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Sell Out: Exec Caves to Blackmail

Jun 15 2007 17:59
William the Conquerer
ICU's executive committee has caved to College blackmail, offering control of the union's finances in exchange for Beit redevelopment money.
Invasion: College sends its marquee army to the quad

Live! has heard from a number of concerned sources of further erosions to the freedoms ICU enjoys, with this year's executive committee selling out to College. Following the restructuring of commercial services at the start of the year, Live! has learnt that control of the finance department is to be handed to the College's finance division.

It appears that the executive has made the decision to secure the £3.2m funding required for the next phase of the Beit masterplan, which would have been withheld without extra financial controls in place. This comes despite College managing the building project, so having control of the money anyway. Union officers were tight lipped on the subject, as the decision was made in a closed-session meeting of the executive committee.

Paddy Jackman, Head of College Commercial Services and at this rate ICU President 2007-2008

A potential shake up in finance seemed likely after successive scathing reports by the Union's auditors. The move may have implications for Union staff, so Live! is unable to comment on what the exact effect may be. It appears likely that financial systems will be migrated to those run by College, potentially bringing in a host of different forms and rendering some of this year's finance training redundant.

Officers not involved in the decision have been wondering if outsourcing to College is too high a price to pay for the redevelopment plan: the facilities may improve, but ICU's relative autonomy would be compromised. One anonymous Union source described John Collins as "spineless" for allowing the second capitulation to College demands in the space of a week.

Some supporters of the governance review have also been scratching their heads, wondering what it achieved. At the very start of the year the governance working group gave an emphatic "no" to becoming a College department, with the greater independence of a trustee board model the favoured approach. Since passing the trustee board proposal ICU has introduced greater controls for the media, made a decision to outsource the finance department and appointed a College lay governor as chair of the new board. This has been seen as a regressive step away from independence, the exact opposite of the result desired by the governance review working group.

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Discussion about “Sell Out: Exec Caves to Blackmail”

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 15 2007 20:31

Oooh, you cheeky beggars! I'm itching to respond, but know better. Thank God it's only about 20 of the same people (you probably all know the details anyway) who read Live! ;)

Jun 15 2007 22:41

Sadly that's untrue Millen. Your increasingly annoying and lemony comments are also becoming more inaccurate. I'm sure the editor could provide us with some stats to back me up, but many more people read live than that.

I for one did not know about this and am very saddened that another part of ICU's independace has been sold out by the weak and supplicating President John Collins.

Jun 15 2007 23:33

Stats for Thursday 14th June:

  • 473 visits from 309 visitors
  • 2,056 pageviews
  • RSS subscribers: >=53

Traffic is at 65% of normal term time and about 45% of the "busy" times (NUS, ICU elections).

Jun 16 2007 00:13

Yeah, my apologies. The end of my degree seems to have made me rather bitter and irritable

Jun 16 2007 00:31

Although I DID use a winky face, which I always believe voids whatever has just been said ;)

Jun 16 2007 01:18

So by using it in the comment above, are you voiding what you have just said?

Jun 16 2007 02:32

This is what happens when you put a Labour Student in power.

8. eurgh   
Jun 16 2007 10:01

how dare you sit there and slag off john collins! He has revolutionised ICU and is millions of times better than previous presidents (and I'm conservative!) The details aren't clear in this particular incident so shut the hell up..

Jun 16 2007 10:44

Do I smell a Kings student on Live!?

Jun 16 2007 11:07

Did someone send the invitation to the KCLSU exec inviting them to our ball as they are not having one? ;)

11. eurgh   
Jun 16 2007 11:43

am i supposed to be the kings student?

Jun 16 2007 12:03

apart from a trustee board which college doesn't trust and lousy bar services, what exactly has collins achieved this year? Are things better now than they were a year ago?

i keep hearing people say that jc is a great president, but i'm not sure what he's done.

Jun 16 2007 12:40

You nasty person. The annual report speaks for itself and is full of remarkable achievments for a president and his team in their 20's. Furthermore, live! shouldn't be a forum for slagging off union officers.

Jun 16 2007 12:51

Of course our esteemed president was also responsible for instigating the NUS referendum. No doubt we will thank him for that for years to come!

15. wtf?   
Jun 16 2007 13:21

I think the only real criticism I have of ICU this year is, that it's managed to completely alienate the student body from the union - with a focus on more hack-oriented events such as a governance review and the formation of a court.

Though amateurism is an integral characteristic of any student union, this move towards professional services is both good and bad and will probably ensure that those who actually understand it i.e. those with hack-ish tendencies will get involved which should ensure we have fewer f**k-ups but at a cost of leaving normal student dis-interested if not increasingly anti-establishment.

Another thing that is worth pointing out is the complete lack of Felix and thereby leading the 4th branch of governance down the gutters. Felix has been s**t and for that the editor is to blame but worse then that is the fact that students no longer have an idea of what their representatives are doing in the Beit Towers.

Jun 16 2007 15:37

All I've seen so far from Collins is excessive faffing about with reviews and handing power over to College.

Not really impressed I have to say. Not convinced he has done anything to make ICU more representative of its members as I believe he is happier to listen to (and will actively seek) the opinions of his personally selected cabal of advisers, but isn't really interested in what anyone else thinks.

17. Seb   
Jun 17 2007 00:06

errr... What?!

We hand over the purse strings to college in exchange for the refurbishment?

If true, it's simply crazy... simply crazy.

I have a tendance to agree with wtf regarding amateurism. We may have more "professional" roles than experienced students to take them.

Jun 17 2007 21:51

At the moment the union sits between college and Club finances. If you take that away it means college will put pressure on us to make club finances "easier for students" because they won't like the fact that students currently have a lot of responsibility and control over clubs.

College doesn't understand volunteer led organisations- so they will screw it up.

Sport Imperial has a dubious relationship with the union because some of it's objectives seem to contradict the unions; think what it'll be like if the finances are held by college!

Jun 18 2007 23:10

"College doesn't understand volunteer led organisations- so they will screw it up."

IMHO the greatest threat to iCU is people who don't understand volunteer organisation.

Volunteers are free.

Bigger and Complex things have to be managed.

and management costs money.

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