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Tempers Flare as RSM Paper Falls

Apr 29 2008 00:10
A paper seeking to restore Union status to the Royal School of Mines CSC was defeated at tonights Council after failing to receive the two thirds majority needed by only one vote.
A number of seats became empty after the decision

Over an hour of constitutional bickering and procedural hackery resulted in precisely no changes to the current status of the RSM after tonight's Council turned into a shouting match. A controversial paper seeking to restore Union status to the RSM fell by only one vote, with DPFS Chris Larvin, speaking out in opposition. The paper had 184 seconders and was claimed to be the fourth largest list of seconders to have appeared in front of Council, dwarfed only by the Environmental Policy, changes to the Beit Masterplan and the Make Poverty History campaign.

Many Councillors had already expressed concerns with parts of the proposals prompting ICU President Stephen Brown to win amendments removing the RSM representatives from both the Executive Committee and the Representation and Welfare Board. Worries that RSM students would receive too much representation through seats on these committees were cited, with Brown stating that students should not be treated as a special case just because of a historical significance. A compromise was reached by increasing the number of RWB representatives appointed by the Faculty Union's to two with Council 'strongly suggesting' that the second CGCU Representative should be from the RSM. This essentially meant that the Guilds Exec would appoint an RSM Rep rather than the RSM Exec to avoid Dep Reps outside RSM feeling unfairly disadvantaged. Several times it was highlighted that by allowing RSM to sit on Union committees, it could open the doors to other bodies such as MechSoc, EEESoc or even Dance Club to demand a place on those same committees, just by getting 200 seconders.

Shortly after the two amendments had been overwhelmingly voted through, the RSM President, Danny Hill, stormed from the room in disgust. Should he have been present at the vote a two-thirds majority would have been reached and the paper would have passed. Speaking afterwards about this matter Hill responded that in the amended state he did not feel the paper represented the needed changes for the RSM and may not have voted for the paper anyway. This was despite the compromise solution having almost the same effect as the original proposal, just without a seat on the executive.

RSM members who had turned out to observe the meeting, including past and future RSM Presidents Seb Turner and Adam Baldwin, were shocked by the tirade leashed upon the paper by Deputy President (Finance and Services) Chris Larvin. Having been Honorary Junior Treasurer to the RSM Exec before his election to Sabbatical Office, Larvin's allegiances could have been wrongly assumed. Describing the process as a "power grab" by the RSM Exec that, contrary to the consensus in the paper, did "not represent the views of the majority of students in the RSM" he questioned the validity of the paper and the method by which Hill had gathered support.

With Hill no longer present to refute claims of mal-practice, co-proposer Jon Matthews attacked Larvin on behalf of the RSM President, saying that inferring the proposers and the DPEW had lied to council was a grave allegation. Larvin responded by asking the Council Chair to read out two emails, sent by the RSM President to students in ESE and Materials. He clarified that he was concerned that the method in which the seconders were collected was dubious, due to the nature of the emails sent out to collect them. Part of Mr Matthews tirade, along with the content of the emails, can be seen in the video below. The principle concern of Mr Larvin's was an email with the subject "Click reply, then click send" - the list of seconders was collected based on replies to this email, and a previous one which had the paper attached. The email also claimed the paper was a "win-win" situation, leading to "more money" for RSM clubs and activities.

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Jon Matthews challenge and RSM emails

Continuing in his attack Matthews gave a passionate speech drawing comparisons between the GSA representatives and the RSM. Postgraduates are represented twice on Council and RWB through their Faculty Unions and the GSA. No-one, he said, would remove the GSA Chair in fear of accusations of killing the GSA but everyone was willing to kill the RSM. This did not sway Council though as the paper failed to pass with the required 2/3 majority.

The rest of the meeting passed mostly uneventfully, aided by the resignation of Undergraduate Engineering Councillor Rosie Smithells who departed with the Deputy President (Education and Welfare) after the paper fell. There are a lot of hurt feelings after tonight's rather heated debate.

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Discussion about “Tempers Flare as RSM Paper Falls”

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.
Apr 29 2008 01:52

I'm afraid I had to leave early, though not in quite the dramatic manner that Mr Hill left. I say early, I left after an hour of discussion, but then I do have a <b>very</b> important deadline for today. I would have liked to have stayed for the debate, though it sounds as though it continued in the same argumentative vein as I left it, as I might then have been able to come to a decision on the matter. As it was I didn't want to proxy a vote when I didn't know what I was finally voting on, even though it seems now that one extra vote may have turned it.

