Leon Morris has announced his plans to step down from his position as YUSU LGBTQ Officer with immediate effect. Morris revealed his exit through a post on Facebook and announced that YUSU Welfare Officer, Bob Hughes, will be acting as chair until a new YUSU LGBTQ Officer is elected.
When asked about his reasons for stepping down from this position, Morris admitted that his main reason was due to degree commitments. “Whilst YUSU was enjoyable to work with, I felt the welfare provision for Part-Time Officers wasn’t sufficient for the amount of work and pressure that Officers put up with. I felt that I couldn’t live up to the Network’s expectations in increasing representation, despite my hard efforts, and others would be better at the job than I was.”
Leon Morris was elected into the position of LGBT Officer last year, with a total of 1,333 votes, and has since run for Vanburgh Chair, attended many university-related marches and protests, and had previously welcomed the role as an opportunity to improve the LGBTQ community here at York.
According to the open Facebook group on which Morris published his announcement, “YUSU LGBTQ exists to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer students at the university of York. We’re part of the students’ union, and represent LGBTQ students on the union’s committees”.
Morris’ main reason has been confirmed as a need to focus on his degree, and the heavy time commitments needed from a part-time officer. Unlike the sabbatical officers, the part-time officers usually work alongside their degree, and it has been noted that this is not always a feasible extra-curricular activity. The expectations of a part-time officer are usually just as high as those of a sabbatical offers, and the time commitments can often interfere with degree responsibilities.
Morris’ decision to step down as LGBTQ Officer comes weeks before the YUSU election campaigning season begins, but it is unknown whether a replacement will be elected before campaigning begins.