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No Confidence motion against Union President

Feb 19 2005 20:21
Nichola Hawkins
An emergency Council meeting is currently scheduled for Friday evening to consider a motion of No Confidence against the Union President
Mr Arif before Thursday night's Council meteing

At the beginning of Thurday night's Council Meeting, after the announcement of the sabbatical election results, Danny Sharpe, Council Chair, announced that following the receipt of a petition forwarded by Tom Tibbits and seconded by the required ten Council members, an emergency Council meeting will take place next Friday, February 26th, to consider a motion of No Confidence in ICU President Mustafa Arif.

The motion of No Confidence itself had originally been submitted in advance of yesterday's meeting, but had not been fully seconded (such motions requiring the signatures of 20 full members of the Union) seven College days in advance as demanded by the regulations, so the motion's proposer then filed a petition for an emergency meeting, noting the receipt of the motion and believing that such a serious matter must be discussed as soon as possible.

The motion follows the Accountability motion passed by Council in December. The proposer believes that the President's response to this motion was "inadequate" and "evasive," alleging "gross misconduct" including unauthorised spending, long delays in electing a full Executive Committee, and failing to release information demanded by the accountability motion, along with other allegations that cannot be described here since they involve Union staff.

The motion will require a 2/3 majority vote in order to be passed; if passed, Arif would have 48 hours to gather 200 signatures to petition an EGM in order to appeal against the decision; failing that, or if the EGM became inquorate before reaching a decision, the appeal would be dismissed, and Arif would lose his position. It has been suggested that other officers and sabbaticals-elect would carry out the President's duties for the interim period before a properly elected successor came into office.

Council also have the option of amending the motion from No confidence to one of "censure", a final warning: such a motion against previous president Sen Ganesh was eventually heavily defeated in January 2003.

Mr Arif has told "Live!" that he is currently discussing the motion with its proposer, and there is a possibility that the motion may be withdrawn. "Live!" will keep you informed of further developments. If the motion is not withdrawn, all students may observe and speak at Friday's meeting.

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Discussion about “No Confidence motion against Union President”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Feb 19 2005 20:44
 

And apparently somthing similar happened before

2. n/a   
Feb 20 2005 10:50
 

Ah, so if the election wasn't farcical, there has to be another source of farce in union politics.

No wonder I am deeply prejudiced against all student unions, and resent the lot of them!

Feb 20 2005 18:02
 

I don't know the guy at all, and I don't follow Union issues very much, but from what I've heard from people who do, he has lied about some rather important matters and is a rather uninspiring individual. Perfectly suited for the corporate world it seems.

Feb 21 2005 09:03
 

Ironic.

Feb 21 2005 20:11
 

Well I never. My first time looking at this website in months (and months) and it appears nothing has been learnt from History.

Whilst Musti Habibi and I may have crossed paths a few times, and he did, through various different guises, file inumerous compaints against my work, as well irratate the hind legs off ULU; not to mention the whole LEQ saga where I was disciplined for his H*acking, I actually have respect for the guy.

He is, and seems to have done continuously, his job pretty well. Not only has he managed, but he has also lead. Not only has he fire-fought, but he's been creative enough not to become another anomanous sabbatical.

If only Part time students had a voice at ICU. Then I would vote to keep my old sparring partner. Good luck to you Musti. Don't let the b*stards drag you down.

Feb 21 2005 23:46
 

David, part time students do now have a voice. I brought them into Full Membership of the Union last year and this year's sabbatical elections were the first they were able to vote in.

BTW could you drop us an email with your current contact details?

Feb 22 2005 16:49
 

Think David the only one here who know the guy, & I reckon that he's rite..

Good Luck to you!

8. ..   
Feb 22 2005 17:42
 

Think again John.

Respecting someone does not preclude the belief that some of their actions warrant discipline.

Feb 22 2005 18:12
 

Wouldn't it be good if David Francis came and voted for his old sparring partner, because:

'he is[...] his job pretty well.'

'he's been creative enough not to become another anomanous [sic] sabbatical' anomalous?

And a catalogue of errors, like the famous LEQ hacking incident...

Francis, go away or we'll have to resurrect the FrancisWatch website. On home turf.

