Tuesday's Executive Committee meeting saw Deputy President (Finance & Services) Jon Matthews claim the previous ICU President had "flagrantly disregarded" the constitution during her handling of an election last year.
The election in question was for the position of Deputy President (Graduate Students), conducted while Sameena Misbahuddin held the post of ICU President. The present holder of the position, Shama Rahman, put forward a proposal which would allow her to both stand and complete her MSc. The proposal was to be discussed by the Executive Committee before the final candidates meeting - rejection of the proposal would have meant Miss Rahman stepping down due to the work required for her MSc. MSc students are required to work during July and August, the first two months of a Sabbatical position.
The proposal was discussed during an "electronic meeting", where members of the executive were asked to approve or reject it, with no discussion being possible. Only 24 hours was allowed for the decision so it could be approved or rejected before the candidates meeting. The proposal was rejected by 6 votes to 5, however a second proposal was circulated after the final candidates meeting, with yet another short deadline. This caused concern among some members of the executive who leaked closed-session emails. As a result of these emails being released Miss Misbahuddin decided, unconstituionally, that she could "make a decision on such matters without consulting the Executive Committee".
The revised proposal was accepted by 6 votes to 5, however when the details of the arrangement were passed to the newly-elected Sabbatical Officers they were told of the first (rejected) proposal, not the one accepted by the Executive.
The accepted proposal would see the DPGS work "a minimum of two full working days per week for the four weeks of July and the first week of August." However, the newly elected Sabbatical Officers were informed of the original proposal, with the DPGS working two days per week during July, then taking the whole of August off. Consequently the DPGS was missing during August.
The Union is starting a review, led by the Deputy President (Finance & Services), into the start date for the DPGS position. The current date is not sensible due to the demands on both PhD and MSc students over the summer.
Live! was unable to contact Miss Misbahuddin before publication.