Is there a ruling on the process of discussion?

Yes, Democratic Procedures Committee agreed the following as a way to facilitate debate within NUS’ articles of association. This relates to Article 14.2.7 which gives National Conference co-decision making powers with a General meeting to amend the articles (this is called “entrenchment”). 

The Democratic Procedures Committee interprets Article 14.2.7 as follows: 

  • To exercise “joint responsibility”, the proposed changes to NUS UK’s Articles of Association relating to “Student Voice” activity must be presented to NUS National Conference (defined in the Articles as the “UK Conference”) before the changes (with any amendments agreed as below) go on to be adopted by NUS UK’s members by special resolution (under the Companies Act 2006). 
  • As expressly noted in Article 14.2.7, in this context “Student Voice activity” means proposed amendments to Articles 9 – 13 and 33 – 34. Any other amendments are not within the scope of Article 14.2.7 and may be made solely by special resolution. 
  • To progress, the relevant proposed changes to the Articles of Association must be approved by a simple majority of votes cast at National Conference.  
  • The proposed changes will not be amendable at the National Conference stage, but: 
    • The procedure at National Conference should enable delegates to share their views on the proposed changes in line with procedures for discussion and debate contained in NUS UK’s Articles and Rules and any further procedures laid down by the DPC; 
    • The board is asked to ensure that consultation takes place as appropriate with NUS Liberation, NUS Scotland, NUS Wales or NUS-USI, in relation to changes affecting them; and that in advance of formal proposals being laid before conferences, adequate consultation takes place with NUS UK’s members and, to the extent that is practicable, with Conference Delegates. 
    • Motions passed by the National Conference will be phrased so that they delegate authority to the NUS UK Board to make any final updates or amendments to the proposed articles, to be put to a General Meeting of NUS UK’s members (for adoption by special resolution), considering: 
  • The views expressed by NUS National Conference per the vote and any minutes/notes of discussion; and 
  • Their duty to promote the purposes of NUS UK set out in Article 2 of its Articles of Association.”