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A prominent number of the Students’ Union bylaws were revised at the first Union Council meeting of the academic year,. Among the proposed changes, some applied to the election process for LUSU officers. In particular, the way in which JCR executive officers are elected to a role where two officers have the same duties as occurs in some colleges with the role of Social Secretary was proposed to be changed. Previously, to run for such positions students had to be part of a pair, campaigning together against other pairs. However, this was changed in the election bylaw revision that was passed as it was deemed wrong to rule out students running on their own for a single position.
Though there had been rumours that this change would be a contentiously debated topic, it was passed almost unanimously. Several JCR executive officers had mentioned that they would be speaking against it and would be available to be quoted; however, none of them offered any argument to the proposals.
Speaking afterwards Olly Trumble, Vice President of Fylde JCR, said that “from our experience it adds a definite edge” when students ran as a pair. He claimed that last year saw Fylde’s first joint election campaign which was “infinitely more successful than people running as individuals” because they have to be motivated “campaigning together from the beginning”.
While he acknowledged that it doesn’t necessarily mean other colleges have also experienced this, Trumble said “it would be interesting to see” how the change affects the elections at the end of the term.
Trumble also commented that with so many changes being made at once “it’s impossible to look at them [the proposals] in infinite detail with the time constraints”, arguing that any issue would be easy to miss in the mass of changes being made.
LUSU President Robbie Pickles, who had been working on the revisions over the summer break, noted that the previous constitution had bylaws which were “extremely out of date, cross referencing non-existent rules and officers’”. He was careful to stress that though every single bylaw had some form of modification, they were “largely cosmetic changes” in a bid to bring the constitution up to date with current officer titles, remits and rules.
In a change to previous Union Council meetings, desk mounted name signs and a brief summary sheet detailing some FAQs based around the running of the meetings were introduced. These were introduced with two purposes in mind, according to Pickles, to clarify proceedings for observers and, in preparation for a series of new officers after elections at the end of Michaelmas term, to familiarise them with each other and with the meetings.