2. cynic   
Apr 29 2008 07:48

Probably the funniest thing I have read all year, aww poor RSM, now you do realise your a joke.

3. so?   
Apr 29 2008 09:08

if danny hill hadn't stropped out would it have passed? I wasn't there but i wish i had been!!

4. so?   
Apr 29 2008 09:15

The beginning of that video is great!! Jon matthews should be a stand up, but we won't tell him, we'll just taunt him with the constitution and then let him think that everyone is awaiting to hear about his proposed changes!!!

Apr 29 2008 09:16

Just to clarify that the voting on the paper was 14 for, 8 against, (I can't remember the number of abstentions), so the meeting would of needed an extra 2 to pass it.

Apr 29 2008 09:17

How pathetic

Apr 29 2008 09:23

I can't remember if it was 13-7 or 13-8. Danny stropped out and one other supporter voted against the paper (due to the changes?).

If it was 13-7, Danny's vote would have allowed it to pass. If it was 13-8, the other supporter could have allowed it to pass by voting for it.

In my capacity as a councillor, I'm unsure whether I'd give this a sympathetic hearing if this was brought back. A good compromise was on the table, but the proposers/miners got stroppy and started moaning about council "ignoring their views". It just makes it look like the "power grab" Larvin claimed it was - why not settle for the compromise that delivered most of what was asked for, except the ridiculous seat on exec?

They've been unable to see that *every* special interest group in the college could bring a paper with 200 names. I'm sure the RCC could get 200 signatures asking for a place on exec, to be called the "recreational clubs union" and to sit on RWB because extra-curricular activities help with academic development and welfare. Especially if Eugene emailed everyone in an RCC club and said "Reply to this email and we'll get lots more money for your clubs".

That's the reality of the situation here. Council isn't there to just rubber stamp things if a special interest group comes in and demands something. It's there to make a balanced judgement, and must consider the bigger picture. People say council is ineffective, but it actually did its job properly last night - it wasn't Council acting like children and being unwilling to compromise.

The debate (until the miners/Jon started shouting) was sensible and reasoned. A good compromise was reached and the miners should have taken it - the stupid pantomime just showed that they shouldn't be on exec if they're going to behave in such an appalling manner.

Apr 29 2008 09:25

Hmm, it seems the Council Chair has clarified the voting while I was writing my rant.

So the supporter of the paper who voted against it could have swung the vote, but Danny returning just by himself wouldn't have been enough.

Apr 29 2008 10:17

I'd like to echo Ashley's comments... I tried to listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision as most Councillors would and should do. The behaviour of the proposers of the paper did not help the situation at all.

All this stuff about Councillors having smaller mandates than the no. of seconders on the paper... I'd like to point out that CSCs do represent a lot of students on council:

ACC dance has 292 members alone, of ACC's 50-60 clubs.

RCC clubs have a total of over 1600 members.

A&E have over 500.

SCC & OSC may not be as vocal as the others but they draw a LOT of the other students who don't traditionally get involved in clubs and Union politics. Maybe Kirsty's working group should consider that when they meet to discuss Council membership.

Re Jon's GSA comment: If this seat on Exec thing had gone through, I'd like to point out that a postgrad RSM student would then have THREE welfare reps to cover him/her - Guilds, GSA and RSMU. Does that make it fair on postgrads from other depts who only have two?

10. Miner   
Apr 29 2008 12:39

The RSMU President left the meeting because once the paper had been stripped of its most important assets, i.e. a guaranteed place on Exec and RWB, there seemed little point in continuing to pass it at this time.

Note, Miners already use the name "RSM Union" and will continue to do so. It is how we are recognised by the vast alumni base and industry. It is a historical name and it reflects what we have done, what we do, and what we will continue to do for a long time into the future.

We may only represent some 800-1000 students, but given the level of activity and involvement within the RSM it seems only fair that this is recognised in the wider Union body.

And finally, let us not compare the RSMU to bodies such as "ACC Dance". They represent a broad spectrum of students who have a common interest. The RSMU represents a specific group of students, based in two specific departments, and serve as an important contact point for welfare, both academic and social. By comparing the RSMU to these other societies undermines the hard work by those for centuries. It's utterly ridiculous.

