From Ben's blog: (https://blogs.susu.org/officers/2016/05/20/rebrand-week-1-looking-back/#comment-234705)
“If you missed the Q&A, I discussed my views on the referendum – I’ll be honest with you, I don’t believe it’s the best thing for the Union now. If there is demand, of course we will have one – but at this stage I don’t think it will be constructive.”
You promised at The Bridge Q&A that you would hold a referendum and that it would be available online in "a couple of days". You admitted yourself at The Bridge that your Q&A session had a larger turn-out than you expected, hence the poor organisation, and when asked how many people would like a referendum the overwhelming majority of the audience put their hands up to vote yes. Most comments and questions from the audience were unsupportive of the rebrand and received rounds of applause. A student stood up, took your microphone and spoke about the need for a referendum which also received a round of applause. How is this not "demand"? Why have you gone back on your word about holding a referendum? What else do students need to do to prove they want a referendum? Are you going to continue to ignore the demand? This behaviour is only further disengages students from SUSU. You wanted students to care about SUSU. They're showing that they care. Stop dismissing them.
Thanks for the submission. Please forgive me if I was confusing at the Q&A, what I promised was not a referendum, it was the appropriate means to call a referendum (petition functionality on the website, which is now live) and made clear that I would obviously follow the constitution and honour the petition if it gathered the right number of signatures. There are set ways of initiating a referendum (check out the Articles) that mean I couldn’t just hold one myself without going to Council and the trustees. There are also some practical realities to holding a referendum that I think need careful consideration, and this is the point I was careful to make during the Q&A – I don’t want to be dismissive of students, but I have to make sure that any and all action taken is in line with the rules of the Union to avoid being in breach of national Charity and Company Law, including making sure that petitions are held correctly and fairly.
Tuesday 24th May 2016 3:27pm