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Passed Policies and Progress

Find out what Students' Union policies have been passed by students, and more importantly, what is being done about them.

Here you can find a list of all the policies which have been passed by student council. We're working on a live tracker so you can check the progress of each policy, but until we've got that up and running please contact your student president team to ask for an update on policies. You can also check out current ideas and rejected ideas.

Policy Idea

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  • 13 score
    19 voters

    Bring Down The Statue- Confronting Racist Symbology

      The statue at the front of the Paisley campus of UWS is of John Witherspoon, a united states founding father and unapologetic slave owner. Due to his overtly racist views, and only tenuous connection to Paisley, I feel it is time that UWS removed all celebratory references to Witherspoon, both the statue and his name on the Witherspoon building. This policy calls for Union UWS to actively back these calls for removals and lobby the university publicly and visibly for their removal. It also calls for the statue to be placed in the Paisley museum, so that it can be given appropriate context and be out of sight of any students of colour who might feel uncomfortable at the prominent representation of a racist.

      Why you think it is important

      During the BLM protests in 2020, a statue of slave trader Edward Coulson was uprooted from its plinth and thrown into Bristol harbour, in what was a statement against the racist past of the figure and the city. Within the context of increased introspection in British society regarding our racist past, I think it is both in appropriate and wholly insensitive to allow a similar figure to remain a subject of reverence on our campus.

      Is there anything else you think we should know?

      John Witherspoon was actively against abolition, helping to draft the articles of confederation that codified slavery as a national US institution. He owned several enslaved people throughout his life, at one point being the only slave owner in Beith. He baptised an enslaved man, while telling him "your baptism frees you from sin, not from slavery". He also compared enslaved people to horses in an argument in which he sided with southern slave states on taxing enslaved people.
    David Laffan
    3:51pm on 18 Oct 21 Whilst I agree that the naming of the M building should be changed, I am unsure over a direct call for the statue to be removed. This is due to groups such as Topple The Racists, who campaign on statues of such people who committed such egregious acts, advocate for community discussion over direct removal. We as the UWS community need a forum to hear from everyone (but notably Black people whose ancestors suffered from this oppression) about what would be the best course of action. If the policy cannot be amended to reflect that, I have no option but to vote down/against.