Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar, GU vice-president, took a planned leave of absence on FridayLouis Ashworth

An internal investigation into an event booking by the vice-president of the Graduate Union (GU) has concluded that he was in breach of three Union policies after a complaint was received about an external event that he had scheduled. 

The ruling, which was not made public, stated that Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar had “not acted with due care for the safety of student or Union property” and “had brought the Union into disrepute'' in scheduling the event on site without prior authorisation. 

Documents seen by Varsity reveal that those in attendance at the disciplinary review over the incident, including GU General Manager Ali Chahine, considered that while “a sufficient case has been proven” concerning Mr Majumdar’s breach of policy it would be “disproportionate to take any further disciplinary action, especially as we would may [sic] have to disclose this to future employers.”

The proposed event had been the focus of a written complaint sent to the Union from an unknown number of individuals of “mostly Asian or from Asian background”.

In an email seen by Varsity which details the nature of that complaint, the authors of the letter had objected to the invitation of Vivek Agnohitri, alleging that Mr Agnohitri was “associated with discriminatory statements outside of the values of the Graduate Union”. 

Mr Majumdar had been suspended from duties for two days following the complaint, which was later extended for a further seven days until 12th December, when a formal disciplinary meeting with Mr Majumdar met to determine whether he had breached the GU Code of Practice.

The review concluded that “due to procedures not being followed, the Union was not able to risk assess the event” and that Mr Majumdar “did not reasonably follow those guidelines in a way that should be expected”. As a result, the review concluded, “the Union’s reputation has been brought into disrepute”. 

Mr Majumdar told Varsity that he was “approached by certain individuals to interview Mr. Vivek Agnihotri” and that a “draft room booking” was made, however he “subsequently cancelled [the event] due to [the] lack of control I had over the projection, promotion and nature of, and standard risk assessment for, the event.” Mr Majumdar says that he took the decision to cancel the event  after “a poster that was put up, on my behalf, by the individuals who approached me” which he had “asked to be taken down”.

The written complaint had accused Mr Majumdar of a “political agenda which shows elements of discrimination” in organising the event, further accusing the vice-president of “misusing BME initiatives in the University to achieve personal political aims”. 

However the review concluded in relation to the controversy surrounding the event that Mr Majumdar had “obviously not done this with intent” and “seemed surprised” about its possible impact on the Union’s reputation.

Mr Majumdar stressed that he had “no personal or professional relation to Mr. Agnihotri” and that “the initial assent to this particular event was to organise an interview to critically assess Mr. Agnihotri’s views, particularly on Kashmir”. He added that the event was intended “neither to endorse nor to positively platform him.”

By mutual agreement of the GU governing body, Mr Majumdar had already been due to take a leave of absence on Friday, effectively ending his time in office early in anticipation of the formal termination of his contract at the end of the month.


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The disciplinary ruling upheld this decision, meaning that no formal disciplinary action has been taken against Mr Majumdar in relation to the event. 

In a statement to Varsity, GU President Alessandro Ceccarelli did not comment on the case but stated that “we take seriously any and all complaints, which are handled in line with our policy.”

Shortly after the incident, Mr Majumdar published a blog post on WordPress accusing other members of the GU of politically-motivated discriminatory behaviour against him throughout his term in office. 

[18/12/19, 11:50: This post was updated to reflect the recent re-publishing of Mr Majumdar's blog post, which had previously been taken down.]

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