LIVE: at the SUSU EGM

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  • 20.28

    The EGM/Union Council has officially ended. I hope you’ve found this live blog interesting.

  • 20.09

    There are simply too many names and too many positions for us to update them all right now….

  • 20.03

    The second person within 10 minutes has been told they can’t stand for a School President/Vice President position because they’re a postgrad. Definitely could have been better communication here.

  • 19.53

    Emily Eldridge is elected the new Womens’ Officer

  • 19.43

    Emily, “I’m going for this role not just because I’m a feminist, but because I care about women’s issues”. She has some big ideas for Women’s Day, saying “it should be way more fun – men’s day was so much fun.”

  • 19.42

    Women’s Officer is set to be a highly contested position, with three candidates running. First up is Emily Eldridge.

  • 19.41

    Daniel Wilkins is awarded Students with Disabilities Co-Ordinator

  • 19.40

    Seems we missed a couple of positions awarded – our reporter Peter Apps just collapsed into a coughing fit.

  • 19.36

    Henry from Singapore up next. He’s a civil servant back home apparently, despite looking about 12

  • 19.35

    International Students offer will be contested next. ‘Ellis’ speaks first. He wants publicity, transparency and to get involved with international students. He’s also wearing a waistcoat.

  • 19.32

    Ella wins.

  • 19.32

    Antonia up next. She has a thick Spanish accent and seems quite nervous. In fairness to her, its not easy speaking in public and English may not be her first langauge.

  • 19.30

    Ethical Co-ordinator next. Ella Smith, speaks first. The boy sitting behind me thinks she has “good bangs”. Which means her fringe apparently.

  • 19.28

    Going to a second round of voting and Natalie narrowly wins. That is definitely as exciting as it will get

  • 19.27

    DRAMA! We have a tie between Natalie and James

  • 19.26

    Emma speaks next but says very little. Now we have James, who is currently in the role. Voting soon.

  • 19.23

    Natalie Marshall (we are now told) wants to target freshers in halls. She’ll give them prizes for turning lights off and promote recycling. Among other things. Sounds like a good candidate.

  • 19.22

    Three people running for Environmental co-ordinator. Natalie speaks first but we don’t get her surname. The other two candidates almost leave through the fire exit which would have set the alarm off and evacuated the building. They get stopped at the last minute, luckily.

  • 19.19

    Cultural diversity officer role goes uncontested. I didn’t get the name, but it was a girl. Hope no one was desperate to hear that one.

  • 19.18

    And the result is… a win for James Miles. We went for experience over speed talking and hammer jokes.

  • 19.17

    James Miles, last years chair, attempting to get re-elected. Claims last year “went well”, which gives him good credentials.

  • 19.16

    Dave Cook now speaking. He loves rules and can shout when he needs to. He’s a politics student apparently, not sure how that helps. He also talks very fast which may help.

  • 19.15

    Now the elections for chair, James Tiffin tells us that he is decisive and organised and can deal with heated meetings. He can be the strong character to keep us all in check. No offence mate, but this sounds a little dictatorial. Signs off with a joke about hammers. I didn’t laugh.

  • 19.13

    Jim someone or another (surname TBC) has just been elected post graduate officer. From now on uncontested roles will have no speeches.

  • 19.09

    Sabb reports pass with no questions. Mr O’Reilly responds to Emma Bacon’s earlier complaint by saying “I can assure you we have achieved a lot, but maybe we just don’t shout about it as much.” Slightly churlish Steve, but fair.

  • 19.04

    Responses from SUSU to some complaints raised about the AGM. It sounds nice, concise and written by someone with PR experience. Personally, I don’t think it really explains some of the huge mistakes made at the meeting, as explained here. They are looking to change the constitution to allow members who are not part of council to bring their motions first, which is definitely a good thing. The sheer length of this letter, which has taken a lifetime to read out (for the poor chair) underscores the many, many problems with the way the AGM was run.

