Originally published on The Epinal on October 30, 2013.
In the agenda for tomorrow’s Union Council, Hannah Chrisp, VP Democracy and Communications has revealed plans to abolish the current Union Council format in favour of ‘Student Forum’ and ‘Union Affairs Committee’.
Members of the Form will no longer be elected from within their departments as in the current system, but rather two students will be chosen to represent each section of the Union (Action, AU, Media, Societies, Rag and Welfare and Diversity) alongside four representatives from the Programme Presidents, two members of the College and one member from each Halls who would all be able to vote at Forum.
Further members of the new Forum with voting rights would be “the seven elected Student Members of the Board of Trustees and five members elected by web election as a multiple post, by and from all members”.
The Forum would meet only five times a year with a new layout to proceedings. These changes include the introduction of an informal open space to nominate and discuss points which are then referred to the Exec during the general assembly. Members of the Exec would also be expected to produce a formal written report regarding relevant previous proposals which once again leads to an informal discussion.
The other half of the new Union Council set up will be the Union Affairs Committee which will act a regulating and procedural body for the union’s activities.
This committee will consist of the VP Democracy and Communications as chair before 10 members elected by web election, the Union President, the VP Finance and Commercial Services, and the Union Director and meet at least six times per year.
The Committee would oversee matters such as appeals on the discipline of Union members, act as a adjudication body in the event of any disputes during elections, and investigate any complaints from members of the Union regarding breaches of constitution. Matters from the Forum may also be referred back to the Union Affairs Committee for review.
These proposed changes echo the ones Ali Cole, former VP Democracy and Communications brought to Union Council last June when he suggested turning Council into Student Leaders Congress. Ultimately the changes were voted down 9-8.
Chrisp’s proposal will be voted on by the Council on October 31.