Ain’t Nuthin But A G(M) Thang

So, this semester’s general meeting is over and done with,  but what have we learned? Let’s get all reflective and make a list of things we found out last night, shall we?

1 – Students do not want Israeli goods on campus

The Boycott Israel motion, which could have been one of the more controversial motions put forward last night, passed near unanimously, and was this close to actually being quorate (this was before the point where everyone sodded off (more on that later (woo brackets!))).  Expect severe grumbling if a similar motion is not put before student council soonish.

2 – We’d rather have organic veg bags than sweets

The motion to find space for a food hub also passed comfortably after one of the more pointed remarks made last night. Sam Hansford, who spoke against the motion, said there was no space and that any space EUSA has should be used for societies. The proposer, Richard Atkinson, replied with a wee dig at Sam, saying that the Teviot sweet shop was a novelty (it is) and space that could be put to better use (it could).

3 – General Meetings are broken

Last night was, frankly, a bit of a mess. From Stevie Wise seemingly eating her dinner on stage as the meeting was starting to the general confusion to how contributions from the floor can be made, it was not the slickest of evenings. Which leads me to…

4 – People don’t like General Meetings

One of the more poetic coincidences of the night was Joe Dewhurst speaking about how students do not care about EUSA, while an avalanche of people walked out the door because they were bored, had better things to do or had voted on the only motion they cared about. At about 7:30pm there were 294 people in the meeting. By 9:00pm there were about 150.

This is not indicative of a healthy student union,and says something is wrong with how EUSA is run as a democratic organisation. The fact that Joe’s motion on radically restructuring EUSA around direct democracy passed against all expectations (I think even the most ardent anarchists on campus thought it would fall) speaks volumes about the dissatisfaction a large portion of students feel towards EUSA and how it is run. Online voting needs to be introduced, and should have been quite some time ago.

5 – Ready, Steady, Cook is not as popular as some believed

The motion to introduce “Ready, Steady, Cook style voting” was put forward with a surprisingly impassioned speech from Matthew Willows and was narrowly rejected. Ainslie Harriott was unavailable to comment on the subject.

Beneath the smile, you can tell he's in despair after last night

EXCITING BONUS UPDATE THING WE LEARNED – Sabbaticals are too busy to join a picket line

Christ how did I forget this? After the motions were finished, a question was asked about EUSA and the sabbs supporting the upcoming lecturers strike. Their response was that although they all personally support lecturers, since Liz will be away and the rest of Team Sabb are busy in meetings they will be unable to join lecturers and students on the strike days. I’m not going to bang on about this at the risk of sounding like an angry trot/dangerous extremist/*insert your own lazy stereotype*, but there were some people who felt the sabbs answer was a bit of a cop out.



About medeusa

glaring at Edinburgh student politics
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10 Responses to Ain’t Nuthin But A G(M) Thang

  1. Christian says:

    Does this make me the first person to comment on a EUSAfishes post? I feel special… I think…

    A few comments. Firstly, I think everyone agrees that general meetings in their current form are broken. However, due to EUSAs current constitution they have to be held. An inherent problem seems to be that people just don’t care. Personally I don’t think direct democracy, as it was suggested, would fix this.

    However, EUSA is in the process of being restructured quite radically, a restructuring which will include the introduction of online voting. Input is still being taken on this, and I would encourage everyone who voted for the direct democracy-motion to attend the various EUSA forums and discuss their ideas in a somewhat more flexible manner than “Yo, we want you to do this y/n”. I genuinely think a lot of “radical” ideas would be better received than one might expect.

    Also, I’d like to stick up for the sabbs a little. Stevie said that she would go if she had time, and I don’t think the fact that the sabbs are in meetings is a cop-out. They made it very clear that they support the strike. I think their support is obvious enough without them needing to be at a picket-line.

    Wow… I sound like such a hack, don’t I? ;/

    Anyhow, I’m excited to see where this blog will swim to (see what I did there?) and hopefully no sharks (see what I did there? (I am using shark as a metaphor for other EUSA-related blogs (I can use parenthesis too))) will swim by and eat it up.

  2. eusafishes says:

    Christian, the honour is indeed yours.

