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Union hacks going Potty over budgets

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
May 13 2001 22:54

ICU to stop paying for tankard engravings, in budget-cutting drive.

May 14 2001 11:09

Just like a London Bus, no articles on this site for ages and then 3 come along at once. The resemblance really is uncanny.

May 14 2001 12:30

Busses don't go on exams.

May 14 2001 13:05

Apparently sabbs will still get their names engraved... its just all the volunteer students who will have to pay.

4. jon   
May 14 2001 15:20

I think the whole budgetting thing is a complete farce. I run a dep soc and we dont' have to go through all this hassle. We just go and see our undergraduate studies director's secretary. There is never any problem with money. No stupid ICU forms to fill out in triplicate.

No wonder Union hacks never understand why their structures and rules alienate ordinary students. The problem is that they are good at talking in pointless committees and writing reports that no-one is ever going to read. But none of them can actually DO anything.

May 14 2001 19:48

well said Jon

May 14 2001 19:50

About my earlier comment, I wasn't complaining, I was just pointing out the resemblance that occurred to me. And, actually Mustafa, Bus Drivers do go on exams.

7. Sam   
May 15 2001 13:09


1) there are no forms you have to fill in triplicate for money. You simply need to submit a budget request in due time.

2) How do you think that secretary gets money? S/he fills in all the necessary paperwork for you. S/he has only one club to deal with. ICU has over 250. It is not practicable for us to fill it in for them, and frankly to nursemaid our clubs like that is demeaning to them.

3) none of our forms are stupid. They all have some reason behind them, whether it is legal, health and safety, or tax driven - they all have a point.

I'm sorry you think it is all beaurocracy, welcome to the real world...this is how real people do it.

"But none of them can actually DO anything."

hmm i'm a bit annoyed at this one...Now let me see, in my current list of accomplishments i'd have to list a Freshers' Fair which raised ?4000 to go back into Student Clubs. The ICU website, which is both useful and informative. To be honest, i probably "do more stuff" than a lot of Students do when it comes to enhancing your lives. When people slag me off on websites like this i get just a little bit p*ssed off.

May 15 2001 13:29

Calm down Sam. You'll lose more hair.

May 15 2001 13:31

The 'farce' is financial controls to

a) efficiently spend the money

b) stop people defrauding the students of the money - ok it is very easy for anyone involved in clubs and socs with half a brain to defraud, but this is imperial and the amount of common sense per person is very low. It is though extremely hard to defraud it for large amounts so problems as seen in the 80s when 10 of 1000s went missing via the snack bar and the shady dealings of the previous Charing Cross Bar will not occur again

c) prevent the Union getting in shed loads of trouble (everyone from the sabbs, officer and club and socs chairs and treasurers)

If not for the systems alot of students would be suffering quite extremely from certain mistakes over the years

If the UG studies in your dept use their resources with no financial checks what so ever, its not surpring so many depts are in a bad way.

10. stef   
May 15 2001 13:46

But we are not going to stop paying for pots. The money has been moved from the CSC and CCU budgets to a central one. Even though there were members of Finance committee who want to stop engraving pots, including me until last week when I realised what they actually mean to people, it hopefull won't occur.

And to Jon - you are a hack. you run a dept soc, you are involved. Just because at one moment you may think an officer is not doing something for you it isn't the case. You have reps speaking for your case in dept educational committees and officer and sabbs in College ones. Welfare Officers who spend a great deal of time one on one with students with problems, concerns and distresses. Officers running and planning activities, maintaining the minibus fleet so clubs and socs can use them. Students making decisions on how to run the trading, retail and services of the Union.

Just because we are not an ego lead institution where everything small thing is trumpted as a victory when it is just five minutes work on the phone, people don't think anyone does anything

Perhaps we should make up more about what we do, but I don't really want ten pages of news in each weeks Felix saying what everyone has done that week. You do alot of people a disjustice

11. jon   
May 15 2001 14:54

Sam, of course you "do more than most students". You are f'ng paid to do it!

I still don't see why shite like submitting club constitutions every year is needed.

And Stef: Most ICU committees are pointless. They do nothing for students. You've got to go grassroots man. Its not about talking in committees its about actually doing things and geting students invovled. Let's face it. Dep Reps can never really do very much. Look at the situation with ISE... staff student committees are there to coax the student reps until they handover, with the same problems being repeated year over year.

And why the hell don't ICU outsource catering, mini-busses etc. You're meant to be a student union not a business. Focus on the priorities.

12. jon   
May 15 2001 15:29

and your food tastes shit too!

May 15 2001 16:33

why are you arguing over pointless issues? If you think you could do any better Jon why don't you be a sab next year?

14. jon   
May 15 2001 18:44

pointless. exactly. That's why I wouldn't want to be a sabb.

