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Motions to be discussed at next UGM

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UGM dates this academic year:







This motion has been passed. Please refer to the minutes for more information!





7th May 2019



Chair: Jack Footit


  1. Ground rules and Introduction

  2. Minutes from last four UGMs

  3. Motion #1: Reform UGM Rules

  4. Motion #2: Stop Racism and Islamophobia at University of Essex

  5. Motion #3: Weekly emails on strikes, impacts of strikes, and support to students

  6. Motion #4: Solidarity with Sri Lanka

  7. Emergency motion: Declare a climate emergency

  8. Emergency motion: S.U. shouldn't support unconscious bias training for academic staff as part of compulsory Equalities training before it is debated by the student body

  9. AOB



Motion #1


Reform UGM Rules


Tam Hau-Yu (hy12)


Krum Tashev

This Union Notes:

1.1 The UGM rules are outdated. They contain quite significant contradictions and ambiguities, and refer to staff roles which no longer exist.
1.2 The SU this year has been invested in governance reform, including voting to reform the SU Board of Trustees and discussing the reforms of the Research Students' Association. Updating the UGM rules are part of this process.

This Union Believes:

2.1 That the UGM rules should be reformed - this is the proposed version:

This Union Resolves:

3.1 To approve this version of the UGM rules:
3.2 This document will be open to edit to all students, up until Monday 29th April 4PM. Every student is welcome to make edits, so long as they leave their student ID. We are also welcoming feedback sent to us via email, should you wish to make these edits more anonymously.
3.3 Minor feedback e.g. typos and contradictions will be accepted and the document amended accordingly. We will engage with more major feedback via email. It is a possibility that if it can't be resolved, that we will suggest the piece of feedback be submitted as an amendment at the event of the UGM on Tuesday 30th April.
3.4 Should there be over five significant amendments made to the proposed reforms to these UGM rules, that the rules should be withdrawn.


Motion #2


Stop Racism and Islamophobia at University of Essex


Andrew Awad- 665519


Dahlia Kholaif- 666629

This Union Notes:

1.1 University of Essex failed to apply its zero-tolerance policy.
1.2 The Proctor is only one man who decides, and his decision cannot be appealed to change the results.

This Union Believes:

2.1 The action that was carried out by the university did not only affect the performance and the well-being of the Egyptian Muslim student, but also, will subject other students in the future to the same kind of treatment. As the university tolerated in such a case: hate speech, verbal, physical abuse and threats to kill and deport.

This Union Resolves:

3.1 Condemn the failure of the university in applying its zero-tolerance policy and failure in the usage of their standard of proof.
3.2 Organize an online campaign about hate crimes not only at Essex university but also across UK. Asking students to share their stories and how their universities acted to them.
3.3 Writing a statement to show support to the Egyptian Muslim student at Essex university.
3.4 The staff member shall be held accountable for his acts.


Motion #3


Weekly emails on strikes, impacts of strikes, and support to students


Camilla Munkedal 637391


Patrik Malec 636334

This Union Notes:

1.1. That UNISON is balloting for strikes at SOAS among UNISON members

1.2. That such strikes would most likely occur during exam time, and might therefore disrupt exams and cause additional stress to many students

1.3 That the responsibility of UNISON is to protect the rights, well-being, and interests of UNISON members

1.4 That the responsibility of the SOAS SU co-presidents is to protect the rights, well-being, and interests of students

1.5 That the SOAS SU co-presidents to this date have not sent out any information on how strikes might impact students, nor have they sent out any information on which support would be available to students in the event that their studies and/or exams will be affected by strikes

This Union Believes:

2.1 That the SOAS SU has a responsibility to support the well-being of students in this period of uncertainty about strikes and in the event that strikes will take place

2.2 That solidarity with workers and respect for their right to strike should not undermine the well-being of students and the responsibility of the SOAS SU

2.3 That regular updates to students on strikes as well as information about how strikes will impact students and which support is available to students will help mitigate some of the stress that students will experience during this period

This Union Resolves:

3.1 That SOAS SU co-presidents should, with immediate effect, send out at least weekly emails containing updates to students on the impending UNISON strikes as well as information on how such strikes will impact students and which support is available to students

