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Guilds Hustings Report

Mar 15 2007 15:24
The Dark Knight
Guilds hustings was held outside Beit Quad in the glorious sunshine, with sabbs, Guilds exec, events officers and CivSoc all turning up to quiz the candidates.
Hustings in the sun

Guilds hustings proved to be a useful method of gauging the candidates, with a variety of experienced hands asking the questions. Attendance was poor due to a lack of advertising, however the candidates got a suitable grilling and Live! was, as ever, on hand to make note of any important points. Originally in the dump which used to be dBs, hustings moved outside to take in the sunshine.

Vinno Bala, standing for Honorary Secretary

Vinno Bala, standing for Honorary Secretary, spoke about his plans for next year, including increased sponsorship for the Freshers' Ball. He praised Nick Simpson's work this year, but was later asked if he would criticise Simpson for anything - to which he replied "he can get a bit grumpy". The other candidate, Nuri Purswani Ramchandani, did not attend.

Failed DPEW candidate Aditya Narayanan was also left to speak by himself, as Sam Piper had to give his apologies and attend a meeting. Narayanan noted that he lacked experience in CGCU, but that he would like to focus on issues such as dyslexia and those with learning difficulties, highlighting to lecturers the need for additional support. He also praised the buddies scheme this year, indicating that it had been useful to him - buddies schemes were organised at a departmental level this year, rather than by the (mostly absent) welfare officer. Narayanan refused to commit to how much time he would spend in the office, preferring to vary it based on what needed to be done.

Academic Affairs Officer (Taught) Candidates

Alex Grisman and Leong (Kevin) Lo went head to head in the AAO (Taught) hustings, both showing their relevant experience within their departmental societies. Both have been involved with CGCU for two years, with Grisman now Aero Chair and Lo as CivSoc departmental representative.

Edward Judge was the only candidate for VPA to speak, Salma Begum being absent for the proceedings as she was attending a Staff Student Committee meeting in her department. He spoke about better advertising for events, building on the successful ones this year and adding more. He stated that if there was a body of support for a particular event then he would be happy to run it, but that support was key. More involvement with RAG was a priority, with a return of the Barbershop Quartet and Hit Squad.

The VPFS Candidates

Vice President (Finance and Societies) also sees the return of failed 'slate' candidate for DPFS, Andrew Holland. Current BioEng President Michael Chan was standing against him. The slate appear to have done less research for Guilds than in the ICU elections, with Holland estimating an annual turnover of nearly £1m for CGCU. The actual figure is closer to £100,000, with around 10% coming from ICU. Chan was closer, estimating around the right figure. Both committed time in the office, with Holland indicating he intended to be there most lunchtimes and also some hours in the evenings. Chan said he would not commit to a set number of hours, as one hour of intensive work is preferable to two hours working inefficently, but indicated that he would make himself available as needed.

Presidential Candidates

Joseph Jezic von Gesseneck returned for a second shot at Guilds President, having lost to RON last year, on a platform of change. Current Guildsheet Editor Tristan Sherliker is opposing him, acknowledging the problems Guilds has had this year but pledging to continue the traditions.

Jezic von Gesseneck spoke eloquently, giving a far more convincing performance than last year when his speech resembled something at the United Nations. He far exceeded his allotted time delivering six points over several minutes. He called for more students to be brought in, to focus on being a great faculty union rather than protecting the historical activities. As part of reforms he believed Guildsheet should be reduced to an events diary and published more often than monthly, so students had events "in their pockets". On the finance side he was seeking a 20% reduction in expenditure, targetting the Lord Mayor's Show due to its high cost.

Sherliker opened by stating that he understood the problems Guilds had faced this year, with a number of officers not pulling their weight. He looked forward to having a real team next year and mentioned his conversion of Guildsheet from a newsletter to a magazine, in an attempt to change its image. His aim was to continue the traditional events by ensuring his team were working together over the summer, hoping to restore previous successful years.

