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Presidential Manifestos

Feb 01 2005 18:15
Manifestos and pictures of the Five candidates for ICU President.

James Devine

The Union is an organisation which exists to provide for you as a student and to speak up for you in College. Union clubs and societies are an integral part of student life at Imperial. I am an experienced and active member of the Union. I?ve been a club chair and a club treasurer. I edited Guildsheet, the engineering students? newspaper, and I?ve written for Felix and Live!

College must put students first. It?s the little things, like having a lunch hour, being consulted about changes to our university, or at least being given adequate notice. I?m committed to supporting faculty unions to build better student representation across college so that all students, including MSc and Post grads, get a say in how things are done.

The Union needs a new website, an intranet and a new finance system, I?ll make sure we get these within a year. We can do more to save the environment and save money at the same time, by doing things like running the union minibus fleet on bio-diesel. I support the idea of a Fairtrade university.

I'll make the time to listen and answer emails personally.

My pledges?

1) A smoke free bar area in the Union.

2) Direct communication between sabbaticals and students.

3) Less money on full time union staff, more money for clubs and


Sure we?d all like more coffee bars and better catering, but anywhere can serve a double mocha-choca-latte. The Union is the only place providing your representation.

Sameena Misbahuddin

It?s at the start of term that so many of the Union?s important services are delivered, so we need a President with experience and the ability to make changes immediately.

As current Deputy President (Finance and Services) I?ve achieved results already, taking leading roles in the Strategic Review - the Union?s biggest ever student feedback exercise - restructuring the club budgeting system, and the Union refurbishment project. I?ve fulfilled manifesto promises including reinstating nightbuses, improving feedback and working towards a Union Coffee Bar.

Having helped get these started, I?m most qualified to see them through; a newcomer would take time to learn the ropes and gain my knowledge and experience.

The Student Activity Centre needs overhauling so we must implement this over the summer, starting by eliminating the excessive paperwork involved in running clubs/societies and replacing them with simpler online systems.

Improving communication between the Union and students needs to be a priority, with every student knowing what we do, how to get involved and who?s there to help. We can achieve this via Felix articles, a more comprehensive and user-friendly Union Website, adopting a more approachable style and having a campus-wide presence.

I?m committed to extending library hours year-round, improving integration for outlying campuses, and better representation for Postgraduate and International Students

Everyone benefits from a better union ? with a President committed to the needs of all students. With my experience and track record, I?m the only candidate who?s guaranteed to hit the ground running and deliver results.

Morten Olesen

I?m running for President because I believe I?m the best person for the job. I will not make loads of promises I won?t be able to keep, but I do promise that I will listen carefully to the students, represent them to the best of my ability and broker the best deal possible. Also, I promise to provide better resources and administrative support for clubs and societies. Lastly, I promise to make the Union a venue that caters for everyone regardless of their ethnicity, religion or other beliefs.

My main aim as President will be to gain the trust of the students; I believe I can do this. I have leadership experiences both from various clubs as well as the Union, where I worked for almost three years. I sit on Union Council as well as the Executive Committee and I?m the ACC Vice Chair this year. I hope these experiences have put my finger on the pulse of students? opinion of how the Union should be run.

We must elect a candidate representing the broadest student opinion. Whether you believe I?m the best candidate or not, the important thing is for the majority of the students to elect who they believe to be the best person to represent them. I therefore strongly urge all students to vote so we can truly claim to have a Union run by students for students.

Simon Rawson

After four year?s involvement with ICU, at every level, I have strong beliefs of what I would deliver as President:


Studying in a vast, anonymous city, at a large intensive university, everyone needs something to identify with. Making this possible is one of ICU?s most important roles. I recognise the importance of all the constituent groups which make up ICU, everywhere. Crucially, ICU must be in the background supporting these groups, not placing hurdles in their path or trying to force them to agglomerate under one ?brand?.

Student Activities

Although student activities at ICU are already amongst the best in the country, I will work to strengthen this situation, ensuring that resources, both financial and practical, are in place to support activities. I support the current moves to modernise Beit Quad, but will ensure that student activities are not jeopardised in any way ? in terms of finance or facilities.

