Union President, Flora Noble, looks set to face disciplinary after failing to attend last night’s Union Senate meeting.
Senate is a body of students responsible for holding sabbatical officers to account. There must be at least a total of three senate meetings per academic year, one in each semester. Sabbatical Officers’ attendance is expected and in the case of absence, apologises and explanations should be offered prior to the meeting, which Flora did not give.
Towards the end of the Senate meeting, Senator Giles Howard raised a last minute agenda item to address Flora Noble’s absence at today’s meeting:
Given that we received no report and we have non-attendance of a sabbatical officer for one of the ordinary senates that we are required to hold under the articles. What do we feel as senate is an appropriate way forward?
The decision was taken to a vote where only full voting members were allowed to participate. When asked if the senate wanted to bring Flora Noble, Union President, to disciplinary, the majority voted yes.
Chair of the Senate, Cecile Howard, spoke to Wessex Scene on the decision to vote for disciplinary action:
Senate is the student-led body which holds Sabbatical Officers to account. Flora Noble, Union President, did not produce any material for the meeting and did not attend. While I was told that she would not attend by a member of staff, I didn’t receive any form of apologies. It is unacceptable for a Sabbatical Officer to reject the student body which holds them to account.
It is for this reason, under Rule 10: 5.3, 5.4 and all of Rule 5, that Flora Noble has been taken to Disciplinary by Union Senate.
All sabbatical officers had received two weeks notice prior to the date of the meeting, although there was a slight rescheduling closer to the time. However, the majority of sabbatical officers were considered by the Senate Chair to be accommodating by submitting progress reports. The majority of attendees at the meeting agreed that the most appropriate action to be taken was a disciplinary due to the regulations and rules in place.
Vice-President Sports, Steve Gore, commented on the decision taken at the meeting:
I agree with that on principle and if there are any mitigating circumstances then that should be addressed in that and then potentially dismissed at the time there is a disciplinary.
Giles Howard, who holds the position of Disciplinary Chair and therefore cannot actively vote, responded to this concern stating:
Obviously the rules allow for both sides of a situation to be presented at any time we would consider taking a disciplinary. Plus there are many outcomes of a disciplinary, including no action at all.