Posted on Mon 13 Apr 2020 at 17:02 by Cecilia Wallback
Hello! In response to the Democratic Review, I have submitted this proposal for Byelaw 3 (Student Council) to be discussed at the April Student Council and voted on by the Student Councillors! If anyone has any comments or questions, I will be hosting a live stream on Facebook on Thursday 16th April where you can ask about the Byelaw proposals I have submitted for Council!
Byelaw 3 – Student Council
- To gather student opinion and act as a primary representative forum for the student body at the University of Aberdeen.
- Shape and implement the direction and policies of the Students’ Association.
- Hold Elected Officers accountable for manifesto and policy work.
- To be an open forum for all students to participate in sharing their views and ideas.
- Receive comments, feedback, and insights on the direction of the Students’ Association.
- Discuss matters raised by students in all areas of the student experience such as, but not limited to:
- Experience of diverse student groups
- Activities, campaigns, and projects of the Students’ Association
- Experiences related to campus and University life, as well as city-wide or national campaigns and issues
- Receive, consider, and approve updates on work by the Sabbatical Officers.
- Receive and consider updates on work by the Standing Committees, Forums, and Campaigns.
- Discuss, propose and approve motions submitted to NUS Conferences (UK and Scotland).
- Consider the implementation of ideas, policies and campaigns submitted by students and delegate implementation to relevant Committees, Forums, and Sabbatical Officers.
- Approve and review the Student Partnership Agreement (SPA).
- Propose and vote on amendments to the Association’s byelaws in line with the AUSA Constitution.
- All full members of the Students’ Association are members of the Student Council.
- All Sabbatical Officers are required to attend.
- Elected members (whose membership is required and used to calculate quorum):
- Two elected members of each Standing Committee and Forum, excluding Sabbatical Officers
- This shall be composed of the Chair and Vice Chair, or equivalent positions.
- In the event a Sabbatical Officer being the Chair of a Standing Committee, the Core Membership will be made up of the Vice Chair and one other Elected Member of that Standing Committee.
- All Sabbatical Officers.
Responsibilities of Core Members
- Shall make up the quorum of Student Council.
- Shall provide recommendations for implementation and/or amendments to policies, ideas and proposals.
- Any Core Member of Council who is absent for two subsequent meetings of the Students’ Council may have to delegate their position as a Core Member of Council to another Elected Member within their Standing Committee or Forum, at the discretion of the Chair of Council, the relevant Chair of a Standing Committee or Forum and the Student President.
Chair and Vice-Chair of Student’s Council
- The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Student’s Council shall be elected by campus-wide ballot open to all full members of the Students’ Association.
- The Chair shall:
- Impartially moderate discussion in Council Meetings to ensure they are conducted in a respectful and orderly manner in accordance with existing procedures.
- Promote attendance of members of the Students’ Association and Core Members of Council.
- Advise the Student Council, where necessary and appropriate, on the rules relating to the Students’ Association, the Constitution and Byelaws, and on the implications of Procedural Motions.
- The Vice-Chair shall
- Take on the Chair’s responsibilities as listed above if the Chair is absent.
- Be responsible for the inclusion of Qatar students and online students during Council Meetings.
- Support the Chair on advising the Student Council of the rules, byelaws, procedures, and procedural motions during Council Meetings.
- Replace the Chair in the event of a vote of no confidence in the Chair of Students’ Council.
- The Chair and Vice Chair of Council will be appropriately trained.
- All Core Members of Council are required to participate in Council Induction.
- Training will be provided for all full members of the Students’ Association in an appropriate format.
- The Student Council Handbook will be publicly available on the AUSA webpage.
- The Handbook shall be approved at the start of each Academic year by the Student Council.
- This shall include, but not be limited to, the format of Student Council and the process of submitting proposals.
Considering ideas and implementation
- Any full member of the Students’ Association may submit a proposal for change online such as, but not limited to, policy change or implementation, amendment to a byelaw, or improvements to the student experience in general.
- All proposals will be publicly available on the AUSA website, where all full members will be able to comment and/or suggest amendments.
- It will be the original Proposer’s decision which version will be discussed in the Student Council meeting.
- Sabbatical Officers, Standing Committees, and Forums may at their own discretion decide to implement proposals submitted relevant to their own remit and report these to Council.
- The five top outstanding proposals will be brought for discussion and implementation to Council, and allocated to relevant Sabbatical Officers, Standing Committees, Forum, or students for implementation.
- Student Council may recommend further amendments to a proposal
- A Proposer may accept or reject recommended amendments during a Council Meeting.
- If the Proposer decides they need more time to consider the recommendations, they may submit a revised proposal to the Chair post-Council Meeting. This revised proposal will be reviewed by Core Members of Council who will have the opportunity to flag any issues.
- If Council raises concerns with a proposal, a vote may be called
- If the majority of Student Council votes against the proposal, the proposal will be submitted to a campus-wide Referendum.
