Union General Meeting Sketch

| Oct. 26, 2009 |

Published by Student Direct: Mancunion

It was the first General Meeting of the new year, a chance for old
friends and foes to get together, put aside their differences and
start over. Even the motions were fresh (bar online voting). No more
talk of Gaza; no more talk of the rights and wrongs of boycotting Coca
Cola and no more of whatever else got the student body so riled last

Here we were, we 260, waiting to discover whether the University of
Manchester’s vibrant Fuse FM was going to get itself a permanent
station manager and wondering if the general apathy that seeps through
the entire student body could be overturned with online voting.

Let’s be honest. We didn’t expect to be talking about the Iranian
Students’ Movement, reproductive rights or the sensible taking of
drugs. But we were pleased for their presence: a link between the
expected quorum-busting first two motions and the traditional ‘let’s
have the rest of Wednesday off’ apathy of yesteryear.

Not even Ubuntu—the Fairtrade Coca-Cola ‘equivalent’ named for a
humanist philosophy rather than a popular middle class drug—and videos
of funky Fuse FM basement sessions courtesy of Manchester band Kid
British could entice the extra 40 people to reach that figure called

A quick office survey suggests that as well as not coming along to the
meetings, most of you were not aware of the word ‘quorum’ before you
found that there was a lack of one at Union General Meetings.

Three hundred people. That’s quorum for the Union—the number of
people that must be present for motions to be voted on.

Without quorum nothing gets passed or even discussed. If nothing gets
discussed, nothing happens. So come along because if you don’t, I’m
really going to struggle writing these sketches.