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Democracy Zone (15th November 2013)

Minutes

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Name of Committee Democracy Zone
Date and time 15th November 2013, 14:00
Place Meeting Room 1
Present Members
(voting)
Union President David Gilani
Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries David Martin
Vice President Sports Evan Whyte
Union Councillor Jamie Barker
Union Councillor Mayan Al-Shakarchy
In Attendance
(non-voting officers and staff)
Chief Executive Jaki Booth
Union Council Chair Katy O'Brien
Head of Membership and Community Engagement Nickola Moore
Democracy Assistant Katie Ng
Democracy Coordinator Guy Drury
Absent with Apologies Clubs and Societies Officer Jamie Hemingway
Non-members Vlad Novikov

Actions and Decisions

TypeDescriptionWho
Action Item 4: add 'item 6: balancing Union Councillor positions' to this proposal Guy Drury
Action Item 4: Change Union Resolves description of IM Officer to following: 'to promote the Intra-mural league system, to represent students in the organisation of Intra-mural events throughout the year' Guy Drury
Action Item 5: add 'item 6: balancing Union Councillor' to this proposal Guy Drury
Action Item 5: additions: Union believes 7.) New position will have no editorial power. Union mandates 1.) VP DCI will update the by-laws and produce a revised Media Code of Conduct Guy Drury
Action Item 6: Remove points 3 and 4 of Union resolves when adding to item 4 and 5, state that this will come into effect July 2014 Guy Drury
Action Item 8: Part 5.2 d and e need changing Guy Drury
Action Item 8: 5.4 c needs to be smaller (change heading) Guy Drury
Action Item 8: Membership of Student Groups Committee need to be added Guy Drury
Action Item 8: Remove Katy O'Brien from quorum of DZC meetings Guy Drury
Action Item 9: Conditional acceptance of Sustainability Zone by-law with addition of 'E&D committee will report to both Sustainability and Student Communities Zone Guy Drury
Action Item 9: Change name to 'Sports Development' Zone by-law Guy Drury
Action Item 10: Change contested elections to three Guy Drury
Action Item 13: Change to: 29 student leaders and 4 student trustees. David Martin is the DRO the Elections working group now includes David Gilani as DZ rep (elected in meeting) Guy Drury
1. Apologies and Attendance

Apologies and attendance was noted as above. Also in attendance were the follwoing Union members: Marcus Burton, Jade Head and William Cable.

 

 

2. Approval of Minutes from previous meeting

Actions from the last minutes:

a.      Katy O’Brien will ask Union Councillors at the start of the next Union Council (UC) their opinion on potential dates for the Summer term UC meeting.

b.      A meeting between UC staff will be arranged. 

c.       Voting by proxy during the final Union Council was discussed with Paul; on principle this will work, however a formal request to Paul is required.

All other actions had been completed. The minutes were approved by the committee.

 

Student Groups
3. Update on affiliations and funding

 

David Martin presented the report on behalf of Jamie and gave the committee an overview of the paper.

David Gilani asked if there was a way to find out how many unaffiliated groups there were to which Nickola explained that there is will be a project looking into this (the ‘Student Groups Review 2014’)

Evan asked whether each student group needs to use all 3 rounds of funding. It was explained that, in some case especially within the Sports Development Zone, groups will have allocated funding for each round for the whole year. For more guidance on phasing and funding allocation, Evan was directed towards John Mills, Head of Finance.

Katy asked what would happen to approved funding if the student group who requested funds did not receive their money. This should not be the case, and is only a problem if SUSU had incorrect bank details for the group. If groups are having issues accessing money allocated to them, they should email groups@susu.org for advice and guidance.    

 

Constitution
4. Intra-Mural Officer as a Student Leader

 

As this was a proposal from the Sports Development (SD) Zone, Evan presented this paper. To clarify for some committee members, if this was approved by the DZC, it would be taken to Union Council by the Democracy Zone on behalf of the SD Zone.

