The QMU Hustings is an opportunity for anyone to scrutinise the candidates who are running by asking them questions live. View our live blog and video stream from the time here.
Stay tuned for our live blog and video stream of hustings, beginning soon!
The video stream is up and the hustings are about to begin!
Current Student Representatives, these students bring their own ‘projects’ to the union in order to improve it in a manner the deem fit.
Jonathan Telford ran for CSR A last November.
Jonathan tends to waffle a bit..
Andrew Brown notes how the QM replaced his dog as his friend. He wants to change this by including home students.
Cheese and Wine is a sure fire way to get people involved, his suggestion to increase frequency increase contact between Board and Members, also, free alcohol and food is a sure fire way to rope people in, no doubt.
People find him funny, laughter and applause.
Jimmy Donaghy, used to have pink hair, not anymore. He ran for the last election as the only first year candidate.
Believes there should be better communication between international students and the union.
“Taking students to places like Alton Towers” – good for getting people to socialise, may however lead to logistical problems depending on how high demand is
Believes as a first year he can identify better and draw in new Freshers
Apologies for the lack of sound on the QMU live feed, we are working on fixing it.
Cat Acheson, ran for CRS B in November and is a very active member in the QM pushing new events and projects. Her current project is to increase the amount of art in the building which she wishes to continue
“Creating writting zine” – A place for all ‘Aloud’ poets and writers to get their work seen in a smaller magazine, been a good success.
She is evidently passionate about her project and really wants to continue and make the union and hub of activity
She brings up a regularly debated topic about the state of the board rooms, especially making them more cosy
Everyone complains about loud singing upstairs
Here at the Glasgow Guardian we like art, go Cat.
Alice Stearn, who just asked a question is running for QM president. Maybe she’s looking for someone who shares her vision..
Brown wants to introduce a drag ball. His alter ego is Lady Magic, a drag queen that frequently attends the QMs clubnight.
He feels that having condoms for breasts would push more people into the QM. Interesting proposition.
Telford loves his music and acts and wants the QM to be a music and culture zone, specifically bringing in more indie acts.
Taylor questions how they will attract first years, a pertinent question given the QM’s falling membership.
Brown focusses on “passing on passion” to first years. Will this be enough to bring them in?
Donaghy likes the speed-mating event that the QMU currently holds. How well attended are these?
Board meetings at the QM are rarely attended by new members, Donaghy’s ideas about pushing these would help put freshers’ perspectives into the QM.
Atcheson saysonce the Freshers Week honeymoon has faded, even Cheese and Wine won’t work at the beginning, Donaghy is right when he says less intimidating things are needed, even if the intent of these projects is a good one.
Many first years also don’t believe they have a stake in the building, or that they can have a role in how its run. Acheson’s idea of painting murals and having people really change how the QM looks could potentially really help membership or at least members feeling that they make a difference.
Jack Taylor asks questions regarding the trips proposed by Donaghy earlier.
Questions are few for the CSR candidates, unfortunate as they have some potentially hard to implement ideas.
For examples, Donaghy’s funding and logistics. Cost benefit analysis of trips to Alton Towers is needed, but he is happy to dedicate most of his time to this project, and believes students will pay. But if students have to pay will that put them off coming?
Priya Khindria is standing in for Rosie McLister, who sadly couldn’t be in today.
Dominic MacInnes, former Sports Editor for qmunicate. His band interest is probably spurred by his membership of a band, and QMU’s history of live music, and this is an attempt to get back to roots.
Macinnes is flustered by the time limit.
Khindria is reading off her phone for McLister which is understandable, but no reason is given for McLister’s absence.
McLister’s idea about using places in the QM for study spaces has been put forward before in the past, but hasn’t been well advertised and could use a new breath of life.
Gillian Merriman is realistic about what she can achieve in six months
She ran for CSR B last November but sadly lost, since then she has taken an extremely active role in the QM, attending more meetings ( Normally 3 a week) than some board members
Gillian is building on her previous dedication to selling Popcorn at Magic.
Emily Rose, a first year, wants to bring people’s personal ideas onto the charities committee.
Emily Rose, got into the QM through the Charities and Campaigns committee that takes place on a Monday, similar to Donaghy, she pushes how she can put a first year perspective into the QM that some people argue the union desperately needs.
Open access for ideas to all the committees is a good idea when you consider that the committee’s can sometimes be a bit intimidating so a more personal or even an email service might be baby steps toward more interested first years becoming part of the Union.
