The issue of Sabbatical Officers who spend two years in their role will rear its head again at Council on Tuesday, with a paper by Deputy President (Education & Welfare) Ben "Fluffy" Harris calling for a one year maximum.
At present students may hold sabbatical positions for a maximum of 2 years, a limit set by the 1994 Education Act. ICU sets no further limits, which has seen every President from 2001-2006 have a second term: Sen Ganesh held the presidency between 2001 and 2003, Mustafa Arif between 2003 and 2005, with 2005-2006 President Sameena Misbahuddin having previously been Deputy President (Finance & Services).
Opponents of two-year sabbs believe that it has significant problems, not least because it is extremely difficult to beat an incumbent sabbatical in an election. Indeed, former Deputy President (Clubs & Societies) Richard Walker was re-elected with little, if any, campaigning at all. They further believe that after a year the holder of a sabbatical position becomes disconnected from the student body, so it is vital to have new ideas coming through in the form of fresh sabbaticals.
Supporters of keeping the status-quo believe that sabbs in their second term provide continuity, while also having more time to see through any changes they put in place. The new elections regulations from the Governance Review also allow "campaigning on record", so opponents to incumbents can use negative campaigning if previous manifesto pledges have not been achieved.
The Governance Review process saw a compromise appear, which suggested that sabbaticals could not remain in the same position for more than a year, but could move up from a Deputy President to a President (but not move down). This proposal was deemed controversial, so was not submitted with the other changes which are now in effect.
The proposal being presented on Tuesday is the extreme position and not part of the Governance Review changes. If passed, two year sabbaticals would be banned entirely - indeed it goes further, preventing anyone who may be elected during the year (in the case where a position becomes vacant) from standing again.
An attempt to ban two-year sabbaticals last year was defeated by a narrow margin.