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  • The CUSU budget is accepted: print TCS will end
  • Secret vote sees TCS emergency amendment fall
  • Two rounds of votes on TCS budget tied 17-17 and 18-18
  • Arguments over future of TCS grow acrimonious
  • Budget amendment discussion underway


9:58pm Wow. It's been a big evening. This is Anna and Amy, signing off, and heading to the nearest pub.

9:57pm  In summary:

  • TCS's print edition has been ended
  • CUSU is going to work with the Afro-Caribbean Society on access matters
  • CUSU is now mandated to argue for the benefits of remaining in the EU

9:55pm And that's it for the evening! There are whoops of joy as people start to leave. 

9:53pm It's election time now for the CUSU Ethical Affairs Officers positions (two of them). No one has volunteered themselves to run, however, or indeed for CUSU chair, so nominations for both will be re-opened in Michaelmas. Brief.

9:52pm We move straight to a vote, as people are clearly keen to go home, and the motion passes!

9:51pm There's now a debate on an emergency motion about whether sabbatical officers should be able to live in college accommodation. 

9:50pm All those in favour: nearly everyone. Only one abstains. It passes!

9:49pm Lola Olufemi from the BME Campaign confirms that they would be happy to work with the CUACS on this. 

9:48pm Olivia Hylton-Pennant (Cambridge African-Caribbean Society President) is now proposing a motion to mandate CUSU to work with CUACS to improve access. She's met with applause.

9:45pm The motion passes. 

9:44pm Now we're debating whether to allocate money from the CUSU Free Budget to the Welfare and Rights Team to hold events during exam term.

9:39pm Confirmed: TCS's print edition will come to an end. 

9:39pm It's the vote on the Budget. For: 24. Against: 13. Abstaining: 3. The budget is accepted!

9:37pm Voting on the budget begins. 

9:36pm Mensah: "We are not people that hate students. We are people that want to support the core aims of a student union."

9:35pm Priscilla Mensah now speaking for the ratification of the budget.

9:34pm Roemer: "we could just earn more money". 

9:34pm And we're now on to speeches for and against ratifying the budget. Cornelius Roemer is first with a speech against.

9:33pm With the motion passed, Damiano Sogaro has made his exit. Fitz now without a rep.

9:32pm Right, now the EU referendum motion itself. It passes!

9:31pm Oh no. It's 11-11. A tie. Again. It falls without a majority.

9:31pm We're now going to vote on whether there should be separate vote on whether voting Remain in the EU is in Cambridge interests, and whether CUSU should encourage a Remain vote. 

9:27pm Mensah clarifies that CUSU itself cannot take an official stance on a referendum. 

9:25pm We're finally back after that unofficial break. Gallant is arguing that CUSU is one of the few student unions yet to come out on the EU so far.

9:19pm The projector has unfrozen! Varsitybringing you the most important news since 1947.

9:18pm  Experiencing some technical issues, as the correctly worded motion has not been put on the screen. The projector appears to have now frozen.

9:17pm We're just waiting on the EU referendum emergency motion to be printed and distributed. Bit of a lull.

9:11pm We're now hearing speeches on the emergency motion that CUSU should be mandated to distribute materials on the EU referendum and registering to vote. Ben Gallant is now outlining what he sees as the benefits of EU membership for Cambridge.

9:09pm Results of the secret vote are in. Those in favour: 17. Those against: 20. The motion falls.

8:54pm And we're going to another break. 

8:50pm There's now a vote on whether to have another round of speeches on the vote. This is surely peak vote.

8:49pm There's going to be a secret ballot now, to avoid “peer pressure”.

8:48pm Those in favour: 18. Those against: 18. This changes everything(!)

8:46pm And we're now having a recount. 

8:46pm We're going to have another round of speeches, with people then voting again on their voting cards, which will be recorded as their true votes. The result will be announced tomorrow. 

8:45pm The motion needs a simple majority to pass, but it doesn't have that at the moment. It is possible for people to amend their votes on their voting cards.

