Student Members’ Meeting 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
The agenda for the Student Members’ Meeting taking place on Wednesday 1st December has been published, and you will see that there is an item for decision titled ‘Amendments to the Memorandum and Articles of Association’.
The Union understand that the item may raise questions; so, to help you understand what is being proposed we have provided 10 answers to the frequently asked questions that have been asked.
Why are amendments being proposed to City Students’ Union’s Memorandum and Articles of Association at the Student Members’ Meeting
The proposed amendments to the Memorandum and Articles of Association and Bye-Laws reflect the will of students as identified through the research as part of the democracy review completed in the 2020/21 academic year.
Do the proposed amendments mean Students Members’ Meeting/AGM will no longer exist?
The ‘AGM’ or as we call it Student Members’ Meeting will not formally exist but its core functions will still be in place.
Core business of the Members’ Meeting will be absorbed into the Assembly’s business as required and students voting on Priorities has been highlighted in the new Bye-Law governing the Assembly.
Why is policy being changed to priorities?
Our research showed us that our current democracy and supporting language is difficult to understand and clunky.
Changing to Union priorities, we hope, will make the union more accessible and easier to understand to all types of students.
What happens to current live Student Policy after this academic year?
At the first meeting of the Assembly the members will decide which policies they think should be taken forward.
The Union maintain a policy tracker, so we will be able to give the Assembly a realistic picture of what is still left to achieve in Policy that is live, or that is passed this year.
Is there a process for introducing new Union priorities?
Yes, the Assembly Speaker, upon a written request from a minimum of 40% of Assembly Members at least one week ahead of the meeting, may dedicate a section of an Assembly as a Student Members’ Meeting. This would be for the purpose to discuss and agree a priority, stance or statement on a matter that requires wider student consultation. In the event a section of an Assembly is known as a Student Members’ Meeting, all Student Members present for that section of the meeting will be able to vote.
How can students get involved in delivering the Union priorities?
Any student can get involved in helping to deliver the union’s priorities. The Assembly should identify ways to encourage wider student involvement in the union, for example by doing outreach work with Reps and Societies – particularly if an issue disproportionally affects certain groups.
How will the proposed amendments and new democratic structures affect decision-making?
The new democratic structures will allow for wider, more informed student engagement in democratic decision making. Meetings of the Assembly will focus on feedback, learning, discussion, and decision-making by contributors internal and external to the university.
Will all students be able to take part in the decision making of the Union?
Yes, all student members will have the ability to get involved in decisions of the Union in two ways: by referenda (now All Student Vote); and by a section of an Assembly Meeting being dedicated to a Student Members’ Meeting for the purpose of agreeing a Union priority, stance or statement.
The new democratic structures do not include an Executive Committee or a Student Council, will my voice still be heard and will I still be represented?
The Executive Committee and Student Council have been replaced by an Assembly, which will include up to 50 Members. The 50 Assembly Members will be reflective of the diverse community at City and will not put large demographics of people, for example, Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students into one homogenous group. Instead, electing a large body of students from an already diverse population of people will allow for a more focused approach to the experiences of traditionally underrepresented identities. The Assembly may also choose to co-opt students of a particular identity if they believe they are missing experiences of a group.
What does the university think about the changes?
The university were part of the initial research and have been consulted on the changes. The reality is, how we organise students heavily relies on the feedback they receive. The university also have final sign off on the Unions amended Memorandum & Articles of Association.
If you have any further questions, please come to the Sabbatical Officer drop-in session taking place at 4pm on Tuesday 30 November 2021 in room C316, Northampton Square.
Alternatively, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and a Sabbatical Officer will get in contact as soon as they can.