In case you missed it… the result of the Students’ Union’s referendum to change its full-time officer team (see subtext 182) has been announced, and it shows a decisive victory for the ‘don’t care!’ campaign. On a 6% turnout of 892 votes, the votes were: Yes 438 (49%), No 396 (44%) and Abstain 58 (7%). As the union notes, ‘students’ union rules on referendums state that a voter turnout of at least 10% is required in order for decisions to be upheld, and therefore the proposal did not pass’:
The referendum voting website was kept separate from the sites to vote for JCR executives, with different closing dates. Did the union executive miss a trick by not bundling the votes together? The County College had a turnout of almost 30% for its JCR elections, with Furness and Grizedale Colleges not too far behind, so it seems so – although given the large ‘No’ vote amongst the few who did turn out, it’s distinctly possible that the proposals would have been rejected anyway.
subtext was unenthusiastic about the proposals, particularly the idea of establishing a full-time Postgraduate Officer who would be elected by a majority undergraduate electorate, but this doesn’t seem to be the main issue that galvanised the lively ‘No’ campaign: ‘Do you want more support for Sugarhouse? Vote NO’ claimed its Facebook page. The proposed loss of the Vice-President Union Development – which is what the strapline was referring to – certainly did not go down well with JCR officers, who queued up to oppose the changes.
Will the proposals return next term? Even if they did, presumably any change would come too late to change the full-time officers for 2019-20, so it seems likely they’ll be rapidly booted into the very long grass.