How to write a motion

This page should tell you everything you need to know about how to get started, but if you have any questions, please contact us at

  • What is a motion?

    A motion, put simply, is just an idea. It is a few lines of text which asks for the Union to do something which makes a difference to student life at Brookes. If you think there is something important the Union should be working on, then you have the power to submit a motion and trigger change.

    You can view all the policy passed in previous years here.

    • A ‘motion’ is just the name of a policy before it has been passed by students. Once your motion has been voted on and approved at the relevant meeting, it becomes known as a ‘policy’. 
  • Why should I submit one?

    Brookes Union is entirely student run - which means that motions form the backbone of all the key decisions that the Union takes!

    Here are some reasons why submitting a motion is important: 

    • Motions set out what the Union thinks and does
    • Motions can mandate the elected officers to take certain actions 
    • Motions give a clear direction and steer from students - if you think the Union should adopt a ‘stance’ on an issue, motions are how you do this!
    • Policies often live on much longer than students and officers’ time at Brookes, making it a great opportunity to have an impact for years to come 
  • How can I submit one?

    To submit a motion, email it to The deadline for motions to be submitted to the AGM is Monday 15th March.

  • What happens after I’ve submitted a motion?

    After you’ve submitted your motion, it will be sent to the Annual General Meeting, and will be added to the agenda. 

    At the AGM, there will be an open discussion around each motion. When your motion is called, you will have the chance to speak for up to three minutes about why you think students should vote to support your motions. Students would then be invited to argue against your motion if they disagree with it, and there may be a short debate where both sides can put forward their arguments.  

    It is also possible that students may want to change small parts of your motion. These are called amendments. Each proposed amendment will get a separate debate and vote. After any amendments have been voted on, and there have been arguments for and against the motion, the proposer will have the chance to sum up the motion before it is put to a vote. If the motion passes (aka - receives 50% or more of ‘yes’ votes by all students in attendance), then it will become part of Union Policy. Officers will then work with you to make sure its implemented. 

    Even if your motion is not passed, you have the chance to resubmit your motion to future General Meetings!

  • Where can I view previous motions? 

  • What format should I use?

    There is no format that you have to use, but the clearer you lay out your motion, the easier it will be for students to understand. This means it might be more likely to gain student support!

    Title of Motion

    Proposed by: (your name)

    Union notes

    1. This section is for establishing factual information about the topic

    Union believes:

    1. This section states what you consider to be true. This is where debate will come in. What you believe may not be what other students hold true. 
    2. If passed, the beliefs/opinions stated in this section will become the official ‘stance’ or ‘opinion’ of the students’ union

    Union resolves

    1. This section allows you to state what you want to happen
    2. Tell the Union here what actions you would like it to take 
    3. For example, you can mandate officer to run campaigns, speak to external organisations or adopt a position 
  • Can I see an example?

    Example motion:

    Title: Ban single use plastics! 

    Proposer: Joe Bloggs

    Union notes:

    1. Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year, taking centuries to degrades
    2. The UK currently has no deposit return scheme for plastic bottles 
    3. The National Union of Students ran a campaign called “The Last Straw” in 2017/18, calling for a reduction in the use of single use plastic straws 

    Union believes:

    1. The levels of plastic pollution in our local and international environment cannot be allowed to continue at its current rate
    2. Organisations, including Brookes Union and Oxford Brookes University, have a responsibility to reduce their impact on the environment

    Union resolves

    1. To raise awareness of plastic pollution and ways in which students can reduce their personal pollution
    2. To lobby the university to increase the amount of recycling points around campus 
    3. To lobby for bottle filling stations around campus 
    4. To reduce the use of single use plastic by the Union, through using alternative materials wherever possible