Council reiterates McDonalds ban

The Warwick Students’ Union has decided to continue the boycott of fast food chain McDonald’s during a debate at the last Union Council meeting.

The Warwick SU has had a ban on McDonald’s food for several years, however, the President of the Warwick Students’ Union, Stuart Thomson told of his disappointment at the decision.

This has threatened to bring the whole issue of sponsorship back to the forefront of union politics.

“Once again Union Council has acted to restrict club and society sponsorship without consulting those that the policy effects” he said in a statement on the matter.

“In stark comparison to other organisations deemed unethical, McDonald’s UK has shown a good ethical record and following talks between McDonald’s and the NUS has made significant improvements. Unfortunately it appears many Council members are once again acting in their own individual interests rather than as representatives of our Warwick student body”

Thomson has not received the complete support of his fellow sabbatical officers on this matter. Andy Glyde, the Finance and Governance Officer of the Students’ Union said that he thought it was possible to take a “completely different view” on this matter than on previous discussions on sponsorship.

He said that the debate rested upon “Whether or not you could distinguish the two [McDonald’s International and McDonald’s UK]”.

Glyde further added that he believed that both ending the boycott and keeping it were “black and white, and there needs to be a grey area”, commenting that he had a “grey policy” on the matter. Furthermore he said that it was “unwise” of Union Council not to have consulted sports clubs and societies.

This issue has re-opened the ongoing debate over Union sponsorship policy.

Many campaign groups such as People and Planet have been vocally opposed to the end of bans on McDonald’s and Union Council recently passed a policy to ban oil companies from sponsoring sports clubs and societies.

Thomson though has been a key opponent of such moves, believing that there should be full consultation with sports clubs and societies before they are passed.

An effort to remove the boycott was rejected by Council in a secret ballot despite the urgings of the President of the Warwick Students’ Union.

Puneet Dhaliwal the Welfare Committee Chair said “that the sensible thing would be to encourage them [members of sports clubs and societies]…to run for council positions” if they felt that their views were under represented.

There has been continued speculation that there may be a referendum on the issue of sponsorship in the near future though there has still been no decision made whether it will be this academic year or the next.


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