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Live! - Opinion

This article is an opinion piece and should be taken as such. It is highly likely to be biased, but either the article itself or the ensuing discussion will probably be entertaining. Live! takes no editorial line on opinion pieces.

Union review of the year

Jun 20 2006 13:26
Mighty Pedant
Forget the President?s column in the poor publication they call Felix, and get the real low down on what has been going in iCU this year.
University of London Senate House

This year we (the iCU Sabbs) have:

  • Sabbatical Elections

Run a set of farcical elections. The ordinary member elections at council were just the start, with lengthy meetings behind closed doors to establish whether mailing list had been used to get votes.

Two DP(F&S) candidates pulled out of the two sets of sabbatical elections, but this was all ?played down?, because we don?t like face..

  • Communications

We have included a newsletter in in felix. This has been a fantastic innovation, allowing the Quad to be filled with shiny non recyclable paper, and providing a superb slip hazard for drunk people leaving the bars.

  • Smoking ban

This year we have tried to prevent any ban on smoking in the bars being put in place. The philiosphy of ?greed before student wish? stands us sabbaticals in good light. I mean who elected us? The fact that over 80% of students don?t want to be represented by our views is unimportant

  • Graduate Students? Association

Wasted vast quantities of money on a new position in our team, who can?t even produce a report on the people he represents by himself. However we did manage to get him to retake his exams and complete a summer internship for an investment bank. For that he recieves a President?s Award.

  • Club Budgeting

We still haven?t managed to devise a budgeting system that works. Oh well. Much easier not to let anyone know what they are getting, then they can't complain.

  • Building Masterplan

For ?1.3m the union will be getting a great glass elevator. Also a few doors in the quad, and a piece of staging removed. Sounds look good value? Did we also mention that we asked people what they thought, and then decided to ignore everything, because as sabbaticals we are experts in building design. Not to mention we have chosen a design that will waste as much energy as possible. To top it all, we aren't bothering to get planning permission after all the problems the College got with the Queen's Lawn.

  • Felix

To really upset Rupert, (whom none of us like), we decided to not give him a President?s Award. Then we got council to stop him getting Honory Life Membership too.

  • University of London

Had a year to sort this out ? not really done anything. We?ll leave it to next years lot.

  • College Centenary

Working with College on plans for next year and how students can get involved.

  • Green Week

Despite green week being union led, still don?t recycle plastic skiffs, or other catering and bars stuff.

  • Bars

Made sure that prices continue to rise, to deter any students from the bars. Not even bothered looking at a loyalty card system.

  • Finance System & New Clubs

Taken the credit for a new finance system that was bought last year.

  • Club & Society Review

Didn?t finish what we started, and said we would complete by March.

  • Queen?s Lawn

Jumped on the Queen?s Lawn campaign band waggon after Live! published an article.

  • IDEA League

Will be hosting the IDEA league when the majority of students will have left for the summer.

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Discussion about “Union review of the year”

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.
Jun 21 2006 08:50

I think the approach you have taken to this article is a real shame. You could have produced a well researched strong article criticising the performance of the incumbent sabbaticals and members of council. Instead you have resorted to making things up which casts the statements you have included which may have some justification into considerable doubt.

For example:

"The fact that over 80% of students don?t want to be represented by our views is unimportant."

That's not a fact! The only way you could establish this as a fact is to have a referendum with a 100% turnout in which 80% of students voted against ?representation by our views?. The fact that 80% of students don't turn out does not mean that they don't want the union, it simply means that they don't care enough about their own future or the futures for their fellows to bother turning out. Apathy does not equal opposition - it never has and never will.

Its interesting that you choose to say "Forget the President?s column in the poor publication they call Felix" - if this is representative of the "journalism" which is going to come out of Live then I strongly question its value as a news gathering organisation.

Jun 21 2006 18:35

s regards the union not recycling the plasdtic used for glasses plates etc.

this service is not offered by the lovely people at westminister council, although they do strongly encourage busy venues to serve in this non reusable form. to counter this the services in beit have started using reusable items in the catering dept at lunch times, i imagine this has greatly reduced to waste output of the union in general

Jun 22 2006 08:30

The Rogue Sailor, the nature of this article and the innability of the editors to substantiate every fact is the very reason it is filed as a 'Random Rant' rather than as a news article.

This is done to inform the reader that any 'facts' within the text should be treated with a pinch of salt.

Jun 23 2006 14:14

The union have been shocking this year - but then I don't suppose that makes a change. Not giving Rupert the same award as all the other previous editors was incredibly petty too.

Jun 23 2006 22:01

Perhaps that's because Rupert's done a worse job than any Felix editor previously?

6. cap   
Jun 24 2006 00:53

I agree, it should not be assumed that just because everyone else who has previously held a specified position gained a reward, that anyone that holds that position, should at any time, gain the same award.

