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RSM Seeks Union Status

Apr 24 2008 11:16
The Dark Knight
A paper coming to Council on Monday will see the Royal School of Mines CSC seek to return to "Union" status.
The building of the former Royal School of Mines

A paper brought to ICU Council by Jon Matthews and RSM President Danny Hill seeks to restore union status to the RSM CSC, by introducing a new "Constituent Union". The plan being proposed was first broadly considered in 2001, when options for preserving the RSMU under the new faculty-based structure were considered.

Historical Context

When Richard Sykes took over as Rector he re-arranged the College's departments into four faculties: Engineering, Medicine, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. The former Royal College of Science was split between the two science faculties (which later re-merged, with the Royal School of Mines being split-up, parts going into Physical Sciences and the rest going to Engineering.

ICU looked to change its internal structure to meet that of the College, retaining the principle that key College staff and committees should have a direct counterpart within ICU, at least for education and welfare issues. At that time the RCSU decided to abolish itself, with two new faculty unions forming, while CGCU took responsibility for the representation of those students in RSM who moved to the Faculty of Engineering. The Royal School of Mines name was retained by setting up the RSM CSC, which was intended to continue looking after the RSM's clubs, like other clubs & societies committees.

Current Situation

In reality this solution has caused friction, with RSM and C&G not managing to get along. The former RSM departments of Materials and Earth Science & Engineering continue to look to the RSM CSC on welfare issues, despite all responsibility for that in theory lying within C&G. The RSM continues to look after the welfare of its students (by getting them horribly drunk and sent to hospital), arranging a number of social functions and talks throughout the year, far beyond the role of a CSC.

The relationship is, in fact, a complete mess at present. RSM originally kept two departmental societies, despite the representation role in theory moving to Guilds: De La Beche and MatSoc. In 2006 MatSoc moved to Guilds, however the decline of Guilds in subsequent years has seen them not become as integrated as they might have been. RSM has recently started a new "GeoPhysSoc", effectively a society catering for ESE students on the Geo Physics course rather than the geology course (which DLB covers). A similar situation used to exist in Guilds, with a "course soc" for students on the Information Systems Engineering course in EEE and DoC, however this was abolished when ISE became a fully EEE course - EEE now elect course reps.

Proposed Solution

The proposed solution sees RSM become a "constituent union", with the sane status to Wye and Silwood campus unions. Like the campus unions, they would report to a faculty union for faculty-level representation, but would have autonomy over the representation of the two former RSM departments.

The paper also introduces other changes, giving the RSMU and two campus unions a seat on the executive committee and the Representation and Welfare Board. The RSM previously had no seat on RWB (as it is not supposed to be representative) and could only sit on exec if elected by the CSC chairs at the Clubs and Societies Board. The campus unions, as subordinate unions to the RCSU, did also not have a seat on those committees.

Being a paper proposed by Mr Matthews, some other corrections to the language of the constitution are also included at the same time.

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Discussion about “RSM Seeks Union Status”

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.
1. RSM   
Apr 24 2008 12:56
 

The paper has over 150 seconders and if you read the minutes from the 2001 meetings and letters to felix you would realise that the descion to abolish RSMU Union status did not come from the RSM. Get your facts straight.

Apr 24 2008 13:04
 

Which facts in the article do you not think are straight?

Apr 24 2008 13:11
 

I assume RSM couldn't tell the difference between 'RSMU' and 'RCSU' in the article. We can't help it really. We're miners, we don't have to be able to read. It's often too dark when you're stuck in a hole in the ground digging for coal.

Just goes to show all the more that we need our own Union to look after our special Welfare needs. Like reading and stuff.

Apr 24 2008 14:10
 

Yes this should happen.

I still don't understand why it shouldn't become a full blown FU? Yes, it makes one contact between the college staff and the students - but surely college are clever enough to deal with two people, not just one.

Will it hurt so much to send one extra student along to all the relevant college meetings?