Value from Services

In South Kensington, some of the Union services (e.g. Catering, Shop) are underused. I believe that we should seek to more fiercely challenge our commercial competitors (e.g. WHSmith) in terms of both offering and value for money. I?m committed to this at all of our campuses, so that services really do what you want.


Arguably the most important role of the Students? Union is Representation. I see the role of the President as your ultimate representative, responsible for actually making your voice heard to College and, if need be, on wider issues which affect you too.

Colin Smith

It?s time for radical change in the way our students? union is run.

The illegal war and continued occupation of Iraq have left over 100,000 dead, whilst our so-called representatives sat back and did nothing. Top-up fees were forced through against the biggest ever rebellion in the Labour party, with the full support of our rector, and again our union?s response was pitiful. Time and again the threat and implementation of increased hall rents is allowed to pass almost without challenge from our sabbaticals. Our equal opportunities policies are, at best, weak. For all these reasons and more, it is time for change.

Over the last few years I have become increasingly involved, and frustrated, with the union bureaucracy, first getting involved with student council and now as the union?s Welfare Campaigns Officer. This has made me even more determined to help take our union out of the hands of the hacks, and turn it into a fighting, democratic, representative organisation.

I have also been heavily involved with the mobilisations against top-up fees, George Bush?s visit to London last November, and the ongoing conflict in Iraq. Recently, I have been proud to be part of the coalition in college fighting for justice for Babar Ahmad. The union?s somewhat reluctant support for this campaign is an important, but small step forward. Elect me as President, and we can make giant leaps.

It?s time for change.


New Election also standing but has yet to submit a manifesto.

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Discussion about “Presidential Manifestos”

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.
Feb 01 2005 20:32

Right, after a prolonged battle with clipboards, disk space, PowerPoint jpeg conversions (!?) and the Live! file repository, all the photographic links are now working.

And I am going to the Bar.

2. hmm   
Feb 02 2005 01:25

Should be an interesting race... Unfortunately, the possibility of many of these candidates becoming elected frightens the hell out of me.

3. Hmm   
Feb 02 2005 01:32

One more thing:

Some muppet isn't doing their job!!!

Where the hell is the RON manifesto? And here I was hoping we'd have a proper campaign this year.

Me thinks Jeremy is more likely to be elected president...

4. haa   
Feb 02 2005 09:15

Don't worry Hmm,

>>Unfortunately, the possibility of many of these candidates becoming elected frightens the hell out of me.

Only one of them can be elected, not many of them... well at least that's the theory.

Feb 02 2005 11:11

Put all the piccies in the RAG kiss or miss thing and see how they all fare.

Feb 02 2005 12:04

Are the photos self-submitted. I think they probably say a great deal about the candidates if they are.

Feb 02 2005 14:00

If I were a member of union staff that was made redundant because less money were to be spent on full time union staff as a result of someone fulfilling their manifesto promises, I think I would be looking for a litigation case for unfair/constructive dismissal. I would have signed up to the job in good faith and, if I had done nothing wrong and was good at my job, there would be no reason to let me go. Fair enough, it could be that the Union decided to downsize and that redundancies would have to happen. But for that to happen as a result of a management meeting is quite a different matter to someone fulfillg their manifesto pledge, is it not?

Feb 02 2005 14:14

Um, not. If an organisation decides to downsize that is its decision.

9. Nia   
Feb 02 2005 14:31

Redundancy is different to sacking people. You can't claim "unfair dismissal" in the same way (if at all?) - being good at your job doesn't come into it. Its the position not the person that is made redundant.

And the Exec/Council are Union management so can choose to downsize if they wish. This promise doesn't differ from most others in it's needing to be swung by the relevant committees... Aiming to spend less on full time staff is clearly a strategic aim rather than an intention to sack any individual.

Constructive dismissal is something different as well. This is when the employer tries to get an employee to resign by making life so unpleasant that they feel they have no choice but to leave.

10. RON   
Feb 02 2005 14:37

The RON campaign manager has been busy doing his 2nd year project which has just been handed in. Progress so far however, is not too bad. Watch this space sceptics.

Feb 02 2005 15:17

No, you can't claim unfair dismissal for redundancy, but you DO get redundancy pay: hence "constructive dismissal" is dismising someone unfairly to downsize without paying redundancy money.

