A few hours ago, the LMSS (Liverpool Medical Student Society) published a damning letter accusing the Guild of foul play and intimidation.
The Sphinx obtained a copy of this email.
The letter was in response to an email sent to all medical students on Wednesday morning announcing that the university and guild will be cutting ties with the medic’s society, banning them from advertising to students, using university facilities and announcing the formation of a new society.
The damning letter explains how negotiations between the LMSS and the Guild turned sour.
The Guild and LMSS agreed on a set of recommendations on how to reform the Society following the SMOKER scandal last November, when a potential script for the annual comic show, containing rape jokes, was leaked.
The letter describes that “the LMSS were happy to comply with the vast, vast majority [of recommendations] immediately”
“The only two recommendations where difficulty was found concerned the annual November dinners (formerly colloquially known as “Men’s Dinner” and “Ladies’ Dinner”) and the LMSS’ financial autonomy”
“we re-branded the busy November schedule, having replaced the Ladies Dinner and re-branded the Annual Dinner with two new events and explicitly openly invited all our members, both male and female, in various forms of media including printed on the event tickets themselves and in active promotion of said events on social media.”
The LMSS received “harassing” emails throughout November claiming that the dinners were ‘unlawful’ despite the LMSS having previously contacted the Human Rights Comission and being assured that “these events did not contravene the guidance relating to gender equality and were in no way illegal.”
The letter goes onto say “The Guild refused to listen to us, and regrettably the Chair of the investigation panel threatened Sophie, James and me with Fitness to Practice procedures by letter dated the 5th November 2015”
A fitness to practice procedure is something medical students and doctors have to undergo if they act in an unprofessional manner, and can lead to the termination of their medical studies or the withdrawal of their licence to be a doctor in the UK.
Regarding the other point on which the LMSS did not comply with the Guild’s recomendations (financial autonomy) the letter states: “we have our legitimate concerns and reservations in handing over all our money (and therefore autonomy) from certain events in recent memory, the details of which cannot currently be shared… we gladly offered to regularly meet with the Liverpool Guild of Students to show them complete transparency of our finances and give them online access at any time they would like to view our monetary state; a system that is enjoyed in some other medical schools in the country.”
The LMSS and Guild were required to submit a progress report together to an investigation panel.
“The Guild of Students sent their draft response to us…the night before the submission deadline, when the LMSS Officers were known to be preoccupied with an LMSS event, giving us little time the following day to appraise, evaluate and give the LMSS addition to the progress report. We submitted an appendix representing our changes to the Guild at 14:00 that afternoon, but the progress report was submitted to the investigation panel at 17:15 that evening by the Guild without the LMSS’ input, with the Guild having stated that there wasn’t enough time to incorporate it into their email.”
“The reason why the LMSS felt compelled to make changes and amendments to the progress report was because the Guild had extrapolated and formulated multiple, new, action points which the LMSS had not agreed to nor were aware of, given the late nature of the Guild’s correspondence to us with regards the progress report.”
“The LMSS is accused of refusing to engage with the Chair of the investigation panel and we refute this claim”
“Accusations of non-cooperation are frankly untrue, as the LMSS Officers repeatedly attempted to arrange meetings with the Guild which appeared to be ignoted…In the past, the Guild have suggested dates for meeting which were clearly unsuitable, having suggested dates when 5 of the 6 Officers past and present were in the middle of academic exams, or else well in to their summer holidays when they weren’t even in the country. After the summer holidays on returning to University, a couple of meetings were held which appeared to have things moving in the right direction. When attempting to schedule a follow-up meeting in October, after three attempts the Guild responded, suggesting dates in the Reflection week when the full Officer representation was not available.”
“We were intimidated and incensed by [the] threats of Fitness to Practice…and felt that a society matter had been dragged down to a personal level”
The Guild have been reached out to for comment, but due to the immediate nature of this report, have not yet had a chance to respond. When they do, this article shall be amended to reflect that.