Not a dry eye in the house: ‘Rainy Kitchen’ motion passes

A request to secure the future of the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) facility Rainy Kitchen at the School of Divinity was passed by last week’s Student Council on October 23.

The motion called on EUSA to “give some security to the future of this invaluable resource” and “push for continued improvements in areas which have been mentioned above and others raised by the EUSA Rep, Tom Kerr, over the years”.

Tom Kerr, Convener of the School of Divinity, spoke out in favour of the motion.

Kerr said: “The School Council voted unanimously in favour of this motion; numerous disabled students can’t afford or are not physically able to go to more expensive outlets nearby.

“We were given assurances that services would improve at New College. We were told that marketing would be available […] Rainy Kitchen is essential to the student experience.”

One of the students speaking against the motion was EUSA trustee Urte Macikenaite.

Macikenaite said: “The services are unprofitable; of course EUSA cares about the students but can’t afford to provide catering services for each school.

“EUSA will work to provide an alternative and help to find a private caterer. Vote this motion down, and work with us towards a sustainable alternative.”

The motion failed to pass at first since the 50 per cent threshold required was not reached due to a high number of abstentions.

Several students demanded a revote, as they were not aware that abstained votes still counted.

With 41 students voting in favour on the motion this second time, the motion passed.

Further, the Student Council also voted on the Sabbatical Officers’ accountability reports.

Vice President Academic Affairs Dash Sekhar reported on class representative training and ECA opening hours. Vice President Services Tasha Boardman informed the Student Council about her progress with the tenants union and workshops for bar staff in cooperation with Hollaback! to combat sexual harassment in clubs.

Vice President Societies and Activities Eve Livingston updated the Council of her work regarding guidance on appropriate Halloween costumes and progress regarding the set up of a mental health working group at the University of Edinburgh.

Voting on EUSA President Briana Pegado’s report was moved to the end of the Council meeting, as one student raised issues with accepting the report before the proposed motions were debated.

Pegado herself was absent from the meeting, as she was in New York for the opening of the University of Edinburgh North American office at the time of the Council.

The Council voted to accept all sabbatical reports. Further, the Buchanan Institute and the Caffeine Society were accepted as new EUSA societies.

Speaking to The Student after the Student Council, VPAA Sekhar, Chair of the evening’s meeting, said: “I’m glad democratic processes were upheld […] I’m also glad that we won’t have to retract out statement from this summer.”

“But I’m mainly glad about the turnout; we’re hoping that this will set a precedent for the next council meetings.”

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