12. Nia   
Feb 02 2005 16:16

Indeed it's illegal not to give someone redunancy pay. I'm not sure exactly what you call it when you take them to court over this. Constructive dismissal is something different though, as described above.

Feb 02 2005 16:43

This is all hypothetical anyway, but my worry is this: If Exec/Council meet to discuss a proposed redundancy plan, there are representatives for the staff present usually can at least defend permanent staff, even if they can't cast a vote. If this is an Farce! issue (part of a manifesto) then that can't happen, there is no defence. Should said person be elected and use Executive Power to drive something through out of term time without Exec convening, during the summer holiday (we've seen it happen before), then essentially someone could be made redundant without that level of representation. Surely that would not be fair? Highly unlikely to happen, given the fun and games that occured this past summer.

14. Hmm   
Feb 02 2005 18:29

Unfortunately, the possibility of ANY of these candidates becoming elected frightens the hell out of me.

That's what it was meant to say.

Love the pictures. Could they choose scarier looking ones?

As for redundancy/dismissal, what happens if you fire a Sabb?

Feb 02 2005 20:01

you free up more space for full time staff offices...

16. Hack   
Feb 02 2005 21:10

Staff are not entitled to represent their interests to Union democratic decision making bodies in any way that would be different to any other organisation. The union is just an employer like any other, it can hire and fire as it chooses and staff should be consulted during the process but ultimately it is the management (students, in a SU's case) that makes the decision.

And I would suspect that not paying redundancy pay is simply known as breach of contract.

In any event, given the rate at which the Union is losing staff, you wouldn't need to sack anyone anyway - just sit back until people leave then don't recruit replacements.

Feb 03 2005 09:50

I see at least one comment has disappeared, regarding one candidate in particular - a comment I felt was justified. My question is, are comments posted by contributors to an open discussion forum bound by the same rules as the Union media? Or was it just that it was an anonymous posting?

Are we not allowed to express our views here? Are we limited to discussing the manifesto of a candidate?

18. Editor   
Feb 03 2005 11:37

Discussions are bound by the same rules as the rest of media during elections, that is that they should not favour any candidate and should be fair and accurate (what is 'fair and accurate' will be decided by the editorial team and will inevitably be objected to).

Media should also be 'balanced' to ALL candidates. Again, this will be decided by the editorial team and inevitably disputed.

We are trying our hardest to be fair and prompt, acting in a way which benefits the union and elections process without impedeing on free speech.

Feb 03 2005 14:12

What about an opinion not linked to any candidate:

I believe that any Sabbatical Officer should have respect for the democratic process, Union council, the council chair and the student body as a whole.

Feb 03 2005 15:41

Personally, I saw the 2 comments and have absolutely no objection to them being 'put back'. No publicity is bad publicity... surely you have all heard that one before?

Regarding the pathetic excuse for a representative body that student council is, I find it difficult to have it's name mentioned in the same sentence as the word 'democratic' or to imply that it is really linked at all in any meaningful way with 'the student body as a whole'. Still, keep it up.

Feb 03 2005 16:18

Colin and other, could we please have your views on who you think should sit on Council. The Union are apparently conducting a "governance review" (I'm not involved in this) and so might be helpful to have an open discussion about what format each Presidential candidate would opt for if they were to be elected.

22. KGB   
Feb 03 2005 18:18

1K for the RON Campaign!

Democracy is expensive...

23. ha   
Feb 03 2005 19:13

"It?s time for radical change in the way our students? union is run.

The illegal war and continued occupation of Iraq have left over 100,000 dead,"

Now is he suggesting that ICU should never have started an illegal war in the first place and purporting that rather than continually occupying Iraq they should possibly pop back to Beit?

or that 100,000 dead is poor performance even by ICU's standards?

24. pa   
Feb 04 2005 11:11

Iraq? That's the most pathetic thing that I have seen in a ICU president manifesto. Ok guys, vote for me. I will promise that I will campaign against the seperation of classes and I will campaign against the existance of the Echelon programme.

Anyway, I believe that ICU presidents should keep away from politics as possible. Their job is to work for the union, and for the immediate interests of the students.

25. tom t   
Feb 04 2005 15:43

Question to all candidates:

Were the position of President to become vacant before July 2005, would you be willing to take up office before the official start date over the Summer holidays?