(We are also fond of Emily Rose’s dinosaur jumper)
Emily Rose: With a wealth of ambition and ideas for projects, she may even struggle to achieve all she wants in a 6 month board, but being overly-ambitious is rarely a bad thing for the QM.
Describe yourself in three words has stumped the candidates.
Merriman doesn’t know how to count and goes for 4 words. Amusing nonetheless.
Rose reckons random traffic would help causes such as the Anthony Nolan bone marrow trust. Would you randomly decide to donate your bone marrow?
Carr mentions possibly a sports competition and cross campus charities at QM, not sure the board of management allow us to play sports inside however.
Alice Stearn has lots of questions for the candidates tonight. Prepared, I like it.
She asks about what one solid project would the candidates like to achieve in the short 6 month term, and acknowledges the difficulties.
MacInnes loves his live music, and wants increased exposure on local bands playing in the QM, something that some of the QM presidential candidates have touched upon too.
McLister wants to see Campaigns and Charities to be more organised by publicly announcing their goals and by what time they wish to be achieved. This is a step away from the lack of exposure currently pervading QM’s boards.
Carr wants meeting to be more accessible, this has been a problem before for the QM, which has only recently put posters around the front desk with the timings of committees.
Rose wants Sexpression to feel like they can work here.The right place for that would be the QM, where free condoms are handed out, where sexual health is widely discussed at the QM and would be a good extension of this tradition.
Merriman has nearly perfect attendance at the QMs clubnight, she would be distraught if it were to fail. Something for the Presidents to discuss.
Merriam wants to have a review into Magic’s current flagging, as does everyone.
Jack Taylor ask again how they will get first years involved. Keen guy.
Carr want to introduce personal invitations to specific members. Whilst the idea is good and helps break the divide, students may see it as spam and simply ignore it.
Rose draws on personal experience. As a first year, is an expert on the subject of what first years want, she wants ‘alone friendly events’ to try and make friends, which she believes is not just important for her, but also for home students who often talk about the difficulty involved in making friends, as people in halls naturally have large friendship groups during freshers.
Merriman wants to exploit students… in a good way!
McLister through Priya, wants a real drive at halls not just for Magic, but for the QM’s many events during the week.
Macinnes wants a suggestion box, which may exist in the food factory, but is obviously not known about.
Jack Taylor gets up to go to the bathroom. The MC thinks he’s asking more questions.
QM die hards don’t know about the mythical suggestion box, so it must not exist.
McLister, wants to re-evaluate the PR campaign, especially by placing the new committee posters right in halls. A big theme of this election seems to be targeting first years in halls, and by going straight to them to address the first year deficit.
Pad Hughes through Paul Kelly. Seems to be reciting a stand-up routine. Is going down pretty well.
“A voted for me is a wasted vote”, he says, moves on to his victory speech, all a publicity stunt that wastes everyones time. Pad Hughes now giving his absentee victory speech: “Thank you to God for building the QMU”.
A truly inspiring QM speech.
Manages to correctly answer on the Simpson seasons 2 through 10, his chosen field. No-one asks about political policies of Hughes.
Lesley Fraser and Lucy Hornsby for Campaigns and Charities are up next.
Fraser spends a considerable amount of time around the QM, she frequently volunteers to help set up club nights and multiple other events and is a well known face around the union.
God the cliches, the cliches!
Fraser wishes to improve communications across campus, wishes C&C to have a campus presence by working in Freshers Week.She pushes for a Campaigns and Charities presence for Fresher’s week, which was not notable during the past two Freshers’ weeks at leas,t so is definitely something that could be done.
Hornsby is a true lover of messy bombs, she frequently attends Magic and takes part in multiple campaigns and charities, she is very passionate for the QM, she has personally raised £1,166 for Charities, and has event bungee-jumped off a crane over the Clyde for the QM.
She has the passion, she can talk the talk and run the rus, as she has helped organised the Edinburgh Marathon team from QM. As well as leaping off a bridge with a certain Glasgow Guardian reporter.
Both candidates are evidently passionate about their work and this will be one of the most difficult votes for people who regularly attend the QM, as they are both well known faces purely due to their fantastic charitable work.
Kat Denholm, CSR, is asking.
Hornsby double checks the question: clearly engaged.
Fraser looked towards the SRC’s consent campaign, a sexual awareness campaign during freshers week, as an example of a campaign that the QM could push.
Max Sefton, prospective president asks if the QM fundraises for too many charities?
Hornsby wishes for charities to get a bit more board review before being selected. Fair point, as boards should work together.
Same from Fraser, wants to put charities before the board for review.
Sefton’s second question: “What would make you personally good for C&C?”. Unoriginal but potentially useful.
