President and Education Officer asked to resign following Union elections

Aberystwyth University Students' UnionUNION President Ben Meakin and Education Officer Jess Leigh have been asked to resign by the Union’s Board of Trustees.

In letters sent to Meakin and Leigh, the Board requests each to “consider [their] suitability to continue in their current role” by Friday 19th April.

The request comes after an incident in which Meakin ran a count for the recent Presidential election using the online voting system, whilst the count was suspended owing to a complaint.

The Board of Trustees met on Friday 22nd March to discuss a confidential document written by the Returning Officer in which she reported on Meakin’s actions.

The Board, which consisted of the five full-time officers along with Josh James (undergraduate trustee), Christopher Lloyd-Jones (postgraduate student trustee) and Rhys Dart (external trustee) originally decided to remove Meakin and Leigh as Trustees.

However, it was subsequently discovered that the Board does not have the power to remove full-time officers, so a letter sent today asks the pair to “consider their suitabilit[ies] to continue in their current role[s]”.

If they do not resign, the Board have threatened to involve the University under the Education Act 1994, or invoke the Union’s “disciplinary procedure” which applies to staff members.

However, the University cannot take any action in regard to the Union, which is a separate body, and the current full-time officers have never signed any contracts of employment with the Union.

Meakin and Leigh are both “currently considering [their] response[s]”.

Undergraduate trustee Josh James told Aber Student Media: “The letter should have been consulted on during the Board meeting but wasn’t. I raised my concerns, but I do not feel they were given valid hearing. I also have considerable reservations about the way this entire matter has been handled.”

  • The statement in full from the Students’ Union can be read here.