A Q&A panel was coordinated by BEMA in association with the University of Birmingham AhlulBayt Society and Islamic Society, as part of Islamophobia Awareness Week from the 16th of November to the 20th.Written by Zahraa-Bibi Vindhani on 27th November 2015
VPE removed as a Guild Trustee [Updated]
The Vice President of Education, Edd Bauer, has been formally removed as a Guild Trustee following a ‘full and comprehensive investigation’
In a note on the Facebook 'Guild of Students "Better Guild Forum"', Mark Harrop, Guild President, announced the decision that had been made on April 23rd in a meeting of student and sabbatical trustees. The meeting had been called to 'discuss the behaviour of Edd Bauer, Vice President of Education, ask questions of him as a guild trustee and hold a vote of no confidence in accordance with article 22 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.'
Bauer did not attend the meeting and reportedly did not send apologies, despite being asked to by the chair in a letter dated April 5th and a subsequent two times. Although attempts were made to contact Bauer at the meeting on both his personal and work mobile phones, he did not respond.
Below are the allegations that led to the eventual removal of Bauer as a trustee.
The six group members of the investigation decided unanimously to uphold the vote of no confidence because of a combination of all the factors, not just one allegation on its own.
In a response on his blog to the statement put on the open forum by Mark Harrop, Bauer said:
To all the students arguing in support or against me, thanks or at least thanks for engaging with the debate rather than ignoring it. I think we all need to look at the bigger picture. At the end of the day, this is not just about me; I am at the end of my term with few trustee board meetings left. We should talk about the democratic precedent this sets in the Guild and of course the wider student movement. It is my belief that all these decisions should have been made by Guild Council. They are all judgement calls, some may back me, some may not, but the call should have been made on a balance of opinion, democratically by Guild Council.
He added, 'I may not be able to be voice on the board for fair pay but others like me will soon take my place.'
The investigation was carried out by an external trustee and was commissioned to 'establish the sequence of events following the meeting of student and sabbatical trustees; 26th March 2012 up to the VONC meeting of 23rd April, 2012; to provide a fair and balanced report of the incident and to assess where responsibility lies.'
Bauer will continue to remain as the Vice President of Education and the removal of him from the trustee board does not affect his role as an officer.