    And maybe I should have been a little clearer, but I was echoing the dissatisfaction around the sabbs stance on the strike I heard from students and some staff, rather than trying to attack them.

    And if any sharks do appear, we’re going to need a bigger boat.

  3. Christian says:

    Oh, I understand that you were echoing the general dissatisfaction. The general dissatisfaction is what I was commenting on, rather than your description.

  4. Joe Dewhurst says:

    I always knew Direct Democracy would pass 🙂

    Christian, I would like to get involved with the consultation process for the new constitution. Such a process doesn’t seem to have been very widely advertised, however I’ll admit that I might not have noticed it (although, if it had been really well advertised, then maybe I would have noticed it…).

  5. Christian says:

    No, you haven’t missed it. It hasn’t been advertised. I am in the student council (for a few more weeks), and even I am not sure where I would go with input. I just know that they have been asking for input in the last few council meetings, and that things to do with reform are being discussed.

    You would probably want to e-mail Craig Stewart and ask him where one would go to input into the constitutional reform. I assume it will be discussed in at least one of the committees/forums EUSA have going, and these should be open for everyone.

    Of course, you know that it won’t be as simple as walking in and making EUSA direct representation, but I’m sure your input would be highly valued, and seeing the support the motion got at the AGM I think your viewpoints definitely deserve to be heard.

  6. Stevie Wise says:

    Wow. Just stumbled across this blog and thought I’d throw my two-penneth in on this post.

    If I’m to be criticised for eating a sandwich at a meeting that started at dinner time on a day when I worked 14 hours and didn’t have time for dinner then I’m not sure how you lot can call yourselves trade unionists. Typical hypocrisy from the same people who demanded that we all lay our cards on the table with regards the UCU strikes and will shout the word “scab” at students who are using the library because they just might want to get their assignments in on time.

    Yes, I ate a sandwich on stage. Perhaps next time I’ll miss a couple of meetings or tell the student who wants to speak to me about being thrown out of university that they should wait because people might be offended by my lack of decorum.

  7. eusafishes says:

    Hi Stevie,

    Sorry you feel this unhappily about this (honest!)

    That is an entirely fair and reasonable reason for eating. But, if someone didn’t know this, surely you can understand why they might think it was a little off?

    And no one wanted to shout “scab” at students or anyone for that matter, it’s unproductive and weakens the lecturers position.

    Assuming makes an ass of you and me (especially me)

  8. Kate says:

    Stevie, it was a silly throwaway comment and I’m sure no one begrudges you having your tea.
    First off, we’re not all trade unionists. Far-left people who go to EUSA meetings are quite a broad mix of people.
    Second, we didn’t shout ‘scab’ at anyone and I’m not sure you got that from.
    Third, I’m getting a little sick of having to defend an entire group when we are autonomous and don’t police people’s actions. It’s a bit like saying all of the Labour Club are aggressive because Thomas shouted at a bouncer.
    Individual problems with individual actions are fine, but please stop with this ‘you’re all the same’ nonsense.
    I think some horrible things have been said on all sides, I have had people tell me I’m stupid, pig-headed, a ‘dirty hippie’ a ‘Trot’, I’m ‘too angry’, I’m ‘violent’, an ‘extremist’ etc etc, but I know that not all moderates, centrists and centre-left people are the same and also that nice people can occasionally do and say horrible things.
    Let’s not be stupidly factional… x

  9. Stevie Wise says:

    I’m not being partisan, I’m just calling a bluff. I am literally laughing out loud (standard) at the thought of it being in any way an issue that I saw fit to eat at some point that day. Let’s get some perspective: it was a EUSA General Meeting not the UN Security Council!

    I’m also not talking about a whole group of people, I’m talking about the people who wrote this blog, who also have a post talking about going offline in solidarity with the UCU, so evidence would suggest it was a fair comment.

    Anyway, I’m genuinely not even annoyed about it so I’ll shut up now. I’m a little ill and grouchy and should probably actually be pleased that the only thing I’ve been slagged off for is feeding myself. It could definitely be worse! x

  10. Maximiliaan says:

    Stevie Wise doesn’t think EUSA General Meetings are important. You read it here first.


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