There’s a war going on inside Warwick SU over the sit down POP! being ‘irresponsible’
The SU hosted an in-person POP! but proposed a motion to support UCU’s strike against in-person teaching
Warwick’s Students’ Union officers have publicly presented opposing opinions with regard to the Union’s decisions related to Coronavirus policies.
A Facebook post shared last week and signed by nine SU officers criticised the SU for hosting POP! in allegedly unsafe conditions, and accused the SU President and three other officers of endorsing and justifying the decision.
Last week, the All Student Vote (ASV) held by the SU proposed a motion to support UCU’s strike if teaching does not move online. The motion gained public backlash from a number of students, and was allegedly opposed by the SU President himself. It failed, with over 4000 students voting against it.
The conflicting views of SU officers first emerged after the only in-person POP! social of the term, when Akosua Sefah (Democracy and Development Officer) posted on Facebook criticising the decision of the SU to hold the social in the first place.
The post accused the SU President Luke Mepham, as well as the Sports Officer Charlotte Lloyd, Societies Officer Olly Barron and PG Officer Shingai Dzumbira, of endorsing and justifying the decision to hold POP!, despite allegedly having the power to oppose it. The public post was signed by nine SU officers in total, including Deputy President Megan Clarke, and has been shared multiple times.
The difference in opinions between the officers became clearer after the motion for the university to support the UCU’s call for all teaching to be moved online was proposed in this term’s ASV.
Many students took to social media to protest the move. One post to Facebook confessions page WarwickFessions that gained a number of likes alleged that the proposal was opposed by the SU President, Sports Officer and Societies Officer.
Student responses to hosting in-person POP! were divided. While some were very vocally against the move, other students have been thanking the SU Officers for providing an in-person event for students to attend.
The motion to support UCU’s call for online teaching gained even less support. The ASV recorded its highest turnout to date, and the controversial motion failed by a landslide. 4344 students voted against it, in comparison to 1481 votes for it, and 207 abstentions.
We are also deeply troubled by the active support of @WarwickSU Officers. Having not consulted their students before demanding fully online learning, their support is nothing short of hypocrisy, and raises questions over whether they foremost prioritise their students. (4/5)
— Put Warwick Students First (@PWSFirst) October 7, 2020
An open letter to university against online teaching in term one being was also written, and garnered over 400 student signatures.
Many students have expressed concerns that the SU isn’t properly representing them if the officers are divided amongst themselves. Others voiced objections to SU officers using their platform to push their own agendas.
The Warwick Tab reached out to Luke Mepham, Charlotte Lloyd, Olly Barron, Shingai Dzumbira, Akosua Sefah, Megan Clarke, Nazifa Zaman, Rachel Annoy-Agyei, Tam-Lin Moonstone, Amara Okoye, Bede Pharoah-Lunn, Eseosa Akojie and Kimia Talebi for comment.
Featured image credit: Whichever genius sent this to WarwickFessions.