The University of Stirling’s Students’ Union is set to vote on a range of motions in its upcoming meeting.
These meetings determine where the Union stands and what actions they take.
All students are invited to attend and can put forward their own motions, which are debated and voted upon.
The aim is to encourage participation, as well as gather information and opinions on issues affecting students.
Union Officers will use student input to take action and put forward policy.
The first meeting of 2023 will be held over Teams on February 2 at 5pm and the agenda can be found here.
Meetings will outline important dates, Union Elections 2023 and reports will be heard from the Sabbatical Officers.
The next meeting will be April 13 at 5pm via Microsoft Teams. The deadline for motions is April 5 at 5pm.
Here is a summary of the decision topics for February’s meeting.
Amendment to Buffer Zone motion for NUS Conference
This motion is an amendment proposed by Jess Reid (Vice President Communities) and seconded by Murray Bushell (Sports Union President).
It would see the Student Union take the Buffer Zone Motion to the National Union of Students (NUS) Liberation Conference rather than the NUS Scotland Conference, as previously stated in the motion passed in October 2022.
The Buzzer Zone motion stated that the Union would support the Safe Access (Abortion Services) Scotland Bill and make campaigning in support of this bill a priority for NUS Scotland.
It encourages student unions to run campaigns to support their students’ sexual and reproductive health and to support the Bill, as well as actively opposing all anti-choice protests and activities across Scotland.
Buffer zones around abortion clinics would end anti-abortion activity in these areas and make it a criminal offence to harass people there.
The amendment notes that the work towards ingraining a campaign in support of buffer zones is something which should be open to discussion from all strands of NUS.
It hopes that the Liberation Conference provides the best opportunity for those affected by access to safe abortions to engage with
In summary, supporting the Safe Access (Abortion Services) Scotland Bill is important to the Union and should be done in the ‘appropriate conference’. It would also allow the Union to submit a motion to the NUS Scotland Conference (if passed) which directly impacts Scotland rather than all branches of NUS.
Support for Student Sex Workers Motion
This motion was proposed by Jess Reid (Vice President Communities) and seconded by Murray Bushell (Sports Union President).
It would see the Union support student sex workers and take the stance that sex work is work.
The Union would actively campaign in support of sex workers’ housing rights and ask NUS Scotland to make this a priority as part of its student housing campaigning.
The motion claims that sex work has changed, both spatially and technologically, which means the law is outdated.
Scotland’s eviction ban does not include evictions for ‘antisocial or criminal activity’, which includes ‘brothel keeping’.
Therefore, if one or more flatmates are sex workers and the non-sex workers are aware, by law, they are ‘brothel keeping’ and assisting their flatmate to carry out sex work, so could face eviction.
In summary, this motion believes that the Union and NUS Scotland must campaign in support of student sex workers’ rights and seek a change to the eviction ban that would protect both sex workers and their flatmates. Additionally, if NUS Scotland adopts this motion then they should consult with sex worker support organisations.
Clubs and Societies Coronavirus Recovery Motion
This motion was proposed by Aaron Caulfield and seconded by Imogen Robertson.
It would see changes made to the way clubs and societies run until September 7 2025 and hopes to help societies recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This includes lowering the amount of paid members a society needs to continue to six, and eight paid members to establish a new club or society. Currently, ten paid members are required to affiliate with the Students’ Union.
At the moment, the Union sets the minimum membership fee with approval from the Vice President Communities and the CZEC. The motion suggests scrapping this.
The motion would also change the requirement to include the Union’s logo on club publicity.
Paid non-student members would count for one-half of a student member if there is a predominance of student members.
In summary, this motion believes that the Union must act to save smaller societies, particularly those with less than ten members as they cannot access their funds. By lowering the amount of required paid members, small clubs will find it easier to survive.
Llama (and other live animal displays) Removal Motion
This motion was proposed by Aaron Caulfield and seconded by Imogen Robertson.
It has been amended to exclude the Sports Union after it was rejected at November’s meeting.
If passed, it would be the policy of the Union to ban the use of captive animals for the purpose of entertainment and these types of events would not be endorsed.
The motion argues that the Union has made a tradition of bringing captive llamas to Freshers’ Week events and this necessitates the breeding and commodification of the animals.
Although the motion specifies llamas, the Union hosts annual welcome events with alpacas. All animals would be banned, such as the alpacas and destress dogs.
In summary, this motion believes that it would benefit the Union to cease the use of llamas and all live animals in its events.
Amendments to Standing Orders Motion
This motion was proposed by Aaron Caulfield and seconded by Lauren Harper.
It suggests amendments to Standing Order Motions, including voting on matters of procedure not being required if there is unanimous consent.
Unanimous consent would be obtained if no member calls out an objection when asked.
If there is an objection then the question on the motion would be stated, debate would be allowed and the regular manner would be followed.
Unanimous consent would mean a seconder would not be required to formally propose a motion.
Meeting minutes are available to members of the Union within ten university days of the meeting, but under this motion interim information on the votes would be available ‘as soon as practicable’.
It would also add the following to General Meeting Procedural Motions:
- That the motion being discussed should be set aside.
- That a time limit be set on speeches on this motion.
- That the orders of the day be read.
- That observers be removed, and the motion heard in private.
Any suspension of any Standing Order should be without notice and be carried by a ‘simple’ majority of a meeting, rather than two-thirds.
The motion would also alter votes of no confidence. It would be run in the same way as a general meeting, requiring a two-thirds majority of the general meeting to pass.
A passed vote of no confidence would remove the officer from office, but would require a two-thirds majority to ban the officer from standing for election in the Union for a period of ‘not longer than one year’.
This motion believes these changes are necessary for a ‘more efficient and effective representation of students’.
In summary, this amendment would alter Standing Order Motion procedure if unanimous consent is achieved, speed up voting information release and change votes of no confidence to specify the majority needed to remove the officer and ban them from standing for election for a year.
Featured image credit: Brig Newspaper
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