Lincoln Students’ Union have dismissed accusations that VP Academic Affairs election winner Joshua Leafe was ineligible to run for the position.Controversy arose after a number of students pointed out Bye-Law 3.4.2 in the SU Constitution. It reads:
“The Chair [of the Student Council] may not be a Sabbatical Officer in the next following Academic Year (or in that Academic Year in the event of a By-Election).”
Complainants to the SU, who have wished to remain anonymous, said as Joshua Leafe was Chair of the Student Council while running in the elections, he was ineligible to run for the position in the first place.
The SU however say that Bye-Law 3.4.2 when read alone, can be taken completely out of context and that Mr Leafe was eligible to run for the position.
They say that it is supposed to be interpreted as a Sabbatical Officer not being able to run for the position of Chair of the Student Council in the next academic year.
After taking legal advice, James Brooks, the Chief Executive of the Students’ Union, said:
“Under Bye-Law 3.4.1, the ‘Chair’ is defined as the chair of Student Council elected under Bye-Law 7, for the next following Academic Year.”
“Under 3.4.2, the Chair (as defined) is barred from being a Sabbatical Officer in the next following Academic Year (i.e. concurrently) or in the same Academic Year if there is a mid-term By-Election – as expanded upon in Bye-Law 3.4.4 (again, concurrently).
“This reflects the rationale and intention of preventing a person from holding the dual positions of Chair of Student Council and Sabbatical Officer, for the reasons already explained.”
When asked on Tuesday March 3rd which position Joshua Leafe wished to hold, he opted to keep the position of a Sabbatical Officer and resigned from his post as Chair of the Student Council.
“I was surprised to learn that people had been questioning my eligibility.”
“I can’t understand how anybody who knows of the hard work and hours of dedication required of the council chair, could believe that they shouldn’t be allowed to run for Sabbatical positions, so it is clear that some people have misinterpreted this bye-law.
“The specific bye-law in question does relate to the Chair position and when looking at the bye-laws covering elections, specifically those of eligibility, I was perfectly able to run.”
The Lincoln Students’ Union Bye-Laws can be read in full hereTweet