Grace Fletcher-Hackwood will be forced to resign
YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Grace Fletcher-Hackwood will be forced to resign immediately after losing a vote of no-confidence by 8 votes.
In a press release YUSU President Anne-Marie Canning, said: “The students have spoken on this one, though the result was very, very close. The outcome does worry me, because we’re now without an Academic & Welfare Officer and aren’t likely to have the job covered until July. However, we’re confident that we can make sure that students don’t lose out – it’s just going to mean more pressure on Union Officers and staff”.
Dan Taylor, the student who proposed the motion, said: “I am delighted. Students have made the correct decision I thank Grace for the good work that she has done in the past, but clearly this event has shown that she is unable to carry on in the future. Students have spoken.” Taylor tabled the motion after he was physically assaulted by Fletcher-Hackwood during a campus event last month.
At the time of going to print, Fletcher-Hackwood was unable to comment.
The UGM saw an unprecedented turnout of 1440 votes, and the removal of Fletcher-Hackwood is the first ever succesful no-confidence vote against a Union officer, according to Union Manager Jolene Jesseman.
Taylor has been forceful in his condemnation of Fletcher-Hackwood, using Facebook discussions, text messages and vocal criticism to rally support for his motion. “Her entire reputation has been tarnished by this, it undeniabily affects her ability to carry out her mandate to the students of this institution in the future,” Taylor said in a speech at the UGM.
Flyers distributed on Thursday morning by Fletcher-Hackwood supporters, detailing quotes from Deputy Vice-Chancellor Trevor Sheldon, Taylor and Fletcher-Hackwood herself, called on students to ‘Not get caught up in a personal vendetta: Vote to give Grace another chance.’
Controversy surrounded the motion following a heated debate during last Thursday’s UGM. At the event, YUSU Student Development and Charities Officer Joey Ellis called for Hackwood’s dismissal, saying that she felt her colleague’s actions were “unacceptable” and “intolerable”.
YUSU Societies and Communications Officer Sam Bayley, however, stated that Fletcher-Hackwood’s removal could only be temporary, should a sabbatical officer call for an appeal. This would be voted on at an EGM, and would constitute a final say on the issue. It is presently unknown whether this action will be undertaken.
Following Fletcher-Hackwood’s dismissal, students requiring welfare support are advised to contact YUSU Academic and Welfare Co-ordinator Mel Nichol. She can be contacted on [email protected]