John Collins joined Imperial College as a Civ Eng fresher in the September of 2002. From the early days it was clear that Mr Collins was destined to take more than a passing interest in student politics. In one of the first lectures he stood as a candidate for a position as year rep and although unsuccessful that time it was clear that Mr Collins enjoyed and wanted to be a part of, and high up in, the student union.
Early involvement in City and Guilds saw him involved in the hit squad and barbershop quartets for RAG and in second year he became treasurer of ICU RAG as well as an ordinary member of union council. Mr Collins never let shyness or fear of been outspoken prevent him from raising points at council and quickly became a recognized figure in the upper echelons of the union.
At the end of his second year Mr Collins stood for City and Guilds president against Chris McIver and Giles Dunn and despite having written the text message to his girlfriend, Nichola Hawkins, to say he had lost leaving only the send button to press Mr Collins actually found he had won the election with a comfortable majority.
The Early days of Mr Collins? term as CGCU president did not go entirely smoothly with rumours of resignation and manytroubles involving the 2004 Lord Mayor?s Show entry. However, by the end of the summer one of the most successful Freshers Week many can remember had been organized with the Annual Ball adding to the feeling of success in the CGCU office. Following on from the ball Hon Sec Martin Chong resigned although this was not entirely unexpected and Mr Collins moved quickly to organize the election where Helen Dawson was elected to the post.
With a strong team to lead Guilds around him the CGCU year went from success to success with an especially active RAG week involving running around quite a lot, although relations with ICU were becoming less and less amicable eventually leading to a no confidence motion against ICU President Mustafa Arif. The motion was led by Tom Tibbits with much support from many in Guilds including Mr Collins who was one of the few that supported the motion to the end including voting for it despite a role call ballot taking place. These events helped to form Mr Collins? opposition to Sabbatical Officers serving two terms, with his involvement in two attempts to amend the union constitution to avoid this it will be interesting to see his view on this come the next round of union elections next year.
The end of ones term as CGCU president would normally be a time when most would hide and put some time into their degree, but not Mr Collins who stood for Chairman of both CGCU and ICU and was elected to both posts. Also, when Guildsheet editor Sid Singh was elected CGCU president and had to give up the editing Mr Collins took that job on too.
Most people who knew Mr Collins by this stage were sure he would stand for the ICU Presidents post although he continued to only say he was only thinking about it. When nominations opened he eventually put his name forward and launched into what many have described as the best Presidential campaign they have seen in a long time. Given the support and campaign few were surprised when Mr Collins was announced the winner of the election on Thursday evening although the size of the majority may have surprised some.
So, the only question remaining is where Mr Collins will throw his hat next, rumours are abound that Tony Blair?s job will be available in a year or so.