Wednesday 13 May saw one of the biggest events in the Democracy calendar – the SUSU AGM. This annual meeting includes an open council, in which any student can put forward a motion to be discussed, and any student can attend to vote on those motions.

This year, technology was on our side – motions were proposed online, as in previous years, and could also be voted on by proxy, allowing those busy with revision to cast their vote without leaving the comfort of the library.

Here’s a round up of how the day went down:

After the minutes from the previous year and the annual reports were approved, the first motion discussed was political expenditure in the Union. This resolution was passed, and will allow the Union to spend money on things like the Your Vote Your Voice general election campaign – check out this background paper for more information on what it means.

Updates were given on motions passed last year: change for debit card usage is to be under discussion soon; regarding new seats for the Union Films cinema, we are in negotiation with the University over costs; the bank of SUSU is currently under development; censorship in SUSU is under discussion – but with no complaints this year, it seems progress is being made; the formation of the EVAs underwent changes this year; improved trans-inclusion can be seen in the sanitary bins in male toilets, as well as the new rules on gender titles in the student record system; sabbatical presence on satellite campuses has gone ‘above and beyond’ this year; commitment to elections has been clearly displayed in the #YourVoteYourVoice campaign this year; the Sustainability Zone have been working hard on campaigns for better recycling of waste; the Jubilee Centre has seen the introduction of female-only swimming lessons; and finally, changes to the leadership and representation policy have been passed at Union Council.

Next up were this year’s motions – as follows…

  • Jade Head proposed that submission of dissertations and final year projects should be free.  The motion was passed with 165 votes.
  • Frazer Delves put forward the motion for change machines in halls of residence, so that those living there have access to the correct coins for laundry. The motion was passed with 136 votes.
  • Frazer also proposed longer opening hours at SUSU during the holidays. The motion was passed with a majority of 111 votes.
  • Nick Tinsley proposed that SUSU should be more student-led, suggesting that students’ ideas and decisions should be at the forefront of everything SUSU does. The motion was passed with 132 votes.
  • Jade Head was back up to put forward the motion that student groups should get priority over external companies, meaning that societies will get first dibs on booking spaces in SUSU. The motion was passed with 139 votes.
  • Frazer Delves returned to propose that better provisions should be provided in 24-hour study areas, meaning that access to drinking water and vending machines in any given building will remain open as long as that building does. The motion was passed with a majority of 139 votes.
  • Steven Osborn proposed that SUSU should support societies through funding for events, meaning that society events can now be considered under funding applications. The motion was passed with 137 votes,
  • Jade Head returned to put forward the motion for more efficient communication in SUSU, which was passed with a majority of 126 votes.
  • Chester Chandler had submitted the motion to trial a 24-hour gym, but as neither he nor his second were in attendance, the motion was not discussed.
  • Katherine Kassels proposed that SUSU should put more emphasis on importance and support of post-Grad students, meaning better representation and an improved support network. The motion was passed with a majority of 87 votes, and was passed to the Education Zone for further discussion.
  • Alex Hovden proposed a review of the student-staff agreement – the motion was passed with of 80 votes.
  • President-Elect Ben Franklin put forward the motion for a re-structuring of SUSU’s democratic system, meaning that more students will get a say than just those who sit on Council. The motion was passed with 99 votes.
  • Finally, Giles Howard put forward a motion for innovation in education. The motion was passed with 101 votes.

See the photos from the event at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.901654706561751.1073741916.180512555342640&type=3