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Guilds president survives vote of no confidence

Mar 19 2008 14:39
Andrew Holland
The CGCU President, Tristan Sherliker, continues in the role after a paper of no confidence was rejected today.
Tristan enjoying the process

CGCU president, Tristan Sherliker, remains in the role, after he survived a meeting of no confidence from Guilds exec today. Mr. Sherliker described himself as "relieved but sobered" as a simple majority voted to remove him, but the paper failed to reach the two thirds majority needed for it to pass. Out of the ten voting members present, five voted for the paper, two against it with three abstaining.

The meeting started with Mr Sherliker talking about all the work he did over the Summer for Guilds, such as securing sponsorship. He also said that he was essentially doing the jobs of two other people, due to there being no honorary secretary to organise the autumn ball, and no Lord Mayor's Show coordinator. On the breakdown in delegating the work-load once term started and the positions had been filled, he said that all of the important information was in his head, and only he would be able to understand it. The failure to hold general meetings was explained by saying that they were not held last year, and were generally defunct. Mr Sherliker also went into the issues that he faced in early 2008, due to his illness and the need to catch up with his college work.

Questions were then asked by the members present. A lot of them were on the subject of the president's continued failure to attend meetings which he was required to. The general response was that he had a lot of other societies and activities to attend to, in addition to his college work. This was countered by pointing out that Mr Sherliker knew the amount of time and work which was required for these roles, and yet he still took them on.

On the breakdown in communications which had occured, Mr Sherliker said that he feels that he can communicate better next term, and would be willing to hold meetings with exec and management committee to discuss anything. He also said that he still has a lot to give to Guilds, and felt that no-confidencing him would have no benefit to anybody. He spoke at length about what he had done, and how he had prepared so things would be better for next year's team.

People questioned how he will be able to be more effective next term due to the stresses of his final year exams, and that due to the reasons he was giving, his removal from the role would be beneficial to him.

Eventually the paper failed to pass, despite many of the voting members raising strong points supporting the paper. In cases like this, where a two thirds majority is needed to pass it the point of having the abstention option is unclear, since in the grand scheme of things it is no different from a vote against the paper. It will be difficult to see how Guilds will be able to cope next term, due to most of the management committee seconding the paper. It is feared that the relationship between Mr Sherliker and the management committee has been irreparably damaged.

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Discussion about “Guilds president survives vote of no confidence”

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.
Mar 19 2008 14:47

Well done me boy! You have done me proud - Well done for getting out of it on a technicality!

Mar 19 2008 16:02

Getting enough votes is more than a technicality I believe.

However, the abstenation votes were farcical. If people actually realised what an abstention vote meant, the outcome may have been different. The whole meeting was badly organised, with people being unaware of the numbers needed for quorum, to consulting to constitution to see if abstention votes counted. For a meeting as important as this it was dissappointing to see the number of people missing.

Tristan should do the honorable thing and resign.

Mar 19 2008 17:34

5 people on exec want him out

2 don't

3 dont care

how can someone be so selfish as to continue working with the 5 people who have no respect for him.RESIGN TRISTAN NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE ANYMORE.

It is clear that Tristan just wants to put guilds pres on his CV - ha - they'll have a laugh when they call imperial and tell him how s**t he was lol!

Mar 19 2008 17:37

How embarrasing Tristan - how very very embarrasing.

Has the man no shame?

Mar 19 2008 17:53

So what is actually going to happen now, in practical terms.

Is everyone going to simply pretend this didn't happen?? Is anyone that niave??

Are the management committee going to treat him as if he deserves to be in that position?? I think not.

Mar 19 2008 18:04

I guess they will just have to try and work to prepare for next year to make sure that it is a lot better than this year....

Which is the same thing they said last year around this time.

Mar 19 2008 21:43

Whats done is done, lets just hope everyone involved can be professional about it all and get on with the job in hand. Good luck, you'll need it.

Mar 19 2008 22:57

that is not a word which Tristan understands

Mar 20 2008 01:44

Do these people not understand voting? In thisn case there was more than a 2/3 majority (the amount that is required i believe). An abstention does not count towards the total number of votes, by deffinition it is choosing not to vote on a matter (Unless it is stated differently in the CGCU constitution, which would be pretty f'd up). In this case, there was more than a 70% majority for the no confidance motion. Is it possible thast the exec could call for a recount or something based on the fact that whoever counted the votes didn't know what they were doing?

