ICU President John Collins learned a valuable lesson this week - be careful who you talk to. Imperial College Union* appeared as a signatory to a Respect demand to the NUS, after ICU President John Collins and DPEW Ben 'Fluffy' Harris gave their personal support.
Collins and Harris were contacted by the University of Manchester Students Union General Secretary to give their support. The motion in question demands that the NUS accept a paper to the main conference next year, which was thrown out for being submitted in the wrong zone - NUS motions are now submitted into particular zones, which are then put into a priority order.
The original motion covered Islamophobia and was submitted into the 'Welfare' zone, but was deemed to be unsuitable for that zone and thrown out. It also bears an uncanny resemblance to a motion submitted to Union Council by Respect member Camilla Royle. It was thrown out twice in a row, as there had been no discussion with the College's Islamic community before bringing it forward.
In their response to the request for support, Collins and Harris indicated that they did not support all of the original motion, but would support the demand for it to be accepted. The Welfare zone includes a motion seeking to adopt an official definition of anti-Semitism, leading to the argument that one seeking for action on Islamophobia should be included too.
Collins has requested that the motion be altered to show the personal support of the sabbaticals in question, rather than the support of ICU as a whole. At the time of writing extra names have been added to the list of supporters, but ICU has not been removed.
*Actually Imerial College Union, but we know what they meant.