Attendance: Jonny Wharrad (Chair), Matthew Dougherty (Vice Chair), Ellis Palmer (Secretary), Oliver Ingamells (Treasurer), John Belsham (Events Officer), Sarah Froggart, Dylan Grove, Hannah Lane, Megan Baxter, Sam Jones,
Apologies Received: James Phillips
Welcome from the Chair
Jonny welcomed the attendees, and made an observation of quoracy. Steven Haynes made a brief announcement about the Eastleigh by-election campaign weekend of the 22nd – 24th , which the Society is making a trip to.
Reports from the Outgoing Committee
Chair: Jonny gave a comprehensive speech which observed the extreme circumstances the society found itself in, following a turbulent second semester in the previous academic year. Despite the noted hardships, including reduced funding and a core committee, the society was able to pass the audit of student groups with “flying colours” – an unprecedented commendation for the society.
Vice Chair: Matt gave a speech noting the involvement of the society with other political miniforum constituencies, and building positive relations with these groups to do interpartisan events.
Secretary: Ellis observed his impressive work with the Twitter and Facebook accounts, building the profile of the society exponentially on a national level, and his sterling chairing of the Question Time Event.
Treasurer: Oliver gave an overview of the accounts, which are doing very well – despite the slashed funding we received from the guild based on Lembit Opik forgetting to charge us last year.
Campaigns Officer: John gave an account of the Westminster and Equal Marriage events, and spoke of future plans to hold events with the other societies.
Committee positions were elected at this point, with objections being raised at the First Past The Post voting system – though it was decided that this was the most efficient voting method at this moment in time.
Jonny nominated himself for the chair position, vowing to continue the good work done to this point and further improve the Society’s reputation. He was successfully re-elected unanimously, following a due election against RON.
Matt self nominated for the position of vice chair, promising to further the positive relations engaged with other political societies on campus and become “the best Liberal Democrat society in the country.” Good luck on that one. Following a due election against RON, Matt was re-elected by unanimous vote.
Ellis nominated himself for Secretary, promising to keep increasing the profile of the society with further and more pressing online engagement. Re-elected by unanimous vote.
Oliver gave a description of the Treasurer role, which unfortunately went
uncontested and will be forwarded to an EGM at some meeting in the future.
John said of the Campaigns Officer role; “Tony Blair once nearly said “things can only get better.”” He was duly re-elected against RON.
The Roles of Press and PR Officer and Secretary were merged, with Ellis pledging to continue building the profile of the society under the dual role. This was approved by unanimous vote.
The role of Liason Officer was uncontested, as the roles were largely filled by the Secretary and Vice Chair anyway.
The same applies for Social Secretary.
Plans for the Immediate Future
Jonny then gave an overview of the Eastleigh trip on Saturday, which Ellis and Matt are also going to at 6am(!) to campaign on behalf of the party.
Another Question Time event is being planned, particularly with a focus on Europe, with Phil Bennion MEP confirmed as attending. Mused over whether or not to make it a joint event with the other societies, though no decision was reached as time was running out.
An interpartisan Bar Crawl is on the cards, with replies being awaited from the BULS and BUCF committees, pencilled in for the 20th March.
Ellis raised the possibility of a blog from Tim Farron on any topic – Matt suggested this would be about the Liberal Youth involvement in the Eastleigh by-election.
John would like to have another event with Lorely Burt.
The POLSOC committee promoted their event featuring Major General Lane on the Army’s role in Afghanistan, held next Monday (25th). Also an Alumni speed dating night to focus on career routes (18th March). Their AGM is on the 20th March and the hearty invitation was extended to the society to join up.
The meeting was concluded.