Students for Senate?

18 February 1969

This story from today’s Guild Gazette suggests that there is some way to go before an agreed position on student representation on Senate is arrived at:

Mr Richard Davies, President of Guild, was accused of “an act of great irresponsibility” at Guild Council last night. The accusation, made by Mr T Shuttleworth, referred to the President’s presentation to Council for approval of his document on “Participation in University Government”. This was presented before the adjournment of Council last Sunday night.

“Little thought was put into the preparation of the document,” said Mr Shuttleworth. “The President obviously did not know his own mind.”

Mr Davies replied, “I know I’m not a person of dynamic energy and ability; at least my presentation of the document promoted discussion on the subject.”

In the document, he proposed to apply to Senate for a student participation of twelve in the government of the University. He recognised that his proposals were not ideal, but hoped that Council would adopt them as practical. ”What we want is participation, not just representation on Senate.”

Mr Robertson complained that “twelve people on Senate would mean nothing,” and suggested that a flow of information is required, in order to end the secrecy in which Senate is bound up. “This document is not conclusive,” he said. “A basic philosophy of the consultative role of students must be worked out.” Miss Bagshaw and Messrs Brooks and Aspinall concurred. Mr Aspinall added that we would be ”bought-off” once more, by the University, with the concession of miniscule participation.”

”For God’s sake, take it back to ‘A’ Societies and come back with a formulated policy,” replied Mr Davies, losing hope of having his document approved in any form. The debate then degenerated until motions, counter-motions and points of order, were being chaotically tabled.

Mr Snow said he considered the proposed presentation of the document to the University this week, ”the most dangerous thing I have heard in my life.” He proposed that the matter be referred back to ‘A’ Societies, that a Mass Meeting of Guild be held on the subject, and that an informal committee should formulate the results and present them to an Extraordinary Meeting of Guild Council.

Consequently, a Mass Meeting of Guild will be held in the Lounge Hall at 1 pm on Thursday 6th March. Letters have been sent to ‘A’ Society Presidents, asking them to sound out the opinions of their members and to return this information to the informal committee. This committee, being so widely representative as to include Messrs Aspinall, Chopping, Dent, Dobbin, Robertson and Snow, will then prepare a document for discussion at an Extra-ordinary Guild Council, to be held on Monday 10th March.

See also: Editorial – Who should sit on Senate?

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Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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