7. Sport   
Jun 26 2006 15:22

What exactly has Rupert done wrong this year? As far as I can see all the whingers can come up with is that he has an abrasive personal manner, a penchant for ignoring typos and wasnt very nice to certain societies. His lack of an award only serves to illustrate that some of the more self important council members were a bit miffed that Felix largely ignored whatever the hell they have been up to in the past year. What you cannot doubt is the hard work he has put in this year and it is for this that he deserved recognition, even if it is only from petty union hacks. Whether you thought Felix was good or bad this year is a matter of opinion. Yes some of the "news" stories were a bit c**p but at the same time the paper was a far more entertaing read and was less timid when it came to criticising college and the union than in previous years.

In conclusion, he might not have been everyones cup of tea but he worked bloody hard. I would be willing to wager that the Felix editor is the sabb with by far the largest workload so can you please stop your bitching.

Jun 26 2006 22:07

If Rupert had done everything he has done this year but had also had been relatively polite and pleasant to the people around him, then he probably would have received an award of somekind.

9. ;-)   
Jun 27 2006 19:47

Lets see, Rupert was actively rude to several societies both in person and in print. He has discouraged any attempt at news (of any kind) made by any of his writers and replaced it with smut. Checking for typos is actually quite important when preparing a publication for print and is one of the editor's jobs. If his grammar and spelling are so bad as to prevent him you have to wonder why he went for the job in the first place. He has stopped Felix being a newspaper and made it a smutty magazine which had nothing newsworthy or orignal in it all year. How's that for a reason not to give him an award?

Just working hard isn't enough or every club or society chair/treasurer/secretary would get an award. You have to go beyond what you sign up to do.

10. Bob   
Jun 29 2006 10:46

It is a shame Rupert never got an award. He has upset iCU which is clearly part of his job description!

Also the Felix Sabb may "work hard" however the position really does not need a sabb. It only has one from the old days when they used to operate a commercial print room as well as publishing felix. I think it may be on the planned axing list in the future...

Jul 17 2006 16:06

Yeah, I really have to say thank you to "winky face" for pointing out that the awards are for doing more than is expected of you. Do you really think Rupert put in extra effort? Especially if you compare him to other student volunteers who don't get paid and have to study as well.

As for the rest of the article...sigh

swings and roundabouts

Jul 17 2006 16:26

I'm surprised that no-one's said anything about "Bob"'s comment that Felix 'really does not need a Sabb'!

Despite the fact that nearly all of the actual writing and layout is done by student volunteers, and whatever inadequacies may or may not have been partially been covered for by others this year, taking away the Felix Sabb is clearly a step in the wrong direction.

There is no way that a weekly publication could be guaranteed without a Sabb behind it. It's an extremely demanding job to do - other Sabbs can expect to keep roughly to office hours - Felix Editors can only dream of this.

If the comment was based on this year's editor's work, then I would say that is a bad example to judge by - there were a lot of talented volunteers this year to take up any slack that some feel developed. And I gather they all fell out with each other in the end. It's stressful, and the Editor shouldn't have the added pressure of having to go to lectures and exams.

Felix doesn't need a Sabb. Felix needs a damn good Sabb who really cares about what he or she is doing.

13. Ant   
Jul 17 2006 23:37

In the same way that every FU requires a Sabb to be able to full represent and provide for there students.

Lets not forget that the workload of the Felix Sabb has been greatly reduced since the last 'building renovation' as has been highlighted before.

Jul 18 2006 09:12

The above post has clearly been made by a complete idiot. When Felix was printed on the union's own presses the average edition was only about 6 pages long. Would you also like to wind the clock back a bit further and Felix could start charging students to buy the paper?

The Felix editor has by far the largest workload out of all the sabbs, as Martin pointed out. Given the choice most students would rather the money was spent on a Felix sabb than glorified dept socs..... sorry faculty union sabbs.

15. Bob   
Jul 18 2006 21:34

Yeh he may have a large workload, but LSE for example produces a weekly newspaper - and they have no sabb....

Are you saying the Beaver is c**p?

Jul 18 2006 21:39

No sabb editor, but a paid full time member of staff who does most of the time-consuming donkey work.

17. anon   
Aug 19 2006 00:25

I share a kitchen in halls and live just down the corridor from one of the current sabbs and Martin Smith's comments that they "can expect to keep roughly to office hours" are quite right, if you count office hours as being 8 am to gone midnight, and term hasn't even started yet. Just because some previous sabbs may not have taken their jobs all that seriously, let's not tar all the new guys with the same brush.

Aug 19 2006 00:39

Fair play - 'roughly to office hours' is pretty damn misleading, and underestimates the commitment of the other sabbs - sorry. I was just making the point that Felix Editor ranks pretty highly in terms of hours required, and that there's no way it could be undertaken by someone studying for exams and attending lectures.

Dec 03 2006 22:23

Who is Rupert..a bear!

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