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Warwick SU’s All Student Vote for Term 2 open until Friday noon

This term’s All Student Vote (ASV) organised by the University of Warwick’s Students’ Union (SU) is now open to all students, from 9am today to noon on Friday 7 February.

Results will be announced on Friday afternoon. There are four motions to vote on, namely:

  1. “Fighting Stigmas Together”;
  2. “Misogyny is a Hate Offence”;
  3. “Update to Academic Dress at Graduation”; and
  4. “Support Hong Kong’s movement and protect freedom of expression on campus”.

The meeting drew high attendance due to the fourth motion, which saw intense debate between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese students, some of which wore masks to protect anonymity. A no-filming zone was also designated for the debate and unauthorised filming was prohibited. Observers were seen on the second floor of the SU Atrium.

See our live tweets of the meeting here. The indicative votes for the motions below were not available.

1. Fighting Stigmas Together

This motion hopes for the University to treat the mental health crisis “seriously” by improving access to, increasing promotion of and investing more into wellbeing services.

It asks for the SU’s Welfare and Campaigns Officer Tiana Holgate, Sports Officer Charlotte Lloyd and Societies Officer Luke Mempham to “run a campaign to promote positive mental health” and “provide training for all new club and society exec members on the wellbeing support offered by the University”.

Moreover, Ms Holgate and SU President Ben Newsham “should lobby the University” to “increase funding” into the services, as well as promoting them to “those that are statistically more unlikely to access the services”, which should be “culturally competent”.

2. Misogyny is a Hate Offence

This motion hopes for misogyny to be legally recognised as a hate offence, an “evaluation of misogyny hate crime policy in the West Midlands and Warwickshire” and the proliferation of discrimination in higher education to be combatted.

It asked for the Democracy and Development Officer (DDO) Milly Last and Ms Holgate, supported by the Women’s Officers Tara and Bede and Trans Students’ Officer Prisco, in lobbying the University and government to “treat misogyny as a hate offence”, as well as having the former conduct the aforementioned policy review “similar to the project carried out in Nottinghamshire3, with Coventry University, West Midlands Police and Warwickshire Police”.

3. Update to Academic Dress at Graduation

This motion focusses on making academic dress more affordable, such as enabling students to dress “per the smart dress code but without having to spend an additional sum of money” for “robe and mortar-board hire”, without being pressured to “promote elitism”.

It asked for Ms Last to work with the University Senate and Council to change graduation dress regulations, “lobby the Awards and Ceremonies Team to update” students if the motion is to pass with new regulations, and ensure relevant staff are informed such as the ceremonies marshal and photographer.

4. Support Hong Kong’s movement and protect freedom of expression on campus

In addition to the city’s protests and subsequent “police brutality, infringement on democracy and human rights”, the motion recalled events that took place last term.

A Lennon Wall was put up on the Piazza by a group of Hong Kong students, part of which was a post-it pig mosaic that was taken down by campus security after complaints from mainland Chinese students that it was racist.

Hong Kong students have also been subsequently intimidated and threatened for supporting the protests.

The motion hopes to encourage students to “voice their opinions and raise awareness” of the protests, and for the SU to “strongly condemn the human rights abuses” of the city’s police as well as maintain “a place of inclusion” while safeguarding freedom of expression.

It asked Mr Newsham to support the Hong Kong students’ campaigns through a weekly newsletter and allow the students to put up a semi-permanent display board in the SU Atrium. Mr Newsham and Ms Last should also lobby the University to consider “any future protest material as its property, thereby protecting them from any physical damage and forceful removal”.

It also hoped for the SU to protect the students involved in the campaigns “from malicious doxxing, cyber-bullying and death/physical threats”, and “publish a statement condemning human rights abuses” by the police and government of Hong Kong.

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