Reflections on today’s union council

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My name is Emily Eldridge and I sit on SUSU’s union council. I, and a small number of my fellow Councillors, pride ourselves on reading motions, researching what is proposed and deliberating with a number of our constituents on  motions that arise. We personally value the responsibility and try to think of any consequences that may affect students here at Southampton. We take this role very seriously.

I have tonight witnessed a disgraceful show of apathy and disinterest of my fellow peers at union council. Aaron Bali and myself officially brought Chloe Green’s Nestle motion to council for it to be accepted or rejected.  We were expecting an intense debate and strong counter arguments, but there is one thing we were not expecting. That is the surprising number of councillors who did not know anything about the motion and had not consulted with who they were representing.

For anyone unaware of the susu council, it prides itself as being the highest decision making body we have that represents the views of all students. Members are emailed, in advance, an invite to attend each session and everyone is given 1 week to read, research the proposal and converse with their constituents.

The events that have just unfolded has disappointed me greatly. Just after the 2 hour mark the motion was delayed to the next union council. I am sad that more students did not see this as a positive and ethical proposal for the union to accept. Furthermore, that those members did not know what they were voting on.  The council has many flaws but I didn’t think apathy was such a big one.

I hope that we on council have learnt a valuable lesson now and in the future. Members should be aware of the responsibility we hold on our shoulders. I encourage anyone running for a student leader position to take pride in your role, act proactively in council and you will hopefully feel proud to lead and represent all Southampton University students.

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Discussion3 Comments

  1. avatar

    Emily Eldridge is running for a union VP position in the imminent susu elections – is it appropriate that you print this article? The whole first paragraph reads like an advert…

  2. avatar

    Whereas I opposed the motion, I didn’t like the way things ended. Don’t get me wrong I’m always up for a big long argument in council (after all one of the roles of council isn’t just to legislate but to debate and deliberate on the motions) just as long as it ends up somewhere, which it really didn’t. The fact that it was me that was the one to withdraw the motion also seemed kind of wrong, but that’s just a constitutional quirk I suppose.

  3. avatar
    Emily Eldridge

    This was totally unintentional. I was very passionate about last nights events and decided that this was an important article I should write to the wessex scene. Rest assured, I would of written this had it occured in any union council session. Apologies if this read like campaiging, I have altered it accordingly.

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