The SU’s Student Council meeting could not pass any motions when they met this week, due to a lack of college representatives attending.
Committee elections, a resolution to ban slates, and approval of National Union of Students affiliations were all on the agenda. However, the meeting was four students short of reaching a quorum, so no business could be voted on.
“I’m sorry. We don’t have quorum, so we can’t do anything,” Chair of the Council Charlotte Sefton said at the meeting’s end. “Obviously, we have to emphasise that this is a real shame. We can’t pass anything. We can’t have our elections. Again, please encourage your common room representatives to come to these meetings.”
Realising that the Council did not have a quorum at the start of the meeting, the Chair proceeded to reports with the hope that more voting members would arrive in the meantime. No one else came in the ensuing half hour.
The Sabbatical Officers described the progress of their work over the past two weeks, and the international students campaign fielded questions about high overseas costs. Seeing that there still was not a quorum, the Chair moved up “Reports from and questions to Divisional Representatives” in the agenda – but the Divisional Representatives were not in attendance either.
Members discussed the possibilities of calling an Extraordinary Meeting of Student Council to conduct business or passing motions “in principle” that would be used as evidence for an emergency executive meeting. They rejected both options.
“Is it unreasonable for us to message people to come to this room right now from their colleges?” a JCR president asked. “It’s not unreasonable if the room is willing to wait,” the Chair replied, “But also if it’s going to go on for hours it’s whether people who are in the room are going to stay.” Two voting members had already left by that point, raising the number of students needed for a quorum to six.
The meeting ended forty-five minutes early without discussing any items for resolution.
The Scrutiny Committee will not have its report on the Sabbatical Officers available in time for seventh week because Council could not elect its members.
Only twelve colleges had voting members present, according to sign-in sheets after the meeting.
“Rules of the Student Council” states that Student Members are notified of meetings at least seven days before they are held.”
The halls and colleges whose representatives did not attend included: Blackfriars, Brasenose, Campion Hall, Christ Church, Green Templeton, Harris Manchester, Hertford, Keble, Kellogg, Linacre, Lincoln, Magdalen, Mansfield, Merton, Nuffield, Oriel, Pembroke, Queen’s, Regent’s Park, St Anne’s, St Antony’s, St Benet’s, St Cross, St Edmund, St Hilda’s, St Peter’s, St Stephen’s, Somerville, Trinity, Wolfson, and Wycliffe.
A JCR SU representative told Cherwell: “I love SU Council because no cares, so no one turns up, and nothing in particular happens. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“It’s noticeable how few MCR representatives turn up, which is concerning for a body representing a population that is half MCR.”