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Council Hustings Only Marginally Farcical!

Oct 13 2004 15:44
Nichola Hawkins
WARNING: Very Long Article, for the benefit of those who could not attend Hustings but still want to know about all 18 candidates who went.
Vote! says Union publicity.

When today's electoral council finally convened at 12.40pm, there were no objections to a procedural motion that election of ordinary members should take place by secret ballot. This enables the voting to take place by a college-wide electronic vote, whereas in the past it has taken place at the meeting. It is hoped that this will increase turnout, and make the voting body more representative of Imperial's multi-campus student body rather than whichever groups could turn out in force to that meeting.

Vacant posts were opened to the floor: two candidates for ULU Council stood but other vacanices remain.

The hotly-contested Ordinary Member of Council candidates were up first. 28 candidates are competing for a total of 16 places with some quotas. They each spoke for thirty seconds, then once they had all spoken three questions were taken from the audience.

The questions were:

1) What difference can the Union make to issues outside of the college?

2) Have they been to council before, and in light of either answer to that why are they standing?

3) What is the importance of BUSA to the Union?

Students spoke in alphabetical order first, then answered questions in the reverse order. What they said is summarised here:

Omar Abarra, an engineering student, spoke of "A voice for students" and "Power to the People." He left the meeting before his turn to answer questions.

Lucy Abbott, a 5th year Medic, spoke of her involvement in clubs and societies, and said electing a clinical medic would make the Union more representative. She said the Union's apolitical stance was a good thing, making it open to anyone. She was an ordinary member of Council last year, and wanted to build upon that experience. She was not a sporty person and as such had no experience of BUSA but saw the importantce of a national-level league.

Kevin Bez, a first year medic, spoke of the multicultural nature of Imperial, saying that he wishes to "Further international communication" and increase activities for overseas students. On the first question, he mentionned tuition fees, but also the ongoing Visa Charge campaign. As a Fresher, he had not attended Union Council before, but had been active on his School Council. He said that BUSA gave a greater incentive by providing visions and goals beyond the Union.

Wai "Henry" Chan, a first year engineer, said that he was not familiar with the workings of the Union but would do his best to learn and represent students. He said the fees campaign was a good example of wider impact of the Union, but also pointed out that overseas students' fees are far higher, which he sees as unfair. As a first year, he has no experience, but is standing to serve students. He is as yet unfamiliar with BUSA.

Aaisha Latif and James Devine, two engineering students, could not attend but John Collins spoke for them, mentionning their experience within CGCU as well as involvement in clubs and societies. He declined to answer questions on their behalf.

Ingrid Ku, another engineer, also mentionned involvement in clubs and societies, and promised to listen to students' views and make sure they are heard. She said that the Union should be concerned with issues such as tuition fees and current problems with student loans, but not other issues such as the war. She also mentionned the Volunteer Centre as impacting upon the wider community.

She had not attended council before but wanted to make sure that all voices would be heard. She said that BUSA was important as a sports league, and a way for Imperial to improve it's name and win trophies.

Christopher McIver, another engineer, mentionned involvement in Union activities including Dramsoc, "Live!" and RAG, and pointed out that he had actually turned up for Hustings. He disagreed with some candidates, saying that the Union should only look at outside issues if they are relevant to students. He had only been to council a couple of times but was involved in other committees such as RAG. He also disagreed with most other candidates regarding BUSA, saying it was often better to keep sport within the Union.

Andre Daniel Morais, a first year life sciences student, said he would not make any promises he couldn't keep but would instead take up whatever views and opinions students passed onto him. Regarding wider issues, he said it was important for Imperial to look good to other colleges. He had never been to Council as he is a first year, but had friends who had been. He said BUSA was important for sport, culture and fun.

Henri Ozarovski, a Postgraduate engineer, said that there were two types: the first, like himself, were outgoing and enthusiatic; the second type, such as Mustafa, knew about the procedures; and both types were needed in the Union. He left before answering questions.

Simon Pascoe, a physical scientist, said that he does loads of things for the Union, usually too much. Again he mentionned clubs and societies, but especially arts which he felt were often under-represented. He cited tuition fees, RAG and CAG as wider issues, but still relevant to students. He went to Council when top-up fees were announced and for 2003 budget appeals. He said BUSA was important for Imperial's reputation in the Good University Guide, and for participation.

