At its AGM on 4 March, Aberdeen University Students Association AGN passed a motion authorising AUSA officials to lobby against the measures on universities contained in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, and to lobby for a review of the Government's Prevent programme. The full text of the motion is below.
Counter-Terrorism Bill – Surveillance on campus
Proposer: Executive Committee
Seconder: AUMSA (Aberdeen University Muslim Students’ Association)
- Part 5 of the Bill places a statutory duty on public authorities including universities to prevent terrorism as part of their functions.
- The list of public authorities also lists nursery schools and NHS Trusts.
- The Bill grants Ministers the power to issue directions to organisations they believe have failed.
- The Bill lays out ways in which universities should dictate measures to their Students’ Union including the type of events run on campus.
- Lecturers would have a duty to report students they suspected were likely to be radicalized.
- Many other organisations such as FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) have opposed the Bill.
- The Bill first and foremost creates a sense of distrust and suspicion within our community.
- Radicalisation is fed by exclusion and this Bill will exclude certain communities, namely the Muslim community.
- By including nursery schools in this list shows how absurd this Bill is.
- This gives unprecedented political involvement in the running and operation of our university.
- Universities exist as environments in which people can learn, not feel they will be spied on.
- To mandate the sabbatical team to lobby against the inclusion of universities within this Bill.
- To mandate the sabbatical team to lobby the Government to urgently review PREVENT and call for an evidence-based approach to tackling extremism
- To continue to work closely with AUMSA to ensure no Muslim student at the University of Aberdeen feels excluded or discriminated against.