After discussion, it was decided that the job description for the new role would be changed:

14.1 ‘to lead and promote Intra-Mural league system’ would become ‘to promote the Intra-Mural league system’.

14.2 ‘to lead the organisation of Intra-Mural events throughout the year’ would become ‘to represent students in the organisation of Intra-Mural events throughout the year’.

In addition to these changes, Item 6 (‘Balancing Union Councillor positions’) will be added to this proposal instead of being brought to Council as an independent proposal.

The committee passed this proposal and it will be taken to the next UC. 

Action Item 4: add 'item 6: balancing Union Councillor positions' to this proposal (Guy Drury)
Action Item 4: Change Union Resolves description of IM Officer to following: 'to promote the Intra-mural league system, to represent students in the organisation of Intra-mural events throughout the year' (Guy Drury)
5. Creation of a new Media Officer position

 

David Martin presented this on behalf of the Creative Industries (CI) Zone. This change has been prompted by the over-representation of the Media groups on the CI Zone Committee and was voted on and approved by CI members.

After discussion, the following changes to the proposal were made:

As there was some ambiguity over the specific job role this new position would have, members wished that an additional ‘Union Believes’ point explaining that the Media Officer Position will not have editorial power in the media groups it represents be included in the proposal.

The job description will change from ‘to represent and promote the activities and interests of media groups’ to ‘to coordinate and promote activities and interests of student led media groups’.

Addition of a Union mandate for the VP Democracy and Creative Industries to update the CI by-law and revise the Media Code of Conduct by July 1st 2014.   

In addition to these changes, Item 6 (‘Balancing Union Councillor positions’) will be added to this proposal instead of being brought to Council as an independent proposal.

The committee voted on this proposal: 2 voted against, 2 voted for, the Chair cast the deciding vote and the proposal was passed by the committee. It will be taken to the next UC.

Action Item 5: add 'item 6: balancing Union Councillor' to this proposal (Guy Drury)
Action Item 5: additions: Union believes 7.) New position will have no editorial power. Union mandates 1.) VP DCI will update the by-laws and produce a revised Media Code of Conduct (Guy Drury)
6. Balancing Union Councillor positions

This was discussed during Items 4 and 5. It was decided that Union Resolve points 3 and 4 will be removed and that this proposal will be incorporated into the previous 2 proposals (items 4 and 5).

Action Item 6: Remove points 3 and 4 of Union resolves when adding to item 4 and 5, state that this will come into effect July 2014 (Guy Drury)
7. International Students' Officer: expanding electorate to all students

Vlad Novikov, a Union Councillor proposed this idea. This was an informal discussion; no specific proposals were being put forward for approval.

Jawad Bhatti, International Students’ Officer was unable to attend this meeting. He provided a counter argument to Vlad’s proposal, which David Martin presented on behalf of Jawad.

There was a discussion regarding other cohort group voting e.g. the NOC site officer. Katy explained that it made sense for the position to be filled by someone of that cohort i.e. a NOC student as they will have more knowledge about certain issues that will only affect that particular group. There was a debate about whether other cohort group voting should be opened up to a wider electorate if the International Students’ Officer Position is opened up. The majority of the committee believed keeping cohort group voting was the best option. This ensures that there will be a representative from each cohort present on Union Council.

The broad consensus of the committee was that the electorate should stay within the cohort group. It was decided that this idea should be taken to Student Communities Zone for further discussion. The decision whether to turn this into a formal proposal, to bring to a future Democracy Zone meeting, would be taken by their committee members.

 

By-law changes
8. Democracy Zone by-law

The membership of the Student Groups Committee will be added to the by-law. Also, section 5.2 d and e need to be changed to fit the format.

Marcus asked why the Union Council Chair was a non-voting member of DZ committee. As DZ is involved in arranging meetings such as Union Council, it helps to have the Chair of Council’s input which is why Katy is invited to the committee meetings. The issue of non-voting members counting towards quorum of meetings was raised and will be looked into further.