10. Alex   
Feb 22 2005 18:29
 

Why is it that the moment someone at the union tries to actually do their job and make a difference people want blood. Let's face it. Most Union Officers don't have a clue. They are there because having their name up in lights (they don't realise that noone has the faintest idea who they are) helps alleviate some of their personal insecurities.

The moment someone appears who does the job for the right reasons, they run scared and do everything they can to remove this 'abberation'

Mustafa, don't let sad little people ruin the Union again!!

11. ....   
Feb 22 2005 18:30
 

tom t is a wanna be PRESIDENT!!

12. Sam   
Feb 22 2005 18:33
 

LIVE ON THE DOUGHNUTS!

:-)

We LOVE you!

13. oldlag   
Feb 22 2005 19:21
 

Mustafa was waste of space, Sen was a waste of space, and David Francis was definitely a waste of space.

There's only one thing for it:

Heeps for president!

14. hMMMM   
Feb 22 2005 19:30
 

They're all a waste of space. Arif is just also a waste of shedloads of our money as well when he starts employing PAs for himself.

15. ..   
Feb 22 2005 20:13
 

"right reasons" aren't always enough.

16. Jack   
Feb 23 2005 16:50
 

To the oldlag and hMMM , if you Sirs, think that they all a "waste of space" then why don't you run for elections and see if you can do a better job?

I can only imagine the long hours, limited social life, and frustrations of the job, especially since, please correct me if I am wrong, they are no internships, or training to be given for such jobs, or am I mistaken?

To criticise is *easy*, to make a difference is *hard*, especially when you have people like Tibbits!

I am only a second year, but have had numerous dealing with the different sections of the Union via Clubs & Soc,and realise on that minor scale how much time is needed to sort stuff out, and how frustrating it can be not getting things done!! Having also been Head Boy also strenghtens my view of the frustrations of such a job, and moreover, what type of a person it takes to ask for such a job as President( out of 11,500 students only 5 run this year-one of the highest in years!).

I too have had problems with the Union, trying to sort stuff out for my clubs & Soc, but I can also appreciate the vastness of the Union and their dealings, and hence that things are always as we wish them to be-but then it isn't just *one* man running the Union!!

As regard to this President, Mustapha Arif, I haven't had the pleasure and experience of President Heeps or President Sen, amd therefore, I can only imagine that they too weren't loved by all during their time as President, but I reckon Mustapha doing a *great* job, if not better..

Congrats to him, and keep going chap!

17. Alex   
Feb 23 2005 16:57
 

..

If '"right reasons" aren't always enough' then what are?

18. James   
Feb 23 2005 17:02
 

The president is great. He who disses him is wrong.

Feb 23 2005 17:07
 

Any president who likes pokemon is cool. Because Pokemon is cool cool cool.

20. ..   
Feb 23 2005 17:17
 

Alex, sorry I didn't make myself clear. My point is that even with the best intentions in the world people can still get it horribly wrong. They can still harm the cause they wish to promote.

Feb 23 2005 17:20
 

If the motion succeeds at the general meeting, then do people realise what the result will be? How can the overworked-as-they-are-already DP's run the President's Office as well as their own.

Will college council be happy to accept someone else after the President is outed? What about the projects that he is currently involved in in a professional matter? What about the plans generated from the Strategic review?

Dismissing the President seems to be an iffy move. You're generally asking for trouble if this goes ahead. Sure, Mr Arif might have somethings he needs to get right and fix but perhaps dismissing is OTT.

Think about it before you so easily cast your vote at the meeting on friday (where ANYONE can vote as its a general meeting).

22. jo   
Feb 23 2005 17:22
 

how dya get pikachu on a bus?

poke em on...

ho ho ho

23. Dan   
Feb 23 2005 18:20
 

Simon,

People do realise what they are doing. This motion has been bought not because someone has broken rules and regulations, but because they will not admit their mistakes and apologise. These mistakes are very serious, including authorising expenditure when they have no right to, and numeous elections mistakes to name a few.

Mustafa told council a year and a bit ago they were a joke because they did not hold him to account. Now when people are trying to hold him to account all they get is people whinging about why we should let him get away with these things.

If you have any morals then you should vote in favour of the no confidence motion, and show that IC Students do care and do notice when people they elect do not consult with their electorate.

Simon - remember we are not criticising everything he has done. People like Arif need to be shown that he cannot get away with everything. The remaining sabbs will be fine - stop scaremongering people into voting no...

