Students to vote on stopping Brexit and banning trans exclusionary feminists at Annual Members Meeting
Ain’t no party like a political party
There are few unshakable truths in this world so when you find one, it’s worth holding on tight. Luckily British politics provides us with one such certainty: Brexit means Brexit. As the adage implies, we will be leaving the European Union. End of story. Case closed. Finito.
But as with all good stories, there looks set to be a twist in the tale. As per a list of finalised motions published on Friday, Bristol students will get a chance to throw a spanner in the works at next week’s Students Union Annual Members Meeting.
It hasn’t received top billing (that goes to a statement in support of staff strikes), but a motion titled 'Denounce Brexit' has nonetheless been tabled for a vote. Among other suggestions, it demands that the SU "lobby local MPs to reject the Brexit deal".
With successful motions set to be adopted as official Union policy and Theresa May already lacking in support for her Brexit negotiating strategy, the stakes literally could not be higher.
Speaking to the Tab, the motion’s proposer, first year student Max Langer, said: "75% of young people voted against a future that is now being forced upon them. It is vital that our students' union takes a stand to protect our opportunities as citizens of Europe."
However, third year James Heale derided the motion, describing it as "ridiculous, self-aggrandising, virtue signalling nonsense. I'm sure the Chequers crunch talks will be thrown into crisis by this devastating blow".
Another eye-catching motion set to be debated calls for a crackdown on 'Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist Groups' or TERFs on campus.
The proposal follows an event hosted at UoB earlier this month, which was allegedly used to spread 'misinformation' about changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.
Last year, members of the student council voted down a proposal for a formal no-platforming procedure amid concerns over free speech, so it remains to be seen how the anti-TERF motion will fare.
Other motions include "Increase inter-faculty open units", "protecting students in nightclubs and bars" and "support refugee and asylum seeker access to higher education" which would require the University to declare itself as 'University of Sanctuary' by September 2018.
Third year Isaac Haigh also has a motion on the campaign BeManKind, proposing a male equivalent to the female exercise programme Fit & Fab to aid male physical and mental wellbeing.
Students are also set to vote on whether to "boycott the border industry on campus" by cutting ties with companies like G4S that operate in border security and immigration policy enforcement. It remains to be seen how this will square with the SU's own financial arrangements, given that G4S is currently responsible for collecting money from tills in the SU bar and the finance department.
All UoB students can vote at the AMM so head down to the Richmond Building at 6pm on Tuesday if your heart yearns for a dopamine drenched dose of democracy.