Timothy Scriven has resigned their position as President of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA).
Scriven’s resignation came after the Council passed a motion calling for them to apologise for a “lack of attention to the adequate administration of SUPRA”.
The motion for apology, which was moved by councillor and SUPRA Executive member Guien Maio, passed 11 to 6, with one abstention.
In the four-hour marathon Council meeting, Councillors alleged that Scriven had failed to adequately communicate with other members of the SUPRA executive. When contacted for comment, Scriven acknowledged that they could have done a better job, but stressed that “I never raised my voice at another office bearer, I always listened to office bearers. Whenever an office bearer came into the office, I made time for them.”
It was also alleged that a notice of upcoming elections for the million-dollar organisation was not done correctly. While Scriven conceded this failure, they emphasised extenuating factors: a lack of support because of the recent resignation of the SUPRA Secretary, and the failure of a Returning Officer to pick up on the mistakes.
Ultimately, Scriven felt that the motion called them to apologise for a number of things that they “did not feel it would be appropriate to apologise for”. As Scriven did not wish to disobey the Council’s directive, “the only appropriate thing was to resign”.
Scriven’s resignation was a dramatic conclusion to a meeting at which Councillor Zac Thompson, a former University of Sydney Union board director, had already unsuccessfully moved a motion of no confidence against Scriven’s presidency. Thompson brought the motion as he felt that Scriven was “significantly lacking in standards of professionalism, lacking in competence, and had mismanaged SUPRA”.
The two have an acrimonious history; Scriven has previously called for Thompson’s resignation on the basis that he failed to attend multiple consecutive Council meetings without submitting apologies, and was therefore apparently constitutionally obligated to resign. But Thompson claims that allegations of a “vendetta” against Scriven are “baseless”.
Scriven’s resignation as President will become effective next Wednesday, the 22nd of April, and it is currently unclear which member of the Council will assume the Presidential role. Scriven is also yet to decide whether they will resign as a SUPRA Councillor, a position that they have held for four years.
Guien Maio was contacted by Honi, but declined to comment.