Feb 23 2005 18:28
 

Simon - FYI it's a Council Meeting, not a General Meeting. Of all people, surely the Live! Editor should know this?!

Feb 23 2005 21:03
 

It's a council Meeting in the first instance, but then if 200 out of Imperials' 1200 students disagree with the motion enough to sign Mustafa's petition to appeal, then it will go to a General Meeting, although this will be at a later date and not on Friday.

A'warning', 'second chance' etc. was given in the Accountability Motion. Whether inadequacies in Mustafa's response to this are serious enough to overshadow the thnigs he has achieved this year, or to demand that he must be removed regardless of any other aspect of his work, is what SHOULD be discussed on Friday (although I suspect there will be efforts by various groups to introduce new grievances of their own, which probably is unreasonable if they have not tried to raise them anywhere else first), and listened to with an open mind.

(The main obstacle to this is that some of the allegations cannot be raised nor cleared in an open meeting- relating either to matters involving Union staff, or perhaps confidential College sources. The danger, apart from perhaps influencing the result, being that the air cannot be properly cleared as was at least part of the intention behind this motion and its predecessor.)

What is most needed is a proper discussion, preferably involving some listening as well as talking on both sides, not a foregone conclusion.

26. Seb   
Feb 24 2005 00:10
 

It's interesting that people should criticse the motives of people bringing the motion. If you look at the people who seconded it, most are what you might have thought to be Mustafa's core vote only a year ago.

The big issue people seem to have with Mustafa is that he has made it very easy to do things, by putting himself above and beyond most means of holding him to account.

The fact that the only way that it has been possible to actually bring certain issues out into the open is via a motion of no confidence is grounds for it in itself.

Maybee Mustafa will acquit himself, maybee he won't. Maybee Council will decide that Mustafa has done nothing wrong, and in effect endorse all the actions Mustafa has taken, but which the people bringing the motion feel council hasn't been able to scruitinise.

Either way, the motion should be carried on the strength of facts and arguments of the case, not second guessing the motives of the people who brought it or the reputations of the people who brought it.

27. Seb   
Feb 24 2005 00:15
 

Jack:

One of the central complaints against Mustaffa is that he has spent a vast amount of money doing things that some people disaproove of. Their issue is that they feel the manner in which the expenditure was made was not correct, not scruitinised properly, and Mustafa appears to have done little to justify those actions.

You might not feel so happy if you had more experience of your clubs and societies budgets being cut. Whatever money the union spends largely comes out of next years C&S budgets.

Feb 24 2005 00:46
 

Just checking if the promises had been delivered upon.

29. James   
Feb 24 2005 08:52
 

Any chance we could actually see this motion? At the moment there are lots of vague accusations, but very few concrete facts.

From what I know (and I don't claim to be an expert), Mustafa probably has made mistakes and there has been a desperate lack of communication this year. However, would throwing him out of office be of any use? I think not.

From what I have seen of council this year, there have been too many personalities all trying to get the last say/shout/laugh, drowning out the quiet majority who want to get on with the important work.

Let's stop with the personal publicity stunts, have a little faith in the president we elected (twice!), and keep the union moving forwards rather than holding it back.

30. Dan L   
Feb 24 2005 11:27
 

Or should we send a short sharp message to the student we elect to represent us that we will not tolerate dishonest activities. Look at what happened to Mr Blunket when he made one small mistake. We are talking about a major list of misatkes, which have not been apologised for.

With 5 months left to go, the union will survive without a president if that is what people want. Don't fall for the scare mongering argument of the union can't cope without a president. It has in the past and will continue to be able to.

And Jack - how would you feel if I spent ?38k of your club's money?? Well that is what has been done - except all the clubs have had ?38k of their money spent. That is over ?150 for each club...

Feb 24 2005 13:20
 

well, you wouldnt expect me not to pass comment would you?

The current incumbant has proved council to be spineless, or atleast ineefective. Is this now Councils chance to reassert itself? I suspect so, though I would hope that they look at the facts this time, and do not just get bored of the process.

Council has shown itself to be a waste of space in the last few years. And yes, sometimes I regret my involvement in proving this. The union president has a framework of accountability to work within. They are not able to make presidential decrees (there is no such thing as "Chair's Action" folks) so they have gotton into the habit of knocking a few things through over the summer, or of just pushing exec about. The joy of money is that once it has been spent then presumably there is nothing that can be done about it....

