The President of the Mature Students Association (MSA) has resigned his post following major personal differences with YUSU President Anne-Marie Canning.
Ben Glover, who resigned last weeks as MSA President after only four months in the job, labelled Canning as “lazy” and “a waste of space” before leaving the MSA after only a brief spell as President.
In an email to Canning, Glover said: “You can’t be bothered. You are a lazy little madam who doesn’t care about anyone but yourself and wants to keep collecting your extremely high pay for doing as little as possible.”
Canning, hit back at Glover after she felt that his criticisms of her were undeserved. “Ben did nothing. He didn’t even try to either. And to insult me as being lazy is a fucking disgrace. It’s not really fair to call him President of the MSA because it didn’t really happen,” she said.
“The Mature Students Association didn’t exist. I tried to set it up, and he missed a meeting. I expected him to come and speak to me. It is not my job to chase people, they should come and talk to me,” continued Canning, who was integral in starting the process of forming a mature students’ representation group.
Since Glover’s resignation last Tuesday, the MSA has been re-branded as the 21 Plus Association, under the presidency of Emma Ronicle. One of the first tasks for Ronicle was the updating of webpages on the YUSU website, and the designing of a new logo.
“It just shows that once you get the right person, you start getting somewhere. We’ve created a logo, and updated the website, with lots of top tips for mature students. It was just a case of getting the right person,” said Canning.
The move to create a group for older students was partly driven by the NUS national Mature Students Campaign, which calls on affiliated unions to “defend and extend the right of mature students in both Further and Higher Education, and to tackle the barriers and stigmas that mature students face in education.”
York’s 21 Plus Association is also linked to the national Mature Student’s Union, which describes itself as an “apolitical, self-funding campaign and support organisation dedicated to the equal inclusion of all students classified as ‘mature’.”
Previous incarnations of the MSA have been largely unsuccessful at the University. One student, commenting on the previous failure of the association, said that the lack of progression was due to a noticeable “lack of interest” by members and that a number of constitutional disagreements eventually resulted in its abandonment.
One area of contention was regarding whether or not graduate students should be considered mature students and be allowed to vote in committees.