Event Description

3rd Week MT17 Student Council Minutes

Wed 25 October 2017 17:30-19:00, Corpus Christi College, MBI Al Jaber Auditorium


Sam Banks, Chair of Council, introduced 3rd week council and explianed how the meeting would proceed. He wennt down the motions in the agenda so Council could pass by lack of oppositon any thing no one wished to discuss, object to or ask questions on. The amended OSDC Consitution therefore passed without opposition.

Elections in Council

Nominations Committee member

Jim Brennan, Returning Officer, explained that the one nominee for the Nominations Committee was not present and therefore could not hust. Council moved to a vote.

Nominations Committee member Vote Result

Edward Jonathan Han-Burgess: 32

RON: 9

Steering Committee member

Jim Brennan, Returning Officer, again explained the only candidate for Steering Committee has not present and therfore could not hust. Could moved to a vote.

Steering Committee member Vote Result

Rida Vaquas: 38

RON: 7

Jim Brennan, Returning Officer, introduced the four candidates for the two positions on Scrutiny Committee and explained that the candidate Kannan Ganga was not present to hust. The other three candidates gave short introduction speeches on why they should be elected.

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: Did the candidate who is not present give an explantion for their absense?

Jim Brennan, St Peter's: They were sent an email reminding them to be here and I received no response.

Scrutiny Committee members Vote Result

First Round

Carla fuentes-lopez: 12

Kannan Ganga: 1

Lucas Bertholdi-Saad: 18

Anisha Faruk: 14

RON: 1

The quota for the first round was 16 so Lucas Bertholdi-Saad was elected. Their surplus votes were them distributed to the other candidates for the second round.

Second Round

Carla fuentes-lopez: 12

Kannan Ganga: 1

Anisha Faruk: 15

RON: 1

The quota for the sceond round was 11 but Anisha Faruk had the most votes and was therefore elected.

Reports to Council

See what projects your Sabbatical Trustees are working and the progress they're making here

Changes to Elections (2nd Reading)

Sam Banks, Chair of Council, explains that this motion proposes changing the Bye-Laws and Regulations and therefore has come back for its second and final reading at a Council meeting and must be discussed.

Speech in proposition Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: Last term there was a similar motion to this which fell. There were many reasons for this, namely that it wanted to change the Returning Officer role to a staff role, which Council disagreed with. There were, however, parts of the motion in 'notes 4' fell with the motion yet weren't objected to. Also, the fact there's a student Returning Officer with no oversight is still a high risk thing to have as outlined in 'notes 5'. We're trying to follow the advice of Council with keeping the student Returning Officer but making sure they can't do anything ridiculous. Governance needs to be built on a foundation of distrust and work despite the potential incompetence or maliciousness of those that carry it out.

Short factual questions

Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, Merton?: What exactly is this change going to be?

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU:  Returning Officer stays the same, Deputy Returning Officer becomes a staff member responsible for operational stuff, adds elections committees with three student members who make rulings on things like the use of social media, slates and so on. Generally the elections committee takes the power of the Returning Officer and spreads to across more students to reduce the risk of disruptive rulings being made.

Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, Wadham: What is the mechanism by which rulings of the External Appeals Officers rulings and incorperated into the future running of elections.

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: Can I consult the Democratic Support Officer on whether the External Appeals Officer's Ruling are final?

Josh O'Connor, Oxford SU Staff: The External Appeals Officer would make decisions on complaints against the Returning Officer or appeals against the Returning Officer's decisions. That is final unless the complainant appeals to the university.

Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, Wadham: Does that ruling set a precedent for future elections?

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: No, rulings aren't made by the External Appeals Officer and the only things which carry over to each election are in the Regulations.

Aondoyima Ioratim-Uba, Mansfield: Are these changes being propsed in response to a certain problem or is it precautionary?

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: It's precautionary, we've reviewed governing documents and this came up.

No speech in opposition


Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: I think I was at the Council meeting in 7th Week Trinity when this motion was debated and one of the points was that the Returning Officer would not be responsible. How have you addressed that?

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: We have restricted the amount of decisions which the Returning Officer can make. Things like 'what are slates?' are now decided by the elections committee. We found it hard to reduce risk and not have any staff involvement.

Kate Cole, Oxford SU: The External Appeals Officer is only there to deal with complaints, decisions are now made by the elections committee, we've taken the Sabbaticals off elections committee because they have invested interest and elections committee will have three student members. I think the biggest thing which came out of that meetign was taking away student opportunities and we've now increased the number of opportunities.

