The Student Council

The Student Council decides the work of Cambridge SU. It passes motions mandating our team to undertake pieces of work, and appointments to union committees. It is a space where all students are welcome to come forward to propose and debate motions whilst holding their elected representatives to account. Each college and school has voting members who represent their constituency. 

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More About Council

The Student Council is made up of elected representatives from across the University. These are:

  • The eight Cambridge SU Sabbatical Officers
  • The SU representatives for Double Time Students, Mature Students, Part-Time Students, and Student Families
  • 2 representatives of each SU Campaign (or 1 where the Campaign has a sabbatical representative); 1 Undergraduate and 1 Postgraduate
  • 2 representatives per College of the University; 1 for each J/MCR except where there is only one common room in a college
  • 2 Academic Representatives per School of the University; 1 Undergraduate and 1 Postgraduate

Proposing Motions

Motions passed at Student Council direct the work of the SU. You just need a proposer and a seconder to send a motion to Student Council for discussion, and any student can do it. If you’d like to know more about the format of Council motions, or have other questions about submitting one, email matt.kite@cambridgesu.co.uk. You can also view example motions and formatting guides for guidance.

Making Sense of the Agenda

Every Council meeting follows the same structure:

1. Objections to the order of items on the agenda The order of items is usually fixed but sometimes things get moved around for convenience.
2. Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting Minutes of Council are a formal public record so they are always signed off as accurate before being published.
3. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the last meeting Sometimes there will be questions about an item in the minutes or someone will have been assigned to update at the next meeting. 
4. Reports to Council Sabbatical officers and the rest of the Executive Committee who are accountable to Council give an update on their work and they take questions. Other members of Council might also want to make announcements.
5. Elections Some roles within the SU, such as the Chair of Council, are selected by the Council members in an election at the meeting.
6. Discussions This is where more informal conversations or consultation with Council happens.
7. Action Motions These are motions that require the SU to take a one-off or short-term action, like supporting an event or signing an open letter. They only need a simple majority at one Council.
8. Policy Motions These are motions that require the SU to take a longer term stance or campaign for a change. These are presented at Council for information and then voting members have until the next meeting to consult their constituents on the policy, before a vote is taken. This is a change from the previous CUSU approach, where the vote happened at the first meeting.
9. Changes to Governing Documents This comes up less often, but Council also has a role in approving changes to documents that decide how the SU is run, including the Articles and the By-Laws.

Debates and Amendments

After a motion is introduced by its proposer, there is an opportunity for questions about it and debate. Amendments to motions can be submitted in advance of the meeting. More detail about this is available in the by-laws Chapter 1, and an online training will be coming soon.

Substantial amendments must be submitted to matt.kite@cambridgesu.co.uk by noon on the day of the Council meeting.