20/03/2017 11:57 GMT | Updated 20/03/2017 13:35 GMT

Warwick University Student Representatives Call For The Monarchy To Be Abolished

The motion was one of four proposals put forward for the NUS conference.

“Out of touch” student representatives at Warwick University have been criticised after they tabled a motion to abolish the monarchy

According to student newspaper The Boar, the student council at the prestigious Russell Group university proposed a number of far-reaching motions to be debated at the National Union of Students (NUS) annual conference. 

In addition to demanding that the Queen be de-throned, officers submitted motions calling on Indonesia to relinquish control of West Papua and opposing the renewal of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons deterrent. 

Hannah Mckay / Reuters
Student officers at Warwick University want to debate whether the monarchy should be abolished 

Student union officers, who also put forward an “education for resistance” motion, have come under fire for the proposals, with students accusing them of “delegitimising” the movement and ignoring their needs. 

Alexandra Bevis, a newly elected NUS delegate for Warwick University, vented her frustrations on Facebook about the motion to end the centuries-old institution of the monarchy.

“I really do find it incredible that I was one of only four members of the student council to vote against this motion,” she wrote.  

Warwick University students also submitted motions calling on Indonesia to relinquish control of West Papua and opposing the renewal of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons deterrent

“We need to be be focusing on pragmatic initiatives that directly impact students, such as lobbying for better mental health provision or reducing the cost of living across campus, and motions like this only undermine and delegitimise that.” 

According to the student publication, eight officers voted in favour of submitting the motion to the NUS, while four were against the proposal. One abstained from the vote. 

Under the student union’s rules, it is not required to hold an all-student vote when submitting motions to the NUS.

Blessing Mukosha Park, a third-year history and politics student, told The Boar:  “I feel like a lot of people think of students as being in this cushy little bubble sometimes, and I think if our student council is focusing on issues – for example abolishing the monarchy – it makes us seem like we’re out of touch and we need to get to reality and stick to the things that are really affecting us.

“I don’t find it particularly impressive.”

Tom Harwood, a candidate for NUS president, also called on “moderate students” to take a stand against such “damaging motions”.   

Luke Pilot, student union president at Warwick University, said: “I cannot comment on the motivations or beliefs of the students who proposed the motion. Students submitted motions on several topics and our student council simply voted in favour of granting delegates the right to debate these motions at NUS National Conference in April.

“Warwick SU does not have a stance on the content of the motions, nor do they affect our campaigning priorities – however, we fully support the rights of students to debate the role of the student movement in national campaigns and wider issues.

Pilot added: “The SU itself has made significant progress on multiple projects this year, including mental health support and awareness, preventing a fee rise and securing a Welcome Week free from lectures and seminars for all Warwick students.”

Ahead of the annual NUS conference in April, student unions across the country have been submitting motions to be debated by NUS delegates, who prioritise what they would like to discuss.  

Last year, the union was heavily criticised after it debated whether the Holocaust should be commemorated, with some delegates arguing against it. 

“I am against the NUS ignoring and forgetting other mass genocides and prioritising others,” one delegate said at the time.