What is a motion?
Have you had a negative university experience? Are you passionate about a social cause? Do you have an idea to improve students lives? You can submit an idea for policy change through our Student Forum meetings and we call this “Submitting a motion”.
There are four Student Forum meetings a year and the SU accepts online motion submissions during the week before each meeting. The other students who attend the open meeting can then vote on whether the ideas for change are passed, amended or rejected. If a motion is accepted then the SU and the elected Officer team are then mandated to work with the proposer to make this change happen.
Before Student’s Forum
Write your motion
with the guidance below
Fill in the motion submission form
Union Chair to accept motion into agenda
During Students’ Forum
Present your motion to Students’ Forum
Vote with your peers on motions and amendments
After Students’ Forum
If your motion is passed work with the SU and Officers to make your change
Submitting your motion
Submitting your motion happens via an online form. We open motion submission one week before the Students’ Forum and it normally closes a full day before the Students’ Forum. This allows time for our Union Chair to read through each of the motion topics, gain an understanding of the information provided and hopefully accept each motion into the meetings agenda.
If you have accessibility issues with writing out your motion submission via the provided form please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat with our team to discuss how we can support you in submitting your motion.
Writing your motion
The student submitting the motion is referred to as the ‘proposer.’ Every proposer must ask a second student to be a ‘seconder’ to back them up on their motion. You will be asked for the contact information of both proposer and seconder when you complete the online form.
Although there is no compulsory style, motions usually follow an established format, which helps to make the document more easily understood. The sections on this form are how we ask students to complete their submissions. Below is some guidance on how to complete each section.
1. Give your motion a title
The title should provide a concise summary of what the motion is about.
2. Give a short overview of your motion purpose
This should be a sentence or two long and outlining the procedures and outcomes you wish to come from your suggestion.
3. Section one: 'This Union Notes...'.
This section includes facts and information that can independently be seen to be true.
4. Section two: 'This Union Believes...'.
This section contains opinions and things that you consider to be true. Other people may disagree with this section, which can be then discussed and debated at the meeting.
5. Section three: 'This Union Resolves...'.
The section outlines what you want Goldsmiths Students' Union to do as a result of the motion.
6. Optional anything else you want to include
You can also include things that you would like specific elected Officers to work on, for example calling on a specific Full Time Officer to work on a specific action.
Once you have completed your submission, the Union Chair before each Students’ Forum will read over each motion and decide if they agree to accept it to the meeting agenda. On most occasions the Union Chair will accept the motion submission but if for any reason they do not you will be contacted to discuss.
Voting and amendments
Voting takes place during the Students’ Forum open meeting. Each motion is given the same amount of time where the proposer or seconder can read their motion to their student peers in attendance to try to persuade them to vote for it to pass. If the proposer and seconder are both unavailable one of the Full-Time Officers will read the motion submission out.
The forum will then vote on the motion submission. All students who can provide their student ID number will be eligible for one vote per motion. The motion will either be
If the motion is liked by the students present but there are some details that people disagree on then students can propose (option C) amendments. There can then be a new vote with the new amendments.
After Students’ Forum
All motion submissions that have been successfully passed at Students’ Forum will be published onto our website to let the student body aware of new policy passed. The SU will then support the motion proposer to meet with the Full-Time Officer team and SU staff to work together to create meaningful change.
Students' Forum - this is the name of our regular, democratic open student meetings. They happen four times a year and all students are welcome to attend. Here we have discussions on the direction of policy and campaigns at the SU, listen to our Full-Time Officer accountability speeches and vote on motions to make meaningful change.
Motion - a motion is a piece of writing which outlines how we can change policy or create new policy for the direction of the SU. You can submit a motion ahead of the Students' Forum and it will be voted on during the meeting.
Amendment - if the students present at Students’ Forum overall like a motion that is being submitted but disagree with some details they can call for an amendment to be made. This makes some small changes to the motion submission in order to make overall improvements.
Mandated - when a motion passes we talk about the SU and Officer team being mandated to take action on it. Being mandated means that we are now both authorised and required to work on the topic by the student body.
Union Chair - The Union Chair is the title of the person who leads the Student’s Forum meeting. This is an elected Part-Time Officer position and their role includes holding the SU and Full-Time Officers to account and in line with the official rules of governance.
Proposter - the title given to a student who submits a motion to the Students’ Forum.
Seconder - when a proposter submits a motion to Students’ Forum they must ask another student to support them in their motion submission. We call this supporting student a ‘seconder’.
Quorum - this is the minimum number of members that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.