BSL Motion, University of Oxford Student Council

Clarification Points: BSL Motion, University of Oxford Student Council. Oxford SU.

Since Student Council passed the BSL motion, it has created a huge amount of interest as well as some inaccuracies in the reporting. If you’re a University of Oxford student, it’s important that you get the right information. With that in mind, let’s address some of them now.

Why Did it come to Student Council?

Motions create student policy when approved by Student Council. This motion was proposed in order to encourage the use of British Sign Language (BSL) clapping during Oxford SU democratic events to make those events more accessible and inclusive. Numerous students had highlighted to DisCam, that frequent loud clapping, which previously occurred in council, has made council either difficult for them to attend or prohibited them from attending completely. Students raising concerns include those using hearing aids and students with neurodiverse conditions, such as autistic students. This motion aims to address that.

It is intended to be encouraged at the Oxford SU’s democratic events – those in which our members are invited to participate in decision making which affects the democratic organisation of the Students’ Union.

In a democratic space, it’s important things are brought and debated by members. Inclusivity, for example, is a founding principle for an SU. At Oxford SU, we recognise that minority groups are underrepresented in political environments. This policy is one way of ensuring that Oxford SU is addressing that.

What’s the Impact of this Motion?

Oxford SU Disabilities Campaign have already received many positive responses from disabled students (some of whom are deaf or autistic), who are pleased to feel more included in our democratic process.

We recognise that this one motion doesn’t overcome all of the barriers to complete inclusivity and we will continue to work towards that ideal. We do, however, see this as a positive step forward in that regard.

What’s Next?

As a student member, you’re encouraged to attend Student Council or join a Campaign or Project and start making positive changes in your university.

We’re really looking forward to seeing the impacts of this more inclusive policy at Oxford SU Student Council.