Kirk Sneade appealing UCLU ban after Union cock up

Kirk Sneade banned from all UCLU areas but has decided to appeal.


Kirk Sneade said he was “disappointed with the union” after being banned from all UCLU areas and restricted from joining a UCLU Sports Team until December 2013. As Kirk Sneade and his campaign manager Mark Stander awaited their fate, never have two boys looked more terrified. Kirk’s initial reaction following the hearing was that “half of the panel had made up their minds before he’d even gone in” and Mark Stander’s hearing has been postponed after the General Manager of the Union’s botch ‘copy and paste’ job resulted in a mix up with timings.

Following complaints made by Sam Gaus and Candice Ashmore-Harris (both Full-time sabbatical offiers) about his controversial campaign for Women’s Officer, Kirk faced a disciplinary hearing at 11.45am this morning. The panel consisted of Union Chair, Layth Hanbali, Education and Campaigns Officer, Edwin Clifford Coupe, the Union General Manager, Dave Squires and other Part-time representatives.

Kirk Sneade and Mark Stander both clarified to The Tab and the Union today the nature and time scale of their campaign. A Facebook Page, created by a number of Kirk’s friends, was created a few days before the election started, with the original offensive manifesto written by Mark Stander, posted onto it alongside material from various friends of Kirk’s including memes with slogans such as “Vote Kirk Sneade, because bitches deserve better”. Kirk Sneade stated today that he was completely unaware of the manifesto until it was published on the UCLU website, and claimed he was not involved in the offensive material that was present on the page, which he subsequently deleted within a few hours of viewing. When asked by the union today what he thought of the manifesto, Kirk told them he thought it was “disgusting”. Nevertheless, the union have placed strict measures against him, arguing that Kirk did not distance himself from the campaign enough to warrant no punishment.

Mark and Kirk argue that they have been treated extremely badly by the union, who are using the system of complaints against them. This transpired after a recent occurrence in the Union bar, where Mark Stander claimed to be surrounded by a group of union officers and their friends and received verbal abuse, being called a “cunt” and “misogynist”. He told The Tab that after calling one member a ‘freak’, this member retorted with “What, am I a freak because I’m gay?”. Following this, Mark received an email within a few hours from the Union with a complaint against ‘homophobic remarks’. Mark has also already been fined £100 for his involvement in the Kirk Sneade campaign.

Kirk has decided to appeal the decision, however, based on a mistake made by the General Manager of the Union, David Squires. Due to work load, Kirk requested that his hearing be postponed. However, he received an email from the General Manager stating that this was not possible and that he’d have to attend at 11.45am Monday 18th March. The General Manager apologised to Kirk today after stating that in fact he intended Kirk’s hearing to take place at 10.45am, followed by Mark’s hearing at 11.45am. However, by copying and pasting Mark’s email and sending this to Kirk, Kirk was misinformed that his meeting was at 11.45am whereas the panel had been present and discussing the case since 10.45am. The panel had also assumed Kirk would not be attending and therefore decided to hear his case without him being present. Kirk was joined by Phil Bell, who told The Tab that although he was not directly involved and did not know Kirk on a personal level until last week, that he decided to help his defense today as the Union have treated both Mark and Kirk unfairly, and accused them of “faux-liberalism”. He stated that the Union are conducting this as a “witch-hunt against Kirk” and was appalled with the behaviour of Edwin Clifford-Coupe, calling him “rude and abrasive”, as Edwin argued what he would have done in Kirk’s position rather than addressing the issues at hand.

Due to the General Manager’s email mix up regarding the timing of both meetings, Mark Stander’s hearing was postponed (the date is still unknown) leaving him unscathed for now. Kirk has 2 weeks from the date of a written decision to appeal, which he intends to do on the grounds of David Squire’s error. A decision was made before Kirk even entered the room, and he feels this is just adding to the Union’s bad conduct and attack on the two as individuals. Whether Mark and Kirk should be penalised for their actions therefore remains irrelevant if the Union are not dealing with the situation on fair terms.