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Democracy Zone (8th October 2013)

Minutes

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Name of Committee Democracy Zone
Date and time 8th October 2013, 15:00
Place The Board Room

Actions and Decisions

TypeDescriptionWho
Action make amendments to the Democracy by-law Guy Drury
Action Inform VP Education of decision regarding PGT/PGR officers David Martin
Action send the Education Zone By-law for approval (to Education Zone committee) Guy Drury
Action rename the Election By-laws to 'Election Regulation By-laws' Guy Drury
1. Apologies and Attendance

The Chair, David Martin, welcomed everyone to the Democracy Zone Committee (DZC) meeting.

Apologies were received by Nickola Moore and Katy O'Brien. Jamie Hemingway informed the group he would be late.

2. Approval of Minutes from previous meeting

Corrections needed to be made regarding the attendance list. Members approved the minutes. All actions from the previous minutes had been completed.

3. Approval of Democracy Zone by-law

David Martin presented the committee with the Zone by-law.

  1. Jaki questioned why Sections 4 and 5 of the by-laws had been seperated. Guy explained that, although essentially the two sections are very similar, section 5 only applies to the DZ and, due to the political nature of the groups, it would be best to reference them seperately and in more detail. Closer terms of reference could then be given for different aspects of the group, for example, membership and conflicts of interest (section 5.3). Jaki suggested that 5.3 should apply to all sub-groups and not just the Election and Referendum working groups.
  2. Discussion turned to the problem of diminished membership of working groups in the case of a conflict of interest from named members. Elections working group have provisions for this  (in point 5.1,d,v) but Referendum Working group does not. Provisions will be made and added into the by-law.
  3. The wording of section 3 and 4 was discussed and there was confusion over the meaning of 'Sub-committees' and 'Sub-groups'. Jaki noted that the by law did not specify the differences between the two. David Martin agreed that section 3 needed a fuller explanation and description about Sub-committees. The committee agreed that section 3 and 4 be re-written with the possibility of merging the two together, and creating a new section named 'Fixed Working Groups'. Section 3 would include principles of sub-groups and sub-committees and section 4 and 5 would list current fixed working groups (FWGs). These would include closer terms of reference for each FWG (i.e. membership, specific conflicts of interest). It was agreed that these changes would be made to al Zone by-laws. 
  4. The group discussed wording of section 5.3, and Guy made amendments during the meeting.
  5. Membership of FWGs were established and approved by the committee: Elections Working group membership will include the Returning Officer (RO), the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) and one representative from the DZC, of which at least one of these three members would be a Sabbatical Offcer. In addition to these, there would be three representative from Union Council. The Referendum Working Group membership will include the Returning Officer (RO), the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) and one representative from the DZC, of which at least one of these three members would be a Sabbatical Offcer. In addition to these, there would be three representative from Union Council.
  6. The committee agreed on the removal of section 7 (Elections of Voluntary Officers).
Action make amendments to the Democracy by-law (Guy Drury)
4. Presentation of Zone Strategy

David Martin presented the committee with the Zone Strategy.

  1. The committee collectively suggested changes to the objectives outlined in the Zone Strategy. it was believed that the aims were not focused enough and required more detail and specific deadlines for projects. Guy amended the objectives during the meeting.
  2. The Zone strategy was approved by the committee as it was with the changes. It was also agreed that the strategy would be brought back to a future DZC meeting where the objectives would be clarified.
5. Policy Review Group: update

Guy explained the process for the Policy Review Group, including teh timings for the bringing policies to Zones and then presenting final recommendations to council. 

6. Setting up an Elections Working group

The Elections Working Group for the JCR Elections was established. The VP Student Communities (RO), JCR Officer (DRO) and the representatives from the DZ will be VP Democracy and Creative Industries. The three representatives from the Union Council will be chosen from the Student Leaders and Union Councillors. 

7. PGR and PGT Officers on Education Zone Committee

The committee members did not approve this.

Action Inform VP Education of decision regarding PGT/PGR officers (David Martin)
Action send the Education Zone By-law for approval (to Education Zone committee) (Guy Drury)
8. Halls and Course Rep Elections

1. Setting dates

Halls elections: nominations will open on Friday 18th November and close on Thursday 24th October. Campaigning will start on Friday 25th October and finish on Sunday 27th October. Voting will be from Tuesday 29th October until Friday 1st November.

Course Rep: nominations will close on Friday 18th October, Voting will open on Monday 21st October and close on Friday 25th October.

2. Creation of Election Working Groups

Course Rep Election Working group members will be the Union President (RO), VP Education (DRO) and the Student Groups Officer will be the representative from DZC. Three representatives from the Union Council will be added after the first Union Council.

The Autumn Elections Working Group members will be the Union President (RO), VP Democracy and Creative Industries (DRO) and the Student Groups Officer will be the representative from DZC. 

3. By-laws

The election by-laws were approved at the previous DZC meeting. David Gilani asked for clarification of terminology when referring to the election by-laws. Guy suggested referring to them as Regulations. It was decided by the committee to re-name them 'Election Regulation By-laws'.

Action rename the Election By-laws to 'Election Regulation By-laws' (Guy Drury)
9. Any other business

David Gilani asked about the possibility of electing Union Council representatives to the Zones before the summer as the voting membership between the start of term and the first Union Council meeting is so few. Many people agreed that bringing Union Council forward would be beneficial. This may be something that could be looked into for the start of the next academic year. 

10. Date of the next meeting

There was no other business to discuss and the meeting was declared closed at 5.35pm. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 29th October at 10am. 

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