Over the last month or so, you will have seen the Students’ Union promoting its ‘Constitutional Referendum’. It might sound a bit dry and you might have wondered what is was all about but we think the changes were really important because they stood to make us more efficient and to ensure our practices much more reflective of the whole of our modern membership!
The changes included:
Reserving a student trustee position for an Uxbridge student – Uxbridge is such a large and important part of our student body and we wanted to make sure your voice was heard at our most senior committee.
Introduce greater specificity over the process for permitting associate membership – alumni, staff and certain other groups of non-students are permitted to gain associate membership and participate in some clubs and societies. We wanted to make the rules around this much clearer so that we can ensure that our resource is being allocated in the best interests of students.
Abolishing the AGM and replace it with an online process – students had stopped attending the AGM and it was seen by many as outdated. With so many students studying away from the High Wycombe campus we also wanted to make sure that as many students as possible get to hear the most important information about our work, plans and finances by moving the process to a brand new online event.
Retain the Executive Committee of the Students’ Union as an entity in its own right but with flexibility for each President to determine whether it meets as a committee – our Executive Committee is formed by a range of part-time officers, together with the sabbaticals to support the work of the organisation and represent particular groups of students (for instance BME, part-time and postgraduate). We wanted to give flexibility each year to the President to lead the work of this group in the way that makes the biggest possible impact for our members.
Abolish the Appointments Committee for lay trustees – now to be carried out by members of Governance Committee – we were duplicating work by establishing a separate committee to appoint our external trustees. By giving the responsibility to Governance Committee it gives us more time to deliver great things for our members.
In order for these changes to be adopted we needed 5% of our 13,685 strong student body to turn out and vote by a two-thirds majority. In total 753 students voted, above the 684 needed and the totals were as follows:
731 students voted YES
19 students voted NO
3 students ABSTAINED
Bucks Students’ Union is therefore delighted to announce that its Constitutional Referendum has passed with an overwhelming majority and will see these amendments take place with immediate effect in order to ‘make life better for students at Bucks’. You can find a copy of our latest Constitution here.
If you have any questions regarding our Referendum or these changes, please do not hesitate to contact our Representation team at email@example.com.