Open letter to Lincoln SU calls for ‘full explanation’ behind rejection of free speech motion

An open letter has been created in response to the University of Lincoln Students’ Union’s decision to reject a motion on free speech last month.

The letter states that ‘the decision to reject these motions has been poorly communicated to the student body’. Photo: Liam O’Dell.

The document, created by Postgraduate Officer Bradley Allsop, lists four demands for the SU, including a reform on board decisions made on student motions and ‘clarification and openness’ about the planned review of the union’s disciplinary procedures.

When asked about the intended purpose of the letter, Bradley said: “Ultimately I’d like to see the decision overturned, but this letter at the moment is just calling for a proper explanation and better communication – once we have that we can take it from there.”

The open letter will then be presented to executive team at the Students’ Union at the end of the month.

The news is the latest development in a free speech debate on campus, following the SU’s decision to temporarily suspend the Conservative Society’s social media accounts earlier this year.

The decision led to a student protest on campus, which led to over 70 students calling for an emergency all student members meeting (ASM) on free speech. At the ASM, three motions were passed, but the ones on free speech and the union’s disciplinary procedures have since been rejected.

In a post explaining their decision, the Lincoln Students’ Union said: “The Union needs the ability to regulate use of social media and other platforms at the University in order to protect the wider student body from discrimination and abuse.

“Freedom of speech’ does not override this duty on the Trustees,” they said.

The union also went on to add that despite rejecting the motion on their disciplinary procedure, a review of the organisation’s disciplinary procedures, as well as its External Speakers Policy, will take place.

For those interested in signing the open letter, the link to the online document can be found here.

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