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Imperial says NO!

Mar 18 2002 12:00
Mustafa Arif
72% of votes against NUS affiliation in College-wide referendum.
NUS - Imperial strikes back. (Sorry, I know that's really lame but it was the best picture of "munkey" that I could find in the Media Group library.)

Imperial College students have voted overwhelmingly against affiliation to the National Union of Students.

Results of last week's referendum (the first since 1995) were announced today at 12pm in a ceremony in the Union Dining Hall.

72% of students were against affiliation to the National Union. A total of 2749 votes were cast ,representing a 26.8% turnout - only slightly less than the figure achieved by the recent FoESA/C&GCU elections. This was above the 15% needed for a referendum result to be valid. Together with the convincing nature of the result, this means that the status quo is unlikely to be challenged for the next couple of years.

The referendum has been rather divisive, with ICU President, Sen Ganesh, publiclly supporting the No campaign while Deputy President (Education & Welfare), David Francis, led the Yes camp. The referendum has also cost the Union £2000 to run, more than twice what is usually spent on sabbatical elections.

A break-down of the results by ballot box is available on the NUS Referendum Committee's web site.

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Discussion about “Imperial says NO!”

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.
Mar 18 2002 12:14


Not exactly an educational comment, I know...

2. Anon.   
Mar 18 2002 12:23

Which idiots proposed affiliation to the NUS in the first place?

3. Dan L   
Mar 18 2002 12:31

Good to see that Munkey used his light sabre to fight off the darkside.

Mar 18 2002 12:50

Good, good! I hope everyone is having a nice time gloating :) I shall be over that end of town this evening so look out for the Cheshire Cat :)

My cynicism over getting the 15% was proved wrong - not every day you get me admitting I was wrong :)P

Mar 18 2002 13:30

Well done to all the No Guys and Gals. I wonder how NUS are feeling now.

Mar 18 2002 14:17


On another note, that is a VERY cool picture. Munkey looks quite at home as a Jedi. But who decided that "Munkey" should be spelt with a "u" not an "o". Was it deliberate, or did one person just get it wrong, and then everyone else follow, assuming that it was deliberate?

7. elvum   
Mar 18 2002 14:25

Respect to the 73.2% of students who implicitly voted for apathy - this is the kind of adherence to tradition that makes me proud to be an ARCS (and continuing student).

8. stef   
Mar 18 2002 14:31

so thats what engineering students do all day, they dress up munkey and take his picture. Deeply troubling

Mar 18 2002 15:04

erm... actually the picture came from the New Election campaign at Shefield Halam "Univeristy" Students Union. (I was randomly browsing links on the NUS web site...)

Mar 18 2002 16:00

Hurrah! Imperial students see sense!

I have been gloating at the pro-NUS QM Union officers all day :)

11. Tim   
Mar 18 2002 16:50

Amazing! How did we manage that? I reckon the monkey rigged the ballot boxes.

12. Adrian   
Mar 18 2002 16:51

Are you saying that is't a picture of Munkey? If not, it must be his twin brother, as he looks identical! The chances of you happening across a picture of an identical monkey must be pretty slim. If it IS Munkey, why would there be a picture of him on their website? Has Munkey been moonlighting?

Mar 18 2002 17:32

Munkey is an creature of many talents. There are some nice shots of munkey in action at

14. Adrian   
Mar 18 2002 17:58

Show me the monkey!

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist that chestnut.

15. Atul   
Mar 18 2002 19:17

The NUS site also seems to have a good job resource.

Mar 18 2002 20:07

Where can I buy/get one of those monkeys?

Mar 18 2002 20:46

Subscribe to ITV Digital and you get one free...

You can then get it delivered to college because there's no-one to accept delivery at your flat.

Then you can donate it to your CCU as a mascot...

Mar 19 2002 02:46

But we've already got one.

The womble is getting impatient about his long-sought-after meeti9ng with Munkey.

Mar 19 2002 10:03


While Munkey is very interested in promoting inter-CCU and inter-FSA cooperation he finds that his diary can not immediately accomodate a meeting with the womble. Munkey also believes that it would be inappropriate to meet with a representative of a single body at Imperial College without giving similar opportunities to the fluffy mascots of other parts of the Union. In due course it will hopefully be possible to pursue the prospect of a mascot meeting once matters deemed by C&GCU 'more important' have been carefully dealt with. Munkey appreciates your understanding in this delicate matter.

Munkey is one week old and already has grey hair.