It would seem there have been plenty of warnings. If "someone" chose to ignore those warnings, as ineefectual, then its harsh luck if the ultimate sanction does get eneacted.

32. Bob   
Feb 24 2005 13:27
 

Well now that tomorow's council has been postponed we have another 4 shiny days to argue about this.

Feb 24 2005 15:14
 

can that be confirmed by someone? afterall, council meetings are open to all memebers of iCU and as such not publicising meeting changes is not a very good service to your members.

Comunication, Accountability, Representation. What lovely words.

34. n/a   
Feb 24 2005 15:28
 

The posters on the walkway appear to show the new date - it appears there are some busy bees about...

Feb 24 2005 15:36
 

Check the calendar

Feb 24 2005 16:48
 

Interesting. This is on the Live! calendar, but they've stop streaming the Live! events calendar to the Union frontpage, and just to stream their ents adverts instead.

Seems a bit of a pity for all those clubs and societies who post their events on "Live!". I'm sure the ents page is a great idea but can't they both be streamed onto the front page, like Live and Felix and Stoic for news? I doubt they'll be any overlap.

37. Dan   
Feb 24 2005 16:53
 

It is still streamed look at the frontpage.

38. Nia   
Feb 24 2005 16:54
 

I can see Live! streams on the Union front page. All the visible links are Live! ones from where I'm looking...

Feb 24 2005 17:04
 

Oh, I see, that's an extra section and the otehr events section is still there.

Hmm. I should check the whole page before making these comments.

That's what happens when you've been looking down a microscope all afternoon.

Feb 24 2005 17:54
 

funny thing is, they only have the room for 1.5 hours for this meeting, they'd better keep it quick. Even funnier, I know who has the control over the next booking. Maybe this will force them also to sort out the shoddy room booking system, or to actually be able to organise a p"ssup in a brewery.

41. Sam   
Feb 27 2005 00:46
 

The "What's On @ ICU" box is covered under the Sam-Student Protocol. Please do not discuss it's performance, terms and conditions or conduct.

But anyway - it was requested, someone was willing to do the work to generate the content that is uploaded under /ents/ and so I integrated it into the Frontpage.

Then I resigned from the web-editing team, so I can't remove it even if I wanted to (which I don't). So there!

Feb 27 2005 10:13
 

Greetings Sam.

You have finally moved to the dark side like myself!

43. Jack   
Feb 27 2005 13:00
 

Seb,

As in regards to what you wrote:

*You might not feel so happy if you had more experience of your clubs and societies budgets being cut. Whatever money the union spends largely comes out of next years C&S budgets.

But if I knew the money spent would then generate more revenue for the Union I'd be more than happy to allow to spend it. You have to spend money to make money!

Moreover, I find it hard to believe that he could have spent the money by himself without anyone knowing.. surely wouldn't he have been sacked???

44. tom t   
Feb 27 2005 14:29
 

Jack:

"But if I knew the money spent would then generate more revenue for the Union I'd be more than happy to allow to spend it. You have to spend money to make money!"

That's right. IF you knew, you might be able to make that choice. If, however, you were told 17 days later that the democratically agreed budget had been overridden, you wouldn't be able to make that choice.

"Moreover, I find it hard to believe that he could have spent the money by himself without anyone knowing.. surely wouldn't he have been sacked???"

Well, come to the meeting on Tuesday and hear the arguments. Before you start slagging off 'people like Tibbits', preferably.

The Union (and not me) published the letter I wrote to the Chair of Council, if you downloaded the original 'blacked out' version, you will be in possession of the entire contents of what I wrote. It took almost a month to research and prepare and wasn't much fun. But if your club doesn't need extra money than I'm sure your head boy instincts are absolutely bang on.

45. ..   
Feb 27 2005 15:03
 

"Moreover, I find it hard to believe that he could have spent the money by himself without anyone knowing.. surely wouldn't he have been sacked???"

Or perhaps you've just answered your own question of why he may be sacked on tuesday.

46. Seb   
Feb 28 2005 00:15
 

"But if I knew the money spent would then generate more revenue for the Union"

Clubs and societies money comes, as I understand it, from the subvention. We do not transfer money from the services to C&S.

