Agenda for Council I
7.00pm, Wednesday 17 October 2001
Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College
Corrections to Minutes of Last Council
Matters Arising from Last Council
Date & Venue of Next Meeting: 7 November, Homerton
Announcements by The Executive
Questions to The Executive
Objections to The Order Paper
Education Funding Policy
Chair of CUSU Council
Mature Students' Officer
Graduate Students' Rep
Standing Committee on
Ethical Policy implementation (2)
TCS Directors (2)
NUS Regional Conference
Funding and Access
Campaign Team (6)
Motion 1 : Condemnation of terrorism
1) The terrorist attacks
perpetrated in America on the 11th September that resulted in the death of
almost 7000 innocent civilians.
2) The real shock and grief
felt by peoples of all nations, religions and ethnicities across the globe in
the wake of these attacks.
the attacks of the 11th of September were abhorrent, and without justification
2) That Cambridge Students
share a sense of deep outrage at the deaths of so many innocent civilians.
offer our fullest condolences and to all those affected by the tragic events of
2) To condemn unreservedly
all terrorist attacks, and all violence against civilians.
Akhtar, CUSU President
commencement of hostilities against Afghanistan on Sunday 7 October, and the
involvement of British Forces in the attacks.
2) The extreme hardship already
suffered by the Afghan People, after two decades of war and three years of
drought, and UN descriptions of a pre-existing "humanitarian crisis"
in the region.
3) UNHCR predictions that millions
more Afghans will be displaced and made dependent on Aid as a result of the
bombing campaign, regardless of whether or not civilians are specifically
CUSU notes also:
past military intervention from external powers, including the Soviet Union and
the USA, has greatly destabilised Afghanistan, propelling the Taliban to power
and furnishing "Islamic" fundamentalists with equipment and support.
military action will inflict unjustifiable and unnecessary suffering upon the
2) That civilian deaths and
suffering in America should not be followed by yet more such suffering in
3) That military action in
Afghanistan will further undermine global stability, fuelling the resentment of
the West amongst non-western peoples which is so easily exploited by extremist
groups and oppressive regimes.
4) That the threat of
international terrorism will exist as long as there are peoples that suffer
situations of extreme poverty, oppression and violence, in which Western
nations are complicit.
5) That America and her
allies would best combat the threat of international terrorism by seeking to
resolve existing conflicts peacefully and justly, with an equitable application
of international law to all nations and peoples, and by acting globally to
relieve poverty and reduce oppression and violence.
oppose the current war against Afghanistan, and to support students that
campaign against it.
CUSU Ethical Investment Officer
Akhtar, CUSU President
since the events of September 11 in America, Cambridge students have been
harassed and racially abused.
2) Individuals who propagate
racial hatred have been invited to speak, and have spoken, in Cambridge on more
than one occasion despite intervention by the Anti-Racism Officer.
3) That incitement to racial
hatred is illegal.
4) That recent student media
reporting of Omar Bakri's visits was unnecessarily alarmist and exploited
all students have the right to freedom from racial abuse or harassment.
2) That racial harassment
and abuse of students is totally unacceptable.
3) That those who come to
Cambridge in order to incite people to racial hatred should not be given a
4) That student media should
not pander to or exploit stereotypes.
5) That the exploitation of
prejudice by media validates the expression of language and attitudes which in
any other circumstances would be seen as totally unacceptable.
6) That colleges do not perform
enough checks to see who is actually coming to speak at their college.
7) That the University and
the Colleges have a duty under the Race Relations Amendment (RRA) Act 2001 to
prevent the dissemination of racial hatred.
offer our fullest support to students who have been racially harassed or abused
through college student unions and raising awareness.
2) To condemn all racial
harassment and abuse of students
3) To issue good practise
guidelines written by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) to student
4) To contact colleges with
our concerns regarding whom they allow to speak at their colleges
5) To point Senior Tutors of
colleges in the direction of Section 10, page 43 of the 'White Book', which
specifically says that "a speaker who incites an assembly of persons to
violence or to breach of the peace or to racial hatred commits a criminal
6) To remind Colleges of
their duties under the RRA Act 2001 and to seek assurances that procedures are
in place to fulfil them.
7) To ask colleges to
tighten their procedures for people booking rooms or lecture halls for outside
speakers to come and speak in.
CUSU Anti-Racism Officer
Motion 4 : Higher Education Funding Policy
recent announcement that the Labour government is considering a form of
maintenance grant for students and a change in the tuition fee system.
participation in Higher Education from all areas of society should be increased
to promote social mobility and the education of civil society.
2) That student debt deters
applicants and increases the university drop-out rate.
3) That current funding of
higher education is not adequate to meet the needs of society.
4) That students are adults
and should be independent of parental support.
5) That higher education has
benefits for all of society, not just for those individuals going through the
6) That there is more to
higher education than increased employment opportunities.
7) That a focus on higher
education funding should review all the costs of studying - tuition,
maintenance, incidental, printing, catering, accommodation and other costs.
CUSU further believes:
as the government has only announced a review of the system and not the final
details, it is vital to lobby the government over different systems of student
finance, and the various benefits.
2) The new maintenance
support system should allay fears of unaffordable costs and ensure students
have the financial provision to stay on at university.
3) Currently, parents
earning over £20,000 are required to make up the short fall in maintenance and
tuition fees not covered by the student loan; this assumes that all parents
above a certain income threshold are willing and able to provide financial
assistance to their adult children. Problems arise when this is not the case -
when parents no longer consider it to be their responsibility to support their
children, when parents fall out with children and withdraw support; or when
parents do not consider it suitable for their child to enter higher education.
