The students are revolting and President Sean Kelly will face a vote of no confidence in his leadership.
By Alex Sunier
Students’ Union President Sean Kelly will face a vote of no confidence after being accused of poor leadership skills.
A petition was started by vice president for activities Lauren McCormack, who cited unfulfilled manifesto promises, absence at important meetings and neglecting his fellow executive officers as her reasons.
Miss McCormack, vice president for activities for the SU led the accusations: “I am putting in a motion of no confidence in Sean Kelly as I feel he has not done enough in his time as President of Kingston University Students’ Union.”
Over 200 signatures
The petition, which was available in paper form and online, quickly reached the 200 signatures required and will now trigger a vote.
The £19,500-a-year position requires Mr Kelly to act as the lead representative for all Kingston SU projects and campaigns as well as act as the voice of the students.
Miss McCormack said: “Having worked with Sean for six months, there have not been any demonstrable outcomes or results thus far, neither have there been any plans from Sean to show any input or focus on working on upcoming plans, campaigns or activities which would enable him to fulfil his role as KUSU President.”
President hits back
The President has responded to the claims, stating that a lot of his work goes on behind the scenes and that communication with his fellow officers had been poor. “The accusation that I have done no student-facing work is unfounded,” he said.
“I was the sole officer working very hard on Demo 2012, a national and hugely important piece of work feeding into the experience of students at KU but also across the country.
“I have also begun a very strong dialogue with the Vice Chancellor and meet with him monthly to make sure student views are being heard by the most influential person at the institution.”
The uprising has been brewing for some time, with some students unhappy with Mr Kelly’s premiership as early as November.
The petition consists of a point-by-point list of what Mr Kelly is supposed to do and promised to achieve compared to the alleged reality six months on from his election.
Mr Kelly said: “The petition has in some ways been an eye opener. I respect the fact that an officer has held me to account and am pleased that we are strong enough as a democracy to do so. I welcome constructive criticism and am more than happy to develop myself as a person and as your President to ensure I am doing the job you want me to be doing.”
Miss McCormack said: “The student officers which you elect every year should be held to account by you, the student body, on the manifesto they were elected on.”
Read the President’s full response here.