New free speech motion to be voted upon at SU student meeting

A new motion on freedom of speech is to be debated at the next All Student Members meeting (ASM) on Monday, it has been announced.

The ASM takes place next Monday, 4pm to 6pm, in the Isaac Newton Building (0014). Photo: Lincoln SU.

Submitted by postgraduate student Bradley Allsop, it requests ‘that a difference of views towards Union or University policy and actions, either written or verbal should not constitute “bringing the Union into disrepute”, provided that disagreement is primarily critical of policy and in line with the Student Code of Conduct, be it from an Elected Officer, or member(s) of the Union.’

The news comes after a previous motion on freedom of speech, passed at an emergency ASM in March, was rejected by the University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union in May.

Proposed by student Joshua Grinsell, the motion was in response to the Conservative Society having their social media accounts temporarily suspended by the SU, after a criticism of the union’s free speech record brought the SU ‘into disrepute’.

The proposal called the suspension of the Conservative Society’s accounts ‘misguided’ and ‘an unacceptable breach of freedom of expression’, and said that a review of the SU’s free speech policy ‘must take place immediately’.

In an email explaining their decision to reject the motion, the SU said: “The Board [of Trustees] acknowledged that there are set circumstances in which restrictions on free expression can be enforced, namely with the purpose of “protecting the rights of others”.

 

 

The new free speech motion, seconded by the SU’s Executive Committee, is one of many motions on the agenda, with students also voting on proposals surrounding accommodation, higher education, to-let signs, mental health first aid and voter registration.

The All Student Members meeting will take place next Monday, 4pm to 6pm, in the Isaac Newton Building (0014).

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