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GSA Election Borders on Farce

Jun 04 2007 22:34
Ashley Brown
Nominations for the Graduate Students Association close shortly, but the election is approaching farcical already.
Current Elections - Poor Seconding

As the close of nominations approached the election of next year's Graduate Students' Association committee looked to be problematic, despite the high number of people standing.

At the last Union Council the position of Deputy President (Graduate Students) was abolished, with a non-sabbatical "GSA Chair" created instead. A new staff member will provide support to the GSA Chair and other union officers with representation issues. The current election will therefore see the positions of GSA Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Events Co-ordinator contested.

At first glance there appeared to be 16 people standing for positions at the time this article was started, however a number can be removed due to ineligibility: the voting system is allowing everyone to stand for the position, with DPEW-elect Kirsty Patterson also able to add her name to the list. Those currently listed as nominated (but not necessarily seconded) for GSA Chair consist of:

  • One part-time postgraduate student
  • One student who does not appear in the college directory
  • Two final year medical undergraduates
  • A student standing for every position in the election
  • A current Sabbatical Officer
  • A sabb-elect
  • A taught postgraduate on a one year course
  • An actual student, currently doing a PhD, who appeared two hours before nominations closed

Of these only two have reached the original target of 11 seconders, with a similar situation occuring for the Secretary and Treasurer. Earlier today the second and last Deputy President (Graduate Students) Shama Rahman circulated another email to postgraduates encouraging them to stand, indicating that only 5 seconders were needed. This barely increases the field, however does mean that someone can stand for GSA Events Co-ordinator.

Using 5 seconders as a guide, the following people will be contesting GSA elections:

GSA Chair

  • Pandora Male (Final Year Medicine)
  • Jon Matthews (Current DPFS and Biosciences PhD)
  • Kirsty Patterson (Geology 2 and DPEW-elect)
  • Aidan Roche (Bioengineering PhD)
  • Re-open Nominations

GSA Events Co-ordinator

  • Thushyanthi Kailayanathan (Final Year Medicine)
  • Re-open Nominations

GSA Secretary

  • Ella Newington (Final Year Medicine)
  • Re-open Nominations

GSA Treasurer

  • Joseph Freer (1st Year Medicine)
  • Re-open Nominations

It would seem that not content with having their own faculty union, the medics also want their hands on the GSA. Live! suspects a number of the candidates standing will be eliminated by the returning officer.

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Discussion about “GSA Election Borders on Farce”

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.
Jun 04 2007 23:57

How can this even be going ahead when we don't know the exact form of the position yet. I thought the "summer sabb" option was still floating around?

2. bored   
Jun 05 2007 18:44

So Ashley only seconded Kirsty... is this a political statement?

Jun 05 2007 19:47

I don't normally second people in elections, as I'm highly likely to get candidates thrown out for criticising if the election has problems ( some returning officers don't like being criticised on Live!).

As Kirsty wasn't even eligible there was no risk ...

Jun 05 2007 19:53

On another note, Shama has told me that she has relaxed the seconding rules and all those who received at least one seconder and were eligible are through to the election stage. Unfortunately a lot of seconders were removed as they were ineligible.

I'll put some manifestos up when I get them.

Jun 05 2007 21:32

Well it appears they are going for the 'anyone will do as long as we've got someone' rule.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't get more than one seconder you don't deserve to be on the ballot paper!

Maybe we'll end up with another idiot running the GSA, but why change the habit of a lifetime!

Jun 06 2007 02:45

Thanks Ashley!

I only stood to highlight the problem that undergraduates were allowed to stand and be nominated. I informed three people in Beit towers that there was a problem and nothing was done until today - when all undergraduate candidates were removed. It took long enough!


Jun 06 2007 11:44


That may be the case, but it still doesn't do anything to change the fact that nobody gives a toss about the GSA, nobody wants to stand for the positions and nobody who has stood could muster up any form of decent support!

Two years ago it all sounded like a half decent idea. It has unfortunately been run into the ground and is now a considerable waste of the Union's time and effort which could be spent representing students instead of coming up with endless reforms of the concept.

Jun 06 2007 13:02

Bring back Post Soc

Bring all the graduate power back to the SCC

Mu ha ha

Jun 11 2007 10:34

I agree James,

At least you can run a club, and if it's c**p, shut it down!

So what's the latest on this joke?

Jun 11 2007 10:53

I've been given SFA, which is not entirely surprising to me. Apparently more information on the elections will be in the new GSA magazine, launching on Friday.

Jun 11 2007 17:22

Hmm, isn't that when voting opens as well?

Gimme an 'F'...

Jun 12 2007 00:42

Give me and 'A'...

Jun 13 2007 13:00

Can non-graduate students (including undergraduate finalists) even run for GSA positions?

Graduate student representation in the GSA election is hardly there..

Jun 13 2007 13:27

No, they can't. But apparently UGs will be able to vote in the GSA elections, because the constitution doesn't rule them out...

Aug 14 2007 12:50

Hi I was supposed to be running for chair, I have never even heard of the GSA and I'm affraid to say that someone put me up for a joke and I haven't recieved any e-mails about it!?!?!

What were the results?

Aug 14 2007 12:51

You were excluded because you were not eligible :)

The election is currently being re-run because of irregularities.

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