30 June 2013

The UMSU Special General Meeting (SGM) on April 16th, brought by a student petition to censure Students’ Council for passing a motion to celebrate the death of Margaret Thatcher, failed to reach quorum.

Third year student Matthew Thomas collected over 500 signatures on a student petition that triggered the SGM. The petition called for the motion to be rescinded, the Students’ Council censured and the four councillors who voted for the motion to be expelled from Students’ Council.

The low numbers were largely due to a motion passed by Students’ Council on May 8th that rescinded the motion to ‘celebrate unreservedly the death of Margaret Thatcher’.

“They rescinded the motion, that’s what we were after from the start, so we thought we’d done what we wanted.” Thomas said about the turnout of the meeting.

While this brings the Margaret Thatcher saga to an end, it has boosted awareness in the university community that every student can engage with Students’ Council. Thomas admits that prior to the motion he was “pretty disengaged”.

“I voted in my first year and then I didn’t vote in my second…I honestly just didn’t think it was good enough, it should be a respectable institution, it shouldn’t be doing things like that, basically.”

UMSU Secretary Stephen Smith says the lack of attendance at the SGM was “indicative of what the student community actually felt on the issue.”

“It was a heat of the moment thing, but students are not too concerned with the original motion,” he said.

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