  • 18.58

    No round of applause for Aaron’s letter, but in fairness that might be because most people aren’t listening (or because they read it three days earlier on the fantastic wessexblog.com)

  • 18.55

    Aaron Bali’s letter of complaint regarding the AGM last Thursday now being read out. This was published by us last week and can be viewed here

  • 18.53

    A letter of complaint from Emma Bacon, Union Council member, is being read out. She lays into this years Sabbatical team for creating an apathetic student body and not promoting engagement. It sounds heartfelt, but, dare I say it, bitter. She signs off saying she hopes next years team will do better. Letter gets a smattering of applause, but the Sab officers look a little hurt.

  • 18.45

    Apparently this is now just a normal Union Council, so will be a lot less interesting says the chair. Then drops the mic, creates a massive bang and nearly gives me a heart attack. Less exciting? Really?

  • 18.44

    Someone asks what is happening to the controversial AU motion. All the motions passed on Thursday will be voted on en masse by Union Council members, including the one about whether or not AU AGMs can take place in venues serving alcohol.

  • 18.41

    Take Back Parliament motion, in whatever form it exists, passes with 54% of votes in favour.

  • 18.38

    Steve O’Reily allays the confusion about whether or not this motion can be supported. It can apparently, so long as we don’t direct funds to it. Now the motion will mean the Student’s Union promotes the discussion on electoral reform. A fair question comes about how we could promote it without spending money. Azeezat argues back that supporting the discussion neutrally isn’t political and we could spend money on promoting it. This is now officially the most confusing, most argued over, motion of the night. Azeezat is doing well, but looks a little tired of the constant questions, amendments and points of information. If I were her I wouldn’t even be sure what I was arguing for any more. Azeezat sums up confidently, voting coming soon, and I for one will be glad to see the end of this motion.

  • 18.35

    Azeezat accepts the amendment. We move on to questions and guess what THE FIRST QUESTION IS ANOTHER PROPOSED AMENDMENT! Azeezat accepts this too, but this is getting a bit silly now.

  • 18.27

    Someone now proposes another amendment, which would remove the Take Back Parliament section from the motion and simply state that the Union should encourage and support debate about reform. Some confusion now, and the audience is talking between themselves as the motion is hurriedly redrafted.

  • 18.25

    Speaker against says that the Students Union shouldn’t get involved in national politics that doesn’t effect us directly. Gets a round of applause. Another speaker tells him that politics do directly affect students. She gets applause too. This is in danger of getting heated.

  • 18.23

    Becky McClean gives a speech in favour. A lot of students were annoyed that their vote didn’t count, and we saw from the Sabbatical elections, the alternative vote could help.

  • 18.20

    Azeezat, who as a point of interest speaks with an American accent despite coming from Denmark, now clarifies that the motion is just about debate not supporting one system over another. Question from the floor regarding the nature of the wider “take back parliament campaign”? Who are these people we are deciding to support? Azeezat assures us that its not about the Take Back Parliament campaign specifically, just encouraging discourse over the political system.

  • 18.16

    Drama as speaker from the floor points out a contradiction between Azeezat’s speech and the amendment. She said it should be an open debate not in favour of any system, the original motion backed proportional representation. Azeezat accepts, although seems a little reluctant.

  • 18.13

    Now Azeezat Johnson, of Women’s Day poster complaint letter fame. Motion is called Take Back Parliament and if passed will mandate SUSU to open up a discussion about the voting system in this country.

  • 18.12

    The motion passes with the first unanimous vote of the night. According the chair, the first ever.

  • 18.11

    Bermuda Al asks about the financial implications for the University. Now the clear the motion is about medicines being sold cheaper in poorer countries. Speaker answers that policy will be flexible to allow the University to protect its profits. Which, in my humble opinion, is a pity.

  • 18.10

    Motion now being presented on on access to medicine. Hard to listen and type at the same time, but something to do with getting necessary medicine to areas of the world where they need it. Good speech given in favour, no amendments proposed against, no one speaks against.

  • 18.07

    70% vote to pass the motion.

