If you read the interview with Arif in Felix you will get an understanding of his psyche. He's 'burnt out'. He apparently likes being 'burnt out', since he *never* takes holiday. That may explain some of the more bizarre behaviour in the last 23 months. He also claims to work 80 hour weeks. At one of the Council meetings this year that figure was inflated to 120 hours, leaving only 48 hours a week to sleep, wash, shop, launder, relax, etc etc. I have my doubts! The weekend I organised the pugwash conference in Beit, I didn't see a single Sabb in the offices the whole time, even though we were based in the UDH from 0900 to 1800 every day. Time's running out!!
He was also on a holiday for almost two weeks I believe, in the last few months!!
But really what made me laugh was the clarification I should have sought instead of my 'silliness'. I sought and sought clarification but never got any reply to my emails. I asked questions in Exec and was fobbed off. I was lied to. (Honestly, the Sabbs thought of the Strategic review all by themselves, and the building masterplan was entirely the work of Sabbs and students, no, really).
I've been threatened all year for being on Council and not necessarily agreeing with 'them'. Sadly many other Councillors just thought that agreeing with every pronouncement was their job. It isn't. The fact that I raised certain issues didn't 'keep the Union going round in circles'. It was the problem that inspite of the issues raised, Arif continued to blithely push his own agenda, helped by his right hand* and others. I hate long meetings as much as anyone, but inspite of my efforts, the Union has continued to make serious mistakes this year, errors that could have been avoided with more transparency, trust in student officers, planning and less bravado. I trust with the new president, that that attitude had better change!
The Union is going forward now, entirely thanks to Arif the article would have you believe. That's complete twaddle as well. There are hundreds of dedicated students who run clubs and committees, represent students, organise and get on with it. Yet Arif only recognised last year's Colours recipients at the end of May this year! He was too busy, I presume, to bother keeping the really Union workforce on side!
Today i recycled my copy of teh Union strategy, the legacy that Arif will leave. money well spent, stating the obvious, such as 'the student body has multiple stakeholder groups - with differing needs and expectations of the Union'. Blow me down if that bit of analysis didn't cost 20k. Meanwhile 'budgets will not be cut' (said minutes of a meeting at the beginning of the year). Hmm. I recently heard that there's a 67k hole in ACC budgets. I might be wrong, but then again, I might be right. If the strategic review, management restructuring, and architects had been foregone, in favour of serving the students who use teh Union (and College) facilities, then we might have had a better chance of funding these gaps. But then maybe not, as I've never been given a clear, broken down, analysis of the Union's income and expenditure inspite of my role as an Executive member.
Finally I'd like to say that it was certainly not my opinion that the Union would go backwards if Council were not steamrollered to accepting half baked constitutional changes. By doing it properly, according to the rules, the Union could make the right decision in a sensible timeframe. When my two term Sabb motion fell because of inquoracy, I knew not to bring it back. A member of staff now departed grinned broadly when he told me that an inquorate meeting was deemed to have occurred and all motions voted against, when I tried to argue that a second reading hadn't actually occurred. Whether or not that was a breach of Arif's beloved Staff Student Protocol I dont' know, but it irks me no end to see the arguments used against me forgotten and indeed ignored when it suits them.
WHen I joined the Union in 1997, it was indeed going forwards. By the time I'd been drawn into the hack domain in 2001, it was beginning to come off the rails. The last year, in particular, has seen a major rail crash as the unstoppable has hit the buffers. New people, new faces, new ideas, (but the same old gym!) is what the Union needs. The King is dead. Long live the Queen!
This is facinating. I remember that Sen Ganesh put forward a similar proposal - in fact the second reading of council was inquorate but Sen wanted to push ahead with changes anyway - and Taffa (who new he had been elected) fort very very strongly against dissobeying the constitution in such a way, claiming that it was the very bed rock of the institution and to defy it called the whole integrity of the union into question. If I remember correctly STOIC filmed that meeting, so they probably have it on tape - all the minutes from before last year appear to have vanished.