Tomorrow’s AGM: The Fight for a People’s Vote on Campus

Written by Kira Taylor |

 

Pictured: Fatuma Mohamud and Kurt Lewis

 

Two leadership officers from Falmouth & Exeter’s Student Union, Kurt Lewis (Mature Students’ Officer) and Fatuma Mohamud (Widening Participation Officer), are putting forward a motion at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) tomorrow. The motion is titled:

FXU must take a stance and fight in favour of a People’s Vote on Brexit

 

This motion, seconded by 12 people, has been tabled in the hope that students will turn up and vote for FXU to adopt it.

According to Lewis: “What we really need is for as many like-minded students who believe in a People’s Vote on Brexit to turn up because they’ll have a vote on the matter and it’s really important they show up and have their voice heard.”

 

“We know that presently the FXU is absent-minded, in regards to taking a standing on Brexit.”

 

Continuing he adds: “We know that presently the FXU is absent-minded, in regards to taking a standing on Brexit. This is untenable owing to the current political charge of Brexit and the damage it can do towards current and future students.”

One of their key concerns is the impact that Brexit will have on the academic and social opportunities of current and prospective students.

Co-creator of the motion and Widening Participation Officer, Fatuma Mohamud, remarked upon her reasoning behind putting forward the motion as such:

“I believe that we need to be protecting students’ interests. We also need to be thinking about the wider picture and how Brexit will impact the future in terms of the economy and the environment.”

If the motion is accepted, results could include; students being openly encouraged to take part in People’s Vote events, such as marches, local or national. FXU may also lobby Sarah Newton- the local MP, a Minister of State and currently the only Cornish MP backing Theresa May’s Brexit deal- for a People’s Vote.

It will also persuade elected presidents to start campaigning for a People’s Vote on behalf of the student union and the students.

The Falmouth Anchor spoke to the Students’ Union about their current stance regarding Brexit and the People’s Vote.

Izi Robe, FXU President Exeter, commented: “As a Students’ Union, we must remain impartial until our students decide on taking a position through mechanisms, such as the General Meeting. The motion, and counter argument, reflects the difference of opinion amongst students and we’re looking forward to the coming debate, following which students will have the chance to vote for or against.”

 

Mohamud adds: “There were legitimate grievances during the referendum but it’s also important that we need to stay away from a potentially botched-up Brexit.”

 

Lewis and Mohamud emphasised that this motion was not delegitimising the last referendum’s result. But instead giving students a chance to have a say on the final Brexit deal. This is especially imperative, as they remark, for students who weren’t old enough to vote in 2016.

Mohamud adds: “There were legitimate grievances during the referendum but it’s also important that we need to stay away from potentially a botched-up Brexit.”

 

Pictured: George Williams

 

George Williams, a University of Exeter student, wrote a counter-argument that was denied owing to motions having to be submitted five working days before an AGM.

The counter-argument instead calls for the FXU presidents to call a referendum, to firstly gauge students’ appetite for a People’s Vote.

Williams criticises the original motion, saying it was dangerous to think everyone agreed on it and that it was more legitimate to hold a referendum of students.

 

“Williams criticises the original motion, saying it was dangerous to think everyone agreed on it and that it was more legitimate to hold a referendum of students.”

 

He added: “It’s also worrying to say we should do something just because the NUS [National Union of Students] is doing something because at the end of the day our student’s union has to work for the Falmouth and Exeter students, not for the NUS.”

The FXU AGM will take place on Wednesday 21st November at 4-6pm in Lecture Theatre 2 on Woodlane Campus. AGMs are open to all Falmouth and Exeter students studying in Cornwall.

Mohamud concludes: “I think it’s important that all students are involved in the process and have a say on the motion.”

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