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Ram Gidoomal to Lead ICU Trustee Board

Jun 12 2007 14:46
Ashley Brown
Double London Mayoral candidate Ram Gidoomal will lead an interim ICU trustee board, to help it get off the ground.
Ram Gidoomal

Last night's Council gave final approval for the creation of the ICU trustee board, in the second reading of the relevant constitutional changes. An interim trustee board will now be formed to start the process of registering as a charity, with a full board being created next year.

Following approval of the trustee board Council began appointments to the board, starting with a lay trustee and chair. Ram Gidoomal was put forward by the President as an ideal candidate, as both an Imperial alumnus and current College Governor. Gidoomal has been involved in the formation of a number of charities and ran for London Mayor twice for the Christian Peoples Alliance.

Gidoomal takes questions

Gidoomal's association with the CPA caused controversy in the ICU Executive meeting last week, with Natural Sciences Postgraduate Representative Alex Guite expressing concerns about their negative stance on homosexuality and abortion. Taking questions in Council, Gidoomal was quick to distance himself from the organisation - he quit in 2004 after the mayoral election due to its increased radicalisation. He highlighted his diverse background, coming from a hindu family, brought up as a sikh and taught at a muslim school before converting to Christianity at Imperial.

Student Trustees

Two student trustees were also appointed to the interim trustee board at the meeting: student trustees will be elected directly by the student body once the board is fully set up. Danny McGuinness, current Council Chair and former medic president, was the first appointment. The second was Adele Peel, a member of Council for several years in various positions.

The Union must now begin the long process of registering with the Charities Commission and forming a full trustee board before the governance changes come fully into effect.

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Discussion about “Ram Gidoomal to Lead ICU Trustee Board”

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 12 2007 15:24
 

From the text it looks like there will be only 3 people on the interim trustee board, Ram Gidoomal, Danny McGuinness and Adele Peel, is that the case?

Jun 12 2007 15:49
 

Nope, they need to put together some other people - I believe exec will assign them over the summer.

3. Ben   
Jun 12 2007 16:27
 

Not forgetting that there are three ex-officio members - President and COurt and Council chairs - who will definitely be on the board.

4. tut   
Jun 12 2007 20:29
 

"Natural Sciences Postgraduate Representative Alex Guite expressing concerns about their negative stance on homosexuality and abortion"

You mean he might actually think that sodomy is possibly a little unhealthy? And killing unborn children is wrong? Shock horror, this man is a tyrant! We need Nu Lab apparatchiks like Guite to lead us!

Jun 13 2007 03:27
 

No need for bigotry "tut". Just because your parents divorced and your dad ran off with the milkman doesn't mean you can opine such ignorant and typically Imperial opinions.

6. Hmm.   
Jun 13 2007 09:16
 

I don't understand why being anti-abortion is seen as bigotted/ anti-women's-rights. No one would argue that a woman has a "ight" to make the "choice" to kill a baby once it is born- the question is not where you stand on women's liberation, but where you atnd on the point at which a baby gets human rights of its own- conception, birth or somewhere in between. And on that, the debate is open- therefore an untrendy opinion on abortion does not necessarily make a person untrendily right-wing too.

Besides which, how often would the student union trustee board have to make a decision that hinged upon the chair's stance on sexual morality anyway?

7. Hmm.   
Jun 13 2007 09:16
 

I don't understand why being anti-abortion is seen as bigotted/ anti-women's-rights. No one would argue that a woman has a "ight" to make the "choice" to kill a baby once it is born- the question is not where you stand on women's liberation, but where you atnd on the point at which a baby gets human rights of its own- conception, birth or somewhere in between. And on that, the debate is open- therefore an untrendy opinion on abortion does not necessarily make a person untrendily right-wing too.

Besides which, how often would the student union trustee board have to make a decision that hinged upon the chair's stance on sexual morality anyway?

8. duh   
Jun 13 2007 12:11
 

Because "pro-life" people (as they clearly prefer to be called) in the States give the whole concept a sort of dirty feel to it.

Pro-lifers blow up doctors who perform abortions, wouldn't allow abortion in cases of rape or serious danger to the mother's health, and generally phrase their argument with some kind of religious rhetoric.

"Hmm", you're right when you discuss it without attaching any kind of bulls**t Christian morality to it - the debate should solely be about where we draw the line. At the moment, I believe it's 28 weeks, which IIRC is the earliest a baby can be born and still stand a small chance of surviving.

Most 'pro-lifers', though, wouldn't accept any form of abortion at all. You should thank whatever deity you worship that you live the in the enlightened and secular UK, and not the borderline theocratic US.