Apr 29 2008 12:51

A seat on exec is not required for welfare reasons. The only argument presented for it was that the RSM President would have nothing else to do under the proposed RSMU structure. That means the RSMU structure is wrong, not that we should find some job for the president to do.

A seat on RWB is only needed because RSM departments don't effectively feed into the Guilds welfare structure. That means that interface needs fixing, not that RSM needs a seat on the committee. The proposed compromise would have given them a seat on RWB, but via Guilds (meaning they would actually have to talk to the people who do the faculty-level representation), while still getting rid of the bizarre situation where they are a CSC.

The point about ACC Dance stands - if they got 200 signatures to be called a union, should Council just push it through without considering the consequences? That was the argument put forward by the proposers.

Apr 29 2008 12:55

If you don't like the ACC Dance approach, lets try MechSoc, or EEESoc. They represent a similar number of students, in much the same way (almost exactly the same way - similar events, similar role). If the want to be a union with a seat on exec and RWB, should we do that?

RSM reps at the meeting called the proposal to add all dep reps to RWB absurd ... because it is.

Apr 29 2008 12:59

No one was saying that you were the same, just that if a body representing 800-1000 people could have a place on exec then loads of others could legitimately claim a place as well. Which would create a bit of a mess.

Surely involvement and activity is higher in members of AAC etc. than in the RSM so they'd actually have an even stronger case to sit on exec.

Apr 29 2008 13:20

Oh come on! The RSM is a former Constituent College, an old CCU, and continues to be reflected in the way the members organise themselves. The idea it that restoring it to it's pre-sysksian status is akin to giving Dance Soc club status is ridiculous.

Particularly as the whole reason we HAVE Council is to exercise discretion rather than rubber stamping a one size fits all template as being applicable or not applicable in a given circumstance.

It is perfectly possible for Council members to make a decision for RSM on the basis of:

1. Past precedent

2. Ongoing Affiliation of members

3. Connection to the old allumni associations etc.

In much the same way that previous Councils refused to be pushed into exact symmetry with college over the issue of the precise names of the FU's.

If you are going to reject the idea of RSMU on the basis "then we would have to give it to everyone else", that is a bit spineless frankly. RSM is clearly not the same as the ACC.

The more compelling argument however is this:

We are a student led organisation, our structure should reflect our membership. If the RSM continues to function as an FU "on the ground" denying that at the higher level is just going to lead to that wonderful euphamisim someone used earlier, "broken interfaces". No ammount of bureaucratic finessing is likely to fix that if a large chunk of the Guilds membership, that was historically not part of Guilds, continues to function as a separate community and vice versa for the Guilds membership.

You'd be better off accounting for that than trying to deny it.

The size of FU's is immaterial. Nobody whined that "scientists" were getting too much infulence when the RCSU split inot Life and Phyiscal sciences.

Apr 29 2008 13:33

Seb - the comparison to the ACC is only being made because of the logic of the proposers: that because 200 people have seconded something, it should be pushed through without thinking about the consequences.

Your point about the RCSU splitting is also immaterial - they did not get represented twice. If RSM wanted to be a union and not be represented twice, then Guilds would need to stop doing representation for them - which would mean no voice at faculty level.

The compromise was a good solution to preserve the RSM name and restore it to a union. The miners had stormed off, or failed to vote for it.

Hopefully once they've calmed down and collected their toys from the floor we'll have a good solution which will satisfy everyone.

What was rejected was not the concept for the RSMU - it was a seat on exec (not needed for their function) and a seat on RWB (which should already be provided for via Guilds - and the compromise sought to ensure an RSM rep would get on). I think most are happy to have the RSM become "RSMU" officially, but the rest of the "power grab", without consultation with anyone else that it affected, was what was rejected.

16. Seb   
Apr 29 2008 14:41

"that because 200 people have seconded something, it should be pushed through without thinking about the consequences."

It's still not a very good argument, because the context is different. These are not 200 seconders demanding infinite porridge and the liberation of all penguins.

It demonstrates that one of the reasons the structure isn't working is that it doesn't reflect reality on the ground if you can get 200 genuine seconders. Morevoer, how else, given the current representation structure, do the RSM members demonstrate their will? Without a large number of signatures, the CGCU reps can simply say "well, we represent these people and we don't think they don't want it".

"which would mean no voice at faculty level."

That rests on the assumption (which I have always found rather thin) that the College Faculties would not recognise the students other than through direct symetry with College structures.

