the Student Union following the Democratic Review. It’s role would include the major responsibility of approving the funding of any society whose budget is over five per cent of the total budget for societies.
It would also be charged with mediating disputes between societies and arranging collaborative efforts between different societies; as well as deciding upon any disciplinary measures to be taken against members of the committee members of individual societies following breaches of YUSU bye-laws.
Outlining the role of the members of the committee Nick Scarlett, Student Activities Officer, said that they would need to: “Chair meetings of Society Chairs in your category, and be involved in setting society based policy and working to develop collaborative events between YUSU Societies.”
The committee, which was formed after a study of societies published by YUSU in January, was originally intended to take important decisions regarding society finances away from the role of Student Activities Officer and make the process of allocating funding more democratic and accountable, although it would still be chaired ex officio by the Student Activities Officer.
“There was a decent level of pre-election interest. Unfortunately that didn’t manifest into candidates.“
YUSU Societies Officer
It was supposed to be made up of eight members drawn from the different groups of societies on campus, as well as three ordinary members.
Commenting on the lack of applications, Scarlett stated: “In terms of the societies committee, it’s disappointing nobody stood.
“All societies were informed of the elections and there was a decent level of pre-election interest. Unfortunately that didn’t manifest itself into candidates.”
He added “In terms of the next step, it’s something I’ll be consulting with James [Croydon] on, to see the best step forward for next year.
“The new bye-laws passed add a better structure to the societies committee, with representatives elected internally within the individual societies forums, making them more representative of their cohort. Hopefully the lack of anyone running under this old system can be an opportunity for the societies committee to finally take proper shape.”
However, Dan Walker indicated that the positions might be by direct application, saying “As the positions remain unfilled we’ll open them up for co-option.”
But he added: “If they’re contested at this point we’ll likely proceed with an election.”