Sebastian Pearce cited his role as Boat Club Captain and involvement in ACC, then advertised the boat club's session that afternoon. He said clubs and societies were the main issue for him. He went to council for 2003 budget appeals, which he said was messy and he would like to move things to a vote more quickly. He said BUSA was important as it is being included in the Good Universities Guide.

Sid Singh, an engineer, emphasised his role as Guildsheet editor and founder of the Guildsheet "Sh*tSquad." He said the Union should concentrate on student issues, not world issues. He had not been to central Union meetings before but was involved in CGCU.

Tom Tibbits, a Postgraduate physical scientist, said that he has worked outstandingly hard for the Union in previous years, mentionning bicycle racks and fairtrade products as important issues.

He disagreed with Council's decision last year to reject an Anti-War motion for not affecting "students as students."

Sumrit Bola, Daniel Carrivick, Amanda Clarke, Samah Elsayed, Jason Zhe Shan Ho, Sebastian Juneman, Kian Sing Low, Morten olesen, Hamish Pearce-Danker, Marcus Rafla, Ashkan Salamat, Narmadha Thayalasekaran and Tim Weinert-Aplin and New Election are also standing.

Two candidates for Ordinary Memebrs of Trading and Retail Committee were present. Daniel O'Connell said he had been bar staff for two years and so saw most of what went on and the various problems; he would like to see the bars redesigned, as a big long-term job, with tall tables, more subdivision and less indescriminate use of the television.

Thomas Tibbits said falling turnover was a great concern as trading helped fund other activities. He suggested a loyalty scheme for clubs who use Union bars. He said he would like to see the walls repainted a lighter colour and furniture removed from in front of windows to make the bar lighter, and only use the television for big sports events.

Wai Chan, Edmund Hunt, Dan Lehman and New election are also standing, making a total of 5 candidates (plus RON) for 4 positions.

Pranati Joshi is the only candidate other than RON for the Student Development Committee. She said that students are here to learn, including skills that may not be covered within their degree course, and promised to listen to student feedback on training provided by the Union.

For House Committtee, three candidates were present.

Martin Chong said he would not hide his involvement in Dramsoc, as it means he knows the Union Building and what problems users experience, highlighting lack of storage space. Samuel Richards said he was involved not only in Dramsoc but as IC Radio Technical Manager, so knows the building well. Duncan Richmond said his involvement in Dramsoc meant he practically lived in the Union building, so knew about pros and cons and in particular safety issues, but appreciated that other clubs have problems too. Dan Lehman was not present but asked John Collins to speak on his behalf, saying he was no longer involved in DramSoc and so was the only non-Dramsoc candidate. Anthony Brown had sent apologies due to a football match, and Steven King sent apolgies as he was rigging for a party. Altaf Daya and New Election are also standing, making 7 candidates and RON for 4 places.

Voting will take place online from tomorrow (Thursday) until Sunday. Manifestos will also be available online.

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Discussion about “Council Hustings Only Marginally Farcical!”

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.
Oct 13 2004 16:31

How many times was Dram Soc mentioned in the 2nd to last paragraph?

Oct 13 2004 16:37

Are you now, or have you ever been...

Oct 13 2004 16:53

Now that's a question which should've been asked...

Oct 13 2004 19:07

So if Mr Lehmann is the only non Dramsoc associated member standing for House, when shall i recieve Atlafs Membership form and subs?

I can send one C/O C+G to make sure he has a copy if needed...

Oct 13 2004 23:40

You wanna know why I wasn't there? I was windsurfing!


Oct 14 2004 05:01

Just voted. System could be a bit better. Maybe with a working back button.

As for the voucher system, missed that for the first election, but found it for the second. How annoying.

Oct 14 2004 10:55

Dang, looks like my seemingly eternal vote has finally expired due to being a write up PhD muppet. Wonder how the other lube lab members will vote..

Oct 14 2004 11:58

28 people for 16 positions? Thats pretty good! Hopefully that will make council entertaing and quorate this year!

Ah back to the good old days of Dramsoc taking over house committee. . ..

9. Mum   
Oct 14 2004 12:12

Not sure where the best place to raise this is but I have an issue with live's current poll.

In answer to the question "Are you or have you ever been involved with DramSoc?" you give the answer options of "Yes, Light-side", "Yes, Tech-side" and "Yes, Hack-side" but have not provided the "All of the above" option.

Perhaps the unnecessary "Never" or "What-soc" options should be replaced with "Yes, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part." and the minority option of "Only by association".