If the RCSU's members hadn't wanted to pull it appart at the time of the college restructuring, then it would have ended up talking to two college faculties, and if they hadn't wanted to merge back together again when the Natural Sciences faculty formed, vice versa.

"What was rejected was not the concept for the RSMU"

It seems to me rather the consequence of the RSM people bidding low to begin with. If it's an FU, it should get the same treatment as other FU's. Equally, they should come out and say that.

Talk of a "power grab" is slightly ridiculous isn't it? If the aim is for these people to get represented, the issue should be how and who they want to be represented by. It also assumes that the CGCU naturally has the right to represent this community, which historically they have been separate constituencies, and in practice it has not done so (or so claim the people demanding an RSMU) despite having the responsibility on paper. In context of language like "power grab", you can look at this the opposite way: CGCU hanging on to the RSM for dear life lest it trigger further disintigration.

Another way of looking at it, CGCU doesn't seem to be doing so well at the moment, perhaps RSM students don't think it is representing them on a faculty level at all.

Apr 29 2008 14:58

This has nothing to do with the proposals at all, it is merely an observation.

If Mr Matthews wasn't such a condescending, arrogant tosser then maybe he might have got his extra vote.

I see a recurring theme here. Whenever Matthews speaks in favour of/proposes a paper, it falls.

A word of advice to anyone wanting to something to pass at Council. Make sure he has absolutely nothing to do with it!

Apr 29 2008 15:08

But why shouldn't MechSoc, which has more members than what is left of the RSM, be entitled to a permanent seat on exec and RWB, if they could find 200 signatures? The claim that the RSM used to be a constituent college union (when it was larger) is all very well, but that was seven years ago.

I don't think "CGCU" actually cares what happens to the RSMCSC/RSMU. They weren't consulted on the proposals. However what isn't acceptable is for 700 students to have a disproportionate amount of representation purely because the RSM once existed.

RSM and CGCU worked well together during the Glass/Singh presidencies, so it is possible. As the proposers kept saying, it shouldn't be about personalities - you don't change the system because it doesn't work with the current people, but if it doesn't work at all.

I get the impression there's been a bit of self-defeatism in the RSM with regards to dep reps not turning up to meetings. But that's something Guilds and "RSM" should sit down and sort out first. Otherwise we'll go from one dysfunctional setup to another. There has to be some sort of working interface between the two ex-RSM department reps and the rest of engineering - we won't get two reps on any of the faculty level committees.

I think an attempt to make RSM a full Faculty Union for just 750 students (less than MechSoc, EEESoc) would result in a number of things:

  • ESE & Materials getting no representation at all at faculty level
  • Other depsocs being p***ed off that these two small depts get extra resources, for no reason other than ESE and Materials used to be part of something bigger in the dim and distant past

It wouldn't surprise me if one or other of the RSM depts disappears soon either...

19. Seb   
Apr 29 2008 15:54


"But why shouldn't MechSoc, which has more members than what is left of the RSM"

Because the number of members isn't the issue.

MechSoc was never a CCU, never been a distinct entity, and can it's members really be said to be distinct from the rest of the Engineering deparments? Culture matters. If it didn't matter, there would be no FU's whatsoever. The CCU's and FU's were never concieved to be of "equal weighting", they were a reflection of the culture of the unions membership wishing to split their affiliations. Indeed, back in the dim and distant past, RSMU was still minute compared to the other CCU's.

"but that was seven years ago."

It took a hell of a lot longer to integrate the medics, and to an extent they still aren't. If it's seven years ago (only gettnig on for two generations, and a strong community can last longer than that), lets look on the ground and see what's happening? Are the RSM members integrated within Guilds? If the answer is yes, then the issue can be thrown out as being unneccessary. If not, then I'd suggest the important issue isn't how the union would like to structure their representation, but how the members would like to be represented.

"I don't think "CGCU" actually cares what happens to the RSMCSC/RSMU"

Which, I think, speaks volumes in terms of why the current arrangement is broken doesn't it?

"However what isn't acceptable is for 700 students to have a disproportionate amount of representation"

Disproportionate in that they are not "big enough" to be a CCU? Life Sciences was pretty small, did they get "more representation per member" as a result, and if they did, did it matter?

Or disproportionate in that the CGCU would also continue to represent them, thus RSM members get double representation? In that case I see a very easy and obvious solution. In any case, isn't their contention that the CGCU is not representing them now, in which case the problem is under representation, a far greater concern than over representation.