Apr 24 2008 14:38
 

Because the two RSM departments together are smaller than most of the other engineering departments. Total UG numbers:

  1. Elec: 616
  2. Mech: 569
  3. Chem: 478
  4. Comp: 376
  5. Civil: 354
  6. Aero: 320
  7. Mat: 256
  8. ESE: 184
  9. Bio: 159

Total including PGs:

  1. Elec: 853.5
  2. Mech: 755.3
  3. Chem: 654
  4. Civil: 625.5
  5. Comp: 574.8
  6. Aero: 407.5
  7. ESE: 401.5
  8. Mat: 350.5
  9. Bio: 236.5

You'd be talking about giving 752 students the same representation on Union and College committees as the other 4,107.1 students.

Why not make MechSoc a faculty union? Or EE? RSM as a faculty union made more sense when it was twice the size and had a directly-comparable body in college. That is not the case any more.

(Part timers are 1/10 of a student).

Apr 24 2008 15:39
 

This is all very pointless.

The RSM already has devolved powers for non representation matters (i.e. clubs, socs, events) as it reports directly to ICU. The College are not going to accept having two FUs for one faculty, so representation will continue to flow through Guilds as it does at present.

Do the proposers really want an RSM Academic Affairs or Welfare Officer? What exactly would these officers do? Who would they represent to? I doubt the Engineering Studies Committee or similar College bodies would recognise these positions.

Does this mean Wye and Silwood should get a seat on ICU Exec? I very much doubt Wye and Silwood would bother attending seeing as they rarely make it to Council (for very understandable reasons). This would surely increase the likelihood of inquaracy and slow down the Union's committee system.

I think this move is a signal that Guilds are not effectively representing their members, including the miners. I suggest that efforts should be made to fix Guilds first, rather than mess around with ICU's constitution.

7. Hmmm   
Apr 24 2008 15:41
 

For a start the only representation body RSM would have extra representation on in this paper is RWB and since Guilds have not once sent their full quota of representatives to this meeting this year, I fail to see how they can get so huffy about RSM asking to have one person attending this committee.

RSM are not asking for more members on council, we have great dep reps/ year reps and we are simply asking for a chance to unite the dep rep people with the rest of our committee and produce an RSM that really works for its students on all levels, on paper as well as in practise.

Yes this paper takes representation to a smaller more personal level, but if it means that the members of RSM recieve better represetation as a result and the volunteers involved are happy to do a little extra to make it happen (majority of year reps have seconded it and i know the a couple of names have been mentioned for the three extra welfare and accademic roles that would be created).

Student satisfaction is this years buzzword and if this increases it then it can't be a bad thing... and if it works maybe we could look at reforming CGCU and RCSU's welfare and accademic representation if it turns out that it isn't as good as it could be?

Apr 24 2008 15:48
 

"RSM are not asking for more members on council"

Yes but you are asking for RSM (and Wye and Silwood) representation on Exec, which is massive change that would make Exec harder to manage whilst at the same time do very little for students on the ground.

9. Hmmm   
Apr 24 2008 15:49
 

PS.

Old hack (yea right!), you have not read the paper, there will be no RSM Academic Affairs or Welfare Officer, because these would become officers of the Union and that really would be stupid!

The committes other than RWB, council and exec that these representative would sit on has been left up to the recommendation of DPEW and the President, read in to that what you will.

Stop getting so hung up on the constitution, it is just a set of rules that govern how the union runs... if you want to change how the union runs it can be ammended. It is not a closely guarded secret that must be worshipped and reveered but never altered.

Apr 24 2008 15:52
 

Can someone who proposed this please explain exactly how this rep structure works ... who are the RSM going to be representing their members to? Because it won't be college, as college will never go for an RSM on their faculty-level committees.

What about changes to the Guilds constitution that would make this more effective?