26. tom t   
Feb 04 2005 15:45

another Q for all:

Do you think that experience of the job is the only factor if any importance when the electorate is deciding for whom to vote in the forthcoming Farce!?


Feb 04 2005 15:46

John... I would opt to replace council meetings with general meetings.

And thanks to people who are unfortunately not brave enough to write their names, for giving parts of my manifseto extra publicity.

Feb 04 2005 15:57

"I would opt to replace council meetings with general meetings."

Thereby relatively disenfranchising vast swathes of the student body who (a) don't study at South Kensington or (b) can't afford to live anywhere near college.

It's all very well saying "Those who care enough will turn up," but it's hardly a fair criterion when some have to "care enough" to make a 3 hour, ?15 train journey and others have to "care enough" to roll across Beit Quad. (And you wouldn't fit enough meetings in the year to have them rotating between campuses proportionally to the student body at each site).

So, you basically propose to skew representation in favour of non-Medic, non-Agric, non-Environmental students who can afford to live in Beit.

Feb 05 2005 12:58

Nichola, perhaps unsurprisingly, I disagree.

Firstly, General Meetings could easily be held during the college day, or immediately after it, rather than in the evenings as council meetings are now, when the majority of students are on or around campus anyway.

Part of the process would also be clear publicising of times, dates and locations of the meetings, as well as the motions to be discussed and voted on, well in advance of the meetings themselves. This would mean that students had time to find out if there were any issues they particularly cared about, and if so to arrange to attend the meeting.

As for the issue of students at Wye, there would obviously have to be some provision made. It is not inconceivable that Wye could hold its own general meetings at the same time as those held in South Kensington where all the same motions are considered (and the votes are added to those from the South kensington meeting), plus the possibility of considering extra Wye-specific ones.

All other colleges that have general meeting systems have students that don't live near college, any many have several campuses, and hundreds of students regularly attend these meetings.

By putting a decent quorum on the meeting, sabbaticals would be forced to publicise the meetings well and get as many students as possible along to them, so that policy could be made. This in turn means the sabbaticals getting more in touch with the student body, to help make the processes that take place in the union more democratic and more representative. These are also very important things.

Unfortunately, no system in the current framework can be 100% democratic... general meetings would have to have every student at them, or council members would have to be voted for by every student. Neither of these things are going to happen in the forseeable future, largely because of the way the union processes for however many years have distanced it from the student body. There are ways of having a more democratic, more representative council system, but after what we have seen this year, with the ridiculous situation of not knowing which ordinary members were elected, on-the-spot Farce!s for vacant positions, etc., etc., i believe it is time for something new.

General meetings that attracted hundreds of students to every meeting, with consideration of the above factors, would be far better than the status quo. The 'one student, one vote' concept at all meetings is the direction I believe we need to be moving in.

Feb 05 2005 14:35

Quite a few CSCs and FUs are still technically governed by their own General Meetings and C&GCU is an example of this. Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we never seem to get a turnout any higher than about 30 students. At the last one in October we emailed all engineers, put up posters, handed out flyers and provided free food, yet only 25 bothered to show up - making this the worst attended Guilds Event of the entire years so far. Last summer's General Meeting was even worse, it attracted a turnout of 4 students. Perhaps we should hold an internship fair every month? They seem to draw a good crowd!

Seriously though, I think we need a good debate about how we are governed and I welcome any views from the Presidential candidates on this. I am not convinced that reintroducing regular old-style General Meetings will work as that would simply be very unfair to the 2,500 medical students we're are supposed to serve. It's one thing for a scientist to miss a tutorial in Huxley because of the timing of a General Meeting, but quite another for a medic to miss a surgery in Northolt for the same reason.

31. Sciv   
Feb 05 2005 15:36

I've heard in good faith that unions that hold GMs in the way you describe Collin tend to have them descend into farce- although I completely agree with the ideology of one vote for one student it doesn't work in practise as if you end up with 200 people at a meeting it suddenly turns into a cross between a rave and a cattle market!

This is why we elect representatives to discuss issues with the student body and represent there views in a civilised meeting.

I'd like to see a council chair who can control a GM as you describe it without the use of your trusty megaphone.

