Women’s Forum is open to all self-defining women and non-binary people in the University and takes place every fortnight. Forum is the decision-making body of the Women’s Campaign and is facilitated by the CUSU Women’s Officer. Women’s Forum provides an opportunity for women to find out about issues affecting women in the University and the work of the Women’s Campaign, as well as bring ideas for campaigns and generally just be around supportive and lovely people.
Forum is basically split into two parts: items for discussion, and motions.The way it works is that any member can submit an item for discussion, and it could be anything from setting up a faculty women’s group, to publicising an event. A member is any student (undergraduate and graduate) of the University of Cambridge who self-defines as a woman, including (if they wish) those with gender identities which include ‘woman’, and those who feel they experience misogynist oppression.
Similarly, proposals can be about anything that affects women and non-binary students. A proposal puts foward an idea, and can initiate a campaign, mandate the CUSU Women’s Officer to do something or ask the CUSU Women’s Campaign to adopt a stance on a particular issue. Any member can bring a motion (there is generally a proposer and a seconder), and a group of members can propose a motion together. You don’t have to be a college women’s officer to put forward a proposal.
Once a proposal is accepted by Forum it becomes Women’s Campaign policy and remains in effect for three years. It is the Women’s Officer’s responsibility to make sure that the Women’s Campaign operates within the parameters of its policy, e.g., if Forum passes a motion to run a campaign, it is her job to oversee the campaign and report back to Forum on its progress.
When policy lapses it may either be discarded, which means it ceases to have any impact on Women’s Campaign activities, or renewed. The CUSU Women’s Officer should flag up lapsing policy once a year to see if Forum wants to renew it.
When a motion is being passed, it has to be voted on. This is done by consensus, and is open to all in attendance.
If you have any further questions about Women’s Forum or related issues you can contact the CUSU Women’s Officer.