UWE Bristol ‘democracy’: Complaint about misrepresentation in minutes of 18/2 Student Council

Dear Mr Boyes,

This is a formal complaint to UWESU about the way the 18 February 2013 Student Council was reported in official minutes (see Bye-Laws 9).

On 18/2, I withdrew two motions I was holding from the Student Council. I made a statement for justifying this action and requested the justificatory statement to be included in the minutes.

A few days after the meeting, I emailed Duncan Stokes. This is what Nerys Neath advised in front of the Council, right after I made the statement justifying why I withdrew the motions, including a request for the statement to be included in the minutes.

In addition to the statement, I also made the request to include a report of, as well as observations about, the meeting’s process similar to the statement I already published online: https://network23.org/benoit/2014/02/24/uwe-bristol-democracy-report-uwesu-student-council-18-february-2014/

Today, I noticed that UWESU published the minutes of the 18 February Student Council on its website (http://www.uwesu.org/pageassets/representation/committees/student-council/Minutes-20Feb2014-DRAFT.pdf) and that neither of these requests have been addressed.

I have the following issues and requests:

1/ Instead of publishing my statement, UWESU published the following: “MOTION WITHDRAWN by Benoit Dutilleul as he claimed he did not view council as a democratic body and he felt proposing a motion would legitimise it as such. (see appendix 1)“.

Not only the statement I provided was not published as requested and agreed, but the statement substituted by UWESU is false and misrepresenting my position.

For example, I did not claim that I “did not view council as a democratic body” but, as you can read yourself in the Appendix, I “claimed possible breaches of the democratic process” and highlighted several specific reasons for that.

Immediate corrective action:

  • Publish a corrected version of the minutes with the statement in the body of the minutes as requested and agreed (and thus scrap UWESU’s misrepresentative statement altogether).

2/ UWESU did not publish the statement I requested to be put on record in those minutes. This statement precisely documents some of the issues with that meeting and the UWESU democratic process. Moreover, one most important observation took place after my two motions were withdrawn.

Immediate corrective action:

  • Publish a corrected version of the minutes including a verbatim version of the statement I provided, regarding the meeting process, as an appendix.

Best regards,

Benoit Dutilleul