11. cynic   
Apr 24 2008 15:52
 

The faster Guilds can wash its hands of the miners the better for the rest of us. Then the engineers can sit back and watch them wallow in their own belief of utmost self importance.

12. Hmmm   
Apr 24 2008 15:56
 

Old hack (no seriously, you are kidding?).

The executative committee has absolutely nothing to do with representation. This is a pointless arguement because I know you have already made up your mind and are too pigheaded to change it, even if you are wrong.

Any full member of the union can attended exec I hardly think adding one more ex-officio member will make it harder to manage... it won't change quorum.

Apr 24 2008 16:16
 

The rep structure is actually quite simple.

RSMU would gain a Welfare Officer, an Academic Affairs Representative (Taught) and an Academic Affairs Representative (Research).

Welfare: The RSMU Welfare Officer works with the CGCU Welfare Officer to ensure the welfare needs of the RSM students are catered for, they would report to the RSMU President but work with CGCU as CGCU would still do the external (i.e. non-Union) representation and represent to Council (the RSMU Welfare Officer would not be an Officer of the Union and so would not have a seat on Council). Ultimately, this would allow the RSMU Committee to properly consider the welfare of the RSMU membership and give the CGCU Welfare Officer one point of contact within the RSMU thus making their job easier.

Academic Representation: This will be similar to the Welfare side of things, RSMU gains two Academic Affiars Representatives (note, not Officers) who again are not Officers of the Union and so do not have a seat on Council. These AARs work with the Guilds AAOs to ensure the academic needs of the RSMU members are catered for. The RSM DepReps and Year Reps would report to the AARs but also still have a line of report to the Guilds AAOs should this be needed. Again, this would give the Guilds AAOs one point of contact within the RSMU and all external representation would be done by Guilds still.

This is why I did not propose that RSM became a Faculty Union, it simply would not work.

The RSMU reps would allow RSMU to properly represent its membership within intself and to the Union via the RSMU President and Guilds AAOs/Welfare Officers and externally via the Guilds President/AAOs and Welfare Officers.

Hope that helps.

Apr 24 2008 16:44
 

So would the AARs go to TSAC/RSAC in Guilds, or would the dep reps? There's a lot of "ors" and "work with" in that.

15. Hmmm   
Apr 24 2008 16:49
 

Do the dep reps go at the moment?

Apr 24 2008 16:56
 

Grisman will have to answer that - when I've asked this question before I've been told that they get invited, and the rep from at least one of the departments bothers to turn up.

17. danny   
Apr 24 2008 17:37
 

lies..... ESE dep rep and I have both sent emails to tristan re: dep rep meetings, and on all occassions he has failed to reply.....

18. Flower   
Apr 24 2008 17:42
 

"College won't go for RSM representation in their structures".

What happens if they just showed up, out of the blue, at the meeting.

Serriously.

Can college honestly throw them out?

"Hi, I'm from AQA, I've heard that you're ignoring 750 of your students. What have you got to say about it".

In all seriousness, and after sitting on a few college committees, I genuinely think if they just show up, it will be fine. Need the Guilds president to play along though - "you would have to ask the RSM about that one, I don't know" etc. etc. etc.

Apr 24 2008 17:46
 

My personal opinion would be that the AARs should go to TSAC/RSAC in Guilds, that would not preclude the DepReps from going should they desire. Ideally, the AARs should go along with all DepReps, but in the event that people don't go, the RSMU would have the AARs to give them a bit of a boot up the proverbial as well as the Guilds AAOs so doing.

Apr 24 2008 18:11
 

Hmmm, before you get too high on your horse at Old Hack, be sure what you say is both clear and correct.

"The executative committee has absolutely nothing to do with representation."

How can this be so if it is the committee responsible for insuring the implementation of policy? Also if what you say is the case why are there two members elected from the RWB?

[However I never totally understood the reg 5 para 2 & 3 of the constitution. Para 2 lists where the members of exec should be chosen from and then Para 3 states that "no member is the representative from any group within the union or college"...surely in that case you'd be better just electing through open campus nominations?...however I digress.]