Feb 05 2005 17:46

Arguably, holding meetings where those who care enough about the issues turn up is precisely how a democratic organisation should not be run. It's quite simply "he who shouts loudest". What matters is that a turnout at a meeting is representative of the membership by whatever metrics can be practically chosen, I suppose its possible that it might be possible to engineer GMs that would fit this criteria but I can't immediately think how.

Feb 05 2005 18:26

re. Daytime general meetings, with each campus holding "its own general meetings at the same time as those held in South Kensington where all the same motions are considered and the votes are added to those from the South kensington meeting"

But while condsidering giving every student a vote, remember the very important rights they already have at Council: i.e. all students have full speaking rights, and can argue their case to every voter. A Wye student being able to sway the opinions of the Wye voters is a lot less use than their current option (on most occasions) of being able to attend evening meetings and make their case to every voting member. And what if one meeting proposed ammendments and the other didn't? You can't add the votes for two different papers. As you point out regarding some mistakes in the electoral process, mess and confusion don't represent or serve anyone.

Turnout for Farce!s is not 100%, but recent online Farce!s (those not requiring Union cards, anyhow) have had turnout of over a thousand, and yet AGMs have not been quorate in current student memory. Being representative of the whole student body (rather than just the fraction shouting loudest on a particular issue) doesn't just mean putting the options in place, it means making it as easy as possible for students to have their say, and yes there are students who would rather choose a rep at the start of the year and trust them to get on with it- within the framework of open meetings and minutes, free press, and the emergency mesures of EGMs and referenda should they be necesary. Also, when a council rep consults their relevant members, they can work out that silence from a particular group speaks volumes: a general meeting has no capacity to do that. The Union must represent ALL members, 'without prejudice.' That doesn't line up with disenfranchising anyone who wants to pass their humanities course this year.

What incentive would the Union have to reach out to currently disenfranchised groups, for example some sections of our postgraduate or international students, if a certain numerical fraction of the student body were able to make all the decisions whether that fraction were representative in composition or not? Would the Union be looking into postgraduate representation if it didn't have research rep posts to fill, or are you suggesting every student at general meteings must write their course, year, club membership, etc for analysis to see if attendees were representative of the student demographic or not?

When surrounded by a more enthusiastic fraction of students it's easy to forget all those others who won't be stirred into a frenzy about student politics every single month, and whilst "hacks" like you or I have a degree of immunity from Farce! fatigue I have seen it in many other students even with the two rounds of OM Farce!s.

Whether you think EGMs should be sovereign is a separate issue from whether they are practicable for the month-to-month running of things; and for sovereignty purposes, a general meeting is less representative (because turnout will be lower) than a referendum.

By the way, please tell me which other multi-campus colleges have general meeting systems, I would be interested to know what their arrangements are for ensuring turnout from the other campuses, and how the turnout compares between students based at various campuses. Just because it happens doesn't mean it works.

34. ...   
Feb 05 2005 20:11

Why not have the meetings at lunch time and video conference with the other sites?

Feb 05 2005 20:17

Maybe I'm behind the times here, but I've yet to come across video-conferencing technology that can deal with several hundred people...

36. ...   
Feb 05 2005 20:19

Projector, screen, microphone and a camera with operator so they can point at the person who is speaking.

Don't the medics have lectures broadcast from one lecture theatre to several campuses?

Feb 05 2005 20:30

Yes, but it's hard to use and not practical. Medic lectures should technically be fed in to Bio Eng lectures but due to technical and timetabling issues, this hasn't been possible. Consequently, Bio Eng watch videos instead.

Feb 05 2005 21:07

Perhaps, we are all still missing the point...

not that I am fully aware what it is, but here is a stab:

  • you cannot force-feed information to people who may not be interested

but as long as enough noise has been made so that they know, that in a certain location on a given date a decision will be made which will directly affect several aspects of their stay at Imperial College.