Jun 13 2007 14:14
 

You can be an atheist and still believe that abortion on demand is wrong. The potential for human life is still there, no matter where you draw the line. You do not have to believe in some supernatural being to condemn murder. This isn't to say that cases of rape and danger to the mother's life should not be handled differently. However, abortion as an essential form of late contraception is hardly 'enlightened', more barbaric.

I fail to see how this argument has anything to do with Ram Gidoomal though. He was quick to distance himself from the Christian Peoples Alliance, condemning their views as 'radical'. These accusations are purely based on the stance of a party Ram no longer is a member of and on no personal opinion he has shown.

10. duh   
Jun 14 2007 02:21
 

Duh! You just fell into the trap of using the word murder. Yay, heartstring tugging emotional blackmail! Obviously I'm dealing with a Christian, or at least someone that accepts the current Christian thinking.

I'm glad you realise there are some cases where abortion is desirable, if not necessary. This proves you have some capacity for independent thought.

Yes, the potential for human life is there, but that's true of your sperm (assuming you're a gentleman) or your eggs (if you're a lady). You're not going to stop masturbating/ovulating, are you? That argument (the 'potential') has far too many holes to be worthy.

Back on topic, people.

11. Hmm.   
Jun 14 2007 09:16
 

Again, if the baby is recognised as a human being, the word murder is completely justified. If it is not until birth, then it's perhaps excessive. But again, the debate of where life begins is open and certainly not so cut-and-dried that taking any point before birth means the person holding that view is incapable of thought. Especially as medical advances keep pushing back the age at which a premature baby could survive, and many people pressing for tighter abortion laws are arguing purely that the current time limit has failed to keep pace with these advances.

(And yes, back on topic, but you won't get away with saying that to give yourself the last word on the present subject.)

P.S. Replace the word "Christian" with "Muslim" (I'm sure Islam includes some pro-lifers) in the above comments. Are they still acceptable?

Jun 14 2007 09:50
 

i'm just glad there's still (just about) space for christians like gidoomal at imperial. not long before this country is taken over by atheist extremists who don't have any sense of morality, other than what feels good for them. think about other people's wellbeing for once, 'duh'!

Jun 14 2007 10:16
 

I resent the statement that atheists have no sense of morality, along with the implication that those who practice a religion are somehow morally superior.

I seem to recall religion as being a major source of conflict...

Jun 14 2007 10:21
 

I seem to recall atheism being a major source of conflict too. Gotta love Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Hmm. Always a problem when men put themselves above God.

Jun 14 2007 10:26
 

I didn't say atheism wasn't a source of conflict - but the "morally superior" religious folk are just as capable of widespread destruction.

16. but   
Jun 14 2007 10:30
 

islam /= christianity

if you could be bothered, you might have a look at both the qur'an and the bible and actually use that neglected faculty called 'personal judgement' rather than just lazily rubbishing all faiht.

18. Alex   
Jun 14 2007 10:45
 

>> On the other hand

Ding ding ding ding!

Hitler was not an Atheist. Sure, his version of Christianity was warped and horrible, but he wanted to build the new Reich on Christian principles, a new Holy Roman Empire, if you will. I agree that there wasn't a lot of Christianity present in his actions, but there was in his speeches and writing.

If you're going to use flawed syllogistic fallacies (These men were bad, these men were atheists, therefore atheists must be bad!) at least make sure you're starting from correct facts.

Jun 14 2007 10:47
 

I'm not 'lazily' rubbishing all faith, I'm rubbishing the idea that an atheist is automatically morally inferior to someone who follows a religion, which is what I thought you had implied.

What you seem to be saying is that it is christianity which has the superior morality, not religions in general? In which case I concede that there seem to be far fewer christians blowing themselves and others up at this period in time (unlike 1,000 years ago, which is less relevant now). However I don't see all that many atheists running around killing each other either.

Loyalists and Unionists in Northern Ireland often claim to be some brand of christianity, yet until recently were happy to go around murdering each other.

20. bleh   
Jun 14 2007 11:00
 

lol @ mr guite and your 'flawed syllogistic fallacies' - that's all we ever hear from atheists! (nice tautology btw), stuff like 'oh, look at all those dumb americans, christianity is for dumb people'

as for hitler, i think his own messianistic complex kind of rules out a personal christianity for him. the churches/individuals who opposed him were persecuted.

and im sorry 'engineer', your own personal morality is most likely a rip-off of the christian tradition. you think morality is formed in a cultural vacuum? i wouldn't say that christians are 'superior' to atheists, far from it: it's hardly a competition. it's a matter of acknowledging that such a thing as universal moral truths exist, which of course in this postmodern climate of moral relativism is a bad bad thing to do. nowadays it's the ultimate sin to actually describe something as 'immoral': apparently it's only immoral in the eyes of one individual. that's why you can't oppose abortion without being a 'judgemental bigot'.

as for your NI example, i would only say that the peace that seems to have finally been achieved there was, to a large extent, possibly through the republicans and unionists *finally* recognising the christian principle of forgiveness. you may think it's wrong, but for people like rev paisley, blair etc. it made it possible.