More relevant is that surely you can not propose increasing execs membership by an extra 25% without adjusting Quorum?

"Any full member of the union can attended exec I hardly think adding one more ex-officio member will make it harder to manage"

Appendix II of paper does not say that the proposed CCU officers would be ex-officio members of exec so I don't understand why your saying that. Also I'm not sure about whether any full union member can attend exec (constitution neither says they can or they can't) however If they can my interpretation would be they have no speaking rights unless mandated to attend by exec to address a particular issue. This differs for council where the constitution expressly allows for full members to speak.

Apr 24 2008 18:11
 

One of the resolves of the paper is to have the President and myself negotiate places on committees for these Reps should the paper be passed. I would imagine a good compromise with Guilds would be to have the AARs as permanent observers at TSAC/RSAC but should a vote be needed then they do not get to vote unless standing in for an absent Dep Rep. This would need to be negotiated with Guilds however and can only be done once the proposals are agreed to.

Another knock on affect is New Clubs Committee. Currently the membership of the NCC is one FU Rep, one CSC Rep so someone will need to negotiate a change in the Standing Orders of CSB to accommodate CCUs should the paper pass. Again this is something that needs to be decided at CSB, not Council, and shouldn't be dictated to the committee.

The paper asks for the RSMU to be created. How, where and when they report will still need to be organised afterwards with the relevant bodies. It is only right that everything in this paper looks to work with people to get the best solution rather than trying to push structures on to people that they have no say in. It isn't the RSMs place to dictate changes to CSB, to CGCU etc hence why this is still to be decided in consultation with others.

The fact that the Guilds President email account is bouncing emails doesn't help of course.

Apr 24 2008 18:18
 

@ [email protected]:

The executive committee manages but does not decide on policy, hence why it is not representative. Members are chosen from RWB and CSB but do not represent those committees. However, I do like your suggestion of elected representatives. In practice though we never get enough people standing or voting.

Ex-officio is any named person or position that automatically has a seat on a committee. As the RSM President is named as the position this makes them as ex-officio member. Ex-officios do not affect quorum so there is no need for it to have an affect on quorum. Additonally, RWB can co-opt to no limited number and yet it's quorum is always six.

It is a matter of law that any member can attend any open meeting of any Union committee and have full speaking rights. We are a democracy after all.

Apr 24 2008 18:20
 

Danny: where have you and the ESE dep rep been sending emails to? To Tristan's personal account or the Guilds pres address?

Have either of you contacted Grisman, the person actually responsible for the committee the reps need to go to? The MatSoc reps manage to go...

Apr 24 2008 18:47
 

I'm confused about the constition...

8. Executive

5.b. have a quorum of six members, and

Under regulation 6 - Standing Orders for all Union meetings

Quorum

29. Half the meeting?s voting members, ex-officio and vacant posts being ignored, constitute a quorum unless otherwise provided. Any meeting except general meetings must be quorate for decisions made and elections held to be legitimate, though those undertaken prior to quorum failing shall not be invalid by virtue of later inquoracy. A meeting shall be deemed quorate unless the contrary is demonstrated.

So what is the quorum of exec, 2 or 6?

Or is it 6 but only the 3 non ex-officio members count to quorum?

Interpretation?

Apr 24 2008 19:13
 

Regulation Six states "Half a meeting's voting members... unless otherwise provided." The constitution provides that the Ecexutive Committee has a quorum of six. This is immaterial to the size of the committee, technically, 200 extra members could be added to Exec and it would still have a quorum of six unless someone changed paragraph 8.5.2 (which with an extra 200 members somone really would have to, I was being deliberately extreme in my example).

Ultimately, Exec has a quorum of six and <i>ex officio</i> members do count to quorum. Adding extra people will make it easier to get a quorum, not more difficult.

