Thursday, 4 June 2009

GOWN EXCLUSIVE - Union in controversy after survey leads to job losses

The Gown has uncovered evidence of serious administrative dysfunction at the heart of the QUB student union, with a haphazard survey leading to the loss of full-time jobs in a recent restructuring effort.

A recent 'have your say' survey, conducted by the union, with the blessing of the university, (QUBSU is unique in the UK and Ireland in being subordinate to, not independent of, its university) was designed to overhaul the composition of the union, supposedly bringing it into line with the views of ordinary students. The Gown understands that a low uptake of the survey, and thus an unrepresentative survey to act on, prompted the subsequent actions of certain union sabbatical officers.

A number of sources have confirmed that drinks vouchers, worth £1.80, were exchanged for participation in the survey in and about the Union bars on a Thursday night. These vouchers were handed out by, amongst others, incoming union president Shane Brogan, currently VP for Equality & Diversity.

Sources have also confirmed that students present completed the questionnaire under the influence of alcohol, having consumed prior to going out. It is thus suggested that the findings of the survey are compromised through incapacitation or patent disinterest.

Student responses to the survey later precipitated a restructuring effort at the union, with five full-time members of staff losing their jobs, in the midst of torrid recession. Sources speaking to The Gown have questioned the validity of the findings of the survey, and in turn the fairness of the subsequent decision to make certain staff members redundant.

The Gown
team intend to fully investigate this story - more will follow in the coming days.