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Ex-President "Flagrantly Disregarded" Constitution

Nov 01 2006 12:31
Ashley Brown
At a meeting yesterday the manner in which last year's sabbatical elections were conducted came under fire.
Last year's President Sameena Misbahuddin

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.

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Discussion about “Ex-President "Flagrantly Disregarded" Constitution”

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.
Nov 01 2006 15:52

this must be a joke.

if you took a measure as to how much the union sabbs did to p*** each other off and uphold the constitution to every finest detail rather than use their brain and make sensible decisions and, above all, actually SERVE THE STUDENT COMMUNITY, it'd be a one-sided run.

sabbs, in particular this year, have distanced themselves from the student body. sure, they're running decent events and have done a good job in the NUS campaign as well as organising a careers fair and freshers week, but thats not all there is to being a sabb. The most important part is to be a port of contact for students. To be known in the student community, not only to union hacks and other similar-minded people.

Imperial lacks any student spirit and pride whatsoever, and that is what these people get paid for, to create an atmosphere for students to enjoy their uni life in. No where else in the country do you have as many students that are ashamed to say they go to the university they attend. Sabbs should get off their asses, leave their offices and walk around campus, greet people, have their faces seen in public, eat in the JCR, the MDH, not just the SCR. Not act like a superior authority, because you arent. Organise a monthly imperial hoodie day, I don't know, it's your job. Create spirit, embody spirit, because they sure as hell get straight F's for that.

As far as the DPFS is concerned, has anyone ever seen him reach out to students? Sure, he has a numbingly boring job which causes him to be disliked by many people involved in the union, but at least last year we saw a DPFS attend parties and get to know people, live uni life and become an integral part of the students' experience.

2. DPGS   
Nov 01 2006 17:36

The DPGS was in fact on Union business for 2 days in the first week of August-she was attending a National Postgraduate Committee conference. She then presented her findings to recent Councils (apologies to those who wouldnt know this if you arent council members). Therefore it seems that she was honouring the accepted proposal Mr Editor.

Nov 01 2006 17:42

Anonymous: Allow me to present you with some facts before you start ranting at the sabb team.

Jon Matthews has attended all of the major social events of the year including the C&G / RCS ball, all of the Freshers' Week events, Halloween foam party, ACC bar night, and various halls events. He is also the person responsible for the logistics of the NUS referendum, which will hopefully liven things up next week.

I have run two events in the JCR in the last two weeks and there are no less than five NUS referendum hustings taking place across two campuses next week (including one in the JCR).

As for your bizarre point about whether or not we should eat in the JCR ? well, I sometimes do, but I really feel that I should support our Union and eat from the Union's catering outlets as much as possible. For your information, I have not eaten in the SCR since July, not that that?s any of your business to be frank.

On your "Imperial lacks student pride" - I am a) not entirely sure if that is a fact (please produce more evidence than "me and my mates think so") and b) not entirely sure that even the most dynamic sabb team could convince 12,500 students to lighten up a little, work less hard, party more, get more ?political?, or do whatever else you think would improve the sense of student spirit on the campus.

Nov 02 2006 10:58

as far as "Imperial lacks student pride":

why are there always ample people running for positions in the faculty of medicine SU but not in ICU elections? it's because they're proud to be medics and want to have an impact on their time here. ICU could do with some rebranding to help them on that road, and perhaps just a rethink of union beaurocracy which causes so many students to avoid the union altogether.

and what's with this:

"could convince 12,500 students to lighten up a little, work less hard, party more, get more ?political?, or do whatever else you think would improve the sense of student spirit on the campus."

lol...i dont know if that's what was meant up there, but its not about working less and partying more, nor getting more political, i think, and if you poll imperial students you'll probably get similar results, it's about affiliation with the university and union brands that needs to be worked on, this would cause people to be more proactive. and don't rant about how proactive ppl already are, starting a cheese society and who knows what, try having an american-style pep rally and see how many turn up. my bet is the limit might tend to 0.

But props to John Collins, he's doing a fantastic job so far, if the rest of the sabb team was as enthusiastic as him it would be great. Because how many people actually know the names of any of the deputies?

5. test   
Nov 02 2006 12:46


Nov 02 2006 13:21

I believe the DPEW's name is Fluffy Harris.

Nov 03 2006 11:32

the current DPFS, Mr. Jon Matthews, is launching this scathing attack on the Sameena merely because he lost an election last year and knows he's a retarded c**t that nobody likes

Nov 03 2006 12:10

Err... as Jon Matthews is now the DPFS, surely that means he won an election last year (as opposed to losing it)?!

There was me thinking that Imperial was supposed to be a College for clever people...

Nov 03 2006 12:13

"more informed", I would suggest you be a bit more polite, as you're coming across as a bit of twit.

John C, I'm sick to death of you spending all your time defending the actions of yourself and the rest of your gang on Live.

If you spent a bit more time getting on with your job and less time filling in pointless replies maybe fewer people would think you're a nob.

Nov 03 2006 12:57

student tired of collins: given that the typical sabb on average works a 12+ hour day, I think John can be allowed a few minutes to post in live! discussions.

I'm sure you'll agree that it's a good for Sabbs to engage in these discussions - or don't you think that sabbs should talk to students?

Nov 03 2006 13:20

If we're going to be honest, it isn't the students on live that he needs to engage. Live is full of Union hacks, myself being one, and we really aren't the people he needs to engage.

If you think otherwise I suggest you are deluded.

Nov 05 2006 21:50


but really, seriously?

are you guys picking at sameena?

and most of all is jon matthews picking at her? she is the most acheiving president and the friendliest president of my time at imperial. without her hard work, no refurbishment would have kick started and that flashy website you've all been checking out, it's all the fruit of her hard work and her deputies.

Sameena worked real hard on not dissapointing anyone during her term. as a close friend to the union, i have seen her always trying to find solutions to fit everyone's demands. this dpgs issue as you may have realised was not an easy one to go through, and flagrantly diregarding the consitution was not her way of rebelling against the world and being stubborn, but more like trying to find a fair solution to this dpgs holiday-taking problem rather.

i think you need to see through her actions and take into consideration the mad bureaucracy she had to go through to solve this issue.

what we in reality ended up with, is a dpgs who not only took most of the summer off, but who has also sparked many controversies and discussions about her performance. and don't go blaming sameena for that....

Nov 06 2006 10:44

didnt jon matthews withdraw from an election last yr prior to running for dpfs? i think that constitutes as a loss. and if so, and even if not so, its kinda pathetic that he chose to run for dpfs only later on in the second running. wow, he must be dedicated. i think the collective opinion outside the sab team seems to be that he needs to chill out and stop acting as if he rules the world. quite sad actually, you'd hope he'd have more in his life to be proud of

Nov 06 2006 10:54

OK: here's how the DPFS election worked last year.

First time round, Dan Lehmann stood unopposed for DPFS but withdrew at the last minute - so RON won that election.

Second time round, Jon Matthews ran for DPFS against Ed Hunt and beat Ed by a dozen or so votes.

Nov 07 2006 16:16

Ha ha, I don't think anyone's picking at Sameena.

However, if anyone picks *on* Sameena I've been encouraged to stand up for her. 'cos she was ace. And gave me a tankard. This does all rather smack of being blown out of all proportion.

It must have been a quiet week for an exec paper that just called for some decisions on the election of the DPGS position to make front page of Felix.

Nov 09 2006 19:39

this years felix truly has been in search for something sensational but not found jack....wonder if rupert wouldve managed. maybe sykes is lazy? maybe theres no news? maybe felix just isnt the same without its deserving editor of last year

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