It also matters if you end up with a situation where it is harder for a miner, say, to get elected within Guilds, a clear example of what I mean by culture mattering (I don't know if this actually is the case). When the RCSU split, one of the side effects was that for two or three years it was much harder to get elected to any senior union post through a faculty route if you were a scientist.

Anyway, fundementally, the bureaucracy should reflect the way people are organised on the ground, rather than expecting people on the ground to conform to a flowchart that is "neatest".

"ESE & Materials getting no representation at all at faculty level"

Again, based on this idea that college would insist on blanking two departmentsworth of students, which seems unlikely.

"Other depsocs being p***ed off that these two small depts get extra resources"

How do they get extra resources? Guilds looses what resources it was allocated for the RSM membership. Net resources stay the same.

Apr 29 2008 16:06

Is is more a case of RSM wanting to jump ship of a sinking CGCU? If that is so, why cant everyone else?

Or should those putting time and effort into writing papers put this time into actually supporting the union they belong to (and incidentally which doesnt really represent anyone very well at the mo) and work with those not wanting to see it crumble and to rebuild the CGCU into a fully functioning/representing machine.

Apr 29 2008 16:07

Faculty-level representation: College doesn't want to talk to two people at Faculty level. College Council operates under the doctrine that they should look forward, not back - giving a place for the RSMU on senior committees would go against that.

The current arrangement is broken because nobody talks to each other. There's a mindset in mines which doesn't help from their end, and Guilds is currently in such a mess that it can be difficult to know who to contact. Having said that, the materials rep manages to turn up to meetings and I'm fairly sure the relevant people know who he is.

Funding: with a seat on RWB, RSM would be available to apply for extra funding from the RWB budget, which dep socs do not have direct access to. One of the reasons for the paper given in the email circulated to miners was more money for RSM clubs and activities. Why should non-RSM clubs put up with that, just because of some historical significance?

The current solution is ridiculous, having a mines Faculty Union with no Faculty would be just as ridiculous. I think everyone has now agreed that the paper came very close to the best solution - but it lacked the proper discussions with the external stakeholders...

In the next couple of months we should have a proper, sustainable solution and, I hope, better relations between RSMU and CGCU so the stupid whining can stop and the needs of students can be served.

22. Miner   
Apr 29 2008 16:14

Email sent to Tristan Sherliker, Alex Grisman, Jennifer Morgan and Andreas Esau from DPEW account on 17/04/2008. No reply was received:

"You may be interested in a paper coming to the next Council regarding Representation and Welfare structures for the RSM. This is particularly pertinent for Alex as CGCU AAO. I have been through the paper with a fine toothed comb and met with RSM Exec during the drafting stages and I am certain this will be a positive move in terms of increasing Academic and Welfare Representation within these departments. If you have any questions or wish to add your name to the support of the paper then please get back to me."

RSM President also sent emails to both Faculties asking for their opinions. Granted with hindsight the timing was difficult and we didn't know the CGCU President was going to resign the day before Council but it wasn't a deliberate attempt to cut Guilds out. It is difficult to know who to contact in the absence of the President. Which out of the VPA or Hon Sec has the largest Education/Welfare remit? And it's not like none of the proposers knew anybody in Guilds. Ashley, you were involved before the paper was even submitted? If you knew the situation in Guilds better couldn't you have pointed people in the right direction?

Apr 29 2008 16:23

"with a seat on RWB, RSM would be available to apply for extra funding from the RWB budget, which dep socs do not have direct access to."

The people in the past two years to apply for funding from RWB are Environemntal Society, Fairtrade Society, Pugwash Ethical Careers Exhibition, ICU Cinema, IQ, Women in SET and Central union Cmapaigns such as RISE and SHAG. If SCC Clubs are taking advantage of the resources I see no reason why Dep Socs would not have the same access. Quite the opposite situation is currently happening. The societies who don't have seats on RWB have had more financial benefit than the FUs who do!

Apr 29 2008 16:24

Ah, yes, the "consultation". This consisted of the following:

  • Drawing up a plan
  • Emailing lots of people
  • Shouting at people who disagreed with the plans

The proposers knew full well that Tristan would be ineffective over Easter, unless they are completely naive/stupid. Grisman was away. Easter was a c**p time to do it, just to rush it through at the start of term.

It's consultation in the "Ken Livingstone" sense: here's what I think is right, and I'm going to call you stupid/ignorant/blahblah if you disagree with my view.

