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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.

Voting returned to IC? Has it f**k!

Mar 15 2002 18:05
Alex Tarter
Union hacks seem to think that the NUS referendum has brought an end to apathy at IC. But everyone else knows that this is just crap.
I aint gonna vote for you. So don't ask. Muppet.

I have just voted for the first time at imperial in the NUS debate. This was not due to any special view that the union would be any better or worse in the NUS but due to the fact that Uni politics bugs the hell out of me.

Call me cynical and uninformed but who really cares who runs the union. It honestly wont affect me in the slightest. Nobody is going to make the union a great social centre and no-one could possibly make it any worse either. Apart from cheap beer (which under NUS would still be cheap compared with central london, which is the only thing drawing me there) the union doesn't affect me and I hate it when they (the argumentative union officials on a power trip) try to tell me that it does! If they really have done great things for me why don't I know about it???

I don't think that i am in the minority with this view when last year under 10% voted for the union losers (I mean leaders). All those people who want to get together and think they make a difference can go right ahead but don't expect us to care, let alone praise them. If the union shut down who would really care?? Apart from losing a cheap bar (in which you have to put up with the worst music since ABBA) nobody would really notice. Clubs and societies (if they cared that much about their weird obsessions) would get together anyway and could apply directly to college for money.

Can anyone tell me the difference between the union losers and an average club? Surely we could just make a society called 'Useless and unaware of it' and let them argue about their precious constitution in that. If these people are really the calibre of our future politicians I think I might move to Zimbabwe, there at least politicians have character and never even heard of a constitution.

So next time someone tells you to vote for the Union losers tell them to F**K OFF and get a life. I voted 'NO' to NUS, not because I cared but to cut down the amount of offensive uni politics at Imperial. (That and my lecture was late starting!) Ironically the only vote I will ever take part in again is one to abolish the misfit club that is the union council.

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Discussion about “Voting returned to IC? Has it f**k!”

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.
1. Nisa   
Mar 15 2002 19:02
 

Hey - watch the language dear Mustafa! Where are your manners these days!!? hehe!

Nisa

Mar 15 2002 19:18
 

What? I didn't write this.

3. Nisa   
Mar 15 2002 21:25
 

Oh sorry Mustafa - I really should wear my glasses!!

Mar 15 2002 21:46
 

Who is this student (all answers on a postcard to room 101a CivEng (where I get my mail now!)? He seems to be very angry. Perhaps we should warn him that he's started to sound like the other kind of Union hack? Or maybe he just needs some kind of Psychedelic drug (again, answers on a postcard to room 101a Civ Eng). ;)

Mar 15 2002 22:21
 

Speaking as an informed person, I also don't care who runs the onion, or even if it exists. This is because:

I only belong to clubs which receive no funding from the onion;

I am not supposed to drink alcoholic beverages;

Crates from Tesco are cheaper anyway.

The subtitle to the recent felix haedline `ICU Council Makes Decision' should have been `but only they care'.

Mar 15 2002 23:48
 

What a prick.

Mar 16 2002 00:28
 

With all due respect, if you don't care, shut up and let those who *do* care worry about it.

Mar 16 2002 02:27
 

This is, by far, the best article on Live! EVER. My sincerest congratulations to Mr. Alex Tarter - I couldn't have put it better myself (certainly not with my relatively poor grasp of the enlgish language and occasional bad temper, both of which I'm sure have been noticed at times).

I've been at Imperial for 4 years now, will hopefully graduate this summer, and the only memory I will have of ICU is Dave Hellard yelling "Union, Union, Union" at a Fresher's welcome!

I'm not gonna be around next year, so I don't really give a damn about who gets elected for what or wether IC joins the NUS or not. It's a real shame, though, seeing ICU Council spending the greater part of this year bitching about a constitution, which will, bottom line, have minimal to zero effect on normal students' lives.

I've heard many "union hacks" wondering why there is so much apathy in IC. I ask, why should I vote in the ICU elections ? What do I care who the next sabbs will be ? Why waste my time reading manifestos when I know they are pure crap (and I should know). What will they do that will make my life as a student better ? I say apathy exists because the vast majority of the student population is unaffected by what goes on in the Union. How can you go about changing that ? That's for Mr. Ganesh and his crew to figure out but I'm sure referendums and constitutions won't do.

This is the only article I have ever bothered to comment on. I just wanted to say my opinion and will leave it at that, hoping that better days will eventually come for ICU.

