Student Council

Council Meetings

Student Council will meet in the King's Conference Centre auditorium on the following dates, starting at 6pm. There are six scheduled meetings and motions for these must be submitted to the Chair of the Council (sa.chair@abdn.ac.uk) 12 days before the meeting date. Here are the dates for 2019-2020:

Student Council meetings schedule & deadlines

Meeting date

Deadline for motions

Deadline for amendments

Monday 14/10/2019

Wednesday 02/10/2019

Wednesday 09/10/2019

Tuesday 12/11/2019

Friday 01/11/2019

Thursday 07/11/2019

Thursday 16/01/2020

Saturday 04/01/2020

Friday 10/01/2020

Tuesday 04/02/2020

Thursday 23/01/2020

Thursday 30/01/2020

Tuesday 10/03/2020

Thursday 27/02/2020

Thursday 05/03/2019

Tuesday 21/04/2020

Thursday 09/04/2020

Thursday 16/04/2020

 

The Agendas and Minutes of previous meetings can be found at the bottom of the page.

 

October 2019 Council Update

Following was approved in the Student Council October 2019 meeting:
- The minutes of the Student Council meeting of March 2019.
- Dates of Student Council and cancelling the November date to have a General Meeting instead.
- Co-opted new members for the Disabled Students’ Forum, the Qatar committee, Welfare committee, RAG, Societies Union, the Communities committee and the Environment & Ethics Committee.
- Approved all Sabb work reports.
- Discussed and approved two motions regarding the Qatar campus, which were both presented by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Qatar campus committee who attended the meeting via Zoom. One motion was regarding a variety of food available on campus and the prices, the other regarding extending library hours. The motions passed, and the Sabbatical team will now lobby University to seek to resolve these issues on the Qatar campus.
- Discussed and approved a motion regarding an NUS referendum. As a result of the motion, AUSA will organise a referendum regarding the association’s NUS membership during the 2nd term.
- Discussed and approved a motion regarding climate emergency. As a result, AUSA will form a climate crisis strategy group and lobby the University to go fossil free.
- Discussed and approved an amendment to the current Byelaw 7 regarding Societies Union.

Council in a Nutshell

If you are a member of a Standing Committee, you are a member of Council. Liberation & Section Forums and Student Groups also have representatives on Student Council. Any student may nominate themselves for committee elections that are normally held twice a year, towards the end of the second semester and at the beginning of the first semester.

The elected members attend Council meetings to discuss and vote on motions, deciding the focus and direction of AUSA. The Student Council also holds the elected Sabbatical Officers, your Student Leaders, accountable for their work. All Councillors are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Student Council Handbook to prepare for future meetings. The guide has more in-depth information on how to write a motion, voting, debates, etc.

Chair of Council

Lea Rattei is the Chair of the Student Council 2019/2020 and happy to answer any enquiries (sa.chair@abdn.ac.uk).
The elected Chair of Council regulates the discussion and makes sure that everyone gets a fair chance to speak and is being respected. The Chair also compiles the Agenda and the reading documents before each Council meeting.

Student Council Feedback Survey 2018-2019

In 2018-2019, AUSA conducted a feedback survey on Student Council, which was sent to all members of Council. The survey aimed to gather students' opinions on Student Council procedures, training, support, accessability and other aspects. The results of the survey were compiled into a report and it can be accessed below.
Student Council Feedback Survey report 2018-19

Student Council Minutes

 

FAQs

 

What is a motion?

Motions are initiatives by students discussed during Student Council meetings, General Meetings and the Annual General Meeting. Motions are submitted in written form (Word or pdf document) and debated by students. Once a motion passes and it is ratified by the Trustee Board, it becomes official AUSA policy. To see our current policies, and for examples on how to write a motion, please visit the Policy Hub website.

How many proposers and seconders do I need?

Regular motions to Student Council only need one proposer (this is usually yourself) and one seconder. Emergency motions submitted past the relevant deadline require one proposer and nine seconders. Motions brought to the AUSA General Meeting in November 2019 will need one proposer and one seconder.

How many votes do I need to pass my motion?

In Student Council meetings, General Meetings or the Annual General Meeting, motions are debated by students and then voted on. Most motions require a simple majority support, unless the motion is aiming to amend a byelaw or mandate a specific Sabbatial Officer. In these cases, a two thirds majority is required.

What is quorum?

Quorum is the minimum amount of students or Council members needed present for a meeting to be legitimate to make decisions and pass motions. For Student Council, this is a third of the elected members. For General Meetings and AGM, the amount is 250. If the quorum is not met within the first 30 minutes of the meeting, the meeting does not go forward. If a General Meeting or an Annual General Meeting fails to meet quorum, the meeting is rescheduled for the following week.

What can motions do?

Motions can be used to pass policy, create new campaigns, amend existing policy and create or amend byelaws. Motions can be used to mandate AUSA and/or specific Sabbatical Officers, but cannot mandate the University, as AUSA and University are separate institutions. To mandate AUSA and/or the Sabbatical Officer to lobby the University, the ‘resolves’ section in a motion needs to read “For AUSA to lobby the University to…”. If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Council Chair (sa.chair@abdn.ac.uk) or the AUSA Reps Team (ausareps@abdn.ac.uk) who will be happy to help.

How to write a motion?

Each motion must have a title and the three section headings that are called ‘Council notes’, ‘Council believes’ and ‘Council resolves’. The three sections are distinct from one another and have a different purpose. Motions submitted to General Meetings or the AGM, the motion format is the same but the word ‘Council’ is replaced with ‘General Meeting’ or ‘AGM’. All motions need to be submitted by the relevant deadline to the Student Council Chair at sa.chair@abdn.ac.uk.

The format is the following;
1. Council notes
This section is for background information; it can include explanation of used terminology or data to demonstrate that an introduced issue is pertinent to and within the student community. It can also refer to national decisions or existing AUSA or University policies.
2. Council believes
This section outlines your opinion on a matter and explains to the reader why you think this motion should become a policy. Whilst the first section should seek to present information neutrally, this section is for your opinion, allowing you to present your views on the information you provided in the previous section.
3. Council resolves
This section should succinctly explain actions that the policy will mandate. We encourage this section to be as short and specific as possible.

If you have any questions about the Student Council, how to write a motion or anything else, please get in touch with your Council Chair, Student President or AUSA Reps.