Following a discussion during Tuesday’s Guild Summit, it was announced that a preferendum is to be held in the second semester regarding a potential name change of the Gladstone and Roscoe Halls of Residence.
The proposal was raised by Alisha Raithatha who advocated that the halls should be changed because of William Gladstone being in favour of reparations for former slave traders and not supporting the abolition of the slave trade. Raithatha also pointed out that it seemed odd for Gladstone and Roscoe to be side-by-side since Roscoe was a leading abolitionist in the slave trade.
Instead of referendums consisting of two options: Yes, or No, a preferendum consists of three or more options. They are open to all students at the University and must have a three percent turnout in order to be legitimate. The reason why a preferendum was decided to be held on this issue was due to Guild Summit failing to reach a consensus. For those unaware, Guild Summit is where 50 students are selected at random to discuss issues raised on Change It. The selection of students is random and is based on factors such as gender, year of study, 18-21 or mature student, and ethnicity in order to achieve as close to a perfect representation of the entire student body at Liverpool.
The Liverpool Guild of Students: ‘a student made the suggestion that the Guild of Students should lobby the University to change the name of the Roscoe and Gladstone Halls of Residence. This was discussed at Guild Summit – a meeting made up of randomly selected and demographically representative students – and a consensus decision was made to hold on an online Preferendum. This decision will give the whole student body an opportunity to play an active role in deciding the outcome. The date of the Preferendum will be decided in due course, and following this, the Guild will agree a plan of action around the preferred outcome students voted for.
The options available to students are yet to be finalised but there will likely be several available. This could include commemorating both Roscoe and Gladstone with plaques, recognising their role in Liverpool whilst renaming the new halls since they are being modernised, with alternative suggested names including poet laureate Carol Ann-Duffy and presenter Jon Snow.