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Warwick SU’s Environment & Ethics Officer to resign over political clash

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Sam Carter, fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student, is set to resign from his part-time position as Environment & Ethics Officer for Warwick Students’ Union (SU), citing political differences as a major part of his decision.

Sam is currently Deputy Chairman Political for the Warwick Conservatives, something he says is at odds with the current direction of the SU.

In a statement released to the Boar he said: “I am resigning as Environment and Ethics officer after 3 months in the role for a number of reasons leading to my position becoming untenable. Firstly, as an Engineering Masters student I struggle to find the time to give to the role that it deserves.

Sam further explained: “Secondly, it is no secret I that ran in conjunction with a number of candidates in the February elections who were inarguably more moderate than the current cohort of Sabbatical Officers.

“This isn’t to say that the current Sabbatical Team have not achieved some great work, but nonetheless I strongly disagree with the general direction of SU policy.

The student movement should not be monopolised by the left, it should be open to those of all political persuasions, since the student body reflects the diversity of the wider community. This engagement is not something I see active in the Union and not something I can see materialising any time soon.

Sam Carter, former Environment & Ethics Officer

“I can only say that I strongly disagree with much of SU policy, and I believe that much of it does not represent the majority of the student body’s concerns. It panders to an extreme fringe that are currently dominating the narrative inside the SU.”

He continued: “It is also widely known that I have political affiliations which are viewed as at odds with the current student movement, by those involved in the movement.

“The student movement should not be monopolised by the left, it should be open to those of all political persuasions, since the student body reflects the diversity of the wider community. This engagement is not something I see active in the Union and not something I can see materialising any time soon.”

SU Response

In response, Luke Pilot, Warwick SU President, commented: “Though it is disappointing to see an elected officer make these sorts of comments we respect his decision and hope to see increased student engagement with the SU’s democratic processes in the future.

“However, we reject the suggestion that the SU should apologise for engaging with worsening conditions around fees, marketisation, the cost of living and student wellbeing, which are clearly in the student interest. Equally, we would suggest that the rhetoric surrounding ‘ordinary students’ is becoming an increasingly tired trope that is too often employed for partisan political ends.

“It is also worth reasserting that SU policy is directed by the student body via All Student Meetings and Referenda.”

Elected during the Spring Elections in March, Sam’s role entailed sitting in on various university committees including the Environment Committee, Recycling Working Group, Bicycle Users Working Group and the Landscape Working Group.

We reject the suggestion that the SU should apologise for engaging with worsening conditions around fees, marketisation, the cost of living and student wellbeing, which are clearly in the student interest. Equally, we would suggest that the rhetoric surrounding ‘ordinary students’ is becoming an increasingly tired trope that is too often employed for partisan political ends.

Luke Pilot, Warwick SU President

The Environment & Ethics Officer is also responsible for the co-ordination of ‘Go Green’ Week and advises the SU on environmental policy and sustainability issues.

This is not the first time a part-time SU Officer has stood down from the role. Last year, Josie Throup, Warwick SU’s Women’s Officer, resigned over the Christmas holidays.

She cited her degree as the main reason, commenting at the time: “I’ve come to realize that I took on too many things in my final year and I need to take a step back from SU politics and focus on my English and Creative Writing degree.”

If Sam’s resignation follows the process as Josie’s, there will be a by-election held where students can stand and vote for a new person to fill the role.

This article was updated at 14:25 with a response from the Sabbatical Team.

 

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Comments (5)

  • Isn’t SU policy decided by a vote? Maybe you should vote

  • “Secondly, it is no secret I that ran in conjunction with a number of candidates in the February elections who were inarguably more moderate than the current cohort of Sabbatical Officers.”

    Why did he then neglect to mention his political alignments (i.e. membership of Warwick Tories exec) in his manifesto? As a matter of fact why do so many tories do this, when most left-wing free ed candidates are happily quite open about their alignments. Smacks of hypocrisy tbh.

  • Not sure I’d mention it either – it isn’t exactly Warwick fashionable at the moment to be a Tory.

    The reasons to be a conservative, like stability and increased opportunity for those willing to work for it (even if at the cost of those who won’t or can’t) doesn’t resonate with the majority of the voting student population, so I can understand why he chose not to mention it.

    Transparency alone won’t win you the vote but it can definitely lose it.

  • It’s both hilarious and pathetic that Tom is trying to turn being the Conservatives unpopularity into a virtue. Firstly unpopularity doesn’t excuse being deceitful in a democratic election.

    Secondly its laughable to talk about “stability” being a conservative value, wages in the UK haven’t risen in a decade, workers from diverse sectors of the economy e.g. both factory workers and lecturers are facing increased levels of precarity due to 0-hours contracts and other contracts which attempt to bypass workers’ rights and stop them from unionising. People living in those conditions don’t feel stable and they sure as fuck aren’t being given “increased opportunity”. Sure more jobs are being created but these are often under-paid and precarious which is why we now have ridiculous amounts of impoverished workers.

    House prices and rents are unaffordable due to the Tories letting developers and speculators run rampant. Whilst teachers and NHS staff are leaving at unprecedented rates due to the shitty conditions the Tories are imposing on them. When the NHS and universities are fully privatised and look just like the US model, there will be less opportunity than ever.

    All this “the free market will save you if you just work hard enough” rhetoric is nonsense, the biggest factor in what job you end up with is the income of your parents. But of course conservatives try and forget that their parents’ money and connections were of prime and importance to their success and instead kid themselves that they are just unique snowflakes who are better than everyone else.

  • Just to raise a point – most of the left-wing candidates failed to mention their own alignments.

    The current DDO said only that she was chairperson of a ‘prominent campaigning society,’ not Warwick Labour. The Education Officer states merely that she has ‘campaigned relentlessly on educational issues at both local and national levels,’ a very general description of her heavy involvement with WFFE.

    Similarly, a look at all the other manifestos fails to turn up any mention of any political beliefs or involvement, something that is pretty much common knowledge on campus.

    Not really a problem, as what they intend to do in office is more important than what political party they support for me, but you can’t slate the right-wing candidate and call him deceitful for something all of the candidates do.

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