Image may contain: Outdoors, Apparel, Clothing, Laughing, Photo, Portrait, Photography, Lip, Mouth, Teeth, Head, Person, Human, Smile, Face

Ben Evans taking temporary leave as VP Activities due to feeling ‘unsafe’

He announced it in a statement on Facebook

Following the petition calling for a vote of no confidence in LUSU's VP Activities Ben Evans, the Full Time Officer released a statement last night addressing the situation.

In the statement he covers issues around The Sugarhouse sale, his social media presence and the fact that his role is making him feel "fearful for [his] own safety and wellbeing."

Posted onto Facebook, the statement reads: "Due to a variety of different reasons, my relationship with the other Full Time Officers has deteriorated and has reached the point where we have sought out different work arrangements to ensure everyone is comfortable enough at work, and for our own welfare."

"In terms of my social media presence as an Officer, in Welcome Week I took over the Union’s channel for a day to ensure students knew about my portfolio and our amazing groups and activity at Freshers Fair."

Regarding how social media platforms are used, he said: "I am careful how and when I use social media – for me it is much more than profiling and isn’t just about saying I’m busy. I’d much rather be talking to students face to face and hearing about their needs and problems."

On the Sugar sale, he said: "I did not attend the Executive Committee due to being on the on annual leave. I did not have the chance to see the whole meeting and to fully understand the nuances of it: the subjects discussed and votes."

He also said he "would not have been able to vote with full confidence and integrity and I was not made aware of the possibility of voting by proxy anyway."

Evans went on to suggest he believes the Vote of No Confidence isn't about his role as an FTO, but to further the Sugarhouse campaign. He said: "It is my belief that this VNC is not really about my performance as an Officer but is really a misrepresentation of myself to serve the needs of the campaign around the Sugarhouse."

The FTOs have come under fire for announcing talks discussing the sale of the Sugarhouse

The statement continued: "I have gone from being in a role that I love and was so excited to do to finding myself being fearful for my own safety and well being. I have never felt so uncomfortable to just be myself as a person, in and outside of the office."

The statement concluded with the announcement that Evans will be taking temporary leave from his post. He said: "I will be taking temporary leave from my post as I cannot continue to do this without having serious personal and damaging implications."

Featured image credit: LUSU Twitter