President Elect of Hertfordshire Students’ Union, Adil Ur Rehman, will not take up his post for the 2018-19 academic year and will be resigning his current post of Vice President Services effective immediately. His responsibilities will be shared amongst the Union’s other four sabbatical officers.
Representing students so they achieve the best degree whilst having an incredible student experience is always our first priority. The new officers will do a fantastic job representing and supporting students at the University of Hertfordshire.
According to the Union’s Articles of Association, the Union would typically run another election in order to fill a post vacated prior to the start of the academic year.
However, the academic term finishes for the majority of undergraduate students at the end of May, and an election would take a minimum of 14 days’ notice plus a week between close of nominations and the polls opening and then a week of voting – meaning that students would be asked to run and vote in elections whilst many are not at University. This actually disenfranchises much of the student body.
An alternative would be to hold an election in the autumn. Whilst this is possible, it is not pragmatic. Any person elected would not be able to participate in the Union’s full induction programme over the summer and it was felt this would not serve the students adequately.
Who made the decision?
The Union has a Board of Trustees (which is made up of elected student trustees, elected officer trustees and independent trustees appointed for their skills and experience) discussed the matter at length and then took a vote on the issue. The outcome of the vote was 8 in favour of leaving the post vacant and 1 against with 1 abstention.
Who are the new Officers taking post for the 2018-19 academic year?
Sanchit Agrawal, Services
Anis Aman, Community
Zaina Hakim, Education
Amal Jolly, Activities
Why not revert to the original election?
Adil’s resignation is not related to the Union’s recent elections and therefore it is not appropriate to use the results from this ballot. The National Union of Students (NUS) Chief Returning Officer has been consulted and agrees that this is the correct interpretation.
Is there a precedent for running the Union without a President?
Yes, the Union ran without a President for the 2009-10 academic year. In that instance, the work of the President was shared amongst the rest of the team. The Union’s Trustee Board took this precedent into account when making their decision regarding the current team.