However, as I think tom is saying below, the point is that this isn't transparent at all. The cost/benefit of new staff hirings and the strategic review have not been openly discussed.

We are left with merely trust the President to know best. Now, Mustafa is a very capeable individual. I've worked with him and I know that to be the case.

I once heard Mustafa make, in a different context, a very powerful and concise explanation of how a democraticaly elected leader who has accountability must also have responsibility. That is, because he ultimately would be held to account for a certain action, he had the final call on what action should be taken. The reverse holds true: The Union President has the responsibilities to make decisions given to him, but can also be held to account for them.

It's interesting to note that he has at every opportunity tried to avoid being held to account and have his decisions scrutinised. Whether he's hiding something bad or just can't be bothered is not the point really. It's that he is doing it at all and frankly I'm dissapointed.

I'm sure he has good reasons for the policies he is doing, but in the end he is the President of a democratic body. It's not for him to judge if he has good cause, but Council, which has the job of holding all the Sabaticals to account and deciding policy. He has to explain and justify what actions he takes.

Without wishing to diminish whatever experience you have without good cause (after all, I don't know you) being a headboy is not much usefull experience in this particular context. Headboy's are part of a hierarchy (at least at my school they were) with sovereignty comming from the top. That is not the case with the union.

"Moreover, I find it hard to believe that he could have spent the money by himself without anyone knowing.. surely wouldn't he have been sacked???"

That is what tuesday is all about.

Feb 28 2005 09:28
 

I was always under the impression that Clubs/Socs money came under company C and that company U was reserved for trading/staffing/"central" funds. But Dan L above accuses others of scaremongering and then says that 38k or 150 quid per club has spent. Well clearly not as the money can't have come from the subvention. Is that not scaremongering itself, trying to raise awareness to a hack issue (well, you could argue it is) by lying about the specifics concerned?

48. Sam   
Feb 28 2005 09:56
 

Point of information for those who now inhabit another place (hi Starbuck! ;o)

The subvention (?900,000 or thereabouts) is split roughly between:

1) Non-Trading, Non-Retail staff wages. This means that almost every member of staff who doesn't work in the Bar or the Shop is paid for from subvention.

2) Money to clubs.

What has happened is that money has been allocated for Central staff (those paid for by subvention), which is projected to come from extra Trading revenue. If trading revenue cannot cover that amount, staff still have to be paid. In this case some or all of that money may be taken from subvention to cover the shortfall in this or subsequent years.

?38k is the total money allocated, divide that by the number of clubs and you end up with the figure of roughly ?150 per club, but that's the worst possible case.

It is alleged that this money was allocated without due regard for process or consultation with the student body.

Does that explain it?

Feb 28 2005 10:12
 

Sam,

That explains it excellently. Thank you, I stand corrected.

Feb 28 2005 21:08
 

I say GOOD LUCK TO YOU MUSTI!!

Tomorrow, the truth shall prevail & they'll all shut up!

Feb 28 2005 21:51
 

what is this really about tom?

Feb 28 2005 22:33
 

If I have been able to see further, it was only

because I stood on the shoulders of giants.

53. Max   
Feb 28 2005 23:41
 

Think I would like to clarify a few points..

*Mustafa the *majority* are right behind you...*

*you're doing a darn good job! Don't let ppl put u down!!*

*are you a pokemon fan?*

RIGHT BEHIND YOU,

MAJORITY OF IC STUDENTS

Feb 28 2005 23:49
 

We want our union back.

It's time to stop fussing about and take it.

55.  
Mar 01 2005 01:42
 

I was wondering who 'the silent majority' likes to speak with...

does it use its democratic mandate?

Lets let the silent majority speak out if things need to change, because if it doesn't, opportunists will.

Mar 01 2005 10:45
 

Dearest Max, you say that the moajority of IC students back Mustafa. Let me put a new spin on it. The majority of IC students don't actually give a damn about him.

At least they are talking about the Issues.

Mar 01 2005 14:16
 

I see no evidence that most students are behind "Musti". I have, however, seen council papers being passed around lecture theatres by people who normally don't give a damn.

If "Most Students" want Mustafa to stay in power then they will need to lobby their representatives to vote him. Information on who sits on council can be found here: http://www.union.ic.ac.uk/representation/repslist

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