Jun 14 2007 11:02
 

It's not Alex Guite.

22. Lee   
Jun 14 2007 11:04
 

> I seem to recall atheism being a major source of conflict too. Gotta love Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

And of course, Hitler, Stalin and Mao killed people because they were atheists. Their lack of a god told them to go murder people?

Has it occurred to you that because someone believes x does not necessarily mean that x was the cause of the conflict that they started? People argue that religion has caused wars because people fight in the name of and because of the beliefs of their religion. I don't recall anyone ever fighting in the name of their lack of religion.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." ? Steven Weinberg

Jun 14 2007 11:19
 

"Has it occurred to you that because someone believes x does not necessarily mean that x was the cause of the conflict that they started?"

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." ?

can anyone else see the contradiction here?

24. Lee   
Jun 14 2007 11:36
 

Why is it a contradiction? Not everyone who is religious and evil does evil things because they are religious. Therein lay my point (if reversed, but that should have been obvious to the reader), reiterated by Mr Weinberg in the first sentence of the quote.

What Mr Weinberg was saying on top of that was that given a person who is generally good, to have them then do something particularly bad they have to have a set of beliefs that tell them that it is fine to do, irrespective of the apparent downsides.

Jun 14 2007 12:04
 

Meh, the way I see it its all the same. Someone says "do this" and if you don't you get punished. I personally believe all religion is just a less sophisticated governmental structure, boss at the top, do what he says.

However, wht does this have to do with our new, um, boss at the top? No one seems take any issue with our Presidents beliefs? I wish I wasn't leaving this year and could see the trustee board in action. In fact maybe its better that I'll be far far away and can watch from a distance. I'm sure I'll get a level headed, relevant debate by reading Live! (If it exists next year ;) )

Jun 14 2007 12:05
 

it is a contradiction because first you say that beliefs are not necessarily the cause of actions. then in your second breath you assert that 'good people' doing 'evil things' needs religion. but you just said beliefs aren't necessarily the cause of their actions? so how do you *know* that?

so assuming that, say a shia muslim goes and murders a few sunnis. you say that that his religion is not necessarily the cause of this action. but then you say that religion allows people to do evil. what you need to provide at this point is some *evidence* linking the action with the belief. all you have at this point is atheistic prejudice.

(although in that example this violence probably is motivated by their beliefs. but what you can't have is daft assertions like in that quote 'good people doing evil things' without some sort of justification. it's just intellectual laziness. i can see the rhetorical appeal of the phrase, but it's a tad meaningless to me. and besides, what's 'a good person doing an evil thing' look like anyway? surely to do evil makes you an evil person? besides, i hardly think weinberg is any more qualified than the rest of us to pontificate on religion. a nobel prize in physics hardly qualifies you as a theologian/philosopher. believe it or not, there are some good physicists who are actually christians, eg our very own chris isham)

27. eh?   
Jun 14 2007 12:09
 

"I personally believe all religion is just a less sophisticated governmental structure, boss at the top, do what he says."

Less sophisticated than what, James? The SCC committee? lol :p

28. Lee   
Jun 14 2007 12:18
 

Which part of "not necessarily" do you have trouble with? Religion is not necessarily the cause of evil, that's what I said, that's what the quote said. The evidence in a specific case is clearly important, and no one suggested otherwise. Of course, this line of argument leads to admitting that the crusades might not have been religious in origin either, which is fine, it's not at all clear to me that they were.

Now, what does a good person doing evil things look like? I think in this case we mean someone who would consider a particular act bad in all circumstances other than those motivated by his religiously held beliefs. Murder is wrong except when killing people god x said he disliked in book y, for example. Of course, the whole quote is overly simplistic seeing as you can't really define "good" and "evil" very easily at all.

> believe it or not, there are some good physicists who are actually christians

Did you know that some evolutionary biologists are Christian, too?

Jun 14 2007 12:52
 

You wait, I have stated my plan to many people. Within 5 years the SCC will own Arts and Ents again, will have taken over the GSA, and within 10 years SCC chair will be ex oficio President

Jun 14 2007 13:06
 

Lee: so we agree the quote is a bit naff, and that this stuff about 'good people doing evil things' is a bit daft. And that evolutionary biologists can be Christians. Good. Sounds like we're not so different then. :)

31. Lee   
Jun 14 2007 13:43
 

Naff, no, I like it. Simplistic, certainly. The important issue here anyway was the Bill O'Reilly level argument atheism being a source of evil 'cause Hitler was one (irrespective of whether he was or not).