These problems disproportionately disadvantage certain groups including LGB,
women and ethnic minority students.
4) That problems of the
means testing of maintenance support can be best solved by a universal maintenance
5) That a targeted (means
tested) system of non-repayable maintenance grants would however reduce many of
the problems that the current loans system poses in terms of access and debt
6) Currently the student
contribution to tuition fees is levied upfront and thus adds to student
hardship and difficulties in maintenance support; it is charged to a student
when they are likely to be at the poorest stage of their career. It creates
further problems with debt aversion and conceptions of the unaffordability of
7) Higher education funding
requires drastically more input than can be levied on students; yet if more
funding is to be raised from those receiving higher education it should be
charged after graduation when it is more easily affordable; that although this
would be cheaper, more easily administered and generally fairer if coming from
general taxation, a graduate tax, (or Scottish style graduate endowment) would
be preferable to an upfront fee.
8) That the affordability of
higher education, and the conception of the affordability of higher education,
is as much linked to rising costs as it is to reduced maintenance support.
Reduced government support of higher education institutions has led to costs
being passed on to students.
9) The private sector can,
in certain controlled circumstances, offer a viable source of much needed extra
funding into higher education ; it does
however, prove problematic in terms of accountability, the stifling of control
out of public hands and the intellectual property rights of students.
CUSU calls for:
universal maintenance grant and the abolition of tuition fees; for increased
government provision for the Higher Education sector.
CUSU mandates the Executive and the Funding and Access Campaign Team
with college student unions, to lobby the University, Colleges, Government and
other relevant bodies in five key areas
Grants not Fees
Top-up fees through the back door
The College Fee.
help organise the NUS Anglia Regional Rally on "Grants not Fees" to
be held in Cambridge on 20th November.
2) To promote the
"Grants not Fees" gold ribbons amongst students and others, to
encourage JCRs and MCRs to be involved in the distribution of the gold ribbons.
3) To adopt the colour gold
as a theme for the Higher Education Funding Campaign.
4) To organise a
"Grants not Fees" gold balloon release.
5) To purchase banners for
CUSU, at least one "Grants not Fees" and one general purpose CUSU
6) To investigate (and purchase
if feasible) a town banner advertising the rally on 20th November.
7) To send representation to
the NUS-organised December lobby of parliament.
8) To re-elect FACT to
co-ordinate the campaign; that FACT adopt a new planning committee consisting of
the HE Funding Officer, Access Officer, and Academic Affairs Officer; that FACT
liase with a student union contact within each college.
9) To conduct a review, in
consultation with student unions, of rising costs across the university,
including accommodation, catering, computing costs etc.
10) To allocate funds within
the HE funding budget heading accordingly.
CUSU HE Funding Officer
Motion 5 : Publications Working Party
CUSU is one of the two largest student publishers in Europe.
2) That sabbaticals are
rarely professionally qualified in desktop publishing or production.
3) That sabbaticals spend
the majority of the summer producing publications.
4) That CUSU publications
are often delayed.
publications are a vital part of the service that CUSU provides to its members,
providing reference material on issues as diverse as entertainment, careers
information, welfare support, childcare, green issues and anti-racism.
2) That partly due to the
lack of a central union building, CUSU constantly faces the problem of how to
communicate to its members. Informative publications, delivered by college
student unions to their members, offer a unique opportunity to communicate with
every member of CUSU.
3) That while individual
college student unions produce much valuable information, they cannot be
expected to produce such comprehensive information about the whole of Cambridge
for their members.
4) That the existence of the
CUSU publications relieves this pressure on individual college officers,
freeing them to provide additional information as they see fit that is
particular to their college.
5) That, nevertheless, too
much sabbatical time is spent producing publications.
6) That CUSU would be more
efficient and more useful with more time set aside for non-publications work.
set up a Publications Working Party, consisting of the sabbaticals, two
students elected at Council, and two from the Executive.
2) To mandate the Working
Party to review CUSU's publications provision, and to recommend a course of
action to Council not later than Lent I.
3) To suggest to the Working
Party that they investigate the feasibility and desirability of the following:
the employment of a Publications Manager (whether part-time,
full-time or temporary)
the transferral of some publications to the web
a reduction in the quantity, size and/or frequency of
more guaranteed input into publications from outgoing
desktop publishing training for the Executive
other improvements as decided by the Working Party
CUSU Services Officer
Motion 6 : TCS Constitution
the CUSU President took his post off the Board of Directors of The Cambridge
Student ("TCS Board") last term, with no replacement.
2) That there are currently
6 posts on the TCS Board.
3) That this could result in
a split vote.
4) That changes to the
Constitution of The Cambridge Student ("TCS Constitution") must be
agreed by a two-thirds majority of Council
split votes are undesirable.
add an extra member to the TCS Board.
2) To update C.1 of the TCS
Constitution to read:
C.1 There shall
be a Board of Directors (‘the Board’) comprising:
i. The Current Editor
ii. The Former Editor (or, if
not in Cambridge, a former Deputy Editor as confirmed by the previous Board of
iii. The CUSU Services Officer
iv. The CUSU Business Manager
v. Three students elected by
CUSU Council to serve for one year.
Proposed: Stewart Morris, CUSU Services Officer &
Ed Whiting, TCS Editor
Seconded: CUSU Executive