Proposal to reject the timing of the rebrand referendum and a request for urgent reconsideration (1516P36)

Status: Active | Zone: Democracy

Passed: 16/08/2016 | Lapses: 01/07/2018

This policy was discussed at the following meetings:

  • 1.       The Mission Statement of the Union, which is to unlock the potential and enrich the lives of every student.
    2.       The four core values of the Union, which are Student Led, Brave, Empowering and Respected.
    3.       That Rule 4 (Zones), Clause 3.1 states that it is ‘the purpose of the Democracy Zone is to allow our members to equally participate in the running of the Union, including the proposal and development of decisions.’
    4.       The policy proposal to the final Union Council of 2014/15 which resolved to a referendum on the prospect of rebranding the Union, but was referred to Trustee Board to make a decision on.
    5.       That the process of rebranding the Union was started on 14th May 2016.
    6.       That on the same day as that process started, a change.org petition was launched by a student calling for students to be given the opportunity to vote on the rebrand, which now has over 1800 signatures.
    7.       That as a result of concerns about the validity of those signatures, a petition function was launched on the Union website on Monday 23rd May.
    8.       The petition that launched using that function, entitled ‘Hold a referendum on the SUSU rebrand’, which has gained over 450 signatures from verified full members of the Union, which is in excess of the 250 signatures needed to trigger a referendum as set out in Rule 2 (Decision Making), clause 1.2.
    9.       That Rule 2, Clause 1.4, gives the responsibility for setting the dates of referenda to Democracy Zone Committee.
    10.   That Democracy Zone Committee met on Thursday 26th May, during which two options were presented and discussed: Option A was to hold the referendum in the new academic year (date to be decided by Democracy Zone Committee nearer to the time), whilst Option B was to hold the referendum on Friday 3rd June.
    11.   That there were four voting members present at that meeting (not including the Chair - the Vice President for Democracy and Creative Industries), and 20 other students who attended voluntarily, which is the highest turnout of non-voting members to Democracy Zone Committee to have ever occurred.
    12.   That 2 of the voting members voted for Option A, 1 voted for Option B, and 1 abstained.
    13.   That in the 24-hour period after the meeting, the number of signatures on the petition for a referendum on the dissolution of the Union, tripled.
  • 1.       That regardless of how close they are to graduating, final year students are still students, and thus members of the Union who are still covered by the mission statement.
    2.       That elected officers and representatives should take the views of all students into account when making decisions and casting votes, regardless of the proximity of some of those students to graduation.
    5.       That for 4 members to vote to delay by at least 4 months, setting a date for a referendum that has been clearly requested by over 460 full members is undemocratic and can be considered to be a non-representative decision, which is not in-keeping with the purpose of the Democracy Zone.
    6.       That taken at face value by the majority of uninvolved students, this decision has the potential to cause huge reputational damage to the Union for years to come.
    7.       That Democracy Zone Committee should urgently reconsider its decision on delaying the referendum on the rebrand until the next academic year, taking into account the views of the current members of the Union.
    8.       That the Democracy Zone Committee should consider increasing the duration of the voting period of a referendum to encourage more students to vote.
  • 1.       To request that the Democracy Zone Committee meets urgently and reconsiders the decision that was made at the meeting on Thursday 26th May, to hold the referendum on the rebrand at the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year.
    That Union Council strongly recommends that the Democracy Zone Committee amends its decision so the referendum is held before the end of the Summer Term.”
    Sorry, there are no Mandates for this policy