Ben Leatham, YUSU President, has announced on the YUSU website on behalf of Callum Furness, Policy Coordinator, that the Motions of Censure against Katherine Mellor, Women’s Officer and Jack Chadwick, LGBTQ Officer have been rejected.
While the Policy Review Group (PRG) did find that the officers “did violate their duties as YUSU Officers”, they also decided that there were “insufficient grounds for Votes of No Confidence”. Instead the PRG recommended Motions of Censure for the individuals, which would be voted on by the YUSU officers and would require the specific reasons for the vote to be given.
Prompting the Motions of Censure against the two YUSU officers was a post-election event in May, when among others, Mellor and Chadwick helped organise a protest titled “Emergency Rally: Democracy Now”. The event aimed to “Fight the cuts, Fight FPTP, Fight the Tories”.
The political nature of the protest and the focus on the Conservatives caused many students on campus to voice their discontent on the event’s Facebook Page, which promptly saw a large scale removal of differing opinions. The resulting counter-event attracted several hundred students. Meanwhile, Motions of No Confidence were received by the PRG against Mellor and Chadwick.
Both motions were rejected, meaning that the officers remain in their positions. A large majority voted against the censure of Mellor, while the vote against Chadwick received a 6-6 tie with two abstentions. In accordance with the YUSU constitution a tie results in the motion failing. However even had the motion passed, it would not have necessarily meant the dismissal of an officer. Unlike a vote of no confidence which results in the immediate dismissal of an officer, a successful motion of censure merely ‘expresses dissatisfaction’ with no other implications on the status of the officer.