32. yawn   
Jun 14 2007 15:37
 

I can't understand your lack of consistency (well, I can...) saying Hitler = atheism bad is not the same flawed argument as 'good people doing evil things', they're both equally dodgey. It was you who came out saying religion is a source of conflict in the first place, I was just pointing out the evil done apart from religion (eg Marxism, Nazism...) The problem is when people stop THINKING, and I think alas atheists are just as susceptible to this as the rest of the human race. I just lose patience with atheists as being some of the most supremely smug people I know.

33. Hmm.   
Jun 14 2007 16:01
 

So if you determine how "good" a peron is by their actions, "If someone does good things, they're good. If someone does evil things, they're evil, unless the bad things were all religiously motivated in which case they still count as a good person."

No. If someone wants to be kind, forgiving a philanthropic, religion or humanist compassion could motivate them. If someone wants to be greedy and aggressive, then they could twist a religion or a political philosophy to provide their excuse.

Jun 15 2007 00:43
 

Erm... way back in Post 9 I purely meant that I am an atheist and still disagree with abortion (which I suppose is something I have in common with the catholics). Unless you count believeing in God purely as a mathematical concept because the Physicists can't come up with a better name for what existed before the Big Bang. So no 'duh' you are not dealing with a Christian. And yes I chose the word 'murder' deliberately. Glad you picked up on that one. And I resent the fact you regard me as incapable of independant thought. Even I find some of my thoughts surprisingly irregular sometimes.

(Lee - Yep the Weinberg quote is excellent...)

So, this Ram Gidoomal? Jolly nice chap...?

35. Alex   
Jun 15 2007 09:23
 

@ Pro-life

I'm interested by your arguments in the name of "the potential for human life", it's a side that I don't often see (more normally it's people arguing over whether or not a fetus is actually a human being yet).

Where would you draw the line? Is it stopping the potential for human life for a man to get a vasectomy? For someone to choose a life of celibacy?

I'm honestly not trying to attack your beliefs, but I'd like to know more, because it's not an angle I've commonly encountered.

36. Lee   
Jun 15 2007 10:02
 

> It was you who came out saying religion is a source of conflict in the first place, I was just pointing out the evil done apart from religion (eg Marxism, Nazism...)

No I didn't. I'm guessing then you're the person who originally posted the atheism comment, that certainly idn't read as pointing out the evil done apart from religion (which is a fair point) but instead pointed out the evil done in the cause of atheism (which is as nonsensical as calling atheism a religion - or as the common saying goes, not collecting stamps a hobby).

> The problem is when people stop THINKING

On this we have agreed all along.

> (Lee - Yep the Weinberg quote is excellent...)

Glad you agree. I fear that it could have been better worded though without the word religion. Exactly the same meaning, less of the "you're insulting my beliefs!" connotation.

37. piffle   
Jun 15 2007 10:49
 

"...pointed out the evil done in the cause of atheism (which is as nonsensical as calling atheism a religion"

Atheism is a belief system as much as anything.

38. Lee   
Jun 15 2007 10:52
 

How so? Atheism is the lack of belief in gods... so, other than not believing in a god, what do atheists collectively believe to make it a belief system? Humanism is a "belief system" (for some reason I hate that term but I still can't work out why), but atheism? I see no reason to think so.

I suppose you're also going to tell me that agnosticism is "more reasonable" than atheism, even though most atheists are agnostic, yes?

Jun 15 2007 14:38
 

Alex, in my personal opinion life begins at conception but I am aware that this is a contentious point and is a moral stance very open to interpretation. My decision to describe this as the point at which there is potential for life is down to the crude fact that once egg and sperm meet your physical characteristics are determined. A unique person has been created.

I am also not actually a Pro-lifer just for the record. I picked it as a pseudonym because it seemed to fit in with the thread. Sorry if that has confused things.

And I appreciate the irony that holding an uncommonly encounted opinion can also be considered as being incapable of independant thought. :D

Jun 15 2007 22:36
 

Ok,

Enough of all this moral bollocks.

What I want to know is what do people think of the idea of trustee board and will it be any good?

Will they benefit the Union?

Jun 15 2007 22:50
 

See http://live.cgcu.net/news/1533 for an answer to that!

Jun 15 2007 23:35
 

Yes, but the trustee board didn't do that did they?

Any more productive comments?

Jun 15 2007 23:38
 

Well, if you read the end of that it indicates some views on the trustee board: that it was meant to provide more independence but ICU is heading in the other direction, with the argument, it seems, that the trustee board can't be trusted to keep its house in order (stop defamation, stop bad financial control).

Evidently college has no faith in the trustee board.

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