News Editor Josh Herman reports on the Vote of No Confidence in the Guild President, alongside the All Student Vote taking place soon

Written by Joshua Herman
Images by Cara-Louise Scott

Following the All Student Meeting on Wednesday 17th not being quorate, the vote on the motion to hold a Vote of No Confidence in Acacia Matthews as Guild President has been moved to an All Student Vote. Since the All Student Meeting did not meet the quorate of 416 students (1% of the student population), there were not enough students attending to make a vote on the motion valid.  

This Vote of No Confidence campaign comes after External Memberships were suspended to ‘prioritise student safety.’ An All Student Vote was then held in response to this, where the motion that ‘The Guild Should Value, Protect, and Maintain Its External Members’ was passed by a yes vote of 829, with 186 students against the motion, with 78% of students in favour of the motion. The Guild’s Trustee Board met on the 15th of May, and they agreed to re-instate the following external members: Students on a leave of absence, carers, trainers/coaches/advisors/, and University of Birmingham staff.’

As the All Student Meeting was not quorate, the motion will move to an All Student Vote

Redbrick asked Acacia Matthews for a comment, who said that: ‘The call to remove External Memberships from the Guild of Students came from information available to the Full Time Officer Team, which highlighted serious safety concerns for students. The severity of this information necessitated an urgency to act. I spent my first and second year at UOB working towards a safer community. My manifesto echoed these commitments and I was elected on a mandate of safety.’ 

‘Since the initial removal of External Memberships, I have understood that students needed more explanation from the Guild. I offered meetings to all students that wanted to discuss the decision. Following on from the All Student Vote, I lobbied the Guild to re-investigate ways in which students on a Leave of Absence, amongst other groups, could be a part of the Guild community.’ 

‘The motion also claims that “the president actively opposes…students views” which I was devastated to hear as I have truly spent all of my time as Guild President trying to act in the best interests of students. Throughout this year I have consistently listened to students’ voices and acted on feedback and ideas.’ 

‘I have truly spent all of my time as Guild President trying to act in the best interests of students’

Acacia further highlighted her achievements as Guild President, such as: updating campus maps with gender neutral toilets, water taps, microwaves, kettles, and baby changing rooms, and implementing the motion that the ‘Guild Should Stand for Fossil Free Careers’.  

Approaching the Guild of Students for comment, a spokesperson told Redbrick that: ‘As last week’s All Student Meeting was not quorate, it means that both of the submitted ideas will be available to vote on this week. 416 students will need to take part for the vote to be valid.’ 

‘If, as a part of the All Student Vote, the idea proposing a referendum on a Vote of No Confidence in the Guild President is triggered, a referendum will be called so that the Vote of No confidence can then take place. Quoracy for the Vote of No Confidence Referendum would be 10% of the student population and would require a simple majority to pass.’ 

‘The All Student Vote will be taking place in the coming days, and we encourage as many students as possible to take part and have your say via the Guild website. If you have any questions about the vote and want to learn more, you can view relevant information on our website or contact our Student Voice Team: for support.’ 

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