March student council meeting goes ahead despite absence of councillors
“It looks to be about five more people” for the meeting to be quorate
By Anttoni James Numminen
Photo courtesy of The Gaudie/AJN.
The penultimate student council meeting of the semester went ahead Tuesday evening despite the absence of a quorum.
This is the second time in a row since February that student council has not been quorate, i.e., had the minimum attendance needed for decisions to be legally made.
Student council is a democratically elected body of students who start, discuss and pass campaigns and motions to influence the work of the students’ association AUSA.
“The only thing that needs to be voted on are the minutes, so we’ll just go ahead. But obviously, it won’t be counted as an official meeting as we’re not quorate”, said Chair of student council Daniel O’Connor at the beginning of the meeting, which had around 30 people present.
Instead, AUSA sabbatical officers only briefed councillors on their work in the past month.
Camilo Torres-Barragan, the vice-president for communities, highlighted his work with decolonising the curriculum, as well as helping liberation forums with their activities, some of which will take place at the upcoming Live on the Lawn event this Friday.
He also mentioned the University’s anti-racism strategy which had been discussed by the University’s court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, vice-president for sport, Adam Lambert, said in his report: “It’s been a busy enough month, so it has, assisting RGU with Granite City and helping clubs take part in the competition.”
Lambert said he had also been helping to organise the upcoming sports ball, as well as taking part in an NUS consultation. He said he had also been working on the ‘blues and sports’ awards and earlier in the year on Refreshers events such as drag bingo, and wine yoga.
Student councillor and vice-chair of the welfare committee, Sophie Levine, asked: “Will sports and societies need to have a covid officer for next academic year?”
Lambert did not have an immediate answer, responding: “I’ll look into it but I don’t see it as being quite as vital, but I’ll find that out for sure.”
"I’d also like to give a shoutout to the fundraising event we’re hosting in the Blue Lamp tonight.” - vice-president for welfare
Vice-president for welfare, Ivana Drdáková said in her report: “Most of my work went into the Ukraine campaign, and I’d like to thank all the clubs and societies that have taken part and helped fundraise. I’d also like to give a shoutout to the fundraising event we’re hosting in the Blue Lamp tonight.”
Vice-president for education, Ondrej Kucerak said: “Over the last month I’ve been preoccupied with the student elections. And in addition to the regular stuff I focus on, I’ve taken part in two focus groups to improve the class rep system with students and staff.
“There has been some movement on the student monitoring system, so the C6/C7 system. But there’s also some activity happening in terms of employability, and we kicked off our institutional collaboration with the European University Association and were collaborating on collaborative teaching spaces.
"We’ve got a plan but we’re plagued by government regulations" - vice president for education
“We’ve also had some senate meetings on delivery of education in the next year, we’ve got a plan but we’re plagued by government regulations. We’re trying to work out what education will look like in the coming term.”
"I’ve linked a few articles, including in The Gaudie tracking our manifesto progress, so you can have a look at those." - Student President
After this, the student president Alisa Koester gave her work report, saying: “I trust being the good student councillors you are, you’ll have read the papers [sent ahead of the meeting]. I’ve linked a few articles, including in The Gaudie tracking our manifesto progress, so you can have a look at those.”
Koester said she had also taken part in an Aurora University Network meeting as well as having worked on the upcoming rector installation: “If you’re going to be on the Old Aberdeen Campus on Friday, come and say hello to Martina, our new rector.”
Koester added: “At Court today there was some discussion about the anti-racism policy which will hopefully pass now, and Ukraine was also mentioned,” she also thanked students for organising related events and fundraisers.
Koester also announced that she was running for the role of National Union of Student UK president: It’s a personal announcement and I want to let you know because you let me do this by being the wonderful students that you are.”
Following the accountability session, Torres-Barragan asked to hear students’ feedback on the University’s response to the situation in Ukraine.
“I wanted to get a sense check and hear your opinions on the university’s response. We’re not debating the reasons of the conflict, but the measures and the communications of the University regarding the situation in Ukraine.
“All of the sabbatical officers were very happy with the way students have organised, it’s been amazing, and it’s been a very big step in going back to normal, collaborative events.”
Though none of the councillors shared any thoughts at the time of the meeting, during the Forums update, student councillor Rebekka Cebulla said: “Ivana already mentioned it but we [the LGBTQ+ Students’ forum] will host a fundraising Pub quiz today at 8 pm in the Blue Lamp!
"Anyone who’s interested can attend, there will be free snacks and awesome prizes. All the proceeds go to a help organization in Ukraine.”
There was no other competent business and the meeting was adjourned at 5.32pm.