Mill Lane lecture rooms, where Council is taking placeLouis Ashworth

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● After Doku is grilled about fee increases, Council votes to remain affiliated to the NUS

●CUSU ratifies the first budget to run a deficit in its history

● Other motions included funding a society for male survivors of sexual abuse and the appointment of new student trustees

9:47pm And as seats rapidly empty at Mill Lane, Varsity removes fingers from laptop keys for the first time in close to 3 hours. We hope you've enjoyed our coverage of CUSU Super Council! 

9:43pm Robinson MCR representative and Council stalwart Mark Driver proposed a ‘procedural motion’, which has taken us straight to a vote after widespread approval. A vote on the motion itself passes, meaning CUSU has ratified its crisis budget. Councillors are positively leaping out of their seats to make an escape.

9:40pm The debate is stagnating: a vote on a vote is called and passed.

9:39pm Varsity's very own Louis Ashworth pushes Doku on the amendments he made to the minutes of the last Council meeting.

9:25pm Wrobel is back: this time raising tough questions about NUS cards and sabbatical officers' salaries.

9:23pm Connor MacDonald expresses concerns about the £400 allocated to the Ethical Affairs campaigns. Doku acknowledges that the relationship between CUSU and the campaigns has recently been "a bit difficult".

9:21pm Doku announces that the budget is "broadly about keeping things the way they were before." 

9:19pm Finally, on to the budget – Doku announces that a new one year, £16,000 deal has been struck with St James' House, the publishing company implicated in CUSU's financial "slippages". This figure is dramatically reduced from CUSU's forecasted publishing income.

9:18pm Final outcome: We have a committee. Members will be elected in Michaelmas term. A report will be published in Lent term (maybe).

9:12pm Debate over the timings of the committee continues: an amendment is proposed suggesting CUSU opens applications for positions on the committee to the student body at large, for elections to be held at the first Council meeting of Michaelmas term. It passes narrowly.

9:09pm An attendee advises a "slower, more measured approach" to creating the committee. The pace of the discussion is already dragging somewhat: Sebatindira brings the discussion to a close. A vote is held on whether a committee should be established at all, which passes comfortably.

9:05pm CUSU President-Elect, Daisy Eyre, says that although she supports the idea of the creation of the Enquiry Committee, and would personally encourage it during her tenure, she believes that it should be open to all students, not just those who attend CUSU council, and ought to "be advertised more widely." 

9:05pm Connor MacDonald says that CUSU "has been dealt a significant blow to its credibility", and emphasises the importance of wider student involvement in the proposed committee.

8:55pm The question of accountability is raised again. An amendment is proposed to oblige the committee to avoid naming specific people in their report, in line with Staff-Student Protocol. The amendment is accepted as friendly.

8:46pm  Wrobel asks the room if anyone would like to put themselves forward to be on the committee, before discussion progresses, but is interrupted by Doku pointing out that CUSU already has a provision for committees, and that the positions should be advertised to the whole student body. The composition of the committee continues to be discussed.

8:44pm Wrobel is facing some tough questions, both on whether there should be someone with accounting expertise on the committee (rather than just students), and whether the report will be able to criticise anyone other than the trustees. Incoming CUSU President Daisy Eyre raises the point of whether the committee should be free to make ad hominem attacks, as the motion would allow at present. 

8:37pm The timing of the committee is also under discussion, in the light of the upcoming transfer of power to new sabbatical officers in July.

8:33pm Investigating CUSU's financial losses – The External Officer of Wolfson College Students’ Association (WCSA) Sebastian Wrobel proposes the creation of an Enquiry Committee into CUSU’s financial woes, as discussed in Varsity last week. Wrobel argues that “we as CUSU council should hold the executive to account”. The idea of the enquiry committee remains nebulous, but Wrobel envisions members of the committee being drawn from CUSU Council.

8:27pm JSoc's Gabriel Gendler and Nadine Batchelor-Hunt raise the difficulties faced by Jewish students in Cambridge around the high price of Kosher food, and lectures and supervisions scheduled on Saturdays. The motion passes.

8:23pm Adopting the recommendations from the NUS Report into the experiences of Jewish students – Doku reveals that he is keen for CUSU to adopt the recommendations borne out of the report, having discussed the results with the Jewish Society (JSOC.) Concerns are raised about whether into a review of Kosher food and timetabling affecting Jewish students may be “swept under the rug”.

8:16pm Cake (and other refreshments) has been passed.

