Roberto Weeden-Sanz, Oxford Union’s President-Elect for Trinity Term 2015, has automatically resigned his post after allegedly failing to attend three Union meetings this term. Weeden-Sanz, a member of St Benet’s Hall, was elected unopposed as Trinity’s President in Michaelmas 2014.
Under Union rule 23 (c)(ii)(2), “Any member of any Committee… having missed three ordinary meetings of that Committee without good reason in the same term, shall be deemed to have submitted his resignation from that Committee.”
As a result, if the allegations are correct, the rule requires Weeden-Sanz to automatically resign his position as President-Elect.
Under normal circumstances, Weeden-Sanz would be able to appeal the decision through a Special Adjournment Motion (SAM) to be debated at the next Public General Meeting. However, there are no further public general meetings scheduled for the remainder of Hilary term. Cherwell understands that the outgoing President, Lisa Wehden, is unlikely to call an emergency Public General Meeting before the end of term. It is therefore unlikely that a Public General Meeting could be held this term.
Weeden-Sanz would therefore have to wait until Trinity term to appeal. As a result he would not be President over the entirety of the vacation. An anonymous source explained that such a situation for an incoming President is “infeasible”.
Weeden-Sanz’s resignation would leave the Union without a President for Trinity term. It has been speculated, though not confirmed, that Librarian-Elect Stuart Webber from Somerville College could step in as President.
Rule 38(b)(vi) states, “The President-Elect shall be succeeded by the Librarian, the Librarian-Elect shall be succeeded by the Treasurer, and the Treasurer-elect shall be succeeded by the Secretary.”
In Trinity 2014, Mehrunissa Sajjad, the then Librarian-Elect, faced a similar procedure when she failed to attend three successive Library Committee meetings and had allegedly not given “good reason” for her absence formally. However the then President-Elect, Mayank Banerjee, proposed a SAM at a Public General Meeting to reverse the decision, a motion which subsequently passed after debate.
According to Union rules, “good reason” for absence includes attendance at Public Examinations, “disabling or infectious diseases”, as well as other engagements deemed to be pressing, unavoidable or important to the Society “by two-thirds of those present at the first meeting held at least 168 hours after the absence”. It has been claimed that Weeden-Sanz missed one of the meetings because he was at his grandmother’s funeral.
Roberto Weeden-Sanz was unavailable for comment.