Resignations Plague OUSU

Two Student Union (OUSU) executive officers have resigned and the position of at least a third is doubt this week as disagreements continue over how the organisation should be run. As the Student Union Council meets today it will be left with the task of electing replacements for Georgia Toynbee and Matthew Richardson. Georgia Toynbee left the post she was elected to in Michelmas on Tuesday morning citing irreconcilable differences with the “OUSU leadership” in an email of resignation. She singled out President Will Straw and Vice President (Finance) Sean Sullivan for “creating a negative atmosphere and failing to engage with students.” Toynbee, who has been heavily involved in the running of the Student Union’s Funding and Finance campaign, pointed to the failure to effectively mobilise students against the proposed introduction of top-up fees as a “huge disappointment” for her personally and felt that the campaign had lacked the full support of the full time members of the Student Union staff. Straw refused to respond to the comments, saying that the reasons for Toynbee’s resignation should have remained confidential and that he “will be talking to her about her concerns in private.” He did however add that “Both [resigning officers] have been hardworking and energetic. It is very sad that they have decided to leave.” Louise Radnofsky, an ex-colleague as a part-time Student Union executive officer, said, We’ve all felt sorry to see Georgia go. She was right to raise the issues she did. OUSU needs to be more pro-active. It does do many valuable things but more needs to be done.” Concerning rumours about her own future within OUSU she said, “I have no intention of resigning. I still feel there are good things that I can do within the Student Union.” However another of the ten executive officers, John Blake, was less sure about his future. Often touted as a presidential candidate for next year, Blake said he had had a detailed conversation with Will Straw about the possibility of resignation but had been persuaded to stay for the time being. He said, “I hope to see that the issues raised Georgia are dealt with and consider my position in that light and in the light of the President‘ reassurances.”Under less controversial circumstances Matthew Richardson also resigned as a member OUSU’s executive this week. Richardson is a finalist and also Librarian for the Oxford Union. Speaking to Cherwell he said was “disappointed to have resign but commitments to Union and my degree have to take priority.” He denied that his decision to go was in anyway linked.
ARCHIVE: 3rd Week TT 2003