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UCL Votes to Overturn Military Ban

Oct 15 2008 10:07
Kirsty Patterson
The UCL Welcome General Meeting voted overwhelmingly in favour of overturning a ban on Student Military Organisations. The decision is yet to be ratified.
Students looking attentive in lectures... who'd have thought it?

Students attending the Welcome General Meeting at University College London Union on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of overturning a ban on Student Military Organisations which was passed at UCLU last year. Reports from the meeting suggest that 5:1 votes were in favour of rejecting the ban which attracted national press coverage and was condemned by MPs and students alike. Even NUS narrowly jumped on the bandwagon, opposing a similar motion brought to Annual Conference later that year.

The March meeting and the decision itself was surrounded by controversy which eventually saw UCL General Secretary, Samantha Godwin, suspended pending review. However no decision was reached on the legitimacy of the policies passed and the mandates remained in place.

Freshers at UCL did not get chance to meet other students involved in London's Student Military Organisations at UCL Freshers' Fair this year due to UCLU Policy not allowing them to promote their activities on campus. Some UCL students may have lost their only chance to join the Officer Training Corps (OTC), University of London Air Squadron (ULAS) or University Royal Naval Unit (URNU). Competition for places in the organisations is fierce and as such you are required to sign up for an interview in person at one of the London Freshers' Fairs.

The removal of the ban is not yet complete with the Welcome General Meeting not reaching the quorum required to enable them to make decision on policy. The outcome of the meeting will be taken instead to UCL Union Council to be 'ratified' by a smaller group of more senior union officers. It is hoped that the outcome of the vote from the General Meeting will be legitimised by UCL's hacks, bringing an end to the military ban saga.

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Discussion about “UCL Votes to Overturn Military Ban”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Oct 16 2008 12:21

Just to clarify the normal period of training within the three organisations is only two years and no student is favoured for having more time left on their degree as long as they meet the relevant minimum requirement (UAS = 3 terms).

Oct 17 2008 09:53

Could it be that the joining requirements are different between the three organisations? The above statement was compiled from friends' experiences of URNU. I know ULAS is only three terms, OTC I think works differently also.

Oct 17 2008 10:07

Good to see sense prevail. I'm fairly anti-military myself, but this was a free association of people who wanted to join of their own free will and I can see no compelling reason to stop them.

4. OCdt`   
Oct 17 2008 11:22

Excellent news. OTC requires you to have at least 2 years left at university.

Oct 17 2008 12:02

'Students with less than three years left on their course could be disadvantaged during the selection period in favour of students who can complete a full three years training.'

This is completely incorrect.

Aside from this, a good article!

Oct 17 2008 19:53

Edited to remove the offending statement.

It would be nice if someone from URNU could clarify the situation there as it was members of this organisation that I received the information from. As I understand it you could be at a disadvantge if you are only at Uni for two more years and there are other applicants who have three years left. This doesn't necessarily mean you will be however.

7. Y0rn   
Oct 18 2008 00:18


8. This post has been deleted.
Oct 19 2008 23:28
Oct 21 2008 14:30

My understanding of what the advisory vote means is slightly different:

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