UEA union council has voted to censure Jo Swo. The proposal for a censure, titled 2027 Motion of Censure in Jo Swo, Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer, was heard at the final union council of the semester, on Thursday 8th December.
Council passed the motion by 66 votes to four to censure the officer for a number of alcohol related incidents. These included minor theft and minor assault, and took place at the A-List LCR night on Saturday 26th November, as reported by this newspaper. There were four votes of abstention.
The motion was proposed by Nicholl Hardwick, Equalities Champion of UEA Migrant Solidarity Campaign (MSC), and seconded by Madeleine Colledge, UEA SU Postgraduate Education Officer and chair of UEA SU Management Committee. Miss Swo is also Secretary of UEA MSC. The motion states that: “Jo Swo has performed highly effectively this year.”
Miss Colledge delivered the speech in favour of the motion at council, and argued that Miss Swo’s actions, including what she described as “a non-invasive bite to the arm,” had crossed a line. Miss Colledge was present on the night when the incidents in question occurred.
No councillors spoke against the motion.
The motion also called for a review of how full-time officers are dealt with under UEA SU’s Code of Conduct. At present, a censure is the only disciplinary action that can be taken against an officer, aside from a motion of no confidence as stated in union bylaws. However, Concrete is yet to receive an explanation from the SU as to exactly what a censure entails.
Motion 2027 also states that: “where SU officers commit offences in the future, more consideration should be given to whether more stringent (and granular) sanctions should apply.” The motion also resolves to: “consider amendments to the Code of Conduct that properly reflect concerns around what should happen when Full Time Officers breach the code.”
A motion of no confidence in Miss Swo was initially on the council’s agenda for this meeting, which, if passed, would have seen her removed from her position. This was proposed by Samuel Cross and David Cutting, from the Postgraduate Assembly. However, due to the conflict with Miss Hardwick’s censure motion, this was dropped on 7th December ahead of the meeting. Mr Cross and Mr Cutting have yet to respond to Concrete’s requests for comment on why they dropped the motion from the agenda.
The next union council meeting will take place on Thursday 27th January, at 7pm.
A previous version of this article stated: “the motion states that: “the incident does not warrant losing Jo and her work from the SU.” This line was removed from the motion before it was brought to council.