8:44pm Votes in favour of the amendment: 17. Votes against: 17. That's a tie, people.

8:43pm We're about to go to a vote on this emergency motion.

8:43pm Hertz argues that TCS is "beloved by hundreds, if not thousands, of students" in Cambridge. "We're not going to cost you anything", she says. People applaud.

8:41pm Allen calls TCS "mainly a lifestyle magazine".

8:41pm "Cambridge is best served by a strong and competitive online presence", says Allen, who argues that the saving TCS's print edition would be "delaying the inevitable".

8:39pm Fitz JCR representative Damiano Sogaro proposes a procedural amendment that would force an immediate vote. There is applause.

8:39pm Homerton VP External Leonardo Buizza has called for a resolution that TCS will consider the relationship between its print and digital sides.

8:36pm We're now voting on Driver's amendment, which does not pass. It seems like Driver was the only one to vote for it.

8:35pm "There have been weeks when we have no advertising in the paper" says Oakley, discussing TCS's recent struggles to fund advertising. 

8:35pm Stevie Hertz has said these proposed copies would also carry more advertising.

8:34pm Elsa Maishman has proposed a cut of TCS to at most 10 issues a year, with 5,000 copies of each bring printed – on worse paper.

8:32pm Stevie Hertz says: "we cannot function with £2,000 less" to a proposed amendment to the motion. 

8:30pm Angus Satow releases something between a howl and a groan of distress as Mark Driver proposes taking a vote in sections.

8:27pm "We've had a bad year for advertising, but we think we can do better", says Hertz. 

8:27pm Oakley is asked about TCS's plan for the future by Darcy Levison, Sidney Sussex JCR's Vice President. 

8:23pm CUSU Women's Officer Charlie Chorley says that she finds it difficult that the motion proposes reducing the CUSU Free Budget by £2000. She argues that spending this on TCS would not be one of CUSU's core costs. 

8:22pm Sarah Gibson proposes an amendment about CUSU sabbatical officers working with staff to redistribute surplus to other areas of the budget as necessary.

8:18pm Gibson asks about the figures in the TCS motion, and Maishman clarifies that TCS "doesn't get to spend" all of the money that it brings in, as it goes to CUSU. 

8:16pm Oakley responds to an allegation that if – as their motion proposes – TCS's website will get reduced funding which will hurt its website presence, by saying that it is not currently necessary to increase spending on the website. 

8:16pm Chad Allen, when asked by Elsa Maishman how he thought his criticism of TCS's news section extends to other sections: “I don’t know, no one reads it anymore”.

8:12pm A procedural motion which would take us straight to a vote is proposed.

8:11pm Francis Hawker asks proposers of the TCS amended budget where “all the money figures” come from.

8:09pm  Allen argues that it is not viable for TCS to continue printing "old news on dead trees".

8:09pm Allen: “Going online would make TCS a better paper”.

8:06pm Chad Allen, President of the GU, makes a speech against the motion, denouncing the "aggressive" social media campaign he claims TCS has aged against CUSU.

8:06pm He adds that of the £14,000 income, £7,000 is online and just over £6,000 is from print. But all the costs are for print.

8:04pm McCormack is clarifying the figures regarding TCS presented in the proposed budget, and confirms that TCS is expected to bring in £14,000 this year. 

8:04pm And we're off again!

7:56pm SUMMARY: a motion to amend the proposed LGBT+ Campaign budget for next year has been passed, and we're now on to debating the motion to save TCS's print edition.

7:54pm We've got a ten-minute break now. Council back on at 8:05! We're taking a short chocolate break now. 

7:52pm Angus Satow, Vice-president of Magdalene JCR, asks whether someone from CUSU can respond to the financial claims made in the TCS motion. 

7:51pm Oakley proposes that a new proposed budget could increase TCS's projected income from £11,000 to £14,000 a year.

7:49pm And we're on to TCS: current Editor Amelia Oakley, and Stevie Hertz are proposing an amendment to "save" TCS's print edition. 

