Birkbeck Student Council Meeting – 8th July 2014


Birkbeck Malet Street Building

Flock To The Crown attended the Birkbeck Student Council meeting, which took place at the main building on Tuesday 8th July. Here is a brief overview of what was discussed.

Discussions began concerning some members of the Student Council playing an inactive role and not being contactable since becoming an elected member.

Alex Owolade raised his campaigns as Black Members Officer. This included the Sheikh Sisters Campaign for a fair and equal hearing from the crown court and jury for the sexual injustice done to the sisters.

Owolade also brought up the demonstration at Harmondsworth in solidarity with imprisoned migrants who call for an end to the asylum fast track system and immigration detention. Please e-mail him directly if you require information

Some members of the council were shocked to hear that the 24-hour ITS rooms would be closed as of the 14th of July under the direction of the college. John Lindner (Sabbatical Officer) said research found that as little as ten students were using the ITS room which were mostly alumni and not current students.

It was agreed that the student council did not agree with the closure given that some students require this facility and that the college had not directly consulted with the students or conducted a througher investigation.

Angela Bennett (Black Members Officer) and Owolade will write up a proposal for a consultation to take place on the closure to the Student Governance Body meeting, which takes place today.

Lindner announced that ULU (University of London Union) would be closed this August however, the building itself shall remain in use by students in the same way; the bars, cafe’s, gym and print shop will remain open.

He will attend an inaugural NUS London Conference to find out what will replace ULU as well as the London Student (ULU magazine) as it has lost its funding due to the change.

General Secretary, Rob Park discussed a policy lapse for certain principles and campaigns that are –perhaps –  redundant since they were discussed 3 to 4 years ago.

One example was a room booking system, which had not been established at the time, but since Birkbeck has successfully implemented a system, this policy can be removed.

Lindner and Lydia Marmorstein (Disabled Members Officer) raised the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) Campaign they are running.

In short, the government is changing the current DSA policy, which will have a negative impact on disabilities students who have not registered for the DSA.

If you would like to read the Ministerial Statement by MP, David Willetts, please click here. More information written by the NUS can be found here.

Lindner brought up the proposal and Motion for Birkbeck’s first – ever – Summer Ball. He proposed selling tickets in advance  in order to get a rough estimate on how many students would be interested in attended a Summer Ball.

Based on other university prices, the average ticket would range between £30 – £35 however, there were some discussion over how expensive this may be whilst others were concerned on how ineffective selling tickets a year in advance may be as well.

Lindner brought up feasibility discussions with the college on providing more water fountains for students and several complaints that had been made on the lack of bathrooms on the 5th floor of the main building.

Lindner also discussed the Colours Awards; most students have received an e-mail on voting for Birkbeck staff members, lecturers or students who they’d like to nominate  for the Colour Award.

This vote is entitled to all students to pick a person of recognition  based upon their merit and service to Birkbeck College.

If you require minutes for the Student Council meeting, please contact Rob Park:

Written by Mary Grace Nguyen (Co Founder & Co Chief Editor of Flock to the Crown)

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