Can you provide a full cost breakdown of the £2,100 being spent on the Referendum. I know the money is coming out of a budget set aside for democracy but this still seems a ridiculous amount, especially considering the actual referendum poll is online. It seems this money is being wasted on posters and recruiting students to stand outside 'promoting' the referendum or sticking a tablet in someones face forcing them to give an opinion. Also, we have been told that only 250 students need to say 'Yes' or 'No' for the vote to be valid, considering how much you have emphasised this, how is that full and proper student consultation. It amounts to roughly 1% of students. Finally, the vote has no option to purposefully spoil the ballot or declare that you feel the issue is of no relevance, surely this should be an option students can chose to opt for, especially if you really want to know how they feel!
There's a link to the full cost breakdown here http://blogs.susu.org/officers/2015/10/26/24hr-library-referendum-your-questions-answered/.
To contextualise it a little more, the referendum budget is only 0.03% of our annual turnover. I don't personally think spending money on publicising ways of getting students engaged democratically is a bad thing at all, especially as we are constantly striving to represent the views of all of our students, not just the minority already engaged with SUSU democracy.
As for your concern about 250 voters; although that is the quoracy, we don't know what the turnout will be yet, which we are hoping will be much higher. And even 250 votes is considerably higher than the number of students who could vote at council for example. Furthermore, it is still extremely valuable to give all students the option to vote, even if not every single one of them takes it, as having an open and transparent democratic decision is key to what I feel SUSU should be.
If students don't want to vote on the issue, no one is forcing them to! We will be collecting feedback about the referendum after Friday, so there will be a constructive way for students to voice their opinions about how useful the referendum was.
If you have any further questions feel free to ask, you are also more than welcome to come and chat to me in the sabbatical office (level 2 of SUSU building) if you would like to discuss this further.
VP Democracy and Creative Industries
Wednesday 28th Oct 2015 2:12pm
Question for: Vice President Democracy and Creative Industries