The leader of City of Glasgow College Students' Association (CitySA) today resigned on health grounds amid ongoing difficulties at the college.
CitySA president Emma Iwanow had been expected to secure a second term in last month's student elections, but resigned after difficulties with college management.
Last week, The Journal revealed that the college were suppressing the results of May's student elections, citing 'ongoing circumstances outwith the control of the chief returning officer' with the results now expected to be announced in the second week of July.
Iwanow's resignation letter, seen by The Journal, claims the college have failed to address concerns raised by CitySA, are mistreating students, and their actions have negatively impacted on the association.
She said: "I have worked tirelessly this year to ensure the Students’ Association and the college have a fantastic reputation locally and nationally, and I am disappointed with the way I have been treated. Not only in the last few months, but this year.
"A number of times I have raised issues and concerns with my line manager and each time they have been ignored while I see similar issues from colleagues raised about me and they have been addressed instantly.
"There is clear inequality surrounding certain areas within the college and I am not willing to let my health deteriorate any longer.
"I am shocked at the treatment of the recent student elections towards candidates and students being kept in the dark surrounding their future, it is a democratic process that the students need to feel they have a part in shaping the future of their Association leaders, and I fear this has taken the association and the college even further behind where we started this time last year."
The Events Management graduate led the branding and development of an association in poor shape following the merger of the city centre's Central, Metropolitan, and Nautical colleges in 2010.
Under Iwanow's leadership, the association became widely known on campus, an integral part of students' lives, and was pivotal in National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland's succesful Our Future Our Fight campaign which put £39.4 million back into student support.
CitySA's numerous successes saw them land the college students' union of the year award at the 2012 NUS Scotland Awards, with Iwanow shortlisted for unionist of the year, elected as a priority campaign convener to NUS Scotland's Scottish Executive Council, and was an integral part of the Glasgow Student Forum.
Iwanow added: "I have received tremendous support from students at the City of Glasgow College but the actions that have been taken recently have unfortunately left me with no other choice than to resign."
John Gaughan, outgoing vice president education, paid tribute to Iwanow's leadership over the last 12 months and told The Journal that her departure could cause problems for the association.
He said: "Emma leaving CitySA deeply saddens me as she has been an inspirational leader this this year setting the bar for future presidents, while making a direct impact on the experience of students making CitySA relevant to them and getting results.
"Although I will offer the new president my advice, opinion and time over the next year to ensure CitySA does not let the students down, I do however have my concerns of how strong the president's leadership will be next year, who ever that may be."
Charandeep Singh, outgoing president of University of Strathclyde Students' Association (USSA) who worked closely with Iwanow throughout the last 12 months, paid tribute to her passion and determination to succeed.
He said: "Emma brought something new to CitySA - passion for students and the drive to deliver. Having created a brand identity for the association, Emma strived for increased student involvement by engaging students in relevant campaigns, from cuts to colleges to health and wellbeing.
"She ensured there was engagement with all nine campuses creating a real community throughout the student population.
"Emma's legacy is further enhanced by her tireless efforts in lobbying MSPs to secure better deals for students; this was no better demonstrated than CitySA collecting the highest number of student signatures against bursary cuts in the country and winning the [Our Future Our Fight] campaign!"
In a note on Facebook to friends and fellow student leaders, Iwanow confirmed that she would remain involved in the student movement on NUS Scotland's SEC, and hinted that City of Glasgow College wanted to further restrict the autonomy of the CitySA president.
She said: "I will still be doing what I love through my position as Priority Campaigns Convenor for the National Union of Students but I will not hold my position at the City of Glasgow College.
"After sending my resignation in I felt a great sense of relief and stress free and I haven’t felt that in a long time.
"I wish CitySA the best of luck, hopefully the next president can step up and continue all the work we started this year and won't succumb to the controlled puppet character that COG so dearly want."
CitySA's two part-time vice presidents, John Gaughan and Gulnasheen Shahid, will lead the association until the new president is announced.