UEA Union Council reverses ban on beef

52 per cent voted to reverse the ban


UEA's Union Council has voted for the motion to reverse its ban on beef, with 52 per cent voting for the motion, 36 per cent voting against, and 12 per cent abstaining. 75 of the 200 councillors attended the meeting and voted on the motion.

Ever since the initial ban, students have been in uproar about the decision, with many taking to UEA's Confessions page to complain about the decision, and question how democratic it was.

Jack Annand was one particularly disappointed student, and proposed the motion to reverse the ban. At the meeting, Mr Annand said: "Trying to bridge the price gap between meat and non-meat alternatives" would be a better way to combat beef's environmental impact.

Although many students were displeased with the small number of students who voted for the ban – 45 per cent of the Union Council – just 37.5 per cent were present at the second meeting, less than 0.5 per cent of the student body it represents.

Sophie Atherton, the Student Union's campaigns and democracy officer, seconded the original motion to ban beef, and led the speech against the motion to reverse it. She said the SU make "approximately £20, 000" a year from beef and "to vote for this [motion] is to put the Union services at risk".

Mr Atherton also said selling beef at a higher price will lead to "food waste" and greater financial losses for the SU. She also said the Trustee Board would "look at the ban before implementing it" and that it is "likely to be overturned" when they do.

Mr Annand accused the officer of "scaremongering" which Ms Atherton claimed to find "quite upsetting".

While UEA is not the first university to ban beef, with Goldsmiths and Cambridge both removing beef from their menus earlier this year, it is the first to have overturned their ban.

Sarah Gamble, a second-year student, likened the initial ban's passing by 1 per cent to Brexit. Ms Gamble has since suggested the overturn of the ban is comparable to a second referendum, or 'People's Vote' on leaving the EU. Mr Annand's motion was passed by 2 per cent.

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