Mar 20 2008 09:44

Not correct according to the ICU President, who we checked with. Apparently abstentions effectively count as a "No" vote in censure/no-confidence, although the constitution is less than clear.

Mar 20 2008 10:18

The ICU constitution is not as clear as it could be on the matter.

Regulation 7.

Peoceedure for censure and no confidence at other bodies

47. In proceedings resulting in a censure or no confidence there shall be:

3. a necessity for approval of the motion by at least a two-thirds majority of members present and voting.

My interpretation is that absentions are not covered by "present and voting", as a choice has been made not to cast a vote.

(Sorry that I could not get the CGCU constituion so I could stand corrected)

Mar 20 2008 10:40

It is the abstentions that the constitution is not clear about. The constitution is also muddled in other areas.

For Censures/NCs at Council:

46. 9. "The motion must be approved by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, and more than half of those present and eligible to vote."

Under these rules, it still would have fallen, as the votes for were not more than half those present and eligible to vote.

However, for no-confidence motions at other bodies (e.g. exec), the constitution states:


3. a necessity for approval of the motion by at least a two-thirds majority of members present and voting, and

4. a course of appeal to a higher body.

The CGCU constitution contains very little about censure and no-confidence motions, as the ICU constitution takes precedence.

So if the vote was at Council it would have fallen, but at exec it would have passed, if abstentions are counted as "non-votes".

It really hinges on whether abstentions count as a member being "present and voting".

Mar 20 2008 11:08

5 votes for and 2 against, and Tris thinks he's won!

Seriously, if the constitution allows a paper fall with that number of votes, something is seriously wrong.

Mar 20 2008 11:39

Obv this is not the ICU definition, but still...


" abstentionnist hasn't voted.

Mar 20 2008 12:25

"...the term used is "two thirds of those present and voting", "two thirds of those present" (which has the effect of counting abstentions as votes against the proposal) or "two thirds of the entire membership" (also "two thirds of those members duly elected and sworn," in American politics), as appropriate"

Given the wording of this and the constitution are practically identical I would have thought the constitution meant the first one and hence not included abstentions.

Mar 20 2008 12:33

5 votes for and 2 against. That's a two-thirds majority, if you ignore the abstentions.

Seems to me that the constitution is actually clear, as Ashley has (unwittingly?) quoted and pointed out. The question is: does "present and voting" include or exclude abstainers? The answer can be seen in the definition in reg 46.9: it contrasts "present and eligible to vote" with "present and voting". The only possible meaning is to include abstainers in the first, and exclude abstainers in the second.

So at Council there is the two-step test: two-thirds majority of voting people, and simple majority of voters+abstainers. A different, easier test is set up for other bodies (borrowing the "present and voting" terminology): just two-thirds of voting people. Abstainers don't count.

It looks to me that Tristan was actually no confidenced. Constitutional crisis, anyone?

17. hack   
Mar 20 2008 12:45

Send it to the Court. Resolving constitutional crises is what it does best.

Mar 20 2008 13:15

"The only possible meaning is to include abstainers in the first, and exclude abstainers in the second."

Just because you are eligible to vote, doesn't mean you actually have to fill out your little slip of paper and hand it in. Those people are also not voting, but have not abstained either...

Mar 20 2008 13:25

In my understanding those people would be voting with a "blank vote" and I understand this as the equivalent of a spoilt vote which is something different compeletely.

Mar 20 2008 13:51

If it did go to court, and it was ruled that 5 votes to 2 means that 2/3 has been reached, would quorum still have been reached, as only 7 votes are counted?

Mar 20 2008 14:13

I'm guessing that abstainers count towards quorum. There's nothing to say they don't. Also, otherwise you'd have to quorum count every time you held a vote. And all those votes at various meetings where only a few bother vote either way would then be unconstitutional. Which would be a massive farce.

Mar 20 2008 14:35

i would think logically all voting members present should count towards quorum and all members who vote (non-abstainers) count towards the result of the vote.

23. cynic   
Mar 20 2008 14:49

It is a pretty sorry state if people who submitted the motion are trying to pick over the bones of the constitution to try and get an officer, out of office - post vote. I saw the paper on Live! and to be honest, it is outstanding how poorer case was made for some one who SHOULD be removed from his position. If people at that meeting only had the paper to go on, it is no surprise the result is as it was.