7:48pm Almost all votes are in favour of an amended LGBT+ budget. Motion passes.

7:47pm They've just done a check, and have confirmed that Council is quorate. 

7:47pm We're about to go to a vote on this motion. 

7:46pm Jemma Stewart, CUSU Coordinator, clarifies that the autonomous campaigns are never expected to have to find their own funding through sponsorship, but that that is "an option" available to them. 

7:45pm Gibson addresses allegations, from Shani Wijetilaka, that the LGBT+ campaign lost a sponsorship contract because "someone forgot to renew the contract". 

7:44pm There's a yell from outside - "Save TCS!" 

7:42pm Gibson says that the amount the campaign has been making from sponsorship has been "stagnant" for the past couple of years.

7:40pm Sarah Gibson, President of the LGBT+ Campaign, notes their recent £700 funding cut and calls on CUSU to reconsider. The proposed cut could spell the end of campaign magazine Get Real.

7:39pm And we're moving on to amendments to the budget.

7:37pm Continued questioning from Cornelius Roemer on staff training costs.

7:35pm Mensah launches into a spirited defence of CUSU's work after a question asking what it is that CUSU does.

7:33pm  Xavier Bisits, ex-co-editor of The Tab Cambridge, asks who in the university asked CUSU to focus on its "core objectives", and asks why they think that TCS is not a core objective of CUSU. 

7:32pm Cornelius Roemer asks what would happen to the CUSU website if the union votes to disaffiliate in the NUS referendum. Priscilla replies that it would be more expensive to run a website outside of NUS.

7:29pm CUSU Coordinator Jemma Stewart is defending spending on CUSU's website, saying that before they moved to their current platform it looked like it was "from the nineties". 

7:28pm Cornelius Roemer is back! He's asking a question about CUSU's spending on its website, which uses an NUS platform, and has costs that, he claims, are unusually high.

Don’t forget to take our poll on Cambridge’s NUS membership – is it time for CUSU to disaffiliate?

7:27pm McCormack's presentation says that "CUSU does a lot" and justifies needing to "make difficult decisions" when it comes to generating income with limited sources.

7:27pm  McCormack says that the proposal to keep the number of sabbatical officers at six is "not just about cost control", but about "focusing" CUSU on "core aims".

7:25pm The presentation is fairly similar to the one at the last CUSU Council

7:24pm McCormack is going over the details of the budget again, and recounting how revenue from advertising has been falling.

7:23pm CUSU President Priscilla Mensah introduces Mark McCormack, General Manager of CUSU, who is going to present the proposed budget for 2016/17.

7:21pm There is also a emergency motion on the agenda from TCS, which is seeking to protect its print budget.

7:17pm Sidney JCR President Olly Hudson asks a question about CUSU's letter to the NUS on anti-semitism, which Priscilla says she will be working on tomorrow.

7:14pm Sabbatical officers are running through what they've been up to recently, with some of them mentioning the potential impact of the government's higher education white paper that was published today. 

7:13pm There are three emergency motions on the agenda tonight:

  • Amend the proposed budget for 2016/17 (LGBT+) 
  • CUSU EU Referendum 
  • Ensuring that CUSU Sabbatical Officers can live among students 

7:12pm It's started. Here we go!

7:08pm Although there isn't as large a turnout as last Council, there are still definitely more people here than usual. Things should be getting underway soon!

7:02pm People are beginning to assemble and the room is slowly filling up...

7:00pm @VarsityUK is being controlled by the incomparable Daniel Gayne. We've also got Deputy Editor Louis Ashworth and Senior News Editor Harry Curtis on Twitter. All views expressed are their own.

6:57pm Hello, loyal live blog readers! We're Anna Menin and Amy Gee, and we'll be doing our best to keep you up to date with all of the CUSU-based fun tonight! 

Welcome to Varsity’s CUSU Council live blog. We’re here to find out the fate of The Cambridge Student, as well as giving coverage of all the usual fun action.

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