UofA Women’s Collective and SRC Environmental Officer targeted in motion tabled by SRC General Secretary
Words by Nicholas Birchall
On Tuesday the 25th of February SRC General Secretary Isaac Trumble moved a motion to disallow the Women’s Collective from operating from the SRC stall during Clubsland, as well as stopping the Environmental Officer Ahmed Azhar promoting the Climate Strike. In this email (displayed below), Mr Trumble moved this motion, with it being seconded by General Councillor Peter Tantalos.
This comes after the Women’s Collective’s application to become a registered AUU club was denied last year by Clubs Committee. At the time of writing, the UofA Women’s Collective has over 170 members from the University.
International Student Officer Ngoc Lan Tran voted in favour of this motion, with SRC President Henry Armfield voting against it. The motion failed, as a consensus was not reached. Commenting on his decision to vote against the motion Mr Armfield stated :
“I respect what both were doing, and actively back both of them.”
As of the time of writing this, an executive meeting has not been called.
When asked for comment on why the motion was proposed, Mr Trumble expressed that he “moved the motion out of concern for the image of the SRC.”
Mr Trumble further elaborated that as the Women’s Collective was not an affiliated club, he worried that it “sets a dangerous precedent that a group can ignore the decision of the clubs committee if they are mates with the SRC president. […] Allowing a group that is using the University name without permission and undermining the authority of the AUU to occupy the SRC stall is a bad look for the SRC. The SRC President […] has violated the Campaign Endorsement Policy, where he allowed stalls for two campaigns that have not been endorsed by the SRC.
A link to Mr Trumble’s full statement can be found at the bottom of the page.
On Dit would like to note that Mr Trumble’s motion was initially moved to the SRC Executive without context.
On Dit contacted Mr Armfield for comment about his allowance of the SRC stall for use by the Women’s collective. He stated that “[he] allowed Women’s Collective to use the SRC stall space because they are a passionate group of people who believe in empowering women at university.”
Mr Armfield further stated:
“I personally find it ridiculous that at a university adorned with banners of our strong female alumni, we don’t have an affiliated Women’s Collective, but do have a bunch of men actively trying to undermine a grassroots beginning of one.”
He also defended the conduct of Environmental Officer Ahmed Azhar, stating:
“He’s autonomous in his role as Environmental Officer,[he] has organised an event explicitly for students to mobilise around environmental issues, and was promoting said event.”
Mr Armfield’s full statement can be found alongside Mr Trumble’s in a link at the bottom of the page.
The Women’s Collective continues to operate unaffiliated, providing a voice and support for women on campus. You can find their Facebook page here.
Both Mr Armfield, and Mr Trumble’s full statement can be read here.