Troubled GUU elects new president

Published

Adam Campbell

Photo: Alexis Smith

After a controversial start to the academic year, the Glasgow University Union (GUU) has elected a new President, Dominic Boyle, after a by-election was held.
Over 600 students turned out on October 8 to vote for the new GUU President, a contest which saw Boyle  defeat his opponent, Jo Marr.

The position had been left vacant following the resignation of Chris Jubb, who had previously held the office for just five months before being forced to resign in July for academic reasons.

Since taking the position Boyle has been happy with the support shown by the Board.

He explained: “I have settled into the Board of Management well and have been made to feel very welcome by the existing Board.”

Boyle, who previously served on the Board of Management as a Present Student Member (PSM) in 2008, was asked by the Board to resign due to reckless behaviour during Freshers’ Week 2008. He was elected to this post after pulling out of the presidential race two years ago, due to family circumstances.
The issue of his resignation, and his suitability for the post of presdient, was raised at the pre-election heckling meeting, where all candidates faced questions from members.

During the meeting, Boyle was questioned repeatedly on his previous role on the board and how he intended to improve his professional relations with those who had worked alongside him during his tenure as PSM.

In spite of his previous acrimonious departure from the Board of Management, Boyle received 130 more votes from GUU members than his opponent.

The issue of finance also played an important part in the election campaign, dominating both candidates’ manifestos. Both Boyle and Marr were keen to continue the Board of Management’s success at turning the union’s financial situation around in recent years, which has allowed the GUU to begin building upon its economic security.

Laura Laws, President of Glasgow University’s Student Representative Council (SRC), expressed her support for the new president.

She said: “Dom’s manifesto proved that he has a vision for the future, which has now been endorsed by GUU members.
“He has our full support for his plans for the GUU over the coming months.”

Discipline also featured as an important issue in the wake of the vandalism and alleged assaults that occurred at the Freshers’ Helpers party at the Queen Margaret Union.

With promises made to reform the discipline system used by the Board of Management, the new GUU president will hope to clamp down on any future disregard for the rules.
The main responsibility for discipline will fall to the Assistant Honorary Secretary, a position held by Alistair Claxton until his recent resignation due to his part in the events that occurred at the QMU.

The role of Assistant Honorary Secretary was filled at another by-election held on October 15.
The position was won by Rebecca Matthews, who beat her closest competitor by 346 votes to 301.