Union chair: “No more silly boycotts”

**Concerns surrounding the impartiality of the chair of Student Council have emerged in the midst of a vote to overturn Union boycotts.**

In an email to Council members, chair of Council, Erin Davies commented: “Glad to see the voting figures. And no more silly boycotts!”

During the All-Student Meeting (ASM), Ms Davies also said: “At the risk of asking a potentially very stupid question would anyone like to speak against this policy?” The chair of Council is an impartial position.

One member of Council said: “Many councillors have been disappointed by her unprofessional chairing of meetings. The comments made in the email to all councillors is a clear breach of impartiality.”

Another councillor, Ben Frew, commented: “It’s unacceptable to use such language whilst holding the impartial position of Chair of Council.”

Ms Davies responded: “At the ASM, it was a remark about the trend of speakers to move the meeting on, it had nothing to do with my opinions on any policy.

“That part of the email was never intended to be circulated and was sent forward by mistake, it was a conversation as a friend and colleague, therefore not in breach of my impartiality.
“I have always acted as impartially as possible and will continue to do so, making myself available to all.”

Cosmo March, democracy and development officer said: “At the end of the day, Erin is a human being, she is entitled to have her own personal opinions. Being impartial means that her opinions have no impact on how she Chairs – which they did not. It was publicised by mistake and by no fault of her own – and regardless, was publicised after the voting period.”

Alex Gann, fourth-year Councillor said: “I do not think Erin is in the wrong – this confidential conversation took place between two people who knew each other privately… In Erin’s capacity as chair, she showed no partiality before or during voting so I do not think that this incident should have any consequences.”

Warwick students voted to overturn the Bacardi and Nestlé boycotts, but will still boycott arms companies. 1092 students voted online and passed all four new policies – Cryfield Bus Stop, Seminar Sizes, Accommodation Prices and Humanities Building motions.

The Cryfield Bus Stop motion passed, and Warwick SU will speak to the University to discuss the possibility of an extra bus stop.

The Accommodation Rent Rises motion passed, which will mandate SU officers to lobby the University for no rises more than RPI plus two percent.

The Seminar Sizes motion was also passed, which will mean that the SU will lobby the University to encourage no seminar sizes to be larger than 16 students.

The motion to mandate officers to speak with the University about the possibility of investment into a new humanities building passed, with 652 votes for, 186 votes against and 123 abstentions.

Mr March, said he was pleased with “smashing quorum”.

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