The Students’ Representative Council meeting (SRC) on Tuesday 15 April co-opted a member for mature students and discussed council reform, sexual harassment at town businesses, and the upcoming marking boycott.
The member for mature students was co-opted because the position was unfilled during the March diet of elections. When no members of the Association run for a position on the SRC, interested students may come to one of the fortnightly meetings. The Council members then vote to elect one of those students. This year’s member for mature students is Mel Turner, a first-year who is a mature student herself. She also served as the member for mature students last year.
Among the first proposed motions was one that suggested working with town businesses on issues of sexual harassment. The SRC member for gender equality, Annie Newman, proposed the motion. Ms Newman wrote that the SRC had already passed a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment in 2013 and that it has been “effective in its implementation”.
Ms Newman said she would approach town businesses to implement similar policies across the town. She has already spoken to the Vic along with Zara Evans, the community relations officer, and the bar supported this motion. Ms Newman said that the next business she would approach would be the Rule. The motion passed.
Next on the agenda was a motion proposed by the director of representation, Teddy Woodhouse, regarding the reform of the SRC. SRC reform has been a controversial issue since it was brought to the joint SRC and Student Services Council (SSC) meeting on 8 April. Former association chair Maxwell Baldi proposed a system of committees with nine undergraduate and three postgraduate representatives, each of whom would serve on at least two committees that would help provide the specificity that officer titles do now.
Mr Woodhouse proposed that he, and eventually his successor as director of representation, Ondrej Hajda, would research the kind of changes that should be implemented. The motion proposed two workshops to discuss SRC reform, one with previous SRC members and one with the current members.
While Mr Baldi’s motion is what brought the issue of reform to the SRC, it would not be replicated. To revive Mr Baldi’s motion, it would have to be brought up before another joint session of the SRC and SSC. The motion passed.
The upcoming marking boycott was also discussed. This strike would be different from the one in October in that it would involve a marking boycott by the union that represents academic staff, the University and College Union. The boycott was due to commence 28 April . Since the SRC meeting, it has been announced that the boycott will be postponed.
The motion was amended to state that while support would be provided for the staff members in their pursuit of higher wages, the SRC could not support the marking boycott. Once amended, the motion passed.