Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Pro Choice Policy Lapses at Nottingham University

I've got a fair few articles to cover so we'll be starting from Monday and ending up on what happened yesterday.

On Monday I was at the Student Union Council meeting. There was no necessity for me to be there but I wished to have my say on the proposed pro choice motion that the Women's Network had put forward.

As you know from several articles before (see and I have been helping to combat this policy because it is not the responsibility of the SU. It is absolutely pointless as it does nothing new; it is only a breach of freedom of speech. However, not satisfied with a failed referendum where only 2% of students backed a policy on pro choice, the Women's Network decided to completely override democracy and take this back to the SU Council for them to pass it.

I am glad to say that the pro choice policy of this University has now lapsed because there was not enough voting members of the SU there to make the meeting quorate. 14 voting members turned up to this whole SU Council meeting, 45 are needed to make it quorate. There are around 100 voting members who were supposed to be there. The policy thus couldn't be discussed as any votes would not be legitimate, although I had a very nice home baked cake there (my thanks goes to the officer who made those nice cakes).

Not many people turned up to the SU Council meeting, despite voluntarily being elected to the role. 

On the issue of quoracy I personally think it is quite bad that an SU Council meeting cannot go ahead because no one turns up. According to Luke Mitchell and the chairman of the meeting, on average over the last 10 years only 1 meeting has been quorate each year. It sort of shows the state of our SU when people who willingly elect themselves to the roles in it, can't be bothered to work for it. No wonder small interest groups like the Women's Network can wield such a large amount of power over the student's lives because they are the only people who can be bothered to turn up for meetings.

I hope our SU can be better though. This year a record breaking 4 meetings were quorate, getting better. We had the biggest turnout ever for the Student Union elections. The direct democracy in 'have your say' questions have gone down very well with about three times more people voting for them than they did for the aforementioned referendum. Also the constant defeats the Women's Network are facing over the pro choice policy shows that people in the SU are wanting to concentrate more on the students than internal politics. If only 14 people at most came to this SU meeting to vote for the pro choice policy then it shows that even those most of the detached from students think that this is a poor idea.

However I don't think this is quite over yet. This University has no policy on pro choice but the motion was not debated or voted upon. This sort of leaves the Women's Network to madly again ask for it to be passed at another SU meeting in October. Uncontent with the damning indictment of democracy upon their policy and also of their Student Union colleagues, they will probably try again till absolutely every avenue is closed to them. I urge them not to do it.

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