I gave up, because no-one was interested in hearing my views - views other people in Guilds (and apparently people in the RCC, the ICU President etc) share.

I said Guilds needed to be properly consulted before the paper was submitted ... but was told it needed to go through now or we'd "run out of time". I said I didn't think RSM should be on exec - a change which came up in the meeting - but nobody seemed that interested in hearing that. I also said that I wasn't sure they should be on RWB either, thanks to double-representation - another point which came up in the meeting. Note that I didn't bring these things up, Stephen Brown did.

In other words, I'd told the proposers exactly what was likely to happen in the meeting, yet they apparently made no contingency plans as to what to do if those things came up. When they did come up, they decided that they couldn't speak for 184 people (despite having had prior warning) and threw their crayons on the floor in disgust.

If you want to consult, then consult. Don't tell people how its going to be, then claim to have consulted, then get stroppy when you end up with the same thing your consultation said you'd get!

But this is getting pointless, as I believe we now have a way forward.

Apr 29 2008 16:25

Kirsty - so where was this magical extra RSM money going to come from? Or did someone lie to students in Materials and ESE to get seconders?

Apr 29 2008 16:42

Kirsty - your email asked the recipients to reply only if they had questions or wanted to second the paper.

They didn't reply - this is most likely that they didn't have any questions and didn't want to second the paper.

Apr 29 2008 16:48

You'd be better off asking the RSM President/Treasurer that but seeing as I'm here I suppose Rosie was right in saying they'd have a more legitimate claim for money from RWB than they would currently as a CSC. All the clubs I mentioned before (with the exception of ICU Cinema) have an educational remit on issues covered by RWB as would Dep Socs. RSMCSC does not currently have a remit that would see them doing jobs that are covered by RWB.

Another thing I heard whispered was that MatSoc would return to (and wanted to - it was their suggestion, apparently) the RSM. This would mean more money for RSM Clubs and Societies only there would also be more RSM Clubs and Societies to divide it between so in effect just moving money. But I digress...

As I said: you'd have to ask the people who know/sent the email. I was just clarifying the RWB issue. :o)

One of the miners who spoke very strongly (and in an immature fashion) in favour of the paper is now standing for next years president of CGCU. I think she is standing for the wrong reasons. Below is a copy of the email she sent to her friends asking for their support. It was sent the night before council.


I've only got three days to get 10 seconders, just follow the link to second me (think of it as insurance just in case the RSM paper doesn't go though today... we'll do it again next year with the full backing and votes of Guilds).

and second kirsty too because she'll probably make a better welfare rep than anything Guilds elect.



I think I will ron her and seriously consider whether Kirsty is worth voting for.

29. Hmmm   
Apr 29 2008 16:50

That doesn't say a lot about the people involved then does it?

But I think you are wrong, they were probably just too busy and it wasn't top priority for them.

30. Rosie   
Apr 29 2008 16:54

I believe I'm running for the right reasons, but maybe I emailed the wrong "friends".

Apr 29 2008 17:13

Ahhhh, this isn't supposed to be the Ashley - Kirsty forum (especially as Ashley and I are now in agreement about the content and way forward with the paper) but I hadn't read post 26.

Ok, I accept your point that they may not have had questions but Alex came to the Union before Council to discuss the paper and confessed he didn't understand how the structures would work. I know he's busy with exams and I have been impressed on many occaisions by the hard work he puts into his role so I don't want him to be criticised. But he could have emailed any of us with questions.

I also emailed Council with the paper before it went up online to try and get feedback. Maybe asking for any questions to be directed towards us before the meeting was too small a scope. maybe I should have asked for problems, criticisms, opposition, amendments, changes, proposals etc etc. I thought 'questions' would suffice but I haven't made that mistake twice.

32. Seb   
Apr 29 2008 17:13


"College doesn't want to talk to two people at Faculty level."

Would it actually simply refuse to listen to these people? Wouldn't look good on external assessment etc. would it. If it runs into a total deadlock with the college point blank refusing to meet people and/or refusing to ratify the changes required, then this becomes a serious impediment. Anyway, you ought to know about the to-and-fro that goes on between what college wants and what it gets. If we took the attitude that everything college wants, we should deliver, Live would be in some pretty serious difficulties.

"RSM would be available to apply for extra funding from the RWB budget"

In theory, they are able to do so now through the CGCU rep right now, yes? One might counter argue that a CGCU that neglects RSM depsocs within the CGCU doesn't lobby for it.

