GSA elections provided a source of entertainment over the slow news season, as the turnout for the first election barely hit double figures. A number of complaints went to the executive committee, including one about Live! discussion posts (not for the first time during the year). The complaints were sent to the ICU Court, which then ordered a re-run of the GSA election, which was eventually won by Jon Matthews again but with a turnout in three figures (just).
Halls of Residence
Halls of residence caused contention and may continue to do so into the first weeks of term. Linstead closed its doors for the final time, along with Harringtons Bar and Grill. New hall rents were revealed, including extra charges for laundry services. Towards the end of the summer it became clear that the large Southside common room would not be ready in time and many residents would have a view of portacabins being used for the Linstead project.
With little over a week left until freshers move in we'll soon see how good a job has done on Southside.
We had some fun and games with the two men who will head Imperial over the next five years. Live! revealed the identity of Imperial's new Rector, Sir Roy Anderson, in advance of the official announcement, which came at 8am the next morning. Rumours that Live! was responsible for bringing forward the official announcement are wholly unsubstantiated...
A collaboration between stoic tv and Live! saw a number of reader-submitted questions put to the current Rector, Sir Richard Sykes.
Bureaucracy Gone Wrong
Medics logging in to pick up their results had serious problems with the online system, when it was reporting that they had passed when in fact they had not. Not all of the results had been entered, meaning the results system reported misleading summaries.
Freshers have also been complaining bitterly about a lack of information and a myriad of confusing usernames and passwords for online registration systems. The accommodation office has been especially slow to assign rooms to some students due to Imperial accepting too many students into the first year: so many people have met their offers this year some might end up at the predominantly postgraduate Clayponds village.
An Eventful Summer
John Collins had an eventful summer, even though no students were around. His fundraising bike ride ended in disaster after 6 miles thanks to the bad weather, but he is determined to give it another go. His constitutional changes nearly came off the road too, with the College sneaking in some alterations of their own. Most of these changes were reversed, allowing the faculty unions to have their [historic names put back in writing].
A blackmail attempt by College was wholly successful, with the executive committee getting £3.2m towards the Beit redevelopment in exchange for having a member of College staff in charge of the finance division. Despite this agreement, the money is still being withheld until College has confidence in the new setup.
The Wye campus caused headaches yet again, with a group of students complaining about teaching and facilities after they received low grades. One of the longest Live! discussion threads ever led to an investigation being launched by College and things getting out of control. The investigation concluded that the poor results were down to a weak year group.
Royalty of sorts was a common theme, with Her Majesty the Queen hand-delivering a new Royal Charter and establishing Imperial as an independent university. Live! also had the opportunity to speak to Brian May from Queen when he handed in his thesis. In late August he became Dr Brian May!
Imperial's has had a busy summer on the security front, with every college entrance on Prince Consort Road having refurbishment and security work carried out. RSM will regain a receptionist, while the entrance to Aero now has turnstiles. Blackett and Huxley now have revolving doors, although the latter still has hoardings up at the time of writing.
College's Harlington sports ground was occupied by the camp for climate change, attracting national attention. It seems the occupation was mostly uneventful and well organised.
The NUS President openly criticised British industry for favouring students from the top universities, provoking a backlash from the ICU President. The coverage was not all negative however: soon after, the NUS used Facebook to win a U-turn on graduate overdraft charges from HSBC.