Student Council votes to put Bible debate to referendum of all students

THE ‘Change Aber’ Council voted, on Tuesday evening (3rd March), to put the question of whether bibles should be placed in University halls to an entire student referendum. The meeting, which took place in the Main Room of the Students’ Union, saw Council reach its quorum of 50 members for the first time since the Council was re-branded during the last academic year.

The first, and far less controversial, motion, put forward by current Societies Officer Alex Moore, called for the current sports colours system to be replicated for societies. The motion passed at the first vote. Aberystwyth University Students' Union

The second motion, put forward and proposed by Daniel Brothers and John Morgan, called for a vote on whether Bibles should be removed from Aberystwyth University accommodation. In a survey conducted by the Students’ Union among the residents of the Pentre Jane Morgan student village, results showed that around 50 per cent of respondents found the compulsory inclusion of Bibles ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘unacceptable’ and only four per cent stated that it was a ‘good idea’.

Brothers and Morgan had themselves conducted surveys of various student accommodation blocks around campus, however when questioned about his survey sample of 45-50 people, Brothers conceded that “I fully accept that the numbers we are talking about are not statistically significant”.

An amendment was then proposed to change the wording from ‘Opt-in’ to choosing to receive a Bible, to ‘Opt-out’ from receiving a Bible. The motion passed.

After over forty-five minutes of discussion between both supporters and opponents of the motion, the Union’s Postgraduate Students’ Officer Julia Corcoran called for a procedural motion to null and void the discussion and instead call a vote on whether to put the original question to a referendum of the entire student body. Both motions were passed by members and a referendum will occur in due course.

A University spokesperson stated that: “we will be very happy to work with the Students’ Union once the outcome of the referendum is known”.