With the changes outlined above, the committee voted and approved the Democracy Zone by-law.

Action Item 8: Part 5.2 d and e need changing (Guy Drury)
Action Item 8: 5.4 c needs to be smaller (change heading) (Guy Drury)
Action Item 8: Membership of Student Groups Committee need to be added (Guy Drury)
Action Item 8: Remove Katy O'Brien from quorum of DZC meetings (Guy Drury)
9. Other Zone by-laws

Sustainability Zone

There was confusion as to why the Equality and Diversity (E&D) forum sits under Sustainability Zone and not Student Communities. As it cannot be split up, the forum needs to exist in one of these zones.  

The committee decided to conditionally accept this by-law on the proviso that Sustainability Zone agree to an amendment to point 4.2 stating that the E&D forum will report to both Sustainability Zone and Student Communities Zone.

Student Life

This by-law was approved.

Student Communities

Guy explained to the committee that Student Communities are currently deciding whether or not to create forums for PG research and taught and mature students. This has not been included in this version of the by-law as no formal action has been taken.

This by-law was approved.

External Engagement

This by-law was approved.

Creative Industries

This by-law was approved.

Education Zone

The committee were informed that Education would like to add PGT, PGR and International Students’ Officers to their committee membership but have not formally proposed this. If they decide to go ahead with this, the proposal will be brought to a future DZ meeting.

This by-law was approved.

Sports Development Zone

The title of this by-law will be corrected to Sports Development, along with all references to this zone in the by-law.

This by-law was approved.

Action Item 9: Conditional acceptance of Sustainability Zone by-law with addition of 'E&D committee will report to both Sustainability and Student Communities Zone (Guy Drury)
Action Item 9: Change name to 'Sports Development' Zone by-law (Guy Drury)
Elections
10. Report: Autumn elections

Report: Autumn Elections

A correction needed to be made; there were 3 contested elections, not 2.

The committee approved the report.

Action Item 10: Change contested elections to three (Guy Drury)
11. Report: JCR elections

Report: JCR Elections

The committee approved the report.

12. JCR by-election: update

JCR by-election update

Guy updated the committee on the progress of the JCR by-elections. Nominations have been open since Wednesday 13th November and the JCR Committee are meeting on Wednesday 20th November to elect candidates to the remaining positions within the JCRs. They will vote online via a secret ballot and results will be released to candidates during the meeting.   

13. Proforma: Spring elections

Proforma: Spring Elections

Corrections needed to be to this paper; the elections are for 7 Sabbatical Officers, 29 Student Leaders, 2 Student Leader Trustees, 4 Student Trustees and 30 Union Councillors. The number of Student Leaders elected also depends on the decision made by Union Council regarding the creation of new positions (Media Officer and Intra-Mural Officer). In addition to this, David Martin will be the Deputy Returning Officer.

The Spring Elections Working Group consists of the Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer, a representative from the DZ and 3 Union Councillors chosen at random from an opt-in pool. Nominations were called for a representative from the DZ committee. David Gilani nominated himself as he would not be involved in the elections next year. He did ask that he be able to step down from the Working Group at a later date if another member of DZ wished to be involved. The 3 Union Councillors will be chosen at the next meeting of Union Council or soon thereafter.

Action Item 13: Change to: 29 student leaders and 4 student trustees. David Martin is the DRO the Elections working group now includes David Gilani as DZ rep (elected in meeting) (Guy Drury)
Other business
14. Any other business

Vote Match system from Unlock Democracy

The committee were asked to start thinking about whether SUSU would like to utilise ‘Vote Match’ from the organisation Unlock Democracy. There is also an option of carrying out this service in-house, as was previously done last year. Further information regarding finances and other options available to SUSU, will be brought to a future meeting of DZ and a decision will be made there.    

 

15. Date of next meeting

The next DZC meeting will be on Friday 13th December 2pm, Meeting Room 2.

Key: P (Papers Provided), PF (Papers to Follow)