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13th November 2017

Misleading options in exec officer ‘preferendum’

People have hinted that the vote may also reopen, but a decision has not yet been made

The Mancunion has learned that the option for the exec officer roles to ‘stay the same’ would in fact include significant changes.

One of the officer roles would be renamed (Diversity to Liberation and Access) and the remits of both this role and the role of the Education officer would change.

There is also still no clarity as to what will happen with the result, as rumours have flown around the Union that the vote may reopen, although this hasn’t been confirmed.

The Mancunion previously reported that the ‘preferendum’ to reshape the roles of the executive officers had a turnout of only 1.5 per cent (under 500 people). This was attributed to many factors, one being that the vote was run at the same time as the part-time officer and NUS delegate elections.

The options in the vote were to keep the same positions, introduce a postgraduate officer, introduce an international officer, or introduce both.

Marketing materials were not explicit in the fact that some roles would be combined and some would be gotten rid of entirely although on the students’ union website, it gave more information when you clicked on each individual option.

However, the confusion continued as the option to ‘stay the same’ actually included a change in officer name and a slight restructure of their remit. The Diversity officer would become Liberation and Access and Postgraduate students would report to their Education officer rather than their Diversity officer. This is would change the interaction postgraduate students would have with the Union.

General Secretary Alex Tayler told The Mancunion that as far as he was aware, “the stay the same option was essentially to stay the same but with a name change.”

Education Officer Emma Atkins echoed this view, saying that the changes that would be made if that option were chosen were “very minimal.” She added that she does a lot of work with postgraduate students already, so this would just be “making it official.”

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