A Societies Councillor and Sports Councillor will be introduced as new roles to SU Council after a referendum to introduce the positions passed last night.

The referendum result was announced at SU Officer Elections Results Night with 2107 votes for and 486 votes against, with 295 abstentions.

The referendum, which asked ‘Should the SU create the positions of ‘Societies Councillor’ and ‘Sports Councillor’ on SU Council?’, came about after an historic student led petition.

It was the first entirely student led petition to reach the required 1,000 votes from full members of Sheffield SU to force a referendum, in accordance with the SU Constitution.

“We are so excited by the new chapter which now presents itself in our Union’s history”

Matt Shadrack, Chair of Societies Committee (SocCom), helped lead the petition alongside Tori Wensley, Chair of Sports Committee

He said: “We are so excited by the new chapter which now presents itself in our Union’s history. The students have spoken; Societies and Sports Clubs will play a greater role in the important decisions our Union makes.

“These groups are so crucial to student life, we are proud to have been part of this campaign. Thank you to everyone who got involved.”

Forge Press first reported on the suggestion of the roles in November, after SocCom brought a proposal to SU Council in a meeting on Thursday 15 October 2018.

The proposal was to review the representation of student societies on Council, and suggested the creation of a ‘Societies Councillor’.

It was rejected in the meeting by SU Council, which is currently made up of 46 Departmental Councillors and nine Representative Councillors.

Societies and Sports committees took to roaming around campus to spread word of their petition

SocCom then teamed up with Sports Committee to start a petition for a referendum in which students would be able to vote themselves for or against the roles of ‘Societies Councillor’ & ‘Sports Councillor’ being created.

Students campaigned online and in person across campus, and when they reached 1,000 votes it was agreed that the referendum would be held alongside this year’s SU Officer elections.

The statement in favour of passing the referendum cited issues such as storage, room bookings and funding, and said the new roles would “ensure these groups [societies and sports clubs] get better representation, resources and support”.

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