A leaked SUSU email says if Emily Dawes is not fired this week, an official petition will call for her removal

The Soton Tab was told this by an anonymous SUSU member this morning


A leaked email obtained by The Soton Tab reveals that if Emily Dawes is not fired from her role as Union President, an official petition will be launched on the Students' Union website next week.

The email, sent by the SUSU Democracy Team, says an investigation into Emily Dawes is currently underway, and they don't expect it to be "a long process and it is likely to be concluded by the end of this week".

Due to Emily Dawes being both a paid member of SU staff and an elected officer, the response to her tweet about the Rothenstein mural requires both HR and student democracy processes to be followed. This means that should Emily Dawes not be fired by SUSU then an official petition for her removal, launched by a group of students, will be hosted on the SUSU website.

Image may contain: Label, Letter, Page, Word, Document, Text

The petition was submitted by a group of students who believe Emily is no longer suitable in the role as Union President. The SUSU Democracy Team have told the group of students the petition will be going out early next week, should Dawes remain employed by SUSU.

Two unofficial petitions were made soon after Emily said she wanted to "paint over" the Rothenstein mural, calling for her resignation. Many more have been created since then, one of which has over 21,000 signatures. However, these petitions have little bearing on official SU policy and processes.

As a staff member, it is a legal requirement that the SU first carries out HR processes. If the outcome from HR is that she is not going to lose her job, a petition will be submitted through SUSU which all students will be able to sign.

Emily's tweets made national headlines, as the the Rothenstein mural serves as a memorial to British university students who died serving in World War One. It sparked online outrage with many demanding for her resignation. She issued an apology, although many have found this unsatisfactory.

Image may contain: Page, Document, Text

Emily has been on leave since the incident and yesterday we reported that she is due to return to work this coming Monday.

When The Soton Tab reached out to The University of Southampton for comment earlier this week, they said they would be "releasing a statement in due course" but couldn't give us a specific timeframe. They have yet to offer any further updates or information.

The Soton Tab will continue to update you with the story as it develops.