The Union of Kingston Students will be debating and voting on all the motions that were not voted on at the first big student meeting due to a lack of time.
The second big student meeting (EGM) was called by Daisy Du Toit, Penrhyn Road and Union Development Officer, to maintain student democracy shortly after the first meeting could not cover all the proposed motions.
Proposed motions include one to introduce consent classes to Kingston University and another to create a role for a student director who would work with the elected campus officers while holding them to account.
If a motion is passed by the students it will become union policy for the next three years.
Motions passed at the previous big student meeting included one for protecting international students post-Brexit, another urging a boycott of the National Student Survey and making the university more LGBT inclusive.
This meeting is to take place on the 9th March at 4.30pm PRJG0001. All students are welcome to attend and vote.
The EGM comes to a close.
The motion passes with an amendment for all lecturers to promote the student elections.
Saniya says that if you are approached you can listen and talk but you can have time to think and learn more as you would not actually be able to vote until the next week. Taking away the pressure.
AQ Khan says that he thinks it is diabolical that people just vote on an iPad without looking at all the people and all the manifestos because they are pressured into voting. That is why he thinks this should be passed.
Saniya clarifies that in the second week you would not be campaigning so could continue working as usual.
Haider Chaudry asks why elected officers should have to take 10 days of paid holiday instead of the usual five they take during elections as they cannot work while running for elections.
If passed there would be two weeks of voting. One week to campaign and another to let the students vote.
Saniya Sajjan said: “Instead of going up to people and having people vote without knowing who they are voting for.”
We now have motion eight for election reforms.
The motion passes.
Some audience members feel that they do not get enough from their lecturers and that the change may be needed.
Joseph Cripps said: “It is not a defence for bad teaching, it is a motion for students to be heard”
Richard Donnelly said: “Cutting courses and teaching is not a way to solve bad teaching.”
Richard Donelly responds by stating they wish to stand with their lecturers and that what we know so far does not benefit students.
“It is not the role of students to enquire into these things and chase down the information they should be consulting us. It is the case they should approach us instead of having a conversation with one sabbatical officer who they made sign a confidentiality agreement.”
Beatrice Carey is arguing against this motion, she has seen all the details of 2020 but had to sign a confidentiality agreement so cannot say more.
She says that Plan 2020 is here to address lecturers that have not been doing their jobs. She is not defending the whole thing and agrees that there should be more student consultation. She says that there are changes in 2020 that some students have been asking for.
If passed the union would develop a manifesto, in consultation with students, to formulate a list of demands that shall be delivered to all tiers of management structure in the university.
The union would also campaign against Plan 2020 and support all staff and student action if student demands are not met.
We are now discussing motion five on Kingston University’s staff cuts and course closures.
The motion passes.
Richard Donnelly says that the company that installs water fountains in the university is an Israeli company and that the union has a statement that the university should not support Israeli companies due to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Part of this proposal should be that the fountains should be ethically sourced.
Students will be able to bring in their own plastic bottles and re-use them. They just will not be provided.
The water in the fountains will be filtered.
They do propose a competition to design a water bottle that will be given out for free at welcome week.
There are fears that this will lead to lesser access to water for students.
Gideon said: “People will not bring in their own bottles. They will drink all the fizzy drinks and student health will decay.”
But he completely agrees that Kingston’s water fountains need to be improved.
We are now on motion four to ban plastic water bottles from all campuses, and installing more water fountains that are hygienic and easily accessible.
Maria Isabella Grech said: “London aims to be a plastic water bottle free city by 2021. We could lead on this…other universities have already campaigned and started implementing this.”
The motion passes.
Now the union would only campaign for students to be notified their time is running out and to be able to extend their time through an online system.
The amendment passes.
An amendment has been proposed to remove the proposal for the union to campaign for the fine to be lowered.
Beatrice Carey asks that the library only has a small amount of laptops and that if they are not returned others can be left waiting for a laptop, how would you combat this?
Summer says that she is not against fines she just thinks that they are too much.
Summer Ahmed proposes that if passed the union will work with the library to develop text reminders before they are due to be returned so that they do not accumulate large fines as well as actually being able to extend the time through an online system and actually for the union to campaign that the late fees should be reduced from £5 per half hour.
Motion two to improve the laptop schemes is now being discussed.
The motion passes.
An audience member asks what is your view on enforcing your view on others?
“If we allow it we condone it…”
Simon Plazolles-Hayes proposes his motion by detailing the painful treatment animals receive as a direct result of the fur industry.
“Kingston university can take a stand…we can come together and say that fur has no place at Kingston and has no place in the world.”
The motion to ban fur in students current and future projects has been pushed up.
The motion passed.
If passed, the union would make a statement condemning Julius’ new position and his pay, to investigate the area of law this regards to see if this was unlawful, to lobby to make sure nothing like this happens again and to express student feelings to the board.
Gideon Sassoon now speaks for his motion “Kingston university student rip-off”.
The motion is in regards to Julius Weinberg, his created position, original salary and now even higher salary.
And the new VC is now being paid a significant amount less.
“Julius was directly responsible for Kingston’s lower level in the league tables.”
The motion passes unanimously.
The amendment falls.
AQ has proposed an amendment to make the workshops non-compulsory and to not lobby the university to include these.
It will also be worked towards to be completely inclusive, there shall also be a general consent workshop that is not gender specific.
There will also be separate safe spaces for men and women, to make sure everyone is comfortable.