And one rep isn't going to hold the ballence of power, what might matter if CGCU reps were voting in support of the RSM reps and vice versa, such that you had what was in fact one entity pretending to be two entities. But that isn't what is really going on here, is it?

There was a point in time where (if this is a serious argument about over representation), scientists were represetned "three" times, once by Phys Sci, once by Lifi Sci, and once again through their Depsocs CSC.

Again, I'd argue that the neatness and symetries of various flowcharts showing higher level of organisation must ultimtely yield to how our members are actually organised, otherwise the orgaisation will break down.

Apr 29 2008 17:19

@ Behaviour of miners (like Rosie Smithells)

Really trying to stop posting now but I feel I must defend myself on this occaision. I have no editorial rights over my friends emails! I'm running for CGCU Welfare for the same reason I held the Welfare Camapigns Officer role two years ago and the DPEW role this year. I am passionate about making student life better, easier and more enjoyable and I don't think I'm bad at it. However, this could be construed as campaigning before nominations close so I will stop there.

Apr 29 2008 18:50

I just have to say that im am severly dissapointed with both Larvin and Hill's behaviour i think both of them let their pride or ego get in the way of the best interests of the RSM students and what they actually wanted.

They will both soon be graduates of the Royal School of Mines and they should have thinking about the common interstes of the students more than their personnal issues.

As a student of the old RSMU i am quite imbarresed that an oppurtunity to return the great name to its rightful position has been squandered over petty bickering, possibly forever.

its a terrible shame, at least the spirit of the RSM will never die!

35. Hill   
Apr 29 2008 19:23

Finally got round to reading all this after sitting two exams today...... And I must say a lot of nonsense has been posted on here - it seems that the bickering that went on last night has continued throughout the day....

Though there is an exception, Seb ? you have mentioned some very decent points.

To Old Miner..... I too am disappointed with Larvins Behaviour - he was out of order.... My reason for leaving Council last night was because I thought the whole episode was an utter sham! I was not going to sit there and listen to a bunch of hacks tear apart the proposal any further....

At the end of the day ?.this is not the only the beginning; the RSM President elect is as keen as me to see this progress. As Kirsty has already said we will be back with an amended paper after seriously discussing our current situation with members of Guilds so they can have some input.

Apr 29 2008 20:20

Ah yes, the mines president agreeing with someone who agrees with him, and dismissing the opinions of other people as "nonsense". Sounds familiar...

Apr 29 2008 21:17

Old miner should not be embarrassed that Chris Larvin had the thought to stand for what he thought was right and not defend what he knew was wrong because of stupid loyalties.

Old miner should however be embarrassed that he can't spell embarrassed, but then he is a miner, I guess some things never change.

38. LIVER   
Apr 29 2008 22:17

LIVE = EVIL backwards - Coincidence?

Apr 29 2008 22:21

Nope. As Live! is the anti evil.

Apr 29 2008 22:36

that's genius, i had actually never realised, but now it all makes so much sense

41. Pedant   
Apr 30 2008 09:49

"Chris Larvin had the thought to stand for what he thought was right and not defend what he knew was wrong because of stupid loyalties."

Surely if he only thought he was right he could also only think the paper was wrong. It's all about personal opinion and Larvin was just considerably better at expressing his personal opinion than some other members of Council.

Apr 30 2008 15:10

Sorry Kirsty, but when did IQ ever apply to funding from RWB? Or did you mean the time when when Emma Persky decided we should have an awareness week and IQ was only consulted after the money had been secured...oh and then nothing happened. Yay, go union! So... consultation from interested parties from the outset is vital.

Sorry, random venting there. Just had to let it out. As it seems everyone else has.

I'm not sure I completely agree with Ashley's opening the floodgates view of all large clubs and csc's being let on to exec or RWB. Perhaps though relations between CGCU and RSM need to be improved so that people in RSM feel like and actually are being represented in the places that matter.

Apr 30 2008 15:33

And it rhymes so it must right.

RSM and CGCU do need to repair their relationship. They are currently working together on the paper that fell.

Next year will need a strong president for CGCU who cares about all of its members. The email from Rosie Smithels shows that she clearly cares nothing about guildsmen but only miners, It speaks derogatively of guildsmen. Its a disgusting attitude to take and she should be ashamed of herself. Ashley is right = POWER GRAB POWER GRAB POWER GRAB.