10. Nia   
Oct 14 2004 13:10

Me too Atul.

"You are not eligible to vote in any election at the moment. Please click below to logout."

Ho hum. The Union may have a policy saying students on write up status are to be treated as full students (according to some Union Officers, I must admit to not having checked myself) but if the login system is set up to only allow registered students to vote then it seems we're excluded. I can read the manifestos though.

Oct 14 2004 14:23

It is my interpretation that PhD students with write-up status *are* Full Members of Imperial College Union.

However, that's PhD students with write-up *status*, not those who are simply writing up.

You can have "write-up status" for up to six months. But you need to go to Registry to register for it. If you don't, then you are not a Union member.

Nia/Atul - Registry don't know about you. You may be writing up your PhDs but you do not have write-up status.

Mustafa Arif

Oct 14 2004 15:07

I think perhaps the assumption is that invovlement in every possible aspects of DramSoc makes one count as Hack side...

Oct 14 2004 15:15

Thx for clearing union policy. It's good to know that the union still regards us as full time members.

Yeah I have the same message Nia. I am registered for the usual 6 month write-up period.

About 5 million clubs are on my back to get me to vote!

14. Nia   
Oct 14 2004 15:17

I do have write up status and registry do know about me.

However, I'm not that bothered about the election so I don't intend to chase it up - am just noting the situation for amusement's sake.

Oct 14 2004 15:22

Ditto Nia, I think I've voted enough times already so am pretty content. ok, now back to writing up rather that writing on live!

Oct 14 2004 16:44

Atul - you can never vote too many times!

Shrenik - what's all this about windsurfing? Does this mean you finally have got yourself a life outside the Union? Tee hee hee!

Oct 14 2004 18:21

I would like to bring to your attention an email current floating on a certain society's mailing list:

From: [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Kandil, Pamela

Sent: 14 October 2004 17:51

To: jewish-society-list

Subject: [JSoc] voting

Hiya all!

Please can i you all vote in the online elections

for (named candidate) -it would be fab to have a fellow jew on the committee

Also every person that votes from the Jewish Society we will be given 25p for our jsoc.

So Please nominate the Jewish Society to receive the 25p

Which means more goodies for you.



  • -------------------

Surely this is an abuse of the mailing list to promote a specific candidate for election, and a breach of the election regulations.

Oct 14 2004 18:49


I suggest that you send this complaint to . (Unless you already have)

Oct 14 2004 19:13

It's already gone to .uk

20. ...   
Oct 15 2004 13:47

The mailing list rule, is, and always has been complete c**p.

You can just send the mail to all the memebrs indiviually. Its called publicising the elections.

They're not saying in the mail who you should vote - just that you should vote to benefit the society.

What do you expect to happen if they offer 25p to each member of a society who votes.

The returning officer should reject this pointless petty complaint.

And tell the complainer they are a moron.

Oct 15 2004 14:02

"for (named candidate) -it would be fab to have a fellow jew on the committee"

Does this bit of the mail not say who JSoc are asking you to vote for?

You're the moron, I think you'll find.

Oct 15 2004 14:29

From: [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Kandil, Pamela

Sent: 15 October 2004 14:02

To: jewish-society-list

Subject: [JSoc] voting!

Hiya all!

I mistakenly sent out an coersing statement; I'd like to correct this and ask that you vote for the candidates who you personally feel would do the best job, no matter if he is in jsoc.

Sorry about the last email

best wishes


Me thinks someone is playing dumb.

23. henri   
Oct 15 2004 14:33

I spoke to Pamela and she has sent out a corrected version of her previous email I quote:

I mistakenly sent out an coersing statement; I'd like to correct this and ask that you vote for the candidates who you personally feel would do the best job, no matter if he is in jsoc.

Sorry about the last email

best wishes


I aggree with you comments, but sometimes its better to talk to the person it concerns (i.e. the person who sent out the email) b4 starting a chain reaction.


Oct 15 2004 14:37

The rule about mailing lists is very simple.

Basically, they're designed to be there for Club communication. Anything that a club does is basically considered to be sanctioned by the Union. Ipso Facto, if a club uses an announcement list to tell someone who they should vote for, it's as if they are a Union sanctioned candidate. Hence the rule.

Also, some candidates can send e-mails to these lists while others cannot. Anything which unfairly advantages another candidate above another is disallowed under the rules. Therefore no mailing lists.

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


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