Mar 19 2002 10:46

The Munkey will be representing me in my upcoming disciplinary procedure vs the University of London under a policy thatdoes not exist.

21. Adrian   
Mar 19 2002 10:57

A more serious question - why did the referendum cost "more than twice what is usually spent on sabbatical elections" when there were only two candidates instead of 8 or more, and the voting was still only open for two days at SK and only one day at most other places? Where did the extra money go?

22. Aqeel   
Mar 19 2002 11:20

Much larger campaign budgets and, unlike the sabb candidates, they actually spent the money.

Mar 19 2002 11:37

Incidentally, what is the rationale behind the Union funding election candidates' campaigns?

Mar 19 2002 11:44

1) funding appears to have been justified in the turnout, even if noone bothered to come to the debates, which is a shame (I think mustafa's idea to resurect debating soc may be dead...)

2) You fund the campaigns, so that they can spend ONLY that money, thus not giving anyone an advantage if they had, say, an external body that might have an interest in helping their campaign.....

3)The money was spent on the campaigns in the referendum. The incoming sabbaticals spent a total of ?8.28 out of a possible ?200, which is an absolute disgrace. I'd have made that point at council but i forgot, as people kept asking me how they change elections policy - being as I seem to have gone from being interested in the union to uber-hack in about 6 months.....

25. Adrian   
Mar 19 2002 12:51

So how much does it actually cost to pay people to man the ballot boxes? I thought that was the main expense in the elections.

As for funding the candidates' campaigns, giving them a fixed amount of money does not stop them spending some of their own money as well. You have to require that they provide proof of the cost of all their expenses, and check that they didn't do anything else that they havn't put on the list. You have to do this either way. Who actually pays for the campaign doesn't really affect it. The only real reason to fund them is that having to pay might put off some candidates from standing. But by my recconing the figures above give about ?20 to each candidate. I would have thought that even a hard up student could raise ?20 with a whip-round among his friends if he were serious about standing.

Mar 19 2002 13:01

The cost of ballot box hiring, transportation and manning is indeed the most expensive element of most elections (even offering the national minimum wage of ?4.10 an hour).

In the case of the NUS referendum, there was a large budget set aside for the two campaigns and also for publicising the referendum in an impartial manner.

Despite the innovation of the NUS Referendum Committee, this contributed heavily to the overall cost of having the referendum.

The exact cost is not yet known but be assured that every effort was made to reduce the costs involved whilst ensuring representation across all campuses and, in particular, that the turnout required was achieved.

In the case of sabbatical elections, I support the allocation of budgets in order not to discourage people who do not have the money to pursue a campaign alone.

The job of the returning officer and the elections committee is to ensure that spending on any campaign is limited to this allocation.

Mar 19 2002 14:02

Thank you for you interest in the NUS referendum, surely?


28. Adrian   
Mar 19 2002 15:15

Given that ICU and the CCU's / FSA's use ballot boxes for at least 4 days every year and time for transporting/counting, wouldn't it be cheaper in the long run to buy them rather than hiring them every year? Perhaps the cost could be spread out by buying one each year until we had enough? Storage shouldn't be much of a problem as they would be able to stack quite well. We could even higher them out to other people maybe.

Mar 19 2002 17:06

And we would have keys for the locks, my it'd be like a real election.

Mar 19 2002 21:54


Which is presumably why the clever people in the Union have put some money aside for the purchase sometime in the near future.

Now all we have to do is schedule the elections so they don't overlap.

Ho hum Stuart of Life Sciences ;o)

Mar 19 2002 22:41

That would require both intelligence and coordination.

And this is Imperial College Union we're talking about...

Mar 20 2002 01:13

If you think ICU is bad, you need to get around London and see how a Union can be really run badly...

Mar 21 2002 09:19


Mar 21 2002 15:12

Has Andy just discovered HTML tags? :P

35. Sam   
Mar 22 2002 12:16
Mar 22 2002 20:10

That's FrontPage - surely doesn't count... ;)


Mar 24 2002 17:04


Nuff said :-)

Dreamweaver is much better (then that's not difficult when it comes to Microsoft :D

Aug 01 2003 11:37

I wonder if anybody else is as sad as I am checking out the old articles now that I am gone and turning my unquestionable skills to making me richer.

Which is why I find myself in upstate New York about to present to Warren Buffet with my bank and generally shaking like a leaf. Even Andy Heeps (bless him) didn't induce this kind of fear.

Still, there's no other feeling like it. I want that on my tombstone if I don't make it.


Closed This discussion is closed.

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