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What do Bristol students want?

Tuesday 16-02-2016 - 00:00

18 February is AMM: a gathering of all Bristol students at which anyone can bring forward topics for discussion and debate, with a view to shaping Union policy and making a difference for Bristol students and others!

Historically, AMM is a pretty epic event, involving some passionate debate, and mountains of free pizza. It’s also an interesting indicator of the issues that are important to Bristol students at the time. Here is a look at the motions that have been brought forward for AMM 2016.

You can find out more about AMM and read all the motions here


1.    University wide Referendum on Safe Space Policy

This is a contentious topic, and we’re looking forward to some passionate debate on this one!

The motion calls for a referendum of all students to find out if they still want a safe space policy. The safe space policy was introduced in 2009 by students at student council. The purpose of a safe space policy is to ensure that all SU activities are safe and accessible for everyone. Recently however, there has been a lot of debate, both at Bristol and nationally, around the implications of safe space policies. Some argue that a safe space policy could be used in a way that threatens individuals’ freedom of speech.


2.    Stand Up to Racism National Demo

The Europe-wide Stand Up to Racism Demonstration will see tens of thousands march across Britain, with major mobilisations in London, Scotland and Wales joining thousands in cities across Europe and around the world to say no to racism. This motion asks Bristol SU to subsidise transport costs for students who would like to attend the demonstration in London on 19 March.


3.    Move Bristol SU to Campus!

For years, students have complained that the SU is too far away from the main University campus to properly engage with. Recently, with the arrival of a new vice-chancellor, there has been mention of moving the SU to somewhere more central. If this motion were to pass, it would provide us with solid evidence that students support this move. The SU could then lobby the vice-chancellor to make it happen! We’re pretty excited about this possibility!


4.    Support the campaign against immigration detention and the #SurroundYarlsWood protest

This motion argues that immigration centres in the UK are ‘racist institutions which criminalise and punish people.’ The motion asks the SU to take a number of actions against immigration centres, including supporting student protests against immigration centres, subsidising student travel to the ‘Surround #YarlsWood’ protest in London on 21 March and promoting information about the centres.


5.    Union to Accept the Bristol Pound

The Bristol Pound was launched in 2012 to encourage people to spend money with local businesses. It has since been launched and over 800 businesses now accept the Bristol Pound. This motion asks us to accept the Bristol Pound in the Balloon Bar and The Basket, the SU shop.


6.    Divesting from Israel’s Illegal Occupation of the West Bank

The first of our two Israel/ Palestine motions. This motion calls on the SU to condemn Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, as well as petitioning the University to terminate contracts with companies who profit from the illegal settlements. The motion also requires us to try and prevent academic co-ordination between Bristol University and Ariel University, which is built on illegally seized Palestinian land.

This potentially controversial motion is similar to a motion that failed at last year’s AMM following a long and very interesting debate.


7.    Lobby for Postgraduate Research Students to be paid monthly

PHD students are currently paid quarterly by the University. This can cause budgeting problems, as well as impacting on PG research students’ credit checks. This motion asks us to lobby the University to start paying students monthly instead.


8.    Union to Support Britain remaining in the EU  

At some point in this year or the next, there will be a referendum on our membership of the European Union. This motion asks us to officially take a pro-EU stance and support pro-EU events and campaigns closer to the time of the referendum.


9.    STOP TURKEY'S WAR ON THE KURDS! Break The Silence!

Recent attacks on Kurdish communities in Turkey by the Turkish military have killed nearly 200 people, including senior politicians and community activists. 25 million Kurds in Turkey have suffered decades of repression, including the deaths of 30,000 Kurds in a war for autonomy and civil rights in the 1980s/90s. This motion asks us to promote and subsidise travel to a national demonstration, ‘STOP TURKEY'S WAR ON THE KURDS! Break The Silence!’, in London on 6 March.


10.   Re-affirming Commitment to Constructive and Safe Debate on Israel-Palestine

The second Israel/Palestine motion on the agenda. This motion asks the SU to reaffirm our commitment to co-existence and dialogue on issues surrounding the Israel Palestine conflict. This will involve supporting the Bristol University Israel Palestine Discussion Group and condemning any violent, disrespectful, anti-Semitic or islamophobic activity on the Israel Palestine conflict.


11.   Give the Student’s Union the democratic mandate to back and call for large-scale action such as a general strike from the students

This motion refers to the junior doctors strike, with concern that ‘if the junior doctors face this alone the media will easily spin the movement to show how many people suffered as a result of it, so paving the way for serious limitations on future rights to strike.’ The motion asks that the SU be mandated to back and call for large-scale action from students. This would mean that we could call for all students to strike in solidarity with Junior doctors.


Union democracy

Related Tags :

AMM, annual members meeting, Bristol, Free Speech, politics, safe space, student union, university, yarlswood,

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