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.
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.