In questioning Jezic von Gesseneck again re-iterated his desire to stop entering the Lord Mayor's Show on the basis of cost, however current Lord Mayor's Show Co-ordinator Ashley Brown responded to Live!:

"I find it disappointing that this candidate did not discuss his views on the Lord Mayor's Show with me before hand. The LMS generally produces a profit, which has previously paid for office refurbishments and this year is expected to fund new computers. It may cost a lot to enter, but generates thousands of pounds of profit for the union which is invested in new equipment. I have concerns about how he would intend to shut down the activities of an active and profitable Union club."

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Presidential Candidates
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Discussion about “Guilds Hustings Report”

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.
Mar 15 2007 16:01

I think the citing of Lord Mayor's Show as lossmaking is a good example of why experience is necessary and why you can't just jump straight to the top. There are several others in there too, if you look out for them.

von gessneck delivered a good speech, no doubt a skill learned from his father, but I think the content he cited only underlined his ignorance of both CGU and ICU workings. Notice how he had to field every question second, to get all the information from Tristan!

Mar 15 2007 16:02

"One million pounds"

The sun must have got to me!!! :-P

3. wtf?   
Mar 15 2007 17:53

The Lord Mayor's Show might show a profit, but it still begs the question is worth investing the time of 3-4 full time volunteers and around ?8k every year for an event which is attended at most by 20-30 students?

It looks great, as IC participates in this, but is it actually worth it? Does it raise our profile with our students? Does it benefit our students in any way?

I think there is need to revisit this issue and consider the implications of spending the ?8k on multiple student led events within college which could potentially benefit our students more and be easier to manage, even if they cumulatively take the same amount of time and dedication from our officers.

The point of the union or any of its events is not to make a profit - and if that's whats driving our decision making we need to reconsider what we do.

The LMS money does help the Guilds to buy new computers, funnily enough, where are these so called computers? More so, the money tends to get ploughed back into the show.

I am not going to deny that the show is a nice experience and everyone should definitely help develop it once, but the time and money invested by the union isn't worth it at all.

One could argue our links with the City, but where are these links? I don't see the benefits of any of these links as a student.

I think, the solution might lie in getting the LMS Club to reconsider how it organises itself - maybe get more students and departments involved as part of a project or something which can quite simply justlify the time, effort and cost else it needs to be shut.

Mar 15 2007 17:55

Wouldn't it be more appropriate if people actually understood the customs of CGCU before trying to jump on board and take over as captain - von Gesseneck really should have just entered himself into a newer society with no traditions like cheese and wine soc or something. But then again the cheese is probably more mature than him.

Mar 15 2007 18:31

wtf? - so you're in favour of shutting down activities which bring in money and which people enjoy? If I hadn't worked on the LMS, I just would've been at home or in the pub instead...

You have to convince people to give you ?10k just for student events: Atkins gave us ?700 for the Freshers Ball but 10 times that for the LMS, which resulted in a ?1,500 profit at the end of the year. Maybe its possible to get ?7k out of a company for a lot of small events, but is the public exposure there?

6. Shed   
Mar 16 2007 01:15

My impression of von Gesseneck from his manifesto and performance on the hustings is that he is a man with conviction.

Unfortunately, it is not clear exactly what his convictions are.

"Can you smell the cheese?"

Mar 16 2007 09:10

Gesseneck seems like he went to hustings with a sheet of 50 speech catch-phrases and read them out in a random order - so much of what he said was none-sensical similies and c**p - what a joke

Mar 17 2007 16:20

What's up with the shades?

Mar 17 2007 16:45

It was very sunny...?

10. Tris   
Mar 17 2007 23:03

That must be why the kids call them "sunglasses" these days

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See Also

  1. CGCU Manifestos - Executive
    11 Mar 07 | Profiles
  2. Three for Guilds President
    10 Mar 07 | News
  3. Results Announcement Tomorrow
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