26. danny   
Apr 24 2008 19:21
 

AB: Back in the atumn term Julia and I contacted tristans pres account. I also contacted Alex, he did reply asking for the ESE dep rep details.

The ESE dep rep says she hasn't heard anything.

In my current role as RSM pres I should not be dealing with any of this, however I have been and am happy to do so....

RSM officers already do some of the work of the AArs and welfare roles....

We just want to be make things clearer for the future

27. wow.   
Apr 24 2008 22:11
 

nobody knows what's going on, in the article and in the discussion...

and nobody cares either

Apr 24 2008 22:32
 

Yeah, what is the point of this? Very few members of the RSM actually care about their constitutional status within the union. Sure, you can get a lot of names on a petition, but it does not matter to and will not affect the vast majority of earth science/materials students in the slightest.

It looks like Jon Matthews wants to go out with a bang! If he is ever going to leave....

The RSM isn't Tibet, and Jon is not the Dalai Lama.

29. Danny   
Apr 24 2008 22:44
 

to 28.

Students of the ESE and MAT do care about the status of the RSM. That is why we have over 180 seconders so far!

Remember, these names have been collected outside of term time meaning the majority of them have had to email me. I would have had an awful lot more if I was collecting names during term.

The RSM is Not a CSC! Simple!

Apr 24 2008 22:48
 

I appreciate that. But does it really, really make that much difference in the grand scheme of things?

Of course you can get a lot of people signing; who would not agree with it within the RSM? But I fail to see what difference it will make to anything. Convince me otherwise....

31. Danny   
Apr 24 2008 23:31
 

It does make a difference.... at the end of the day myself and other officers of the RSM who are elected by the RSM students want to see this change happen....

I have been involved in the RSM for 3 years - and each year the committee members have wanted the RSM Union name to be restored.....

The difference it will make?.. simple?. Correcting a mistake that was made 7 years ago. The RSM is not a CSC ? we are not a management committee, we provide events throughout the year, Clubs & Societies that differ from the equivalent IC ones, and we look out for the needs of our students ? both the welfare and the academic side. Currently I do the welfare role as have past presidents before me.

It has been 7 years and now is the time to make this change happen.... the RSM is going from strength to strength with attendance at events growing considerably over the last 2 years?? and it hasn?t helped that Guilds have had problems over the last couple of years.

32. Tom   
Apr 25 2008 02:01
 

RSM members would sign anything with the words RSM in it whether its to their benefit or not - it doesn't necessarily mean its a good idea. A good chunk of the Cornish population might sign a petition for Cornish independance but is it really a viable thing to do?

The RSM has great strength in its events and 'spirit' etc, long may it continue and I truely do admire it, but it really seems to me that this seperation thing is more an RSM pride thing than anything else.

Also, I hate to draw comparisons but I've just been reading the article on the NUS conference and Ashley's comment on the number of students in the RSM seems to ring parallells to some of the problems there to me. The RSM traditionally (in my experience at least) have had a very loud and extreme voice. By creating a seperate union could we be giving a small but loud group of students the same standing as a much much larger proportion of students, potentially to the detriment of the majority?

Apr 25 2008 09:49
 

Tom, good point. However while the extremist lefties in the NUS have an agenda (Stop the War, End Poverty, Support Palenstine etc.) - the RSM is mostly interested in entertaining and representing its students (via drinking and sports), like any good Union should be.

If the RSM were run by a load of Trots/Fascists then yes, increasing their influence over the ICU may be problematic - however they're generally a fun-loving decent bunch of people who genuinely care about what's best for their students.

Best of luck at Council, guys.

Apr 26 2008 19:31
 

In terms of accademic representation I don't see any real problems with this paper... it seems to leave the college side much as they are, although obviously the finer points need to be worked out with Guilds at a later date. Adding accademic reps to the RSM committee could potentially strengthen communication between the Union and all the course reps on education issues. Obviously Kirsty sees this as a positive step, I'd be interested to hear Hannah's views on the subject...