May 01 2008 10:58

Ryan, I referred to the IQ Chair getting ?300 funding to take four delegates to NUS LGBT Summer Campaign Conference last week.

The Officer you referrred to applied for money for an LGBT Awareness Cmapaign in 2006/2007 when they had a seat on RWB as CGCU Welfare Officer. Subsequently they were no confidenced from that position precisely because nothing was happening on LGBT issues or anything else. Not the Unions fault and appropriate action was taken.

Can people stop slagging candidates off before the close of nominations? It's against election regs. You can slag all candidates off as much as you like after nominations have closed provided that your slagging off is factual and based on their record (no personal insults for example).

45. Eugene   
May 01 2008 13:31

Kirsty, sorry I'm not completely familiar with election regs.

What is the penalty for slagging off candidates before close of nominations? If say I were doing it, but I am not standing or supporting anyone standing, then who gets penalised for breaking the rules?

May 01 2008 14:00

Hi Eugene,

Good point. I admit I jumped to two conclusions when I said that:

1. That the person who posted No 43. could have seconded another candidate in Guilds elections which would mean they were campaigning. The origin of the post could be investigated should a complaint be made but that was an quite overzealous stretch of my imagination.

2. That the Discussion Board, as part of Live!, would be subject to election regs under the media rules. However, the responsibility over the discussion board is unclear with the editor accepting no liability for unmoderated discussions. It all depends on where you define the bounds of editorial responsibility to be.

47. Rosie   
May 01 2008 14:21

If I'm emailing miners, then what's the point of telling them about the changes I'd like to make for the benifit of EEE or Civil engineering? Anyway I'm never entirely sure how much of your manifesto you're allowed to talk about when you're getting seconders, because wouldn't that count as campaigning...? And you know how silly people get with election complaints.

I think its completely unfair to speculate as to what I care about (regardless of whether you can vote or not) when it would be breaking election rules for me to reply, but by all means carry on, it's a welcomed distraction from revision! But don't get offended if I don't check Live! daily to reply because it is exam season.

May 01 2008 19:40

It doesn't matter if you're a seconder/on the campaign team or not. If you say something positive about a candidate it's campaigning and campaigning is not allowed before nominations close or on email lists. (That's why all candidates endorsed by the rugby email in the sabb elections were fined, even if the senders weren't on their 'campaign team').

So Eugene, anyone can get a candidate penalised for saying something positive about them. (Unless it was specifically to get them penalised).

Even so, use of a mailing list for ?10. Pretty good bargin I'd say. Doesn't even show up on your election expenditure!

May 01 2008 20:21

Point 1 is correct. However, what happens if the person doing the slagging off had seconded all the candidates. Would they disqualify everyone and rerun the elections yet again. 3rd time lucky?

50. Eugene   
May 01 2008 21:27

Point 1, you haven't actually answered my question.

Who gets penalised if you say something NEGATIVE about a candidate?

May 02 2008 01:34

I stand corrected. Sorry to rant Kirsty, but certain personalities just really get on my nerves. And it's always relaxing to have a go at the union, much as I love it. I definitely have issues.

May 02 2008 10:07

Ahh, well. I guess all other candidates standing for the position against the candidate you 'slag off' would be responsible for your comments.

May 02 2008 10:15

Point 1 - surely by the procedure you are suggesting, it requires the union to effectively ban everyone in the universe from saying anything about any person that may stand during the nominations period, if what they say about them might be heard by someone else/someone else might see what they've written.

That is absurd, which is why only candidates and their seconders should be counted.

54. Hannah   
May 02 2008 11:18

Let's get off the subject of campaigning and focus on why the paper fell and how we can resolve the situation. I hate the anonymous attacks on individuals that surface on this forum, but I really do believe the behaviour and attitude of the paper's proposers led to large groups of people believing this was not the right way to go about it and hence voting against (or absteining). I'm sick of council turning into a clash of egos. People need to wake up and realise they are stepping into the real world in a matter of years/ months and that kind of behaviour will never be tolerated in a work place. Can we start treating council like one please? Random outbursts for people to shut up and go away if they don't like it are not acceptable- you make your point when given the chance to by the chair.

<phew> that's my rant over.

55. Hannah   
May 02 2008 11:19

Argh! I sound like a tory....

May 02 2008 11:21

Thank you hannah.

There is nothing wrong with sounding like a Tory.

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