Since the Sugarhouse Scandal, and a litany of similarly unpopular LUSU decisions, students have been calling for the constitutional reform of their students' union, triggering the vote for 2020 Constitutional Convention (which LUSU has been trying to avoid implementing). But the more cynical students among us may ask what the point is in bringing in a refreshed set of LUSU rules when they are so blatantly breaking the current ones...
Here's our rundown of the top LUSU rules LUSU is completely disregarding.
1) The publication of minutes
According to the Accountability & Transparency bye-law, all ‘major union meetings should be minuted’, and the minutes published ‘in a timely manner’. Despite this requirement, and with no explanation, no Exec or Trustee minutes have been published since June 2019, and no minutes of any recent AGM have been published at all! LUSU has also never published minutes for the Democracy or Societies Committees, which both make important (and at times very controversial) decisions affecting the students' union.
2) The approval of election rules
The Democracy bye-law requires the election rules to be approved annually by the Trustee Board, following consultation with LUSU's Democracy Committee. No published Trustee minutes mention election rules, and the Democracy Committee never publishes minutes (see above), so we have no proof they've ever approved them either. So basically the legitimacy of every LUSU election is under question. Nice.
3) The appointment of a Returning Officer
The Democracy bye-law states that ‘The Returning Officer shall be a suitably qualified person external to the University, appointed annually by the Board of Trustees.’ The Returning Officer (RO) is responsible for the conduct of all LUSU elections. No published Trustee minutes mention the appointment of a RO, nor does the LUSU website say who the current RO is. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, Spineless has to assume that an RO has never been appointed in the proper manner.
4) The appointment of student and external trustees
The Articles of Association allow for up to three student trustees, and five external trustees, all unelected (it's LUSU, what do you expect?). There's been one student trustee vacancy since at least summer 2019. A motion passed by the AGM in October required a new trustee to be in place by Week 8, but Spineless understands that in Week 11, the LUSU Exec refused to appoint a student trustee, in blatant contravention of LUSU policy. There are currently two external trustee vacancies following the trustee resignations during the Sugarhouse Scandal, neither of which have yet been filled. But to be fair to LUSU, it probably takes time to find two whole uni management stooges with an appropriate level of contempt for student democracy to qualify for the role.
5) Scrutiny officers
The Accountability & Transparency bye-law states that ‘there shall be a minimum of two Scrutiny Officers assigned to each Full-Time Officer who will be responsible for monitoring their progress through regular meetings.’ The Scrutiny Officers must meet with their assigned FTO at least three times a term, and produce a publicly-available scrutiny report termly. The last time these ‘termly’ scrutiny reports were published was in spring 2019. Spineless can confirm that despite the requirement for twelve Scrutiny Officers to be currently appointed, there are currently... zero!
6) Reconvening the AGM
If you were one of the hundreds of students who attended the LUSU AGM in October (or one of the thousands watching the livestream online), you may remember that the meeting was never closed. Instead, it was merely adjourned (under section 5.1 of the General Meetings bye-law), the rest of the agenda to be completed at a later date. It's been almost three months, but LUSU has yet to announce when the rest of the agenda (crucially including the sabbatical officers' reports) will be transacted.
7) Publication of election results
The Democracy bye-law states that ‘all election counts must take place and publish results within 2 working days of a poll’s closure.’ By our count, it's been almost 50 working days since the Week 8 elections last term, but the LUSU website still just says that ‘the full count sheet will be published shortly.’