24. ...   
Mar 20 2008 15:05

I guess a lot of the issues with Tristan cannot be put down on paper - you cannot no confidence somebody on the basis of them being an a**ehole. People who were not working with him on a regular basis (for example dep reps) would only have the paper to go on. A lot of the issues run deeper than was in the paper. People were too afraid to upsetting the status quo whilst voting. Who on earth could abstain over an issue like that?!?!?!

Mar 20 2008 15:23

I'm not sure how many posters here are part of the guilds exec (I'm not). It's pretty irrelevent at this stage what was on the no confidence paper. It could have said "rhubarb rhubarb" for all it matters.

The point is - and no disrespect to Tristan: if he's been voted out, he's been voted out. At the moment it seems his staying in the post is flagrantly unconstitutional.

Mar 20 2008 16:11

The proposers have made their point - and it seems exec have as well. The chair made a ruling anyway - the only thing the proposers could do (if they still care) is contest the decision and demand exec revote on the matter.

Tristan Sherliker has no shame. He begged exec not to No Confidence him and promised (yet again) to be better than before. No one has any respect for him.

He even asked the everyone at the meeting to reduce the motion to a motion of censure - upon which a point of order was raised - telling him he can't be censured twice - clearly he hadn't read his email from the council chair which will have explained this.

The point is - he admitted to being s**t - and asked for himself to be censured.

What an idiot!

27. ..   
Mar 20 2008 16:17

Whats the next move?

28. well   
Mar 20 2008 16:20


29. ..   
Mar 20 2008 16:26

Bit much?

30. . well   
Mar 20 2008 16:30

I dunno Ashley - what do you think?

31. ..   
Mar 20 2008 16:34

Well could you try again?

Mar 20 2008 17:07

Based on the fact that it appears nobody in the CGCU exec is exactly clear on voting regulations, and the implications of abstentions as opposed to clear yes/no votes, is this not reason enough for their to be a re-vote, once the constitutional issues have been cleared up?

Mar 20 2008 17:22

cant the court clear up the constitutional issues and then rule accordingly on the whole matter??

Mar 20 2008 17:47

There must be some way of re-running it, due to voters not being aware of the regulations....

Mar 20 2008 17:55

I think this needs to go to the Court to be cleared up...

36. Exec   
Mar 20 2008 18:18

I agree with Ashley! Isn't that what its there for!

Mar 22 2008 09:57

To Tristan- LEAD US. Your are not here for us to ask you to do things, it's the other way around. Guilds needs a leader, which is not what Tristan is doing. No one seemed to realise this at Exec, he didn't promise to lead guilds next term, just do stuff when people asked him to. Plonker!!!

Mar 22 2008 11:42

Tristan has survived the no-confidence vote, get over it. To read and re-read the constitution looking for mistakes is vindictive and demonstrates that it is simply personal and not for the good of the union.

The real issue is that most of his exec are acting like a bunch of children. Instead of having a conversation and telling Tristan they think he could do better, they band together to write a spiteful paper. If they can't handle his personality then they shouldn't have positions in any exec.

If any of the proposers and seconders stand for any positions in the future, I would not vote for them.

Mar 22 2008 12:09

Apparently they have spoke to him about this before, yet he did nothing to improve. The no confidence motion was put forward before the Easter holiday so that some improvement could be made in the summer term, without his shadow hanging over them. CGCU is crippled for the rest of the year.

And yes it is personal. It was not put forward solely on the basis that Tristan was simply incompetent, and unfit for the role (although that was part of it). It was due to his attitude and personality issues, which he cannot improve by promising to work harder. Tristan is rude and arrogant, and should not be leading our union, and cannot effectively lead a team.

Mar 22 2008 17:26

Whoever posted post 38. is a plonker who simply doesn't understand what is going on within Guilds. The only person acting like a child is Tristan - (oh... and the poster of post 38. Which may be one and the same)

Grow up and let the people who know what is happening deal with the situation!

Mar 22 2008 18:19

"Tristan has survived the no-confidence vote, get over it. To read and re-read the constitution looking for mistakes is vindictive and demonstrates that it is simply personal and not for the good of the union."

5 people though he should go

2 people thought he should stay

3 people didn't care either way

And one of those voting against the proposal to sack Tristan was probably the BioEng dep rep, who hadn't been seen at exec for months.

