This evening the Union of Brunel Students' Board of Trustees has agreed to send a new proposed change on the Union's governance structure to referendum.
Students will be given the opportunity to vote to support the proposed new democratic structure of the Union.
The proposal is to change the current structure of four officers (President, Vice President Student Activities, Vice President Academic Representation and Vice President Community Welfare) to a new structure of five full time officers and one part time officer.
The proposed restructure of officers, which would take effect from 2015/2016 academic year is as follows:
- President (full time)
- Vice President Student Activities (full time)
- Vice President College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences (full time)
- Vice President College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences (full time)
- Vice President College of Health and Life Sciences (full time)
- Vice President Postgraduate Students (part time)
Additionally, the Campaigns Working Group will be removed from the Union Student Leadership Team with these proposed changes.
Martin Zaranyika, current UBS President, said, "The decision taken tonight enables us to ensure that the Union effectively represents its members. The decision to send the proposal to referendum was unanimous on the Trustee Board.
"Every five years the Union has to review its governance structures. Last year was the beginning of the review for this five year period. The review consisted of a student survey from NUS about governance, consultation with the student leadership team (both this year and last year) and also involved focus groups with student assembly members.
"We have worked hard to make sure that we involve students in the structure of the Union and this proposal ensures that we are representing students to the best of our abilities. This is also a reaction to the restructuring of the University in line with Transformational Change. If we are going to effectively represent students, our structure must be able to influence the decision making within the University's structure."
The new structure would also see the existing Cabinet replaced by an executive committee, which would be student led.
The vote needs 5% turnout from the electorate (the student body) for the vote to be quorate. The referendum will pass if two thirds of registered votes are 'YES'. If the vote does not pass, the officer structure will remain the same, although it is possible that the proposal may be re-drafted and taken again to the Trustee Board.
The projected time of voting is expected to be in November, although the Union will publicise specific dates later this term. The Union will release more in-depth information about the proposed changes at a later date.
Martin Zaranyika said, "The new structure would increase the capacity to communicate with students in each academic college."