Cayley has sacked its Hall Chair, Christian Burgess, after an Emergency General Meeting yesterday evening (Tuesday). He is the second such Chair to be ousted in less than a month, after AJ Young received a vote of no confidence from his Bill Mo committee on May 28.

A similar motion was passed by the Cayley committee on Monday, triggering an EGM for the entire hall to attend and cast their vote. With the proposition that Burgess be removed and Ben Samuels, Vice Hall Chair, temporarily step into the position, 50 voted in favour as opposed to 46 against, with 9 abstentions. Unprofessional conduct was cited as the core reason for his dismissal.

In an email to all members, HGM Chair, Tarek Mursal confirmed that as a result of the vote, Christian Burgess will step down with immediate effect. 

Mursal stated:

"It was not clear in the Cayley Hall constitution as to the percentage of votes required to carry the motion or otherwise when one member of the committee faces a vote of no confidence.

"As a result HSF was consulted and advised that a 50% vote is required but in the case where 50% is not achieved either for or against the motion, the abstained votes are therefore considered impartial and […] not included in the count. The final outcome therefore means the majority voted for the motion."

One Cayley resident, who preferred to remain anonymous said:

"The committee, in particular, felt that the general lack of respect shown by the Hall Chair towards committee members and well known affiliates showed a serious lack of professional conduct.

"Many members clearly thought Christian's public apology was not enough for him to continue to represent Cayley in the appropriate manner."

Burgess has expressed his disappointment at the outcome, but told Label:

"I've enjoyed my time on committee, and I think I just misread what was happening around me, and maybe wasn't the man that committee wanted at the helm. 

"I was given the option of signing a letter of resignation or taking it to the Hall, I'm glad I chose to take it to the Hall as it seems the right thing to do, and I'm glad I found out peoples honest opinions of me. 

"The margin of the vote was incredibly slim, but eventually a majority was arrived at. I fully accept what has happened, I'm pleased about the fact that I was able to say my piece to the hall and speak honestly about it, rather than them hear it through whispers and rumours as is normally the case surrounding committee activities. 

"I still think Cayley is an incredible place, and I still think of the vast majority of the committee as friends."

Hall Students' Federation President and former Cayley Hall Chair, Tom Allright, told us:

"From an HSF perspective it seems Hall Chairs are under increasing pressure from their committees and hall members. 

"Having worked closely with both AJ and Christian, it could be argued they exemplify a culture change in Loughborough. Although we are not concerned yet, we urge committees to seek advice from wardens and older members of the hall if they are considering something like this, as HSF only seeks to support not sway or impose itself on hall committees.

"We were pleased that the committee asked the hall as a whole and asked for them to vote. However, there are still lots of areas that need to be improved, especially regarding training and constitutions.

"HSF will take this forward and endeavour to be core to the continual improvement of hall life at Loughborough University."


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