All 10 motions in this term’s Warwick Students’ Union (SU) All Student Vote (ASV) have passed. These include motions calling for Warwick SU outlets to transition to a fully plant-based menu, for Warwick to reaffiliate to the National Union of Students (NUS), and for improvements to on-campus accommodation.
In total, 1630 students voted, casting a total of 14054 votes overall.
The first of the motions asks the SU to campaign to overturn the government’s ban on people seeking asylum being able to work. 1247 voted for this motion, 143 voted against it, and 145 abstained.
For the second motion, 866 voted in favour. This motion calls for the SU “to re-affiliate to the National Union of Students (NUS) to restore our national voice”, following Spring 2023 ASV where Warwick students voted to disaffiliate. 217 voted against this and 266 abstained.
Organisations such as ‘Empower Warwick’, which campaigned to pass six of the 10 proposed ASV motions, advocated in favour of NUS re-affiliation. However, the University of Warwick Conservative Association (UWCA) condemned the motion’s passage: “At its core, the NUS reaffiliation motion this week was abundantly undemocratic.
“This is most showing because we never actually left the NUS, despite students voting to do so in February
“The reaffiliation motion was proposed and pushed through by a group of people who care not for the student’s interests, especially during a cost-of-living crisis, and care only that the SU and campus become their ideologically pure utopia with no room for disagreement.”
The motion for better on-campus accommodation saw 1259 votes in favour of the motion, only 91 voting against, and 111 abstaining. The motion calls for the Warwick SU to “campaign for rent reduction, rent freezes and more accessible accommodation.”
The students of Warwick have spoken. Warwick votes to tackle the climate crisis & address cost of living, for a just and sustainable future
Vivek Venkatram, President of Warwick Vegan and Vegetarian Society
The motion that attracted the most attention was the fourth, which calls for a “Plant-based Warwick to tackle the climate crisis”. 774 voted for the motion, with 518 voting against and 180 abstaining. Now the motion has passed, by the academic year starting in the 2024-25 academic year, the SU will resolve to implement a 50% plant-based menu in all SU outlets, with these becoming 100% plant-based by the beginning of the 2027-28 academic year.
The motion was introduced by Plant Based Warwick, an organisation comprising of several groups including Warwick Vegan and Vegetarian Society (VegSoc). VegSoc’s President, Vivek Venkatram, spoke of a “historic victory”, telling The Boar: “The students of Warwick have spoken. Warwick votes to tackle the climate crisis & address cost of living, for a just and sustainable future.”
1015 voted for Warwick SU to boost voter turnout, with 90 voting against and 227 abstaining.
The highest number of abstaining votes was for the motion for Warwick to “[stand] in solidarity with Professor Hakim Adi and the campaign to Save the MRes in the History of Africa and African Diaspora”. This follows the University of Chichester’s decision earlier this year to suspend the Master’s by Research (MRes) course in the History of Africa and African Diaspora and to sack Professor Adi. 471 abstained, 746 voted for, and 122 voted against.
Until the University takes concrete steps to meet the demands of the thousands of students that made their positions known in today’s election results, we will continue to show up in force and in numbers
Warwick Stands With Palestine
The motion for the “Warwick SU to support Muslim, Arab and Palestinian students in face of Islamophobic and racist attacks” passed easily, with 1052 approving the measure, 133 votes voting against, and 148 abstaining. Similarly, the motion for “Warwick [to stand] against genocide in Gaza” passed with 1059 voting in favour, 200 voting against, and 179 abstaining.
The group ‘Warwick Stands With Palestine’, which campaigned for the motion’s passage, issued The Boar a statement about the “landslide ASV results”.
It read: “We note that this record result at the ASV should not be understood in isolation, but is rather a product of the sheer amount of mobilisation, organisation, and action happening around the current political moment.
“Until the University takes concrete steps to meet the demands of the thousands of students that made their positions known in today’s election results, we will continue to show up in force and in numbers.”
The Warwick SU will also now support a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy. 1360 voted for this motion with 1004 supporting it, 146 voting against it, and 210 abstaining.
The motion to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and educate members of the Campus community about the dangers of Racism and extremism gained 1088 votes in favour, with only 92 voting against this motion and 255 abstaining.
There were 1003 more voters in this year’s ASV than in the 2022 Autumn ASV. The 2022 vote only saw five motions proposed, all of which passed.
Empower Warwick told The Boar: “On issues such as the cost of living and the climate crises, the NUS, as well as the genocide in Gaza, student voices have been ignored and suppressed.
“Warwick students have made their voices clear – to fully and unequivocally support our motions, and to reject the politics of those who seek to undermine students and their activism.”
You can read a summary of all the motions here.