15. stef   
May 15 2001 19:45

outsourcing minibuses would

a) increase costs in transport - causing us to shut down clubs or increase the costs to the students


b) result in a more limited number of students being able to drive thus stop activties occurring thus ineffective resulting in clubs shutting down - most outside minibus firms would require specialist tests or driver being about 25 plus (I maybe wrong here but we allow people to drive from 21 onwards, outside firms we have approached would require older drivers)

Money from minibuses are used to fix them and buy replacement vehicles when needed

All activities such as bars and catering are used to generate a surplus which allows the creations of such things as

a) dBs

b) media centre

c) clubs and socs centre

d) future renervations to club and socs meeting rooms on the top floor and other areas

(And there are other projects funded by non-trading generated sources - Charing Cross DEvelopment, Wye College Union Society's Building development - they are expanding the top level space to create meeting rooms for student activites and an additional bar/lounge area)

The idea of submitting club constitutions is so the Exec members , and other members, can think about what they club does - why it exists. what it does, where can it go. It s kind of management spin to enforce to members they are the club.

Grassroots - dealing with students problems, talking one on one with students, negotiating with staff for students, defending students in cases of discipline, accompanying students to court, speaking to outside agencies for students, finding outside funds for students, promoting activties which students will benefit from,; few examples of some grassroots activity recently

Committees- to a degree I hate them. But they are neccessary as they allow everyone to bring ideas forward and shape things. Plus its demoracy. Committees take up a very small part of anything, most of the rest is planning, talking to people and implementing

Academic Affairs- sharing of ideas between reps thus allowing best practise to shared and development of ideas

Welfare - ditto to a degree plus flagging up of problems/worries which could effect a large number of students and discuss them adequately

Student Development - planning of training for students including officer, sessions for clubs and socs who want to know more abot areas such as finance and running event (Sam's area), outside company skill training e.g McKinsey, Capital One, Anderson/Accenture and in the future Mars and Ford hopefully etc

If you are unhappy there are posts. If you are willing to complain, you have to be willing to bring change. If you think its pointless to work at something...

May 15 2001 19:55


I find your comments remarkably strange. If you are unhappy with the system why don't you make some effort to change it? You say the Union needs to go to grassroots, how? The Union needs and has always welcomed input, yet you, as someone clearly unhappy about the Union, choose to post to the Guilds website instead of having constructive conversations with Union staff, sabbaticals or officers. As someone who hates paperwork, I have never been a fan of the Union's paperwork mountain, but I haven't found a bit of it yet that is unnecessary.

To take your example of why submitting constitutions is required:

a) It ensures the club actually knows what their constitution is and has it to hand, so that they can follow it or change it if necessary,

b) It allows the Union to see if the constitution is "legal" and isn't for example discriminatory.

Bearing in mind that every piece of paperwork that club submits means 250 pieces of paperwork that ICU has to receice, read, check and file, I find it highly unlikely ICU would introduce pointless pieces of paperwork!

17. jon   
May 15 2001 21:11

Look, for us constiutions are a nonsense. We don't care about it - we just get on with what we have to do.

This year we were forced to submit one because ICU wouldn't let us book a room. Eventually someone found the old one and it was emailed off. We never actually looked at in any detail though.

18. Sam   
May 16 2001 11:10

Jon seems to have raised an interesting point, and while we have been debating why all this beaurocracy is important i think we have missed it.

The point is that if Jon doesn't know why he has to do all these things, how many other people out there think we are huge self serving windbags who actually like paperwork?

Maybe we should explain more....

what about a short explanation of why we ask for these things, when we ask for them? - the one in the C&S handbook is a bit wordy, it only says what something is, it doesn't say why we need it.

19. jon   
May 16 2001 13:09

Sounds good Sam.

20. Idris   
May 20 2001 22:03

2 points:

1. "Going grassroots" is bloody difficult - it meanxs getting people to commit time. Staying grassroots is impossible: as soon as people get involved with ICU, or indeed any organisation, their perspective changes and they lose that outsider's point of view. the trick is, I think, to make being a union hack less time consuming, that way at least one stands a chance of getting "normal students'" input.

2. Not all union posts have pots: summer ball chair, for one, doesn't have one. And frankly, given the absurdity of this debate, I wouldn't want it any other way.

