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Students’ Union suspends negotiations awaiting referendum result
The Union released a statement this evening (25th October 2019) announcing their decision: “The Trustee Board is awaiting the results of the referendum and is ensuring that the democratic process take its course before deciding whether to continue the negotiations.”
It’s important we listen to the student body, we ensure that every student can engage with its union and crucially we listen to the student voiceLancaster University Students’ Union President George Nuttall
Vice-President Education Bee Morgan clarified the situation in her Facebook statement, “[the] Trustee Board have only agreed to suspend negotiations until after the referendum, this is NOT permanent. The Trustee Board have the power to still proceed with the sale.”
Sugar Sale Summary
The story so far…
The decision to enter negotiations to sell The Sugarhouse was made early in September 2019. The Students’ Union stated that the decision was made after considering the best interests of present and future students.
The Board of Trustees is the Union’s governing body and was collectively responsible for the initial decision. At the time of the vote, the Board consisted of six officer trustees: the president & vice-presidents of the Union, who are elected students, as well as four external trustees and two student trustees. These were: Laura Davies; Graeme Osborn; Mark Alexander; Jane Riley (external trustees); Kathy New; and Jenna Higham (student trustees). External trustees and student trustees are not elected.
For a motion to pass, there must be a simple majority. Due to the composition of the Board at the time it was obvious that at least one elected officer trustee must have voted in favour of the sale, otherwise a majority could not have been achieved.
A week after the announcement, two external trustees – Laura Davies (who was Vice-Chair of the Board) and Jane Riley – resigned.
News of the decision was quickly received and countered with petitions such as Jack O’Dwyer-Henry’s “Save Our Sugarhouse” petition, and Atree Ghosh’s “A Trustee Board With A Majority of Student-Elected Representatives”.
The Students’ Union recently called an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to discuss, among other things, the Sugarhouse controversy. Everything you need to know about the AGM can be found here.
This is an ongoing story.