Yesterday, Imperial College Union had one of it's best times to prove to it's members that it truly was run democratically for the benefit of it's members. Did it take the golden opportunity to do this? You'd be surprised to know that it didn't.
ICU had, for the first time since the 1980's, the chance to bring one of the most senior officers of the Union to account. Mr. Senthooran Ganeshwaranthan had a Motion of Censure against him with regards his running of the elections to the Executive Committee. At first, the discussion regarding this matter started constructively, with many good points being made on both sides, and it seemed that we could truly get to the bottom of this matter. But then, things managed to take a turn for the worse. It seemed that, whilst many people had turned up to the meeting wanting to add constructive points to the debate, some had turned up for no obvious reason. They started to profess that the whole meeting was boring, and wanted to move to a vote on this important issue. Luckily, they failed to force this the first time, however, after this they started to make irrelevant points to the debate and, ultimately, managed to get a move to the point on this issue. As can be expected, Mr. Ganeshwaranthan was not Censured.
Truly, ICU Council had throttled the Goose that layed the Golden Egg. At a time when the numbers of Students actually voting or standing in ICU elections is falling, we see a Council making no attempt to bring it's officers to account. They'd rather have a ?life? than run the Union for the benefit of it's members. Naturally, I was disgusted by this attitude, and felt that I had to say something about this. After all, when there's a Motion of Censure, the Constitution clearly states that members must have due regard for the gravity of the situation. I agree with many people that what I said may have been slightly over the top, but this can be put down to the heated nature of the debate. However I do not regret saying anything that I did, as it was necesary to do this, as I'm sure that the members of the Union should know how Council conducts itself. Perhaps we should have a forum where people can say what they feel without fear of repercussions.
In the end, this ended with a rather black blotch on a few members of council. When people need to hide behind petty insults, rather than try and engage in a discussion about the points raised, you have to wonder whether they deserve to be representing the members. I would also like to point out that I consider petty insults to have been left at the Infant School Playground, and have no place in a meeting of Council. Also, being thrown out of the Council meeting for Contempt can be construed as being an attack on the rights of members to speak out on important issues. After all, if people speak their mind, and Council doesn't like it, then you get thrown out. So why should a member come and speak at Council, when they are in fear of being held in Contempt for six months?
Perhaps something constructive can still come out of this. Perhaps it is time to review Council's role in light of last nights meeting. Even more fundamental, perhaps it is time to review the Election procedures and rules. I would hope that people will listen to their members for a change.
Footage of the meeting is available at Stoic