Sugar Fiasco Latest: Double Resignation

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Two trustees resign before negotiations to sell The Sugarhouse can finish

Laura Davies – Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees – has resigned amidst student outcry over the Union’s recent decision to enter negotiations to sell its decades-old student nightclub, The Sugarhouse. Davies was shortly followed by Jane Riley, another external trustee.

The Board of Trustees is the Union’s governing body, whose responsibility it is to make decisions about the charity’s business. The Board is comprised of six officers: the president & vice-presidents of the Union, who are elected students. Also on the Board are up to five external trustees. These are Laura Davies; Graeme Osborn; Mark Alexander; and Jane Riley. External trustees are not elected. Laura Davies is the vice-chair of the Trustee Board, while President George Nuttall is the chair.

Laura Davies was previously the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for University of Cumbria Students’ Union (UCSU).

Jane Riley was previously the finance trustee of the Board of Trustees for University of Cumbria Students’ Union (UCSU).

Laura Davies’ LinkedIn account was changed on Thursday evening, displaying her as having been “Vice Chair Of The Board of Trustees Lancaster University Students’ Union Jun 2015 – Sep 2019”.

At around the same time, Davies posted a statement on LinkedIn outlining her resignation, “This evening, I’ve resigned from the position of vice chair of the Lancaster University SU Board with immediate effect. I will continue to support colleagues in the HE sector as well as my wider network.”

The following morning, the Lancaster University Students’ Union “Trustees” page was updated. Neither Laura Davies nor Jane Riley are present. Link to page: https://lancastersu.co.uk/trustees

Board of Trustee’s Page at 9am, 13th September 2019

Board of Trustee’s Page at 10am, 13th September 2019

This is ahead of the Executive Committee meeting on 17th September where the president & vice-presidents of the Union, as well as a range of elected officers and representatives from the student body will discuss the “Save Our Sugarhouse” petition (which has received over 1,000 signatures).

The Union have been asked for a statement but are yet to reply.

This is a developing story.

Update: SU release statement confirming the resignations (1:40pm)

A SU Spokesperson has said: “We can confirm that Laura Davies (Vice Chair) and Jane Riley (External Trustee) have resigned from the Trustee Board. Laura has stepped down to focus on other opportunities and Jane has stepped down for personal reasons. We would like to thank them for their invaluable contribution to the students’ union and we wish them well for the future.”

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