May 29 2001 02:03

right then, first thing, could someone move the "reply" button to the bottom of the last message? Cheers

Ok, this should be my last post for tonight (check out my trail from the DocSoc thing to thru the summer ball one round to here he he)

Still high by the way, so obviously I am not accountable. This reminds me of one of my favourite sayings: "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" he he

Ok, sooooooo many muppets at this college. Apart from the Idris person, and obviously Jon. The rest of u are muppets to varying degrees (Ok maybe not Stef, and Sam is cool too, damn, letting people off the hook.. Ok Mustafa is def a muppet he he)

Yeah then, this debate is pointless. Forget about the pots. They're ugly anyway and only get brought out once a year to be engraved, then they're put back wherever they came from. Why don't u just paint people's names on some wall somewhere? At least then someone would see it

But back to what Jon said. Don't tell me there are no pointless ICU pieces of paper! That's must be the joke of the century! NO ONE GIVES A SHIT about constitutions, because they have no meaning. U guys need to snap out of ur delusion. Most people don't give a shit, u think they'll ever read a constitution? So let me tell u now the constitution is POINTLESS!! Scrap it! (I know its painful guys, but this is reality, but wait, there's more) U sabbs don't have much power or influence (ok, just calm down, none of this is meant to offend)

Actually just realised that I have broken my own cardinal rule. Have slagged u off without saying the positive things. This makes me a muppet too! he he!


President guy, Hamish isn't it? Hamish is a muppet. I'm sorry. he really thinks he's got respect but really hamish most people think u're amuppet.The funny part is that u did actually have to tackle the constitution, f*cking good job. But u didn't relate to the students man, as far as they know u worked on ur constitution, walked around looking arrogant, then pulled some stunt with the whole poster incident. Muppet

Shit, have to hurry up, my bird is going to kick my ass he he. Must pass her the "elevating mechanism" he he

Still getting high he he

Sam is cool. Nuff said.

Stef is also cool, but the welfare stuff gets a bit much. On the premise that even if only one person reads it (which is prob what is happening) and it helps them then u can't really call Stef a muppet cos he's prob saving lives.

Who else is there? Who is Amdy Heeps? Never seen u man, why do u hate John Clifford so much? Whatever, u're probably amuppet too he he (Just joking! Have a sense of humour man! I don't know u so obviously I'm messing about)

Who else is there! Oh yeah, John, U're a half muppet. Prob just misunderstood tho. I think u r ace for bringing out Felix kinda of every week, I enjoy reading letters the most, so put more of that in. T suspect u've found it hard getting people to write for u. Bring back Mishmash, he's a lovely chap, but not a particularly good politician. But apparentlyu're way over budget u naughty boy John!! he he

I can't think of anymore union people. Prob better for my piece of mind

I'll finally get to the point (its true, d*ugs are bad for u, give them to me he he) Yeah, so then union people, everyone thinks u r muppets. IC people, everyone KNOWS u r apathetic. Solution. Union people, EXPLAIN why u do what u do, don't use pants abbreviations, stop whipping out the rule book everyother second, have some flxebility. IC people don't change, they will always complain, so forget about them. They (including me) are irrelevant. All we do is slag u off but we never do anything about our problems, we still expect u to do it. So u guys should stop taking everything so seriously, just get back to the basics. Which are

  • Make everything cheap, but don't bore us with the details. We really don't give a shit, we never will
  • Make sure every deadline is stretched to breaking point. This will always be something we want, i.e more time to do the work. U can do this by telling the depreps that that is their main responsibility. Don't confuse them by saying its "Educational Quality". Bollocks. Its move the deadline
  • Use ur excess money to give out bursaries. Extra money is always good. We will love u and sing ur praises
  • Jobs! Need I say more? We all want to walk out of uni and into our bachelor pad in central london and the associated flash car which equals finally birds chase us instead of the usual we chase birds. This is fundamental to most of us (apart from a few muppets, some lazy twats, some idealistic people, and of course the future lecturers, who just want to discover the secret to appalling breath and dress sense) Never forget this one, it is why we are here no doubt. Forget all teh bollocks about loving ur course, we just want to pick and choose which bank/consultancy/multinational we want to work for. Oh yeah, on this topic, a good initiative would be a quick way to get extracurricular, like a fast track "Do some extracuricular for ur CV" bet u get more people interested... Most people here want to grow up to be big swinging dicks in the city. Help them get there
  • Get more birds in here, or show us where they are (ok, that's reaching)

So, as u can see the core values have been set (Now that's what I call a constitition) Some of u are going "Oh, such a shallow person" etc. Bollocks. Why r u joining Goldman/UBS/whatever this summer/forever? Muppet.

The point is, pander to our needs/wants/whims. E..g. Mckinsey & Co, possibly the worlds top consultancy is able to attract the best staff because it knows everyone it hires wants to get as much as they can from them and then move on. So it lets them. Stop trying to change the imperial spirit. We are apathetic muthaF*ckers. But we're smart, and we respond to the right stimuli

Ok people, I love u all. For anyone that feels insulted, I am high. I personally believe that u guys all do a good job, I just felt like ranting. bUt don't ignore this


he he, got to go back to my girlie now, might be tempted to come read replies to this post, feel like I had some amazing clarity here, must have just had second wind... Ciao people


22. Editor   
May 30 2001 13:58

I have edited the last reply as it made rude comments about a member of ICU staff.

This is in breach of ICU's staff/student protocol whereby any complaints about members of Union staff should be directed to the Union Manager,

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.