UEASU Postgraduate Education Officer Martin Marko has been censured following a motion passed in Union Council on 15 November 2018.
In Council, the mature students assembly representative Lewis Martin proposed a motion which alleged that Martin Marko intentionally failed SU procedures when he raised a vote of no confidence motion against the Postgraduate committee.
Lewis Martin suggested none of the procedures following Martin Marko’s vote of no confidence motion on October 16 were met. “Luckily, it didn’t pass,” Lewis said.
Council heard that Marko’s motion was not told by email to those attending the assembly prior to the event, which is not the Union’s practice.
“It wasn’t a lack of incidence, it was done intentionally,” he said.
Lewis Martin told Concrete: “It was necessary because the officer had tried and failed to no confidence their committee which holds them directly accountable. This isn’t cohesive so building a good relationship with their committee or with rebuilding a failing relationship with the PGR community that has not engaged in recent years with PGSU.”
He continued: “Our full time officers are also the custodians of the SU and our bye-laws and so if they break best practice by attempting to remove a committee that holds them accountable we should look to hold them accountable and uphold the democratic structures of the SU.”
This is the first time a full time officer for the SU has been censured since Jo Swo was censured in December 2016 for a range of alcohol related incidents including minor theft and minor assault.
Speaking in Council at the motion’s debate on behalf of Postgraduate Education Officer Martin Marko, Anush Rajagopal said: “The person who put the proposal today did not attend the postgraduate assembly, which he was not allowed to attend in the first place.
“[Martin Marko] did not get adequate training which meant I could not chair a meeting, which is the cause of the issue,” he added: “This is a ridiculous motion to agree to.”
A postgraduate who attended both the assembly and this Union Council, but wanted to remain anonymous told Concrete these claims must be put into context.
They said: “Lewis Martin, as Chair of the SU Democratic Procedures Committee (not a random councillor), was present at the following PG Committee and PG Assembly as a point of procedure, as agreed by the Chair of the PG Committee (that Anush sits on, but not as Chair)”
“It seems unreasonable that Anush’s remark, which distorts the situation, can be left to stand uncontested, where it does not represent the PG Committee he sits on, nor the correct invitation protocol that got Lewis Martin involved in his capacity as Chair of the DCP.”
After several round of debates and procedural motions, council ultimately approved the motion with 62 percent of councillors voting in favour of it. 22 percent of councillors rejected the vote, and a further 16 percent abstained from voting.
The Union has told Concrete “Once a policy is passed, this is the belief of uea(su) – the same applies for this motion, as it’s what students voted for it forms part of our official view. The decision to censure the Postgraduate Education Officer occurred as a result of actions within the Postgraduate Assembly and Committee.
“This vote of censure is essentially an expression of disapproval from Union Council and this has been noted by the officer in question and also brought to the attention of all student officers.”