3.2 That SOAS SU co-presidents should in all future instances of strikes or impending strikes at SOAS send out at least weekly emails containing updates to students on strikes as well as information on how strikes will impact students and which support is available to students


Motion #4 


Solidarity with Sri Lanka


Archanaa Seker (665966)


Tam Hau-Yu (hy12)

This Union Notes:

1.1 That the recent tragedy in Sri Lanka involving the loss of nearly 400 lives and injury to 500 more people.

This Union Believes:

2.1 That it is appropriate to reaffirm its ongoing support, sympathy and condolences to the families of those affected both those from a Sri Lankan background, and those from various international backgrounds.

This Union Resolves:

3.1 To hold a vigil in conjunction with SOAS Christian Union, SOAS Help Sri Lanka society, SOAS India society and SOAS Pakistan society. This will be at 5pm on Thursday 2 May on Main Steps.


Emergency Motion 


Declare a Climate Emergency


Daniel Selwyn - 656546


Youssra Elmagboul - YE3

This Union Notes:

1.1 ?That there is a global climate and ecological crisis: the sixth mass extinction is annihilating life forms at an unprecedented rate; climate change and extreme weather are leading to severe water scarcity and food insecurity, increasing wars and conflict, and displacing millions of people.

1.2   That the British state has a particular historical responsibility for creating the climate and ecological crisis as the geopolitical origin of fossil capitalism, which it financed through the profits of racial slavery and spread across the world through (settler) colonialism and indigenous genocide-ecocide.

1.3   That the City of London is a global epicentre of extractive and financial imperialism. The London Stock Exchange lists ‘natural resources’ worth $1 trillion in Africa alone, a land area four times the size of the UK, and carbon reserves equivalent to ten times the UK’s domestic carbon budget.

1.4  That recent mass strike action by students across the world to highlight the immense dangers and injustices of the climate and ecological crisis are encouraging and a political imperative.

1.5 That many courses and departments at SOAS do not integrate the climate and ecological crisis into their curricula and pedagogy.

This Union Believes:

2.1 That climate and ecological crises are the result of centuries of colonial and capitalist projects in the pursuit of domination and profit; these have been resisted for as long as they have been practiced.

2.2   That declarations of ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ are integrally linked to these colonial power structures which determine which ‘crises’ are recognised, when, by whom, and who is made responsible for acting on them.

2.3   That a just transition is not about managing future risks to Western populations and states but establishing reparations and remediation led by and for Indigenous, Black, brown, queer, trans, disabled and poor communities across the global South and in the global North, who experience the structural violence of pollution, hunger, drought, floods and displacement as extensions of their marginalisation.

2.4   That a just transition should establish legal rights for ecosystems to thrive and regenerate; and repair the effects of ongoing ecocide to prevent extinction of humans and all species, in order to maintain a livable, just planet for all.

2.5   That climate justice should oppose all forms of capitalism, nationalism, militarism and fascism that profit from ecological and social violence; and refuse any collaboration with agents that uphold and extend the racialized violence of borders, police and prison systems unless it is accountable to the marginalised groups oppressed by them.


This Union Resolves:

3.1  To declare a climate and ecological emergency which acknowledges and apologises for the complicity of academic institutions like SOAS in creating the conditions for it by producing knowledge in service of colonial, imperial and military power.

3.2  To incorporate climate justice integrally into the SU’s policy and campaigning; and work to ensure its inclusion in curricula and pedagogy across departments and courses at SOAS.

3.3   To call on SOAS to divest all of its financial investments in institutions, corporations and government bodies that profit from extractivism, apartheid and climate and ecological crisis, and boycott institutional affiliations with them.

3.4   To call on SOAS to meet net zero carbon emissions as an institution by 2025 through a just transition as outlined above.

3.5   To provide material and logistical support to the Youth Climate Strikes and climate justice collectives in London, such as Wretched of the Earth, Black Lives Matter UK and Platform; to involve them in the above processes; and to facilitate spaces for collective learning, organisation and mobilisation.


Emergency Motion



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