Three SRC members removed from Council for failing to adhere to Constitution
Words by Ethan Penglase
Last night, SRC General Secretary Oscar Ong reported that Zi Han Leo, Ricker-Stocker Johns and Isabella Watts had ceased to be members of the SRC for breaching section 6(e) of the SRC Constitution.
The Constitution stipulates that a person will cease to be a member of the Council if they fail to attend three consecutive meetings without being granted a leave of absence, or if they fail to submit two reports consecutively or four reports for the duration of their term.
Leo, the former International Student Officer, and Stocker-Johns, the former Queer Officer, failed to submit three consecutive reports. Watts, a general councillor, failed to attend six meetings without being granted a leave of absence.
Stocker-Johns and Watts belong to the party Activate, while Leo was elected as a member of Ong’s party Progress.
None of the now vacant positions are paid positions.
Ong encouraged future SRC nominees to “take a second and think about students” before nominating if they don’t actually have time to carry out their duties.
“I would like to strongly urge you to put students’ interests first, not your political gain.”
AUU President Iacovos Digenis was less supportive of the removals and said the SRC President and General Secretary had applied the rule [section 6(e)] in a “black-and-white manner”.
Digenis suggested that the SRC was letting down Medical students by removing Stocker-Johns and Watts, who are both Medical students. He said that it was difficult for them to attend 6pm meetings while meeting the demands of their compulsory placements.
“It says a lot that the only two SRC members studying Medicine have been removed. You shouldn’t be kicked off the SRC for being a student.”
SRC President Matthew Boughey admitted that “the model of governance [the SRC] employ[s] at the moment is not sufficient” and stated that he is investigating the potential for a new model that can accommodate students of different backgrounds.
However, Boughey still held that the removals were fair as they were all made aware of their removals and had the right of reply.
The removal of the three members marks the seventh vacancy on the SRC for the year.