Anger over Fife College student president election result

Former Students Association members Ryan Smart, Michelle Christie and Wendy Smith at Fife Colleges Kirkcaldy campus (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Former Students Association members Ryan Smart, Michelle Christie and Wendy Smith at Fife Colleges Kirkcaldy campus (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

A “deeply unconstitutional” election result has been slammed by a group of former elected officials of Fife College’s Students’ Association.

In an election in May this year, Steven Blair was elected to the £18,000 per year role of student president but subsequently resigned, whereupon the position was awarded to Raymond McGinty, but existing rules in the association’s own constitution state that a by-election should have been held.

Now the group - which includes former student presidents - have delivered a letter to the college’s board of governors which states: “We are informed this decision was against both the expressed wished of the Executive Committee of the Association as well as the others in the newly elected student officer team.

“The manner in which this decision was taken is considered by us to be deeply undemocratic, the student president and any staff of the Association hold no power to make such decisions and have no authority to overrule the expressed wishes of the Executive Committee.”

But a spokesman for the college claims the decision was taken within the terms of its constitution.

He said “Elections for the post of student president were held in accordance with the constitution.

“After the votes were counted, the first placed candidate was no longer able to take up the post and advised the Students’ Association and College of this before the term of office began.

“Having sought advice from NUS Scotland and checking the Fife College Students’ Association Constitution, the returning officer established that in these circumstances the second placed candidate should be offered the post and Raymond McGinty was declared the successful candidate.

“This is common practice at students’ associations across the UK.

“Using the recently expressed preferences of the students was the most democratic option and was the best way to ensure that the students who are starting or returning in August were not adversely affected.”