Graduate Union News

electoralreform

Posted by .

During the 2007 GU Presidential Election, a candidate who would otherwise have been elected was disqualified at the end of voting. The candidate complained to the Junior Proctor under the complaints procedure provided by the university in the Code of Practice for student unions. The Junior Proctor ruled that the disqualification was procedurally unsafe; the candidate was reinstated in the election, and thereby elected Graduate Union President 2007-8. The Junior Proctor also made several recommendations for changes in the GU’s typical campaigning rules and the method for their implementation. As a result of the complaint and the Junior Proctor’s ruling, the Graduate Union decided to review its electoral procedures with a view to making changes in time for its next election.

Electoral Reform Committee

Establishment

GU Council initially suggested the establishment of an Electoral Reform Committee as one of its proposed remedies to the complainant in an emergency meeting on 18th June. After the Junior Proctor’s final report (which did not adopt these proposals), a proposal to formally establish an Electoral Reform Committee was put before GU Council. This proposal was in the form of proposed amendments to Schedule A (an appendix to the Constitution). Council voted to adopt these changes in two consecutive meetings (10th July and 9th August), and asked Leo Shidai Liu (GU President 2007-8) to select members and convene the committee.

The first meeting was held on Thursday 23rd August.

Membership

Categories of membership of the Electoral Reform Committee are defined in Schedule A (appendix to the Constitution). The members of the committee either held their positions ex officio, were directly appointed by the Council, or joined the committee by volunteering to the Chair (this having been authorised by the Council).

  • Chair: Leo Shidai Liu (GU President)
  • Simon Ford (GU General Secretary)
  • Isabel DiVanna (Faculty of History rep)
  • Andrea Walko (CUSU Welfare and Graduates Office 2007-8)
  • Simon Hopkins (GU IT team)
  • William Bortrick (GU Treasurer)

Representations

The Electoral Reform Committee will consider suggestions and opinions contributed by members of the university. If you would like the committee to consider your views and are happy to present them in written form, please e-mail them to electoralreform@gradunion. If you would prefer to discuss things in person, or your have questions about the committee, please contact the Chair individually (president@gradunion).

In submitting a written representation, you are agreeing to it being published in full or in part in the committee’s report to GU Council and on the GU website, unless agreed otherwise in advance.

The following formal submissions were received and considered in detail:

One other submission was sent individually to several members of the committee with a request that it be considered, but not as a formal representation. The parts of its contents within the remit of the committee were discussed.

Recommendations

The Committee is required (under Schedule A) to prepare a full report. In addition, it has decided to formulate the following documents to be presented to the Council for consideration:

  • Revisions to Schedule A (defining an Elections Committee)
  • Revisions to Schedule A

Final versions of these documents, and the Committee’s report, will be published here when they are available. A preliminary draft of the Standing Orders will be presented to the Council for feedback and discussion on 20 September.