Mar 22 2008 19:01

Poster 38 took the words from my mouth - you lot should all grow the hell up! If you hadn't made it so blooming obvious you hated him right from the start then he might have been more inclined to work with you - I'm sure he was hugely demoralised! And the fact that he's taking all this c**p and holding strong takes some courage.

Mar 23 2008 12:12

42... is full of s**t... Carter lived in Beit with Tristan and they used to be friends till he lost all respect for him.

44. rude   
Mar 23 2008 14:53

but carter is a right royal w*?$er - has anyone got any respect for him?

45. anon   
Mar 23 2008 17:16

They are both idiots. Nobody respects either of them. Case closed.

Mar 23 2008 18:20

with particular interest in the last line....

If you don't turn up to 2 execs in a row - you are no longer allowed to vote - surely that means the BioEng Dep rep couldn't have voted!

Mar 24 2008 01:19

I believe that if you miss 2 exec meetings in a row without appologies then the exec can choose to suspend voting rights or dismiss the individual with a vote, but this wasn't done in this case.

48. quippy   
Mar 24 2008 18:22

I know Tris has managed to come out of this clinging by his teeth - but what about the Chair, Jenn Roberts, who has failed to organise the number of required meetings. When is guilds going to have a proper AGM?

49. AGM   
Mar 24 2008 20:02

The AGM would have happened this term had the Central Union not made further c**k up to Tristan's election c**k up.

It will now be held next term after the elections (some 2 to 3 weeks in) Not ideal, but not our fault this time.

Jen will have been sent to Chair school by then and will come back all enlightened!

Mar 24 2008 22:18

So everyone is aware the election timetable we are currently working to is as follows:

Nominations Open ? 28th April 00.00

Nominations Close - 5th May 23.59

Hustings 9th May 12.00

Voting Opens 12th May 00.01

Voting Closes 14th May 23.59

AGM with results - 15th May 18.00

This is subject to the testing of the election system over easter and we will be letting everyone know as soon as we know more.

We will be advertising the nomination period extensively from and before the start of next term.

Mar 24 2008 22:53

Brilliant. A bit of certainty.

52. Well?   
Mar 27 2008 12:24

Any sign of the promised improvement for Tristan? He's had a week....

Mar 27 2008 13:17

I know that he has gone to a orchestral competition with ICSO.

54. Well?   
Mar 27 2008 13:36

If that is the case he told a blantant lie at the meeting.

He claimed he was spending the Easter weekend with his family, then heading straight back to college to work on his project which he is behind on. "I am not having an Easter holiday" were his words at the meeting..

Mar 27 2008 16:30

He hasn't replied to any of my repeated emails about important events next term.


56. what?   
Mar 28 2008 13:02

how is that unreasonable?

the orchestral competition was one day only and certainly didn't count as holidays

stop complaining

Mar 28 2008 13:21

Firstly - it is more than one day - because he must have been to the first trip where they qualified for this one.

Secondly - I think its the lying at his No Confidence hearing that is unreasonable. Still - some leopards never lose their spots - I can't believe I'm about to say this... but we should have listened to Milli, when she said she didn't believe him when he said he was going to be better in the future.

58. what?   
Mar 28 2008 15:07

Actually, to qualify they simply had to submit a recording - recorded at a concert last year.

My point is that participating in an orchestral competition has nothing to do with whether he makes a good president and I don't see why he should be required to list all of his activities. Nobody works 24/7 and nobody should.

My second point is that complaining on these boards doesn't help anybody and is quite frankly, immature - which in itself is as much a bad thing as anything Tristan has or hasn't done.

Mar 28 2008 15:36

Firstly, at the meeting he made out that he would be concentrating on his degree all throughout the holidays. People do not have a problem with him going to an orchestral competition. What they have a problem with is that he lied, and made himself out to be this martyr having to give up his easter holiday to work on his project. If he lied about this, how do we know he has not lied about other things?

Secondly, he is still finding time to do things with the orchestra, yet is still doing nothing for guilds. At the meeting he said that he was essentially finished with orchestra, and that guilds was all he had left. It is clear that he does not have the time (inclination?) to do both effectively.

Thirdly. it seems that complaining on Live! is the only way that things seem to get done! Somebody has mentioned that emails are still not being answered....

60. and...   
Mar 28 2008 18:51

I believe that although there is a lot of bitching on Live! there are things being done behind the scenes.. just without Tristan. I have heard plans for BBQ's, bar nights, study sessions, cinema nights... I probably know more then Tristan about whats happening!

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