UPDATE - Monday 29th April 2013

Arsalan Ghani called a meeting this evening at the Graduate Union. Following this, Ghani commented: "Today I had Graduate P&E meeting attended by several MCR presidents and externals. We had a good discussion and clarify several issues. It was suggested that I should properly respond to all allegations leveled against me and work toward rebuilding trust as with the media thing going on, MCRs representatives are very concerned."

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GU President Arsalan Ghani has responded to the vote of no confidence in him. In an e-mail to Varsity, he writes of his surprise in the motion, which has gathered more than 200 signatures. Furthermore, he expresses his anger at press reports which allege misconduct.

The views expressed by Arsalan Ghani do not represent those of VarsityThe text reads as follows:

I am surprised by the third round of smear campaign against me to totally make the union chaotic and dysfunctional. This has started at a time when everything in the Union was going fine and we were all proceeding towards the final resolution of the GU Constitution and to hold referendum in May/June so that we would have a working document and a functioning Executive-Committee before the new President joins his office on 1st July.

I totally cannot understand where people got impression that I am delaying constitutional matters. It is entirely the opposite; I am pushing solicitors, CCSSU and Charity Commission for fast track solution. I openly challenge people to prove that I am delaying matters. From last year November after the General Meeting resolves, I am totally cooperating with the troika and also keeping Executive Committee members in the loop.

Regarding news items, I don’t have any control of the contents of international newspapers. Editors ask me for my comments and I respond accordingly. The News International paper asked for my comments on two matters, one was on the fallacious TCS articles written about me and the other about racism generally in Cambridge which was reported in other UK media – to which I responded.  I don’t have control over the stories or the content which they publish neither I accuse any person of being a racist.

I was the one who was directly slandered and abused in TCS articles that published lies, out of context and unsubstantiated facts.

The allegation that I took 1000 pounds from GU is false and I have the full right to file a libel case against the TCS and its editors. I responded to this allegation previously in the Varsity.

That I am abusive to staff and members is false. I have established excellent working relations with all the board members from last year including the person whose emails TCS referred to. He was shocked when TCS published his emails, which were out of context, and he categorically assured me that it was not him who leaked the emails to TCS and that he wished our working relation would not be affected by the leak. Neither the staff nor any EC member complained that I’m abusive. I took all steps to make GU a safe environment for officers.

That I am not attending meetings as published in TCS and referred in the motion of no-confidence is false. I am attending all meetings of the University which are important to graduate students and I am vocal on all issues affecting graduate students including college fees, room rents and on academic/research matters. When taking annual leave, I make sure that GU is represented in those meetings by sending a representative from the GU. Furthermore, I am not absent from my work. I always ensure I fulfill my responsibilities. I have been working as a single GU sabbatical officer in the Union in a stressed environment especially when there is severe shortage of staff and officers.

I am working in the best interest of graduates under the given circumstances. These moves will not deter me and my struggle for the rights of graduates to which I am committed.

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