The first Guildsheet of the year proudly proclaimed ?The Return of Guilds?, with new President Tristan Sherliker standing over a captured Davy Lamp. Six months later, CGCU is in a shambles again. Mr. Sherliker, who was elected by a huge majority a year ago, and was widely taken to be the man to get Guilds back on its feet, has recently scraped through a no confidence hearing, after losing the complete support of his exec. What has gone wrong with CGCU in the past few years, and what can be done to improve it in years to come?
For several, Guilds has been in turmoil, with very little stability from year to year. In 2005-06 president Aaisha Latif failed to take up her post. This was followed by the resignation of the Honorary Secretary in February, due to reasons which were primarily to do with his relationship with, and the attitude of the new president Siddharth Singh. This was the fourth resignation of an Honorary Secretary within two years.
Guilds had an extremely poor year in 2006-07, losing both Vice Presidents and the Welfare Officer before the year was out. President James Fok was trying to run Guilds at the same time as doing a time consuming masters in Tanaka Business School. Both Vice Presidents that year can be politely described as ?useless?. VPFS Boon Koh spent most of the year promoting Apple at Imperial: Guilds was a very obvious poor second choice when it came to his free time. Boon resigned after failing to submit a budget for the academic year 2007-08, despite surviving a no confidence motion. VPA Borja Sordo did next to nothing all year, eventually dropping out altogether from his course in May 2007. Welfare Officer Emma Persky was no confidenced, due to missing important meetings.
This brings us on to the current academic year. Despite what members of exec have said, Tristan is not solely responsible for all of the problems which have occurred. The Honorary Secretary, whose traditional role is to organise the Autumn ball was elected after the ball was held. The ball only managed to attract around one hundred people. Yet again, Guilds has failed to hold any events with mass appeal. How much of this is due to Tristan, and how much of this is due to the VPA Milli Begum is difficult to say. I do not want to get into blaming individuals directly at this late stage in the year. Nevertheless, it is impossible to see how anything of any significance can be held in the Summer term.
Why is this the case? A poor year can be put forward to a poor team, but several extremely disappointing years suggest that something more is the problem. CGCU is the biggest faculty at Imperial, but this has its disadvantages. The individual Dep Socs within Guilds organise a lot of activities and events, leaving students being linked more to their department rather than central CGCU. The RSM is in the position where the central union (yes, I?m calling it a union) performs both the central activities as well as the departmental activities. The RCSU is larger and more diverse than RSM, but has had several years of good leadership and strong work, and has functioned well. I am not suggesting that the engineering Dep Socs stop carrying out their roles, but I suggest that next years Guilds team try and organise bigger events across the faculty, and indeed with other faculties. It is blatantly obvious that the same old slave auction/egg race are not going to attract many people outside the inner Guilds and Union circles. By all means keep these events, but try some new ones as well! Guilds represents over 4000 students, it is time to start working for them.
Guilds needs new blood. For too long now it has been controlled by a mix of public school rahs and people looking for something good on their CV. Both lead to nothing getting done. This then leads to no ?normal students? wanting to play an active role within it. People who actually want to do something; people who want to make a difference and improve things need to take a step forward. Otherwise Guilds will continue limping on slowly, waiting for somebody to put it out of its misery.