9. Aqeel   
Mar 16 2002 13:02
 

Hmmm...I think we ought to remember that the union does provide a very valuable service to the large majority of students. Most IC students belong to a union club or society, a large number use the union bars, cartering etc. And the union's welfare advice is used by a smaller number (but this is perhaps the most important service). Iam willing to concede that council's worrying about a new constitution seems like a waste of time but then if you don't go to council, why do you care. The fact is that if you need help with anything while you're at IC, the union is there to help - and that's why people care about it. To say that your only memory of ICU will be Dave Hellard shouting at the freshers' fair obviously means you've never been the union bar, never eaten there (a wise choice perhaps) and never taken part in any club activity. The problem with ICU (and with all other SU's) is that people don't identify all these activities with the union and until we find a way to make people realise the importance of it's existance, it will be up to those few of us who care to try and do the best we can.

Mar 16 2002 13:05
 

Quite. And it seems a bit rich coming from a person who plastered college with posters and flyers saying 'pick nick' last year around election time.

Mar 16 2002 15:38
 

I'm worried by what seems to be a knee-jerk reaction from union hacks, both current and past, to an article that brings up a lot of important points.

Aqeel is right to say that the Union politics and the services the Union delivers are not connected in anyone's eyes other than those working in both. Things have to change.

It was important to make the constitutional change that we did this year. It shouldn't have taken half the year, but it needed to be done. And it shouldn't have been the most important thing we did either. We should have been working to improve the services we provide, ensure that people knew about the services, and made sure they knew it was us (the Union) providing them. We should take our cue from the NUS referendum. If the rumours are true, the uncharacteristically high turn-out is because people realise that this is something that will directly affect them.

Hopefully, next year Sen will seize his second chance to do this, ban everyone from mentioning the "c" word all year, and start looking on how he and his team can improve things for the people who don't and won't ever go to Council.

Maybe then we'll get people realising that the Union is an important part of their time at Imperial. Maybe then they'll realise that the people they elect will have a direct influence on what is provided for them. Maybe then they'll vote. Until then, apathy rules.

12. smithy   
Mar 16 2002 16:08
 

Do you think he'd be less bitter if he'd pulled at the union?;-)

13. Aqeel   
Mar 16 2002 22:28
 

Surely that would make him even more bitter...

Mar 18 2002 12:07
 

So what you're saying, Nick, is that you used to be apathetic but now you just can't be bothered?

Mar 18 2002 13:57
 

Go Al!

Mar 18 2002 15:22
 

The author raises fair points, and many of them have been aired to me by many different students from many different Universities.

Perhaps ICU should take a leaf out of David Lamy (sp?) the MP who got some RnB singer into the House of Commons...

And to answer the author's charge of the Union being a grand club - well, actually it is. It's your "club" and you can get involved as much or as little as you like. Some students get more involved than others; and it is true to say that some hacks, particularly those aspiring to greater climes, should be a little more gracious when someone tells them "they don't care" [words to that effect!].

After all, that's free speech and long may it live!

Mar 19 2002 13:11
 

I didn't know what response I would get from the email, but I am glad I am not the only disallusioned person at IC. As to whether or not they actually ever get anything done, you are right I don't know first hand. Hence why today I am going to a council meeting in Mustafa's place. I will let you know how it goes!! (If I don't fall asleep that is) Infact I'm thinking of proposing a motion to disband the council!

Mar 19 2002 13:33
 

Alex... you're going to the Exec!

Mar 19 2002 13:47
 

And I believe that someone has already suggested a motion to disband the Council....

20. rik   
Mar 19 2002 15:17
 

as far as i can see, the general reasoning of those who voted no last week was that they didn't want to waste money, that could be spent on clubs and societies, funding what appears to most of us to be a self-serving, irrelevant political society...

in view of the fact that about 20% of the student population voted this way as opposed to the 10% who vote in union elections maybe we ought to now have a referendum on opting out of the union political system.

Mar 20 2002 01:41
 

General Meetings - that's your answer!! Lovely sovereign general meetings... you can have NUS debate in them and rubber-stamp no-platform policies... urgh!

Or perhaps just leave it all to Exec - i'm sure they would like a new pair of giant-sized boots by now :)

Mar 20 2002 11:06
 

Can we disaffiliate from ICU and affiliate to somewhere else (other than individually choosing not to be members or leaving IC)?

Mar 21 2002 15:07
 

Well, under the Education Act (1994), Hall of Residence (which choose to have them) are students' unions... so yes... that is why the CCUs are bona fide SUs and could remain after 1 August if they wanted to...

NUS isn't a students' union under the Act; but then again we all knew that it was neither representative or indeed united :)

May 21 2002 00:49
 

I'm not too up to date wih the happenings of the union members, but I have seen Mr.Tarter around and think he's the hottest thing in England (or the US for that matter). I'd really fancy "jumping his bones" the next time I se him around.

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