Goldsmiths students’ union will not replace resigned sabbatical officers

Goldsmiths students’ union has confirmed it will not be re-electing full-time officers for the rest of the year following the resignations of three sabbatical officers last month.

The union will instead shift its focus onto elections in early 2016 to elect a new full-time team to start from the next academic year.

The decision was announced at an open students’ meeting on Tuesday evening in which students met to discuss further steps of action the students’ union should take for the rest of the academic year.

President Adrihani Rashid, campaigns officer Alex Etches and welfare and diversity officer Bahar Mustafa all stepped down within the same week in November as the students’ union launched an independent inquiry into claims of workplace bullying.

The inquiry is expected to report to the board of trustees in January.

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Following the breakdown of the sabbatical officer team the students union has decided to share the responsibilities between the team of 15 part-time officers and the remaining full-time education officer Danny Nasr.

The union is also seeking to hire staff into new positions to assist with some of the tasks. But the main decision-making powers will be left to the part-time officer forum.

The new full-time roles are campaigns support coordinator, activities assistant, advisor, design and marketing coordinator, and web and digital coordinator.

A screenshot taken from the Goldsmiths students' union website in early December.

A screenshot taken from the Goldsmiths students’ union website in early December.

Nasr explained the decision against by-elections to elect new full-time officers was made by the board of trustees, the main governing body of the students’ union, in a unanimous vote.

They argue any newly elected officers would not have been given enough time to fulfill their campaigns and manifestos. Focus will instead be shifted onto the students’ union elections for sabbatical officers held in early 2016.

Meanwhile, the meeting began with the election of a new editor-in-chief for the university’s newspaper The Leopard, after its previous editor also stepped down as part of the exodus.

Lars Hamer, a third year media and communications student, was elected to continue leading the newspaper until the end of the academic year. having been the only candidate to put themselves forward.

During the meeting, the union announced the main campaigns it is going to focus on for the rest of the year, having looked at the manifestos of the resigned sabbatical officers. These include sexual harassment on campus, liberating Goldsmiths and a response to migration.

The students’ union says it will also ensure that there is better transparency and engagement between the organisation and students, with a plan to redesign the communications structure.

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