  • 18.02

    David McKay, wessexblog contributor now speaking on his transition University initiative.

  • 18.01

    Halls warden motion passes with resounding success, following the amendment from Sophie Paterson. This means the University will now provide increased support to students in halls and independently monitor the success of the new system.

  • 18.00

    Motion passed with VP Welfare’s new amendment

  • 17.56

    VP Welfare’s amendment to Warden’s motion is accepted.

  • 17.46

    The motion from Peter Apps ‘Regarding Halls Wardens’ is currently being discussed. Plenty of opinions for and against.

  • 17.41

    The first motion regarding Course Closures and Cuts has been passed. See for more details on the montion: http://agm.susu.org/motions/65.

  • 17.36

    Peter Apps is presenting the first motion regarding the Union’s stance on the University, and higher education fees.

  • 17.33

    The AU motion will not be discussed for at least another hour. This, as well as the fact that we do not have enough people in attendance to reach quorum, has resulted in approximately 70 people (presumably AU motion supporters) leaving the room.

  • 17.30

    BREAKING NEWS from the chair: We haven’t hit quorum, so the EGM is now officially a Union Council meeting beginning with the motions missed on Thursday. Only Union Council members can vote, but non-members are going to be allowed to speak. This announcement causes a mass exodus in some quarters. The explanation that Union Council are our elected representatives doesn’t wash with some people.

  • 17.21

    According to an unconfirmed source (a girl in the row behind us), the AU has managed to get over 80 people down for the meeting. Looks like they really love those alcohol filled AGMs.

  • 17.18

    The voting tonight will be conducted by raised hands not “zappers” as promised. According to the chair, that’s just how things are done at public meetings and also “we don’t have enough.” Meeting should get underway in minutes as the cube is pretty much full.

  • 17.11

    Suddenly the cube is looking very full. This may be optimistic but I think this might be a better turnout than Thursday. Meeting due to start in minutes, and we should have an announcement from the chair about quorum. Remember to hit f5 occasionally to keep getting the updates.

  • 17.00

    The Cube is starting to fill up but a quick look around suggests we may be struggling to make quorom. If you’re not busy, or bored of revision, head down to the Cube!

  • 13.41

    The SUSU EGM will be starting at 5PM today. This meeting has been scheduled in response to the AGM last Friday. To remain democratic, the meeting must reach a quorum of at least 250 members. The Wessex Blog will be updating our live blog as the meeting happens.

  • avatar

    Discussion8 Comments

    1. avatar

      Does anyone expect the AU AGM motion to be carried? Is there still room for an amendment that allows AGMs to be held in hotels and restaurants but not pubs and bars?

      Chris Houghton
      avatar

      If the number of people attending the EGM reaches 250, then ‘quorum’ will be reached, and any decisions made will be made democratically. If the number does not, then the motion will go to Union Council. If the latter occurs, then chances are the AU motion will be rejected, as it already has been in previous union councils.

    2. avatar

      Why has the blog only published one of the three letters?

      Chris Houghton
      avatar

      Not positive about this, but I’m pretty sure that we only got 2 out of three of the letters. One by Aaron Bali, and I think we published the reply by SUSU, although I think it was slightly shortened. Sorry I can’t be clearer.

      Tom stacey
      avatar

      Why was the susu one shortened? Aaron’s was published in full?

      Becky
      avatar

      ‘The sheer length of this letter, which has taken a lifetime to read out (for the poor chair) underscores the many, many problems with the way the AGM was run.’

      The sheer length shows how much time we put into responding to students, as the reason it was read out was as we thought many students would want to hear it. We did ask for it to be put on the Wessex Blog, but it has not yet been put up.

    3. avatar

      I have only seen Aaron Bali’s letter. If it has not been emailed to editor@soton.ac.uk I will not have seen it and thus will not have published it!

      Becky
      avatar

      I sent the letter to Chris Houghton as a member of the online team – in the contact details. It has now been sent directly to you, could it be published now please?

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