At 7:45pm tonight the controversial DSU motion enforcing mandatory constitutions for student groups was voted down by a clear opposing majority in Assembly.
Before voting two rounds of statements from individuals in favour of and against the motion occurred followed by questions. Passionate speeches were made by several student leaders against the motion.
Steven Lowes, Societies Committee Chair, gave an intense speech about how the formulation and pursuit of the motion wasn’t ‘normal’, at one point shouting to the assembly ‘this is fucking absurd’.
Amelia McLoughlan, President of the Student with Disabilities Association (SwDA), gave both a statement against the motion and provided the closing comments for the argument against. In both she repeatedly raised associations’ lack of consultation over the motion.
Dan Boyle, exec member of Durham University Esports Society, objected to the motion on the grounds that the ‘Code of Conduct’ sections of the motion’s proposal papers had been left blank and that in his opinion this was one of the biggest issues impacting societies.
A representative from the charity Nightline spoke in favour of the motion, establishing that the proposed motion would not effect their association.
Jess Dunning, Station Manager of Purple Radio, also spoke in favour of the motion when discussing with the assembly her suggested amendments. Dunning also went beyond her 3 minute time limitation to again speak in favour of the motion during a round of questions, claiming to have a question about another clause before resuming her speech.
During the question rounds Neve Ovenden of the currently un-ratified Working Class Association asked Charlie Walker why the Trans, Working Class and Womens Associations had yet to be ratified and if they would be allowed to present to the Assembly during their 7 month period awaiting ratification.
Walker confirmed that it was likely the Associations would be allowed to present during the period. In answer to the question of ratification, Walker confirmed rumours that ratification was intentionally suspended until the passing of the motion:
“It’s just about there being this framework or a framework in place to check we aren’t creating additional risks. With a framework in place, I’m confident we can ratify three new associations fully’.
The Bubble approached Charlie Walker after the assembly but Walker replied that he was ‘too tired’ and denied an interview.