CUSU President Gerard Tully apologises for NUS mistake
A statement has been issued by CUSU President Gerard Tully apologising for failing to submit any of CUSU’s motions for discussion at the NUS conference in April.
The statement comes at the end of a week of discussion among the sabbatical team at CUSU as to how to handle the situation, with reports saying that relations deteriorated to the point where some members of the sabbatical team were refusing to talk to each other. Mid-week it was also rumoured that the situation became so bad that submitting a motion of no confidence in Gerard was considered by some members of CUSU Council, despite the late stage in the year. Such a drastic measure appears to have been avoided, however, by the releasing of a report on the NUS conference containing an apology from Gerard, as well as a record of how he voted as one of Cambridge’s six delegates whilst there.
The reason for the disagreement comes after none of the motions passed by CUSU Council for inclusion at the NUS Conference in April were submitted before the deadline. The administrative error meant that none of the motions were debated at the conference, despite the CUSU Council meeting where they were initially discussed lasting for several hours. This came directly after questions were asked at CUSU Council as to why a week of action, passed by them in response to the White Paper on higher education, wasn’t organised by Gerard, despite having been mandated to do so.
In the report Gerard says that: “Due to missing the deadline, I was unable to file any motions from CUSU for the National Conference. This was a serious error for which I was personally culpable, and I apologise to Council unreservedly. I will in due course reflect on how this can be ensured never to happen in the future”. Despite this apology the relative importance of the mistake is downplayed in the report as it is pointed out that the majority of the motions submitted by student unions for the conference were not discussed anyway due to time constraints.
The report will be formally given at Monday’s CUSU Council which is taking place at 7.15pm in Clare College. There the Council will have a chance to question Gerard as to why this mistake occurred in what is likely to be an uncomfortable occasion for the outgoing CUSU President. Perhaps unfortunately for the sabbatical team, motions praising various members, including Gerard, for their manifold contributions to CUSU over the past year and proposing honorary life membership are also included for discussion at Monday’s meeting.