This week I have had the pleasure of talking to the Guilds Presidential Candidate, Kirsty Patterson. With no opposition, I intended to give her the grilling that she deserved and apply the pressure that was woefully lacking! Despite my best efforts, nothing controversial was uncovered (bar a porn scandal, but maybe I?m just lying to sex this up... ).
So first of all, the boring standard stuff. Why do you want to be Pres? And why on earth should you be voted in?
Well, I?ve been involved in Guilds this year for the first time as a union officer. Previously I have been a sabbatical officer and I feel that as Guilds President I will fill a role which suits me in terms of the time I can invest and the results I can achieve. As for why you should vote for me, I?m a ballsy person who cares about the student population and I want to do more events with more student participation. My main aim is to make Guilds more relevant to the student population.
Hmmm. All sounds like familiar tosh... ?More events? you say? Well, like what? Anything I?d actually go to?
I want to publicise C&G club events properly. Recently Engineers without Borders (EWB) put on a successful photo exhibition. I?d like Guilds to support this kind of event more and give the clubs the resources they need to make these events more prominent and larger in scale. In particular I want to expand on the Outreach Programme through the The Great Egg Race. This year we invited schools from the local area to attend to increase awareness of engineering and science as a career. I remember all too well in school having a view of engineering as inferior: an opinion I now know as all too wrong. I love talking about making stuff and the logistics of design and I really want to help spread that to school age children who don?t yet know all that can be achieved through engineering. Hopefully, in years to come, The Great Egg Race will become akin to the RCSU Science Challenge.
What you chatting about, ?you love engineering?, you scummy miner!!
I?m an engineer. I didn?t realise that when I applied to University but Guilds has shown me how all the different disciplines interact and given me a clearer idea of how I would like to use engineering in my future. I think that that is one of the most rewarding experiences I have achieved through Guilds; I have met people in other disciplines and had the chance to learn so much more. That?s something I?d like to do as well. Increase events and get people mixing.
Engineers. Mixing. Right.
You?re stereotyping! I hate that stereotype of engineers, especially since it is so mistaken. Nearly every engineer I have met so far has been creative, the kind of people who drive things forward. Boring, nerdy, antisocial are not words that apply to the majority of our union! I want Guilds to be more representative of the students it is meant to represent.
?Meant to represent?? What do you think Guilds represents now? (My heartbeat quickens as I sense something controversial)
Guilds has a history and I am proud of that and it should be admired. However, it also has a responsibility to update itself and represent the students now. I admire the way that the RCSU has gone from nothing to a functioning union that is useful to its students. Guilds is like smoking a cigar in a gentleman?s club. RCSU is like sipping cocktails in a trendy wine bar. I want to find a balance and make Guilds relevant.
So, again ? any events I?d actually go to?
One event I particularly want to get going is a Winter Ball.
Sounds great, but you already have an Autumn Ball. Same old.
No, not same old. Autumn Ball is mainly attended by freshers. The Winter Ball I have in mind would be in the second week of the second term, just after the glut of exams. It would be an opportunity for everyone to re-mingle and get lots of the older students there as well.
There?s a lot of ?I? this and that. What about the rest of the committee?
I?m excited about the rest of the committee. There?s a lot of fresh blood coming in. New people means new ideas. And I am open to new ideas. I?ve met the candidates for other roles and they?re all excited too. There?s a prevailing attitude of people wanting to give back to Guilds what they have received, which is great.
I thought you said you were ballsy. Are you really open to new ideas?
I am ballsy. Yet I?m also happy to be proved wrong. I just want people to take an interest so they can do that. Being challenged is how you improve yourself and your ideas and that?s why I am always open to what others say. I admit perhaps I come across as a bit confrontational, but I?ve changed my tack a bit from when I became a Sabbatical Officer and more often than not I?ll play Devil?s Advocate rather than actually disagree. Mainly I want people to keep coming up with new ideas, anything, and I hope to act as a catalyst to actuate them if I am elected.
Ok ok. That sounds all very nice. Now back to ?making Guilds relevant?: expand!
Engineering is exciting. Guilds isn?t. It needs to be revitalised. And that?s exactly what I plan to do.
Now for fun, a quick fire round!
Ok, we?ll start off easy:
- Blue or pink? ...difficult decision... Blue!
- Favourite coffee? ...um? can I come back to you on that??
Woman, it?s quick-fire questions, be quicker!
- Jez or Clem? Clem
- Medic/Scientist? Scientist
- Brown Sugar/White Sugar? Brown!! Oh! And Gingerbread Latte!
- Boots/Superdrug? Boots, I?m from Nottinghamshire.
- Alleys/Main Roads? Alleys, well Mews? but that?s not an option!
- Diamonds/Pearls? Pearls
So that?s your only choice for Guilds President. What do you think? Has she got any good ideas? Chatting to her, she is obviously quite passionate and seems to have experience too, but is that a good thing? Remember all candidates are running against RON who is there for a reason...