8:14pm Let them eat cake? – The ‘Have Your Cake and Eat It’ campaign is debated, which will see CUSU officers visiting colleges to speak to students and make them more aware of what the student union actually does and how it functions. Doku reveals the idea was stolen from his time as Jesus JCR President, but doubts are raised about how many students will attend. NB: all dietary requirements will be catered for.

8:10pm Trustees – The motion to increase the size of the board passes, but there is an amendment which notifies CUSU that they have their numbers wrong in the initial motion. Two new student trustees are successfully put forward by Doku: Daniel Dennis and Helen Jennings.

8:04pm We will remain affiliated to the NUS – The motion everyone has been waiting for : Doku proposes reaffiliation to the NUS, which he states is a constitutional “formality,” encouraging students to vote to remain affiliated and "restore some of that confidence in our national union". He returns again to the point he made when speaking to Varsity last week, arguing that even if the affiliation fees are £10,500, CUSU’s projection is that it will make around £17,000 from the sale of NUS cards. In 2016/17, CUSU budgeted to make £16,750 from selling NUS cards. As of a couple of weeks ago, the figure currently stands at £13,000. Doku is confident that this year’s target will eventually be met.

A reform is suggested, proposing that an annual review is put in place so that people can consider whether they are still satisfied with the affiliation. Doku concedes that this cannot be formalised in this particular motion, but will be the concern of President-elect Daisy Eyre. Questions about the affiliation fee abound: Doku says that he believes the figure of £250 was too low, considering the benefits which CUSU reaps. He also has confidence that the recently forecasted figure will be lower in reality, mostly due to CUSU’s financial situation, but refuses to give any concrete confirmation regarding this. The figure is open to renegotiation on the basis that CUSU is not funded in the same manner as other universities. Amongst CUSU Disabled Students’ Officer Jessica Wing made note of the “absolutely invaluable” opportunity to meet with liberation campaigns from other universities that comes with NUS affiliation. Communication problems with the NUS are also raised.

After a wide-ranging debate, the motion passes comfortably.

7:46pm Extraordinary NUS conference – The motion mandates CUSU to call for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the NUS’ Democracy Review. CUSU’s delegates to the NUS conference voted against the Democracy Review, and it is revealed that there is also dissatisfaction arising from the “hard-” and “moderate-left” wings of the NUS. The extraordinary meeting would provide time for “real debate” on the question on democratic reform of the NUS. Questions are raised about what will happen if the conference falls beyond the end of the current NUS delegates’ term, but the motion works under the assumption that the conference will occur by the end of this term, due to the likelihood of most universities having their conferences around this time. The motion passes.

7:26pm Amending WomCam's constitution – Council has passed a motion to create a non-binary representative on the Women's Campaign Executive. The motion is an attempt by WomCam to make itself more accessible to transgender women and non-binary people. The motion also proposes that in future, such changes to WomCam's constitution can be made without passing the decision to Council. All changes to WomCam’s constitution must be passed through Council, which Forum considers inappropriate, as members of Council would be voting on liberation issues that do not affect them.

7:21pm Allocate funding from the Council Free Budget for the Cambridge Humanities Review

The motion to allocate funding from the Council Free Budget for the Cambridge Humanities Review (CHR) is proposed. The funds are justified as a means of subsidising student costs, particularly for print and distribution, as the CHR is a non-profit society. Doku proposes an amendment, which mean that the additional subsidy would only be given if a funding application by the Review to the Societies’ Syndicate falls through, because “the Societies Syndicate has enough money to fund itself for some time, and that is not a situation we’re in”. Concerns were raised about the viability of this expenditure in the light of CUSU’s difficult financial situation, causing the motion to fail.

7:20pm Motion is raised about the formation of a society for male survivors of sexual abuse – A survey has revealed that 12,000 men across the UK are raped every year. The motion urges CUSU to fund a charity for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, which will be open to cis males, along with transgender and non-binary individualsThe motion passes.

7:18pm Funding for Ethical Affairs campaigns –The motion regarding additional funding for CUSU’s Ethical Affairs campaigns has been classed as a ‘friendly motion’, which means it has been passed without debate at Council.

7:14pm Amatey alters minutes – Amatey Doku, CUSU President, has asked for the minutes of the last Council meeting to be amended, retrospectively altering comments he made about CUSU’s financial losses at the time.

7:05pm Welcome – Hi, we’re Caitlin Smith and Phoebe Gargaro; join us tonight as we report on what is expected to be an action-packed CUSU Super Council, the final council of term, which will consist of a vote on the controversial new budget, NUS affiliation, and a plethora of other motions. Prepare yourself with Varsity’s guide to tonight’s proceedings.

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