39. Chris   
Feb 05 2005 23:15

I'd be interested to see how Colin (Smith) would implement some of his policies within the education act. Bearing in mind the union can't spend money on issues that don't involve students directly such as the Iraq war which several student unions have already found themselves losing in court over in the last year and thus been forced to pay to large sums in fines. I can see the debate now 'why have club budgets been halved' 'Because we held an illegal campaign and got caught'

Feb 06 2005 01:05

Colin is a marxist agitator. He is also a fool. The boy not only supports losers- from stalin to saddam hussein but also lives in cloud cuckoo land, believing that ICU has got to be inviolved in his personal campaign against the liberation of Iraq. Unless you want a socialist twit running the union , I suggest you all go out and vote for someone else. Even a monkey would do a better job....

Feb 06 2005 11:45

And if he became a sabbatical, any use of his time would count as the Union spending money, so even his personal campaigning would have to be on specific days off.

"Why have shop/bar prices doubled and clubs can't claim back VAT any more?" "We surrendered our charitable status and became a political party instead, So students marching for their own political views can put the ICU logo on their banner and remove the right of every other student to say, 'Not in my name'."

42. Nia   
Feb 06 2005 15:33

Regarding General Meetings. The problem with meetings is that the more people there are the more it becomes a case of who shouts loudest wins. Of course it's not always those who shout loudest who have the best ideas or have the greatest need for representation in a particular argument. In an ideal world everyone would sit quietly listening to others till their turn to speak etc, but of course the world isn't ideal and things don't work out that way. It's no good proclaiming that the quieter people should speak up if they want their cause heard because it simply doesn't work that way. It's a case of different personalities and quieter people are likely to get put off by a large public meeting.

The outcome of a vote on policy will be very dependent on the discussion that's just been and so if the discussion has been dominated by the loud personalities then the vote will go their way. The relevant argument of the quiet person in the corner won't be heard and will affect which way the vote goes.

The process of having a democratically elected body such as council tries to act to equalise those inequalities. All icu members gets to vote in the council members so (in theory at least) the council members are a representive sample of the views of icu members. Then since council is a smaller group than a GM would be you have a meeting where there's a larger chance that everyone, even quieter people, are unafraid to contribute to discussions.

I see it as being analogous to the difference between capitalism and socialism. In large general meetings its a case of each person for themselves. In capitalism this means rich people have all the power and in a general meeting it means loud people have all the power. Having a smaller Council, like socialism, is a means by which icu/the state act to reduce the effects of those inequalities.

Feb 07 2005 08:56

He who shouts loudest would still be drowned out by a megaphone

44. oldlag   
Feb 07 2005 11:39

It's not really a case of he who shouts loudest. If the council chair can't control the meeting, then perhaps thats an issue that needs dealing with.

There are procedures for speaking up - if you can't be bothered to read and understand them before you go to the meeting, then tough.

And also, can anyone honestly say they listen in council, and make their vote based on the points discussed? In my experience, everyone came in with their agenda and stuck to it no matter what was actually said in the meeting.

Feb 07 2005 12:01

The Union's first and foremost aim is to represent students to College, to further their academic interests; most people would place clubs and societies a close second. I don't think this is achieved by forcing every student to give up an evening of coursework or club activity time (you will not have time for everyone at a general meeting to speak in a lunchtime- even Council with a good turnout of observers often takes all evening) every single month just to stop their club's funding or their academic reps' time being diverted to less than 10% of students' (assuming a turnout of over a thousand!) political agendas. And if that fraction of students did have full "groundswell" support they could be elected to the posts that sit on Council anyway.

As we've seen with elections and the online survey, to increase student participation you must make that involvement easy, allow them to have their say from the comfort of their desk at a time and place that suits them (even this needs work at some clinical medic sites with limited IT resources); electing reps is the most practicable way to do this, and referenda ensure that the final say goes back to the widest possible scetion of the student body, not just those for whom one specified meeting time and venue is most convenient.

Feb 07 2005 12:08

And regarding election turnout, even if you assume that the thousand who voted both times in the ordinary member elections were the same thousand, and all those are the same who will vote ni the sabbatical elections, add up the turnout from all Faculty Union elections; add up all those students who are club memebrs, voting through their club chairs to CSC chair positions; that is where the widest mandate is achieved (some sections better than others, but this can be worked upon), all the subsections putting their own reps forward from a level far closer to the general student body; do you seriously expect a UGM turnout of thousands?

