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.