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This week’s All Student Vote motions

Following the latest All Student Vote (ASV) meeting last night, it is now time to cast your vote to determine the position of Warwick Students’ Union on a variety of issues. This time, there are a total of six motions, with voting closing on Friday 3 February. 

Below is an outline of the motions. 

Motion #1: ‘Disaffiliation from NUS (Over Failures of Alleged Bigotry)’

The motion notes that the National Union of Students (NUS) has been accused of failing to challenge antisemitism by student groups, politicians, and an independent report. It adds that the last President of the NUS was sacked after she was accused of antisemitism. Muslim student groups have also challenged the organisation over its handling of islamophobia claims. It also says that Warwick SU pays £30,000 to affiliate with the NUS and another £7,500 to its charity.

The document claims that the NUS has ‘failed to protect’ minorities and has become disregarded by all political parties. It says Warwick SU must have a zero-tolerance approach to ‘bigotry’.

It states that Warwick SU should disaffiliate from NUS UK and ensure that the SU put out a statement explaining its disaffiliation.

Motion #2: ‘Replace Menus in SU and University Outlets with 50% Vegan Options’

The motion says that a plant-based diet is much better for the environment and key for tackling the climate emergency. It notes that 65% of all nitrous-oxide emissions are created from raising animals for consumption and adds that nitrous-oxide “has 296 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide”.

They say that studies have found vegan food to be affordable and, when introduced in stores, led to a similar level of sales.

The motion calls for 50% vegan options in all SU bars and shops and calls on the University to make sure its outlets also offer 50% options.

Motion #3: ‘Take a Stance Against the Development of Autonomous Weapons’

Both Warwick SU and the University of Warwick have no stated position on the use of autonomous weapons. These are weapons that fire based on sensors and ‘not direct human approval’.

They note that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that they “should be prohibited by international law”.

A Campaign to Stop Killer Robots report on universities last year said that Warwick did not have a ‘safeguard’ policy to prevent its research and technology from being inadvertently incorporated into autonomous weapons.

DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), an organisation developing AI ‘for military hardware’ have funded Warwick Computer Science projects for the last 3 years.

The motion is calling for the University to pledge to not knowingly contribute to the development of autonomous weapons. They also want the University to form a committee to assess the risk of Warwick research being used for unintended malicious purposes.

Motion #4: ‘Warwick SU Supports Student Welfare During Strike Action’

Following the UCU’s announcement to strike for 18 days across February and March, widespread disruption is anticipated over the coming weeks. This motion, if passed, would “support students who have been made to feel intimidated as a result of the strikes” and would call for students to “have access to all the course resources they would have access to in a typical year”.

Further, the motion would approve the VP of Democracy and Development to lead a campaign highlighting that students are free to choose against supporting striking members of staff.  

Motion #5: ‘Warwick SU to oppose the University’s overcompliance with home office guidelines on the monitoring of migrant/international students’

This motion would call for Warwick SU to engage in lobbying efforts with the University in an attempt to change how academic engagement and monitoring points are measured.

Currently, the Union notes, international students at Warwick are at risk of their student Visas being revoked if they miss six consecutive monitoring points without providing a sufficient explanation. 

The Students’ Union argues that provisions such as these help contribute to a “hostile environment” and that these systems “penalise international students with chronic health conditions and disabilities”. 

 Motion #6: ‘Warwick Against the Arms Trade’

Arising from partnerships between the University and firms such as Rolls-Royce and Moog, the Union argues that Warwick University engages with groups that are involved with either developing or directly manufacturing various military components.

According to SU notes, Rolls Royce was involved with producing components for fighter jets including the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35s.

This motion calls for the immediate termination of these partnerships and calls for “the creation of [a] new, ethical partnerships policy”.

You can view the motions and vote on the Warwick SU website available here.


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