After a delay from the scheduled announcement time yesterday evening, the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) Policy Co-Ordinator, Jack Harvey, announced that the Working Class Officer referendum motion had been carried at 6.25pm today.
The referendum result means a new part time officer will be instated. The referendum only reached quorum by 0.1%, with a total turnout of 990 beating the required 5% by a mere 26 votes. Harvey says the next steps will be for the motion to be confirmed by the Union’s Board of Trustees. Provided this goes through, an election for the role will be held “in due course”.
The result had been “delayed in order for YUSU to respond to a number of organisational issues”. Harvey also said there were “a number of complaints to work through”.
Interestingly, the wording in the press release earlier this evening was slightly different from the original motion;
University of York students have voted to introduce a new Part Time Officer position, a Working Class and Social Mobility Officer that will be tasked with ensuring working class students are considered in decision making.
This referendum, however, has raised more questions than it has answered. Many will surely inquire as to the reasons for the low turnout and whether this should constitute a result. There will also be lingering issues over the way in which the respective campaigns were conducted. For now, though, the salient fact is this: the ‘Yes’ campaign won.
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