Another attempt to remove a clause in QUB Students’ Union constitution is scheduled to take place during the next meeting of student council, on Monday 27th April.
For the fourth time during this term of council, active student councillor Sarah Wright will try to amend a clause in the constitution, which states that student officers are required to be in ‘good academic standing’ at the time of their election.
Why is this being proposed for a fourth time?
In a comment to The Scoop, Wright explains that she believes removing the academic standing rule “is imperative if we are to remain independent from the University and give the opportunity to all students to run for election at QUBSU.”
Wright also adds that, at present, she feels the rule “actively discriminates against students with disabilities, illnesses and those with caring responsibilities who have had to defer assessment, through no fault of their own.”
December 4th 2014: Councillor Wright first proposes that the academic standing rule should be scrapped. At student council the amendment fails to receive the necessary support in order for the amendment to pass.
February 9th 2015: After the first failed attempt, Wright again proposes the scrapping of the academic standing rule during this meeting of council. The constitutional amendment receives enough support to pass and does. However, during the debate, a student councillor, Timothy McLean, raises an objection that the Students’ Union constitution had not been adhered to because councillors did not receive 10 days notice that the constitutional amendment would be forthcoming.
March 4th 2015: Councillors are notified by email that upon receiving legal advice, the Student Union asks councillors to reconsider the constitutional amendment at the next meeting of council.
Thursday 19th March: Council re-votes on whether the constitutional amendment should pass. A low turnout at council meant that almost all councillors attending the meeting would have to vote in favour of the amendment in order for it to pass. This didn’t happen and the amendment subsequently failed.
Monday 27th April: The constitutional amendment to remove the academic standing rule will be proposed again. For the amendment to pass, it will need to receive a 2/3 majority from council, given that those who do vote in favour of the amendment make-up at least half of the whole council membership.