Union Council: a talking shop, ego trip, CV builder, powerless and pointless. Yes, that was my view a fortnight ago. However, I have now been shown the light. A council that speaks up on crucial matters, a council that its members care about, a council that is transparent, influential and binding.
It is too often the case that we hold an opinion or make a judgment upon something that we know very little about and for me, Union Council was one of those cases.
Attending last week with other members of the Media Centre to oppose a ludicrous proposal to introduce an entire new layer of bureaucracy into a Union already strangled with red tape, not only illustrated Loughborough democracy at work, but it also proved to me and everyone else how it is ultimately the Council that makes the real decisions that have the biggest impact on students.
The idea to introduce two new sub-committees, one to oversee the Athletic Union and Societies Federation and the other to rule over RAG, Action and Media was not only impractical, excessively bureaucratic and undemocratic, but it would also have undermined the great work that the Union’s sabbatical officers already do; officers that have a mandate to implement the policies they stood for during their election and for which the students of Loughborough voted for in their thousands.
The fact that the student voice was heard, listened to and action taken upon it, is great credit to a body that’s influence few recognise, let alone know exists. The fact that the Council Chair, an elected individual himself, can be scrutinized and held to account so effectively is excellent for the Student Union and a culture in which information is freely available, opinions are easily expressed and actions are checked by a healthy level of transparency.