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Student Council: motion put forward for full-time BAME Officer

A motion has been put forward calling for a full-time BAME Officer at Bristol University’s Student’s Union.

By Teddy Coward, Co-Editor-in-Chief

A motion calling for a paid full-time BAME Officer at Bristol University’s Student Union was put forward at today’s Student Council.

In the final Student Council of the year, which began at 4pm today, the motion to ‘Introduce a full-time BAME Officer’ was one of nine motions put forward.

As today’s Student Council was online, the results will be announced on Tuesday, 23 June, once amendments are added and the SU cross references eligible voters.

The motion, proposed by Nadia Sajir and Dayo Ombiyi, states its aim to ‘mandate the SU to try and source funding for a full-time BAME Students’.

It also proposes that: 'Once funding for at least three years has been secured, to mandate the SU to update the bye-laws' to include the new sabbatical position.

Speaking to Epigram before the motion was put forward, Sajir said: ‘the past two years the BME Network Chairs haven’t been Black.’

‘The difference between having a BAME Officer over a BAME Network Chair or BAME society is that voices will be getting listened to by the highest members of staff within the University - an Officer would be having meetings with key stakeholders within the University.

‘There’s a lot of students that just don’t feel fully represented. The initial goal is to allow them to feel represented but the long-term plan will be for the [BAME] Officer to make real change possible. At the moment that’s not possible among student groups - it needs to have a member of staff.

'Some have argued that a BAME Officer wouldn’t have enough work to do - but some could argue such a  Sports Officer is not a huge job. A BAME officer is definitely needed.'

Following the motion, a proposal put forward by Theresa Awolesi and Caroline Gakpetorthere was also given, calling for the establishment of a Black Student’s Network.

In response to a question from Nadia on how the Black Student’s Network would work with having a potential BAME Officer, Theresa said the two could ‘co-exist’ together.

There were over 135 attending the online Student Council meeting.

Featured: Epigram / Patrick Sullivan

What are your thoughts on a full-time BAME Officer?