I gather that some of the RSM exec and other committee members were threatened with disciplinary if they "hospitalized one more fresher" after a number incidents that occured at non-Union/RSM events at the beginning of the Autumn term.

I'm not convinced that adding welfare to this list of things they are responsible for will actually change the nature of their events, it may just strengthen the case for any disciplinary and make the committee more accountable for its actions. I would be interested to hear Danny's views on this; whether the RSM actually want to change the way they operate, or is it all about the name?

35. Danny   
Apr 27 2008 00:32
 

To 34. First of all it would be nice to know who I am answering to?

I?m glad to see you agree with adding academic representation to the RSM.

You are correct in your second paragraph.... RSM VP, Hon sec and I were all threatened by our academic tutor regarding an incident with a fresher in the first couple of weeks of term.... this was resolved in an appropriate manner and no further action was taken. Do note however the incident did not take place at an RSM event.

Adding welfare will change the way we officially operate... that is obvious.... I say officially for a simple reason - the RSM already does welfare in various forms (i.e. save clauds campaign, supporting RSMA grants and loans, student personal issues), if an RSM welfare issue props up, we deal with it - it is not dealt with by CGCU, due to various reasons....

Restoring Union status and adding welfare will not change any of our existing events, we are proud of what we put on for our students cos at the end of the day they enjoy themselves.... our events have been running a very long time, some are older than Imperial College, and the RSM is proud of its many traditions,. Adding welfare and academic rep will improve the RSM and benefit the student body.

Apr 27 2008 10:23
 

Apart from the fact that when I brought it up with the RSM students on the ground (ok, in the bar) they were p***ed off that they would have to have a welfare and representation rep..

I quote "why would we want an official position for someone to give out condoms?"

"we just want union status because we're so much better than everyone else"

...but that was a while ago, someone might have 'explained' it to them now.

I think they should be granted the status, but on a trial period for a year. If it works then that's great and if doesn't then they can revert back or work something else out. Leave wye and silwood out of it though, no need to mess them around. They should be looked at seperately and not lumped in with this, yes it's along the same vain but I think the issues will be very different and it's not going to be debated properly whilst it is overshadowed by the RSM fight.

Apr 27 2008 11:52
 

@ joe bloggs

What real difference does it make to Wye and Silwood? They have been contacted about the paper and they will have chance to discuss it at Council.

The paper simply changes them from 'CSC' to 'CCU' and gives them an ex-officio seat on two extra committees. This doesn't affect the quorum of either of those committees nor is it a requirement for them to turn up. It just means they are welcome to come if they have someone keen enough to get involved. As far as I am concerned this is a very good thing and we should be encouraging as much involvement as possible.

The RSM do not see this as a 'fight'. It is just changing the constitution to reflect the things that they already do. And as far as Wye and Silwood are concerned it does exactly the same thing. 'Wye Campus Union Society' and 'Silwood Park Union' are clearly not Club and Society Committees so why are they called that presently? Their titles even say they are Unions. Everyone else seems to be complaining on behalf of Wye, Silwood and even the RSM. The proposers have done their research and this is what 'students on the ground' really want to happen.

Apr 27 2008 12:07
 

why do the RSM need extra representation on Exec and RWB in 'ex-officio' form? It has been pointed out that anyone can attend a Union meeting so this step is merely increasing the amount of bureaucracy in the Union, adding an extra bit of jargon and further complicating the tripartite structure.

Why not add ex-officio seats for all senior Union officers on Exec who want to get involved - this includes all Club and Society Committees and other bodies too. The answer is that this creates unnecessary hassle and complication in calling meetings - you might as well call it Council Mk II... Exec is a small working group for good reason and it needs to be. There is a danger in creating ex-officio postions that there will be little interest in reps turning up in a few years once the current crop of students have left, as these ex-officios don't get a real vote on Exec and you can make your opinion heard without going to all the meetings anyway.

