Why does 'All Student Vote' have biased questions and why are there only 2 options given for the answers?
I’m very happy that All Student Vote is set up as it makes the union more of a democratic space. But I must say that I feel like the questions are quite leading and biased... Also on the website there is no further information on the raised points so I don’t feel that students can make an informed decision on this…
As a solution for the future I think the questions should be less biased and the answers should contain more options (e.g. one of which ‘I’m not sure’).
Thank you for your question!
This vote was the outcome of a petition that was submitted by a group of our students last week. If a petition reaches 250 signatures it will move on to the next stage which can be an Extraordinary General Meeting (EMG), a meeting of Union Senate or a referendum on the topic. We will always discuss the petition with the students who created it so that they are able to choose the outcome that they feel is most appropriate, in this case it was decided that a referendum would be best.
The University’s Restructure was discussed at our Union Senate meeting which was on Thursday 7th December. It was at this meeting that we discussed whether the topic should be split into more than one question. As many of our students are concerned about the VC’s pay, it was decided that this should remain in the referendum but would be best as a separate question so that it doesn’t influence the vote on other related topics. We always agree the wording that we use with the students who submitted the petition in order to ensure the whole process remains as close to the original statement as possible.
On the Yes/No voting, we wanted to ensure that there was a clear and strong answer we could take action on and take to the University at the end of the vote, and so this is why this decision was taken. Students, of course, do not have to vote for all/any of the questions if they are confused or concerned about them. We are of course very aware that there is confusion surrounding the restructure (from us here at the Union as well!) due to the lack of information provided by the University. Since the vote went live they have since published this post, with some more information in it: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/blog/sussed-news/2017/12/12/top-five-facts-about-proposed-changes-within-our-university/
Thank you for your feedback, it is really appreciated and will inform how we run All Student Votes in the future!
- Evie (VP Democracy and Creative Industries)
Friday 12th Jan 2018 11:50am