Feb 07 2005 14:34

Nichola, you have too much time on your hands. No dount at the agriculture tecnhical school there is not that much to do. The above posts are far too long for anyone to read them all. especially with all the work we have to do here in South Ken

48. cap   
Feb 07 2005 14:34

so is RON trying to reduce turmout this year? Surely there's something against mis publicising the dates or Hustings...

mis-informing the electorate has got to break some rulings..but i'll leave that to the hacks to know ;)

49. Seb   
Feb 07 2005 18:09

Colin, just a question, which way did you vote on the Union Accountability motion?

50. seb   
Feb 07 2005 18:24

Another few questions for Colin, the election turnouts are something like 10%. 10% of the membership is some 1000 students.

Do you think that the general meetings you propose to replace Council with will have a consistent turnout of around 10%?

Second question:

Currently the role of Council is partly to decide policy, and partly to hold the sabaticals and other officers to account. On policy issues, "ordinary students", as you have historicaly mistermed them, can all inititate policy.

This is representative democracy.

a. A system of general meetings, convened on special instances of "interesting" policy, would effectively have a different attendance each time. Each succesive meeting would not be able to claim to be the continuation of the previous one. As such. It could not fairly claim to have a consistent view of events. Would a General meeting be able to judge union officers actions and hold them to account better than Council?

b. If we are suggesting that representative democracy is insufficient, what is the point of sabatical positions?

51. marma   
Feb 07 2005 22:13

seb, are you still at IC?

i saw you at graduation....

52. Seb   
Feb 07 2005 23:08

Marma, yes and then... no.

Physicaly I'm working in a Lab in Culham (population 4), the precise, exact middle of nowhere.

Travel guide extract:

Culham is a small, picturesque village with excelent views of Didcot power statin. Why not take in the vista as you sip on a pint of stale ale in the quaint guesthouse/pub. Transport connections are excelent, you can get there by Bush from Abingdon as frequently as twice a day, or First Late Western Jinxed's more frequent three hourly service to Oxford, a swift ten minutes away. Culham is also on the Oxford ring road.

Culham is a historical site, formed around the former WWII Fleet Air Arm maintainance airfield, which now plays home to a long distance haulage firm and the worlds largest Nuclear Fusion experiment.

Visit Culham before you die.


So I'm actually living in Oxford.

The PhD is with IC's plasma group (there are quite a few of us down there, the so-called "exiles"), so I'm still an IC student.

What's your real name?

Feb 08 2005 17:32

?5 and we pie the foo!

54. marma   
Feb 08 2005 18:10

seb use your imagination.

55. Seb   
Feb 09 2005 13:09

Oh, still messing around with pseodonyms. Why do you bother?

56. tom t   
Feb 09 2005 17:51

Because his real name translates (to English) as a word he simply detests. I expect he's in a fairly foul mood given the latest from Sharm el-Sheik.....


57. Seb   
Feb 09 2005 17:57

Hello tom, how are you doing?

I keep meaning to try and grab you for a drink, but I think my time in the bar (tuesday) co-incides with trading meetings.

Did the Fusion propoganda division get hold of you RE that convention in the end?

58. marma   
Feb 09 2005 18:26

tom - i think you will find that the correct name of the place is Ofira- before the Egyptian occupation. As to foul mood- agreed that it is hardly good news, but such triflings really do not bother me. perhaps, and i only say perhaps, if mr tallents were to come to, i would be prepared to meet in the flesh this time. contact me.

Feb 11 2005 00:03

This is not a good sign of things to come... the online voting isn't working... uh-oh!

60. Dan   
Feb 11 2005 00:13

I have already complained. Let the fun begin!!

Feb 11 2005 07:17

re: voting problem

We have managed to identify the bug in the software and it is now working.

The particular bit of code had not changed since the last time we used it (we track code changes in CVS). So it seems that last time the buggy code worked - hence why it didn't show up in testing.

It is possible that the web server admin team upgraded one or two packages (such as the MySQL database or PHP scripting language) in the meantime which made the web site code incompatible.

Anyway, it's working now. So, I'm going home.

Feb 11 2005 07:18
63. Sam   
Feb 11 2005 09:00

PHP was upgraded recently by a couple of minor minor versions. I blame shoddy code.

Feb 11 2005 11:42

Could someone give me a quick rundown of where and how candidates are allowed to place their campaign materials please.

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