Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) is set to host an open workshop tonight led by the National Union of Students (NUS) to review and debate the current democratic structures of EUSA, as dissatisfaction with the current mechanisms swells across campus.
The workshop, titled a “Democracy Consultation”, aims to open discussion and debate on the current processes in place within the student union. Potential discussion topics include the nature by which Student Councils are run, the remits of the current sabbatical officers, and the possibility of additional sabbatical positions.
Billed as “an hour long workshop led by NUS to explore Council views and ideas on what good democracy looks like”, the event is part of a broader NUS campaign directed at student unions nationwide.
It comes as unhappiness with the current procedures has hit new heights across the university. Last month, STEM students took to online polls, petitions and anonymous comments to protest against the current mechanisms, painting them as alienating and unrepresentative of sciences students.
Speaking on the event, EUSA Vice President Services Urte Macikene characterised it as part of a broader democratic consultation EUSA has launched throughout this year.
“The workshop is an opportunity for all students to share their in-depth views about any changes they would like to see in EUSA’s student council, representative role, and sabb roles,”she told The Student.
“This is part of our democracy consultation which will be leading up to a set of changes for EUSA proposed through referendum in our March elections, which all students will be able to vote on.”
The hour-long workshop is set to precede the third Student Council meeting of the year. Among the items on that agenda are motions to mandate that EUSA: apply political pressure to secure universal living grants, rent controls, and abortion rights in Holyrood; press the university for further financial support for refugees; impose more stringent Association controls on dealings with conflict minerals; and designate two thirds of EUSA bathrooms as gender neutral.
Open to all students, the democracy workshop is set to begin at 6pm in the Teviot Debating Hall, with the Student Council meeting beginning around 7.
The Student will be live tweeting the events tonight. For up to date analysis on the proceedings, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/thestudentpaper
Image: Jon Dowland