As Ashley has already pointed out, RSM is smaller than a lot of individual departments in CGCU or RCSU; why should they get extra seats on RWB just because of a bit of history and tradition? Why not invite all the department/year reps from all departments to come along too and make it a real representation party?

39. Tom   
Apr 27 2008 23:53
 

Maybe a stupid question, but why dont RSM members run for CGCU positions instead? It is after all their union. Apply for a position as the CGCU welfare officer if you feel it's inadequete and bring the entire faculty up rather than brushing that off as somebody elses problem entirely - you're as responsible for its c**pness as anyone else! If not more so - you have people who seem to be keen to do all this stuff but are only willing to do it for 2 departments rather than an actual faculty.

The problems in CGCU the last couple of years have affected everyone, its not just the RSM departments that have had to largely look after themselves. Dep reps in the other departments are the ones sorting out the problems - how is this any different from what the RSM are doing? Yes the RSM do much more on the extra-cirricular side which gives this big identity thing, but I really dont see what theyre doing outside of that which is any more than the dep reps - its just coming under the title of RSM rather than dep rep.

Apr 28 2008 00:06
 

Well said Tom. In recent years RSM students have stood for and been elected to several high profile positions including Engineering Faculty AAO and Vice President (Activities).

Apr 28 2008 08:22
 

Remind me who those students were?

Apr 28 2008 08:46
 

Tom, the point isn't that the RSM are doing these things, it's that they shouldn't be. A CSC has no academic or welfare representation role.

The RSM does look after the academic and welfare interests of it's members yet they have no reps on their committee and noone to report to. This needs to be acknowledged and changed.

The level to which they report will no doubt be a talking point at Council. Personally, I'd rather they reported higher up the committee structure than lower as, from experience, communication with officers lower down the Union structures is very difficult.

43. Tom   
Apr 28 2008 15:11
 

The academic and welfare support provided appears to be the equivalent of a combined materials and ESE dep rep - just run under a different title. It is this title which appears to be the matter of debate - a clubs and societies commitee shouldnt have anything to do with academic/welfare support, I do understand that.

This support is being provided, which of course is a good thing. Whether it is done under the title of combined materials and ESE rep or RSM seems of little importance - the people providing the representation appear to have decided to take it under the title of RSM.

The support however appears to be no different to a dep rep, and I therefore believe that it should not neccessarily be given any greater a standing than say the mech eng dep rep.

In terms of who they are to report to etc. the way I see it they're providing the support of a dep rep (whether its done under the title of a CSC or not), and if they see whoever it is they report to as inadequete they should work to improve that as it is their responsibility as much as the rest of C&G.

44. Rosie   
Apr 28 2008 16:00
 

I think people need to separate members of the RSM wanting to become a union and individuals choosing to run for positions. Ultimately the students are asking for this and yes RSM will benefit from more localised representation. I don't think Guilds will suffer; I've been to RWB a few times this year as an observer and Guilds haven't sent their full delegation. Trying to get better representation for RSM students should not mean that everybody else?s representation suffers. At worst nothing changes.

Personally I think this should be seen as a starting point to look to improve everyone's representation and I'd be happy to work with Guilds to achieve that. However this is something that really has come from the student body and I think it would be an extremely bad move for council to oppose it, especially as I believe there are only 3 officers who actually have a mandate larger than the number of seconders on this paper.

Apr 28 2008 17:45
 

I've just been alerted to these changes through the network (obviously) and as an ex-RSM President from some of our darker early 21st century days. I think the general principle is correct, without knowing much about the tiny detail.

Basically over the last few years the RSM has done a sterling job representing students and providing welfare for a good majority of its students, in a completely unrecognised manner. It is about time this was recognised by ICU, and greater support was given to the RSM to do this properly, as it is by no means perfect at the moment.

It seems to me that this is a long required call for respect and recognition of some good work over several years by many people.

