This year’s FXU Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Woodlane Campus, on Friday 16th February, was held to discuss the past and present affairs: the FXU President Elections, the financial accounts of the previous year, and the introduction of various motions.
Notably a motion titled: ‘Animals and the environment deserve Meat-Free Mondays’ was passed during the AGM. As a recipient of the Exeter Green Flag award, Abbie Banner, the FXU Environment and Ethics Officer, argued that we should uphold this status by offering less meat options at the Lower Stannary one day a week, as Meat-Free Mondays.
This action would mean lobbying to pressure FXU presidents’ work with campus businesses, namely FXPlus, to ensure this happens. If successful it would entail no meat options being available, on a Monday, for sustainability and animal rights causes.
Currently, every campus shop offers an array of food choices, some containing meat and others wholly vegan options. This was the only motion that had more than one person vote against and faced an opposition argument from a member.
The argument against this motion included reasons such as, there already being inclusive dietary options available for people who choose to not eat meat, expressing that taking a meat option away would make the Stannary less inclusive for people with differing dietary requirements.
It also stated that the Lower Stannary is an important social space therefore by not providing for all food requirements it further takes away the inclusivity aspect of this space and perhaps the freedom for people to make the decision to partake in a ‘Meat-free Monday’.
Some students when asked, argued that to promote sustainability the campus shops could source their meat locally, thus improving sustainability and upholding the Green Flag award that this campus is a holder of; positively affecting all days of the week, possibly having more of an impact than this motion.
In response to the opposition towards the motions passed at the AGM, Banner commented:
“The motions passed at the FXU AGM are not just important to my role as the Environment and Ethics Officer, but to the wider campus community and beyond. It is crucial that we first and foremost implement the basics of upholding the status of being a ‘green campus’ [sic]. With the recent news of a future national ban on plastic straws, it is surely the minimum [sic] FXU can be doing to stay one step ahead of the likes of Michael Gove, Environment Secretary. I understand why some individuals voted against the motion to implement Meat-Free Mondays, with the concern raised that this is forcing vegetarianism upon the masses. However, it is one day per week and will only be put in place in the Lower Stannary hot food- [sic] one of the many catering options across Penryn Campus. There will still be meat available elsewhere, such as Koofi and the Campus Shop. We must sometimes be reminded of the wider environmental and ethical consequences of what we choose to put on our plates each time we sit down to eat.”