The motion proposes that the union should hold a support group or safe space for survivors.
Holly: “Vulnerable 18-year olds come to universities, into a new heavy, drinking culture, living with people they don’t know.”
It is proposed that during welcome week we should have classes to make us aware of the dangers of rape and sexual assault.
The motion passes, we shall now be discussing motion three for consent workshops.
Holly Duffield has submitted a motion that it should be discussed next instead of fifth as she did not get a chance to speak up for something she believes in very strongly.
The motion to keep Wednesday afternoons free from non-timetabled classes has passed.
This amendment has been rejected.
A request for an amendment to that their should be an option to have sports memberships paid by £5 a month instead of having the only option being £50 at the start of the year.
We are now hearing from Haider about why Wednesday afternoons should be kept free from timetabled sessions so students can have time to themselves for sports, societies, keeping up with their studies and giving themselves self-care to look after their mental health
Motion six for keeping our Wednesday afternoons free is now going to go second instead of sixth.
The motion is passed.
The amendment passes.
An amendment is being proposed by JC, student trustee, to iron out the details of this motion. It is proposed to have the process overseen by external student union trustees to make sure the people running can do the job , advertising it and keeping the original proposer updated in its implementation.
TIme for questions ends as one audience member says that they see great potential for this role.
Another audience member asks why we do not have a President and Vice-President like other student unions and Daisy, as union and development officer, explains how this led to the student union being very PR centric and that you would only have people from PR and KH even running for election so a referendum was held in 2015 so students decided this change that is still very new.
One audience member points out how this role may not help at all because all that they can see so far is bickering amongst officers through their role in Society Working Group.
Patrick says that he agrees we should be held to account more, that is why we are here. He pulls attention to the role description saying “having the final say”. How does that not threaten the autonomy of the officers? Could some one not come in with their own agenda and push that upon the officers.
AQ answers that this would not happen, the final say is there if there is an issue or disagreement between the officers they will decide what is best for the students.
An audience member asks; Is this a paid position? If it is how would we hold them to account?
AQ says that it is a paid part-time role and the amount will be decided by the union’s board of trustees.
AQ Khan said: “This role should be considered in regards to what they can do for students. Give complete autonomy for campus officers to do what they want and this person will question them and hold them to account while being a figure head for the union.”
“Creation of a new role Student Director” – AQ Khan, NUS delegate for Kingston and senior course rep, has proposed the motion to create a new elected position of a part-time officer to chair the full-time officers and to hold them to account.
The motion has passed. We will discuss motion nine first.
The voting starts. We start with motion nine creation of a new role of a student director” being pushed up to the top of the agenda instead of being last and possibly once again not being discussed if time runs out.
Daisy then goes to announce Varisty, Global Festival, the learning and teaching awards, another self-care week and Women’s history month. All the information is on kingstonstudents.net.
She says that some of them are “past their sell by date” but those that they can work on, they will.
Daisy starts by saying that during the elections officers were asked about some motions passed in 2015 that have never happened and that they, as officers, were not even made aware of.
We now move onto the next section of today to give an update on motions passed in 2015.
The officers are now being put to answer about the fact that the awareness campaign for the NSS and the TEF should have happened before the university’s NSS campaign started.
Beatrice is answering saying she has been having these conversations with students and staff over a long period and that you should be holding your course reps to account as they should be sharing this information with you.
Daisy has said, we should have held a TEF workshop for students a lot earlier to take action against the NSS as it happened a month after the launch of the NSS survey in the university.
She announces a TEF workshop on March 29 from 3-4. Every course rep is notified of these workshops to share with students.
She has also spoken of her role in getting students more information on plan 2020 and sharing concerns of students to those involved higher up in the university.
She has also raised concerns of international students graduating this year who will have to go home and pay to come back when they have their graduation ceremony.
She has created more platforms for LGBT students and opportunities for them to learn and share experiences with eachother.
She also mentions having a meeting about the union’s lack of funding and its affects on the students.
Beatrice also speaks of her role with course rep meetings and black history month.
Beatrice Carey, Knights Park Officer, wrote the student union submission for the TEF and met with Steven Spier to speak about student concerns with opening hours of libraries and labs.
Patrick also speaks of his input with Black History Month 2.0, LGBT history month and the current Women’s history month.
Patrick Tartarian, Roehampton Vale officer, speaks about his work at RV campus including prayer spaces and bus shelters.
Daisy also promotes her “I am an immigrant” project which has come out of the successful motion to protect international students at the AGM earlier in the year.
Daisy said: “I’m incredibly proud of the election results, by the second day of having the votes open we bypassed the amount of students who voted last year.”
Daisy Du Toit, Penrhyn Road officer, has been working towards their next trustee meeting and has been taking everything into account from the last AGM.
Haider is looking forward to Varsity and global festival coming up.
He is speaking of his endeavours to increase and improve prayer spaces at KH campus. He said: “I am always here for KH students whenever they need me.”
Haider Chaudry, Kingston Hill officer, starts by apologising for his absence at the AGM earlier on the year as he had previously booked his annual leave to go and get married.
The lecture room is now officially out of seats for new comers.
It is now time for the officers update from all four campus officers.
Layla is reading the respectful debate rules, let’s keep it nice guys.
All information for the EGM today is on kingstonstudents.net
Layla, a student trustee, is welcoming us to the EGM this afternoon.
Students are pilling into JG0001, they’re keen and ready for a 4.30 start.