The RSM President job has become near impossible, attacked from most sides by the departments, ICU, college, the alumni (of the RSMA, C&GCA, and the chapter), C&GCU and its students, mainly doing tasks outside of the re-mit of the role. All presidents have been happy to do this because they believed in what they were doing, but I don't know one who didn't find it unbelievablely stressful, and often very unpleasant. I realise this probably applies to a lot of roles in ICU, but where people know something like this is happening, something should be done. A recognition of what is going on, some clarification of the role, greater access to some of the higher union/college committees would all help, and I believe this is what is been suggested. However having said this, it doesn't mean I don't look back at my time as President with both pride and happiness.

The original move to turn the RSM into a CSC was a compromise (with most of the compromising done by the RSM) during the re-structuring in 2000-2. The opinion apparently of the union and college at the time was that the RSM should be got rid of, by stuffing them in a constitutional corner, where it would slowly die. This was essentially as a punishment for some fairly inappropriate activities by the RSMU in the 80s and 90s that I will not defend. Problems were thrust onto the RSMCSC i.e. by forcing them to carry over debt from the RSMU, whilst stopping nearly all funding in a bid to speed up this death, so obviously the first few years of the CSC were blighted by debt problems. I think it is time all the parties involved moved on form this bit of history, and looked at what the RSM does now for its students and more importantly what (with help from ICU and C&GCU) it could do in the future, for greater benefit.

However when the RSMU was abolished by doing this the original welfare representation the RSM did provide (however good or bad) was lost, and whilst theoretically this was addressed by the C&GCU (who saw this as a great coup) two small departments (one of which didn't even do engineering) went rather ignored. This was particularly important as during this time a new geology degree started which had a number of teething problems, students found they had nowhere to go for representation, due to the muddied welfare system. Clearly some clarity is still required, and it appears RSM students still look to the RSMCSC for representation, whether they should or not. Its not changed in 8 years, is it really ever going to change - why not just run with it and let it be.

As president, and on the back of efforts by the three previous Presidents as well, I managed to convince the C&GCU that we needed representing better. It was that year for example that the ESE & Materials Dep Reps began sitting on both the Guilds and RSM committees which certainly helped. Particularly as the ESE department staff still saw the RSMCSC as representing the students - indeed often as President I would take flack for the academic behaviour of students. It would seem some more steps forward are now required. i'm not sayng the RSM is perfect, but no part of ICU is and the best all of us can do is look to improve things as much as possible. I think the RSMCSC has done this and now needs help taking this to the next step.

After establishing a strong financial position I think the RSM has gone on to do some wonderful welfare and entertainment events (which a great number of recent alumni still attend - as testament to their success), and foster a rather unique atmosphere within the departments. I think ICU & C&GCU would do better recognising this and helping the RSM do it better, rather than ignoring the situation and assuming it will change - which I believe is very unfair.

Yes, there are representation problems, and just because we shout louder doesn't mean we should be heard more, however I have faith that council if its anything like the one I used to know will make sure this doesn't happen. It is also worth noting that when it existed as the RSMu it was just as small in respect to the full ICU and the other two colleges, but everyone seemed to manage to get a system together that worked.

Oh and on the subject of representation, the elections for the committee in my year had a turn out of about 70-80%, so each member of the RSM comittee could claim to be representing 70-80% of its franchise - I think these a numbers most other 'representative' persons in the ICU could only dream of. Indeed I recieved about 350 votes, a number that year similar to the DPEW I think!

Anyway I have work to do now!

We are Miners! Royal Miners!

We like... etc etc!

See you all at the RSMA dinner in June.

46. rsm   
Apr 28 2008 21:12
 

paper rejected

Apr 28 2008 21:48
 

Ili Afifuddin was AAO in 2004/05

Jing Wei was VPA in 2002/03

I'm sure there were other examples but I can't remember them off the top of my head.

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