The Students’ Union have announced two referenda on whether the Union should create a part-time officer role for First-Generation Scholars students and a part-time officer for international students outside of the European Union. The votes will take place at the end of this month.
The news follows a petition on the issue, which narrowly missed its target for the last referenda season in April.
The petition claims that the planned expansion of campus will result in more international students and students from less privileged backgrounds studying at Sussex, who are currently not well represented by the officer roles as they stand. ‘Both of these [proposed] positions would make sure the grievances of its members were reflected in the policy of the Students’ Union’. As of the 3rd May, the petition had gained 175 signatures.
At present, there are four part-time officer positions, representing students with disabilities, women students, ethnic minority students and LGBTQ students.
The wording of the two referendum questions that will be put to students are ‘Should the Students’ Union create a role for a First-Generation Scholars Part-Time Officer?’ and ‘Should the Students’ Union create a role for a Non-EU International Students Part-Time Officer?’
Campaigning and voting for the two referendum questions will take place from Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June.
As of the 3rd May, only one other petition has received 150 signatures, which calls for a review of gender and title options at the University of Sussex.
Another petition, calling for a student referendum on Sussex’s membership of the National Union of Students (NUS) failed to reach the 150 signatures required for a vote to be triggered. This petition comes in the wake of the controversy over comments made by NUS President-elect Malia Bouattia. If successful, the earliest time it could be held is November.