Students vote in favour of opt-out system for Bibles

STUDENTS have voted in favour of a motion regarding whether bibles should be in student halls in the first ever all-student vote. On the 30th April, Aberystwyth Students’ Union opened the first ever all student vote to decide whether it should be Union policy to call on the University to allow students to opt-out of having bibles placed in university halls of residences.

BibleAn All Student Vote is where each and every student has the chance to say how and what they want AberSU to do next. It came about after the Union’s Postgraduate Students’ Officer Julia Corcoran called for a vote on whether to put the amended motion to a referendum of the entire student body, which subsequently passed.

The amended motion resolved to:

  1. Discuss with the University changing the current system, so that an option is given in the accommodation application process to allow students to opt out to spiritual texts. All of these changes should be in place for the next academic year beginning September 2015 if possible.
  2. Conduct a wide-ranging survey with the co-operation of the University on this issue.

The results of the all student vote were for a ‘Yes’ vote gaining 300 votes, against a ‘No’ Vote of 175. This made a total of 475 votes which is sufficient for it to become binding for the Students’ Union as it exceeds to minimum requirement set out in the new democratic structure of the Union.

A students union statement said:

“We designed this structure over the summer hoping it would increase engagement and allow a higher proportion of students to participate in deciding the policies of our member-led organisation.”

“475 students voting is a higher number than any attendance at a democratic meeting, and so we are delighted that we have managed to open up democratically to this extent.”

With the result, the Students’ Union will follow the aforementioned motion by discussing with the university about installing an opt-out system for bibles in student halls, and also hold a survey across all halls of residences to gain further views.