爱上海,上海419论坛,上海龙凤419 - Powered by Brin Charalambos!

OUSU Council divided over gender balancing

admin

first_imgOUSU Council stands divided after Oxford delegates at last month’s NUS conference came under attack on Wednesday. Three NUS delegates received criticism after they voted in support of motion 701 – to introduce gender-balancing quotas – which went directly against the result of an earlier OUSU straw poll.The results of the vote, conducted on the 20th of March, were seventeen in favour, forty four against, and eleven abstentions. OUSU President David J. Townsend said, at the time, that the “motion was deliberately phrased so as to have a discussion rather than end in a formally binding vote”, whilst VP for Access & Academic Affairs David Messling stated that the straw poll was conducted so that “when delegates attend they will take this into consideration.”Townsend told Cherwell, “Questions were asked of those delegates who had voted against the wishes of OUSU Council, which represents the views of the common room presidents and others who comprise it.”One member of the OUSU executive described how the participants in the discussion “went on and repeatedly expressed that they were disappointed in them, whilst others said that they were angry.” Helena Dollimore, one of the under fire delegates, described their reception as “hostile”.NUS delegates Tom Rutland, Aled Jones and Helena Dollimore were criticised by the council at Wednesday’s meeting. Rutland, who is President elect of OUSU, defended his decision to vote in support of motion 701 by stating that, “At the Council where this was discussed it was made clear by David Townsend, the current OUSU President, that a ‘discussion’ took place rather than a ‘formally binding vote’ because such a vote would ‘render our delegates incapable of listening and taking into account arguments made at the conference itself’”.Despite the informality of the straw poll, OUSU VPs David Messling and Chris Gray were outspoken in their condemnation of the delegates. Messling told Cherwell that the debate arose from a belief that it is “important that when Oxford’s students make a decision, their representatives listen to them.” Messling stated that “it’s now apparent that some delegates did not weigh Common Rooms’ views as seriously as was generally expected.” Jack Matthews – who was Head Agent for TeamWestbury in Michaelmas’ OUSU elections – said that the delegates ought to be “disappointed in themselves”, and that it was simply “one line of procedure, which the delegates themselves neglected to add to the motion, that prevented this being a binding mandate. The students of Oxford have been let down.”Jones and Dollimore were also keen to defend their position on the subject. Jones, who, along with Dollimore, is co-chair elect of OULC, issued a statement to be read at OUSU council. Jones said that he understood that “this vote was not a binding one upon delegates and not one which mandated us to vote in a certain direction”, and that he had been “elected by the students of this university and it is they who I feel most accountable to, the autonomy of our NUS delegates is something that I see as extremely important, specifically on motions that delegates feel strongly about.” Dollimore’s statement concurred with Jones’s.The protocol for binding delegates to the results of the straw poll came under fire. Queen’s JCR Pres Jane Cahill spoke at the meeting and told Cherwell, “If the person who brought the discussion about gender quotas wanted to bind the NUS delegates then they should have had the courage to table it as a vote.”Questions have been raised over whether the response from members of council was proportionate to the alleged transgressions of the delegates. A member of the OUSU executive, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “It was clear that many in the room felt strongly about how they’d failed to represent Oxford students. The discussion went on for a while and the world ‘scandalous’ was used.”Jane Cahill confirmed this atmosphere, saying that there was a degree of “hounding the NUS delegates for their mistake”, but conceded that it “was not the case that everyone at OUSU Council was out for them.”Despite this, Dollimore was particularly critical of the atmosphere at Wednesday’s council meeting, saying that the “borderline aggressive reaction of some members of council isn’t productive for OUSU and doesn’t help its reputation. It could be argued that kind of environment is exactly what keeps women out of student politics in the first place.”To prevent a similar occurrence in the future, Rutland has said that “for next year, so that there is no confusion, any motions taken to Council will be ‘mandate’ motions rather than discussion ones which should ensure clarity both for Council and NUS delegates.”Townsend confirmed that he has “proposed that a set of guidelines should be drawn up on exactly when OUSU Council has and hasn’t formally bound Oxford’s delegates, and that is what I will submit to the next meeting of OUSU Council for their approval.”Messling, reacting to this news, said, “It’s encouraging that Council has decided to clear this up for the future, so that Oxford’s delegates will always travel to NUS Conference to represent the opinions of thousands of Oxford students, and not just their own.”last_img


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2021 爱上海,上海419论坛,上海龙凤419 – Powered by Brin Charalambos!