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Sabb Tension Coming to a Head

Jan 06 2007 12:23
William the Conquerer
All is not well amongst the Sabbatical Officers, with a no-confidence rumoured to be on the cards.
Deputy President (Graduate Students) Shama Rahman

Live! has been watching the Sabbatical Officers very closely over the past six months, to get a feel of how the group works together. Unfortunately an increasingly hostile situation has been developing, with the DPGS falling out of the loop.

The decision by last year's executive to allow Deputy President (Graduate Students) Shama Rahman to miss most of the handover period and first month seems to have inhibited her integration into the team. While the other four sabbs have been operating as a (mostly) well-oiled machine, Miss Rahman appears to be the odd one out. Her lack of attendance at five consecutive management meetings, held to advise all sabbatical officers of current and future activities, has also contributed to her isolation.

The lack of integration seems compounded by the DPGS potentially not fulfilling her contract - all sabbaticals are required to work between the "core hours" of 10am and 4pm, and 40 hours a week in total. Live's observations and those of senior Union sources indicate that for most of the last five months Miss Rahman was arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour late for work. When questioned about this matter, Miss Rahman indicated that the reason for her persistent lateness was meetings with postgraduate students, but that she often stayed in the office late. However, her inability to arrive by 10am in the morning led her to miss important meetings, including one with the Deputy Rector and the aforementioned management meetings.

A postgraduate welfare representative indicated that Miss Rahman missed one of the most important meetings she is expected to attend, the Quality and Academic Review Committee (QARC). QARC is the key meeting where the quality and variety of academic courses is reviewed. At Council in December Miss Rahman stated that she could not attend as she was re-arranging the venue for the GSA Christmas Ball, after her original plan was pulled by the executive committee due to the large loss it was due to make.

Rumours within the Union have indicated this is all about to come to a head, with a no-confidence motion in the works and the 20 required seconders now being collected. ICU President John Collins told Live! that no motion has so far been received.

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Discussion about “Sabb Tension Coming to a Head”

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.
Jan 06 2007 15:21

instead of lumping blame on the likes of hui and rahman - why don't they realsie that the problem is the position itself and not the people. it hasnt been thought out properly.

Jan 06 2007 16:29

Is missing meetings you are required to attend a problem with the position or the person?

Although I agree the position itself is a problem.

Jan 07 2007 13:25

So one is inept and the rest are oily? Well said.

Jan 08 2007 11:02

I disagree that the position is a problem; the issue is that the two people who have held the dpgs role have both been utterly incompetent

Jan 08 2007 14:02

i don't think they're that incompetent - i think theyre being made scapegoats for a duff position.

6. a pg   
Jan 09 2007 13:19

Looks like someone's got the message... this email went out to PGs today.

Jan 09 2007 16:25

It's obvious.

The next DPGS must not have a rhyming name. That will break the pattern.

(Luis Hui, Shama Rahman...)

Jan 12 2007 17:40



that aside, is the union still paying his mortgage while he lives for free in halls?

Jan 12 2007 17:48

i heard fok is training in siberia for his boxing showdown. apparently he eats a kilo of steroids a day to gain weight and get big. he now weighs 32kg and has a biceps of 2"

Jan 14 2007 11:32

Yeah, I had a look at Felix and thought the same thing!!! Ah I'm not just alone in wondering what the hell that boy's managed to achieve this year apart from rehashing last year's ideas...

Maybe he's just vengeful after she turned him down...

Jan 14 2007 12:06

This article: says it had 25 pages of supporting evidence, which implies its a 9 page report with a load of stuff pinned on the back, I guess including some of the emails quoted.

Jan 14 2007 15:15

The date of completion of the report is during the Christmas break (25.12.06). In Jon's defence he worked on it during his holiday and did not shirk his sabbatical duties.

Jan 15 2007 18:30

"in jon's defence he worked on it during his holiday"??? how do you know that? and what does it matter? he must've been gathering evidence while he was supposed to be working, or?

Jan 16 2007 21:48

Do you ever question how Live! gets hold of information it shouldn't technically have? There are more than just the sabbatical officers and the student media who have access to the Union Building and what goes on there. :D

Jan 24 2007 15:58

If a sabb misses a substantial chunk of the summer then such tensions are inevitable. They have highly stressful jobs, and most of them don't realise what they have let themselves in for until the academic year get's going. The team building that goes on in the first couple of months is vitally important and no sabb should be allowed to miss it.

If the Union wants to stop this happening in future then it has to be very firm with the election candidates this year: They might sign a declaration confirming that they will start in July and not take time off for "internships" or completing their MSc project. A sabbatical, by definition is a year out and if they want to do an internship or if they have to finish their MSc project they should do it 12 months later after their term of office is over.

I appreciate some students might have difficulty with their supervisors over defering projects but that was why when we created the position we got assurance from the Graduate School that they would support the elected officer is negotiating an arrangement with their department.

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