- The results of the campus-wide Referendum will determine whether an idea becomes part of the Association and if implementation will be considered by relevant bodies.
- If no issues are raised with a Proposal, implementation strategies will be considered and a proposal, if appropriate, will become official AUSA policy.
Meetings of Student Council
- Council shall meet a minimum of five times per academic year.
- Quorum of Council shall be composed of 1/3 of Core Members and is required for decisions to be made during the meeting.
- A meeting may proceed without Core Member quorum being met, however no decision nor voting may take place. Discussions, considerations of implementation, updates and delegation of practical proposals may still occur.
- Any discussions held shall be reported back to the Core Members by the next meeting.
Organisation of Student Council Meetings
- A Schedule of meetings and deadlines for submission and consideration of business shall be agreed at the first meeting of Council and published on the AUSA webpage.
- The Chair may convene additional meetings on the request of 50% of Core Members or 100 full members of the Students’ Association.
- This request shall be submitted to the Chair of Student Council and the Student President.
- The Chair of Council shall prepare an agenda outlining the order of business, including but not limited to, an accountability session of the Sabbatical Officers, policy and campaigns updates, reports from Standing Committees and Forums, and students as outlined above, emergency proposals, and Any Other Competent Business (AOCB).
Point of Order
- A Point of Order may be raised if the rules appear to have been broken or there is a lack of clarification around what is being discussed.
- The Chair will rule on all Point of Orders.
- When a Point of Order has been called for a breach of rules, it is the responsibility of the Vice-Chair to check the validity of this claim.
- When a Point of Order has been called for clarification, it is recommended that the Speaker or Chair responds to this as soon as appropriate.
- A Procedural motion is a suggestion that a change is made to the ordinary order of the Meeting.
- These shall have priority over all other business, except for clarifying questions, Point of Orders, and in case of 5.d during the first eight speakers during the discussion.
- For a student to call for a Procedural Motion, they need a minimum one other student to second the call.
- A simple majority vote is required for a Procedural Motion to pass.
- Procedural motion may be called on for:
- That specific points of an item or proposal be discussed and/or agreed on in parts, rather than as a whole.
- That a guest speaker is invited to speak for clarification.
- That the meeting has no-confidence in the Chair.
- That the proposal requires Council to vote.
- Matters will be agreed on by consensus and by incorporating suggestions during the meeting.
- Voting will only take place when no compromise can be reached and when requested by a member of Council.
- Each member present shall have one vote.
- A simple majority of more than 50% shall be required in all votes, except otherwise stated.
- A two-thirds majority shall be required to:
- Censure an Elected Member or Sabbatical Officers.
- Mandate Sabbatical Officers.
- Call a referendum to remove an Elected Member.
- Approve byelaw changes and amendments in line with the AUSA Constitution.
- Vote on NUS Conference motions.
- Policy Lapse
- Policy shall remain valid until the first Student Council Meeting convened in the third year following its adoption.
- After three years, it shall lapse and cease to be policy unless renewed.
- The Democratic Procedures Committee shall note in advance to Student Council any policy due to lapse.
- All full members of the Students’ Association will be able to provide feedback, comments and suggestions on whether policies should lapse and any amendments to these policies.
- Based on this feedback, the Democratic Procedures Committee and Core Members of Student Council shall prepare an update on the work achieved so far and provide a proposal to Student Council on whether such policy should lapse, be renewed and/or be amended.
- Policies may be renewed for any specific period of time of less than three years.
- Policy Inter-Relationship
- After new policy is passed, The Democratic Procedures Committee shall assess the relationship between new and existing policies.
- In the event of two conflicting policies, they shall make a proposal for an amended or composited policy.
- Previous policy or part of a policy should be deleted as a result of the adoption of new policy, if applicable.
Democratic Procedures Committee
- Student Council Chair (Convener) or Vice-Chair
- One Sabbatical Officer who is not the Student President
- Core Members of Student Council (x2)
- Student Volunteer (not-Core Member of Student Council) (x3)
- Student President
- Member of staff from the Representative Services Department
- Any Full Member of the Students’ Association
- Any person the Committee deem relevant for consultation
- Ensure the Democratic procedures of the Students’ Association follow effective practice.
- Ensure Policy is implemented and followed, noting any lapses in Policy or overlaps in new Policy.
- Provide a proposal for the Student Council on whether a Policy should be lapsed, renewed, or amended.
- Advise Student Council on any reviews of the Byelaws and/or the Constitution.
- Ensure key documents are up to date.
- To meet a minimum of four times over an Academic Year.
- Submit work report to Student Council at the end of each Academic Term.
- Sabbatical Officer membership is to be approved by Student Council.
- Core Member of Student Council membership is to be elected by Student Council via vote.
- Student Volunteer membership is to be approved by Student Council.