As always with the spring term, elections provided much of the entertainment and news. Attempts to increase turnout by making elections more "fun" seemed to have little effect, partly due to mediocre campaigns by the candidates. A more entertaining style of hustings turned into a disaster thanks to the presence of alcohol. Live! was indirectly involved in the ensuing farce, as a post in response to that article led to the removal of the returning officer, a referral to the Court which quashed the decision, followed by executive being indecisive.
Anti-NUS campaigner Stephen Brown was elected as ICU President in a narrow victory over Jon Matthews, but has pledged to give NUS a go. In Faculty Union elections, Tristan Sherliker will take the helm of the limping CGCU this year, looking to revitalise the union. Jennifer Morgan takes on the RCSU, hoping to continue the successes of this year.
The Centenary celebrations finally kicked off this term, the fund-raising drive starting with the New Year's Day Parade collection raising £465. A balloon race accompanied the official launch on 30th January, which saw free Centenary cake at events around College. Banner's from last year's Lord Mayor's Show are also up in various departments, illustrating alumni achievements.
More fund-raising is on the way, including Ben Ryall taking part in the London Marathon.
DPGS Under Fire
The Deputy President (Graduate Students) received a censure in February for her performance, after a rumoured no confidence appeared. Live!'s coverage caused a degree of controversy, with a number of people complaining that providing information of a censure or no-confidence on the web could damage her future career.
She has since missed a meeting of Senate, a key meeting of the College's academics, because she was too busy organising an event. A review of the position is underway, with a general feeling that MSc students can do events very well, but are lousy at representation because they lack the contacts.
A couple of items caused controversy with College in January, starting with concerns about the sports partnership. Shortly afterwards College tried to give the RCSU a dingy basement office, which lead to a protest and eventual U-turn.
College was, in turn, on the receiving end of some problems thanks to the local residents in Alexandra Court, with Westminster rejecting a planning application for the library refurbishment.
the Union's bars have had an interesting time this term, with the long-awaited furniture for da Vinci's finally arriving. We saw a huge discussion thread on the restructuring of the bars in January, finally leading to a proper article once we were clear of legal issues.
The core finally re-opened, however vandalism proved to be a problem. dBs turned into a dump this term, having been newly repainted at the start of the year. A lack of customers to the catering outlet may lead to it being closed.
As last term, blue flashing lights were seen around campus on a number of occasions. A huge fire in the mansions next to the Royal Albert Hall saw 40 fire engines lining the streets, with smoke billowing into the sky. The fire was out by the next morning, with a lot of effort put into salvage operations due to the expensive artworks inside the building. Some chemistry researchers in RCS Icaused a much smaller response when they had an accident.
A bomb disposal robot also caused a stir in SAF yesterday while it was attending a security conference. The machine, which costs around £175,000 and can pull a car, was sat in the foyer for much of the afternoon. A plan to take it upstairs was scrapped to avoid damage to the staircase.
Get Flash to see this player.
A new environmental policy was passed in the same Council as a Fairtrade policy, bringing Fairtrade University status a step closer.