Vote on Elections Changes

For: 35

Against: 5

Abstain: 2

Motion passed

Funding for Transport to Yarls Wood

Sam Banks, Chair of Council, explained there has been an extensive amendment to the motion by the proposers:

In Notes 3, replace "Movement for Justice (MFJ)" with "Oxford Migrant Soildarity (OMS)"

Replace the whole of Notes 5 with "OMS will book one coach to transport Oxford Students to Yarls Wood, which is in an isolated location with few transport links. OMS will subsidise the cost of transport for university students."

Replace Notes 6 with "The cost of booking a coach is between £500 and £600; a current quote for a 49-seater is £565.02."

Delete Notes 7

In Believes 2 replace "like those at MFJ" with "liuke those from groups organising the protest"

In Believes 3 delete "asylum seekers and"

In Resolves 1 replace "donate £250 to MFJ" with "donate £300 to OMS"

Speech in propositon Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: Yarls Wood is a detention centre in Bedfordshire which indefinitely detains refugees. It is infamous for its human rights abuses. We have heavily amended this motion due to recent allogations against people in the central organising committee of MFJ. We'd still like to particiate in the protest and are therefore asking for some money to book the coaches as OMS.

Sam Banks, Merton: The Council Discrentiary Fund is £1500 year. So far, no money has been spent from this fund this year.

Rebecca Stephens, Hertford: How far into the turnover of the Discrentary Fund are we

Sam Banks, Merton: It runs for the academic year and this is our second meeting.

Kelli Francis-Staite, St John's: Has Oxford SU supported something like this before and if so how much money did we give?

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: I don't think there's been a monitiary motion on this before but has been supported on Social Media

Tom Barringer, Oxford SU: We do have Policy mandating us to support campaigns to shut down Yarls Wood which passed last year.

Amelia Wrigley, St John's: Have you approached any JCRs or MCRs for funding?

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: Yes, we have been in contact with a number of the reps. One has already passed a motion to supprt this.

Dane Rogers, Merton: How much money have you raised so far for this to give us some context please?

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: The new situation is a slightly indeterminate one. We as OMS are going to book the coach ourselves. We have the estimated we'll have between 25 and 50 people come along which we could charge a ticket price to subsidize the cost, also looking at funding from JCRs.

Gerard, Mansfield: How many students have attended this before and how many do you expect this time?

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: Normally book out a 40-50 seater coach. Last year it was maybe about 30.

Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, Merton College: The allogations relating to MFJ have only come to light in the last few days so we're trying to arrange this protest on very short notice.

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz:  A 24 seater coach cost only a small amount less than a 50 seater coach so the cost will be within the same region anyway.

Katy Haigh, Oxford SU: So the £215 mentioned in the original motion, you don't have anymore? You're at zero?

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: We are at zero

Katy Haigh, Oxford SU: Given the short amount of time you have, how do you hope to get the rest of the money?

Rivka Micklethwaite, St Catz: Through JCRs and maybe charging ticket prices.

No speech in opposition


Jack Wands, Wadham: An ex-detainee of Yarls Wood responded when asked about protest at the detention centre said whilst it was appreciated they felt the money could be better used lobbying politicians.

Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, Merton College: Women from Yarls Wood have spoken out about the positive impact these protests have had for the women inside. I cannot quote statistics right now though.

Vote on Funding for Transport to Yarls Wood

For: 39

Against: 6

Abstain: 0

TW: Student fatality, Cycling accident | Student Cycling and the Claudia Charter

Sam Banks, Chair of Council, explained that there was a friendly amendment to change "sign" in Resolves 1 to "endorse". There was no opposition to the motion so it passed.

Moving some policy into the Rules

Katy Haigh, Oxford SU: This is a motion to clean up some more governance and Policy. We are moving some Policies into the Rules of Council because they are better suited there. We are moving Policy on Trigger Warnings, Council holding the executive to account and the proceedure for filling a vacancy in the position of Returning Officer into the Rules.

Short factual questions

Dane Rogers, Merton: In 7(b) "ensuring that nothing which could be considered ultra vires, in contradiction to superseding governance, of considerable organisational risk to Oxford SU or of an illegal nature is added to the agenda," Is this being added as something new?

Katy Haigh, Oxford SU: We are just adding that yes.

No opposition and therefore the changes pass.

Any other business

Sam Banks, Chair of Council, remind Council that the Council Review is ongoing and encouraged voting members to complete the survey. He also stated that an all student survey will be going out soon too.

Katy Haigh, Oxford SU: Kate, Oxford SU President, and myself have been working with the Ashmolean Museum and they've given us 500 free tickets specifically for students to their 400th birthday of their founder Elias Ashmole.

Meeting Documents