May 04, 2005

Disciplinary Verdict

Well as had been decided some time ago the Union Disciplinary found John Cross guilty this afternoon at about 5.30 pm.

Most of the investigating Officer's report, such as the bits about annonymous questions, were disregarded as irrelevant, but the fact that the irrelevant evidence was ignored isn't a lot of consolation, if the panel then convicts on the basis of no evidence.

It turned out that the action was being brought under the 11th ground for disciplinary action:

Any behaviour which causes a student, guest or staff member to lodge a complaint.

Yes, that's right, if you take any action which causes someone to lodge a complaint, that in itself is a grounds for a disciplinary. It could be walking into Cholo, tying your shoelace, speaking on Union business, casting a vote… any action at all is grounds for a disciplinary.

It was accepted by the panel that John didn't break the constitution, its appendicies, regulations, the staff-student protocol or the law. And yet a disciplinary was proceeding because a member of staff had complained.

Union Council is going to consider whether we should have a new set of disciplinary regulations, which would stop this kind of nonsense happening. I hope they give the current regulations the vote of no confidence they deserve.

Incidently John was finally convicted of causing offence to a member of staff and of compounding this offence by not retracting his statement. He was never told that he was being tried for causing offence at any point during the proceedings.

Maybe Simon Lucas was right to tell John to stop wasting time by persistantly asking for a copy of the charges. After all, if the charges can change just before the verdict is announced, what would be the point of looking at them at all?

Now John's been ordered to apologise and clarify his remarks to Union Council. It's difficult to see why he would want to do either of those things, so it seems that the only thing the Union has acheived today is to waste everybody's time.


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I'm intrigued; what was it that he actually did?!

    05 May 2005, 00:11

  2. Eleanor: indeed. It's a question a lot of people have been asking for several weeks and, judging by the disciplinary process, one the Investigating Officer and disciplinary panel were unable to answer until the time came to find John guilty of something.

    For a brief rundown of events that led up to the hearing, read the third news article (dated 3/05) on Publishing more details of the reasons for the hearing would no doubt be deemed in breach of the Staff-Student Protocol.

    05 May 2005, 10:58

  3. Hamid Sirhan

    This is absolutely disgusting and I think John should continue his stand and refuse to apologise, indeed I think that the Union should not be allowed to get away with this because of its convenient timing (exams, exams, exams followed by exchange of the exec.).

    So I'm wondering two things:

    1) Can John make an appeal?
    2) Has this been reported to the Boar? I think the Boar's only running two issues this year and despite missing last week's issue, highlighting John's case for the wider student body can only help put pressure on the Union in this case.

    06 May 2005, 07:32

  4. John has appealed and I believe this issue appears in the current Boar - the article is a long, long way down this page.

    06 May 2005, 13:31

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