Posted on Thu 07 Nov 2013 at 16:28 by Zahid Raja
Tonight, you may have noticed that there are three Ideas about pole fitness coming to the Student Forum. One put forward by two students, another by the Pole Fitness Society Committee and another by the Students’ Union Executive Committee. You can view these here:
Two of these have now been withdrawn. The Idea submitted by the Students’ Union Executive Committee will be presented with the support of those who submitted the other two Ideas.
Beth Morris who is the President of the Pole Fitness society will give the proposition speech for the Idea – I hope you’ll all give her a warm welcome as this is her first Student Forum.
What will happen next?
1) So students will vote on this Idea after the Forum. Voting will be online 8pm until 8pm tomorrow. 2) If more people vote yes than no; on Tuesday there will be a two day referendum on whether or not the Pole Fitness society should be reinstated. This referendum shall not be subject to a quoracy, and will be decided on a simple majority of students voting yes or no.
3) If students vote yes in this referendum, the Pole Fitness Society will be reinstated.
I've spent some time with Beth the President of Pole Fitness in crystallising my views on how we move forward. What puzzled me the most about this whole situation was the lack of clarity that exists on how society affiliation / re-affiliation can / should be decided. Regulations don’t exist as to how those decisions are made, and therefore nothing exists around how a student can appeal such a decision. #nightmare
Secondly, a lot of people were outraged by the fact that the decision was made by the Trustee Board. There is a whole debate out there on what decisions Trustee Boards should / shouldn’t be making. Some of you may find this useful for information: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/trustees-staff-and-volunteers/trustee-board/
But Trustees do have legal obligations to the organisation and the consensus is that they should be making decisions. It is their purpose. It’s also why we have 7 elected Trustee’s (Full Time Officers) and 2 unelected Trustees who are selected by the elected ones through a process agreed on by students as described in the constitution. So what now?
Power to the people
Last month, students decided to reduce the number of Full Time Officers from 7 to 5. If we do nothing, this will mean a reduction of two elected Trustees on the Trustee Board. However, many Students’ Unions have something called ‘student Trustees’ - these are current students who sit on the Trustee Board as full members. We now have an opportunity to replace the gap left by the Union losing two Full Time Officer Trustee positions with two unpaid elected student Trustees.
Two things we can do to stop this from happening again
1) I’m currently in the process of overhauling the way the Students’ Union listens to, and interacts with students. I will extend the scope of my governance review to include student Trustee’s on the Students’ Union Trustee Board.
2) I will take a proposal to the next Students’ Union Executive Committee asking the committee to develop regulations around affiliation / re-affiliation of societies that will include an appeals process for decisions.
If you’ve got any questions about this blog or want to meet up to talk, or just get involved, drop me an email: email@example.com or come and see me - my office is on the third floor of Union House (back of Fulton House - there bit where we host tooters!)