AGM and Elections

Ballot papersThis year’s AGM took place in Leamington Spa. Members enjoyed a more relaxed format than previous AGMs, with several members offering free food.

A strong new team was elected, led by Tom Diamond. Tom has just completed his first year as a History student.

Tom will be able supported by Mai-linh Nguyen, the new society Secretary, and Oliver Brett, our new Treasurer. Marvin Lee completes the new team as a General Executive Member.

The new executive takes office immediately, and is already putting together exciting plans for the coming year.

Free Belarus Campaign Day

Collecting a signature on a petitionBelarus is the last dictatorship in Europe. Dissent is suppressed and journalists critical of the regime are imprisoned. This is not happening in some far away land: this is happening right on our doorstep. Yet almost nobody knows what is going on.

In recent months, Liberal Youth has been running a campaign to raise awareness and show support for those Belarussians who are campaigning for change. We brought the Bears for Belarus campaign to Warwick campus last term; this term, we decided to run a petition.

We are calling for freedom of expression in Belarus – the same rights that we often take for granted here. We want international pressure for change. It’s time to end the last dictatorship in Europe.

Controversy over Demo2012

Warwick Liberal Democrats deplore the decision by an NUS Vice-president to circulate a list of proposed protest chants which was not only intensely partisan but featured chants about burning Liberal Democrats and Conservatives on a bonfire.

There is no excuse for this sort of language from anyone, but it is particularly disappointing from an officer of an organisation which is supposed to be committed to student welfare and which claims to operate a safe space policy.

Warwick Lib Dems support the right to peaceful protest as a key part of a liberal society, but we reject utterly the offensive sentiments expressed in these chants. We call upon the NUS to investigate urgently why an NUS officer felt it acceptable to circulate them, and to take any appropriate disciplinary action.

Phil Bennion MEP

Phil Bennion MEPWe were pleased to welcome Phil Bennion MEP as our first guest speaker of the year. The Liberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands, he was able to give us a fascinating perspective on the economic challenges facing countries across Europe.

After some introductory words outlining his perspective on the crisis, Dr Bennion took a large number of questions from the audience on topics ranging from the controversy over the EU budget to (slightly off topic) the Bears for Belarus campaign.

Following the event Dr Bennion accompanied us to the Dirty Duck, where the discussion continued over drinks.

Our thanks for to Phil Bennion MEP for taking the time to visit us. We look forward to welcoming him back in the future.

Liberal Drinks

Liberal DrinksOur first Liberal Drinks social of term was a great success. We met in Terrace Bar and discussed the society’s plans for the year ahead.

We’re hoping to hold more socials this year than last year, so watch out for news of the next one!

In addition, most of our other events have a social included. For example, we usually head to the Dirty Duck after a guest speaker event – and the speaker usually comes along.

Clegg Goes Viral

Nick CleggWe usually stick to news about our own activities rather than national commentary, but this time it’s really too good to miss.

By now there’s a good chance you’ve seen the Nick Clegg autotune remix. It’s had massive attention and clips have been played on television and radio

But have you seen the original? The Liberal Democrats released the party’s Conference broadcast a few days early, and it was a huge hit even before the remix.

Anyway, that’s today’s fun. Now it’s back to work putting the finishing touches to our plans for Freshers 2012! See you soon!

Welcome to Warwick

Congratulations to those who have received offers to study at Warwick. Going to university is one of the most exciting and rewarding things you will ever do, and Warwick is a great place to do it.

In the coming year Warwick Lib Dems will be working with our friends in Liberal Youth to run campaigns on and around campus on political issues like equal marriage and drugs policy reform. We’ll also be campaigning on welfare issues like body confidence.

We’re still putting together our plans for Freshers Week and the term ahead, so watch this space. In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Right now, we’re supporting Liberal Youth’s “Bears for Belarus” campaign for democracy and human rights in Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship. Please join the campaign.