Both have been CSRs and run their own successful projects, which is why this will be one of the most difficult votes to cast.
Fraser’s cites her history as a President of an unknown society, she claims to have increased the membership sevenfold and managed to keep it altogether, quite an achievement that could be transferred to Campaigns and Charities.
Hornsby believes she is an inspiring person, and indeed she has convinced 15 people to take part in a gruelling marathon for charity… None of the Guardian team though.
A member of Unicef, which is currently associated with the GUU, asks what the candidates will do to advertise their services to charitable societies on campus.
Hornsby pushes a strong presence on campus, while Fraser wants something similar to a house viewing, where societies can see what the QM has to offer, an idea that could possibly be extended past C&C to all societies at Glasgow Uni.
Fraser – QMU’s history with charities mean that they can be sent into help charities and campaigns that need a headstart.
Fraser pushes stress awareness, the QM already does certain stress related campaigns, like Dogs Against Stress, which is incredibly cute and stress relieving. We can attest to this.
Hornsby wants “Overall Wellness” of the student body. Instead of picking a campaign she says the QMU could also act as a conduit for people looking for specific charitable services they need.
Reece O’Hara asks about Hornsby’s idea for a food bank in the QM.
A food bank is already in place at Maryhill, but a QM one would help relieve the stress this food bank undertakes.
Question to Fraser, “how do we elect charities of the year?”. According to Fraser there is no protocol for picking charities. This must be changed in order to be able to defend the board’s decision.
Kat Denholm to Hornsby on Food Bank. There is already a Food Co-op, so she wishes for closer relations.
The proceedings have now taken a ten minute break. We’ll be back in ten!
Back to the live blog with the Events Convenor candidate Wiktoria Muryn.
Apologies for the sound quality of the live stream up until now, we hope we have resolved this issue, please tweet us or comment with any feedback!
Her big point is that we have been neglecting events outside of Magic, this is a valid point as most events committees revolvepurely around Magic. The QM has always had an emphasis on live music, and the West End in general has a lack of live music compared to the east End, so her points have a lot to offer.
Muryn wishes to use closer relationships with University bands and societies, like Morgul, in order to try and compete with the Hive which will be nearly finished.
She then brings up how the GUU’s new extension will be big competition, as they hope it will be finished by Freshers Week, and speaks about moving away from Magic to live music, which has always been the QM’s main selling point. However, Professor Green’s recent performance may put doubt into the effectiveness of live music.
The events committee already lacks power compared to most other committees, and Muryn wants more dialogue with the executive and the events managers that the QM hire so that the committee, made purely up of students, can have more of a say.
Stearn asks – “Live music so far has seen varied pricing, would you like to standardise pricing?”
Muryn replies: “I would like to keep QM Live free for all.”
Sefton asks “What do you mean by a strong identity for Magic?”
Indeed Magic’s theme seems to vary week by week and some critics say that its hard to advertise because no-one knows what magic actually is.
She asks for creative PR, referencing the pyjama party and the unique going out in onesies campaign, which helps to attract people in to the themed events.
Muryn picks up on how the tech team lacks a real structure, which might be why the numbers of people who attend tech team and help out dwindle after the start of the year. She wants a clear structure and leader to help keep attendance high. A good point, as tech team are needed to run all the events proposed by C&C.
Muryn’s idea of an elected Tech Team head is good because it allows for a proper structure to the team, however Tech is something that requires a skill so democracy may not be sufficient in this field.
Muryn’s idea of rewards for volunteers is a valid one, QM volunteer numbers surge after Freshers week, but naturally dwindles throughout the year. Rewards could help keep the volunteers constant throughout the year.
Scott Wilson is running for Publications Convenor.
Publications candidate was the former New Editor and the current Online Editor, who has overseen a massive spike in qmunicate’s viewing through focussing effort online, something the Guardian is also investigating.
Wilson says that Publications has brought in more members than any other committee under his Editorship, and hopes to continue this rise.
Here’s the full story of Professor Green at the QMU:
Lauren Hinton, current QM president asks about advertisement, and Wilson believes that qmunicate could be opened up to advertisement to bring in funds.
Stearn asks “Would you like to add any new sections to the magazine?” Wilson replies that “Lifestyle and Editorial would be good, maybe not breaking the news but replying to it. This would be in the same vein as political magazines such as the Spectator and the New Statesman.”
Max Sefton, current Publications Convenor asks about current themes and breaking news on campus.
Wilson seems to have a clear vision of what he wants to do. Takes a dig at Sefton’s style of running qmunicate, cites going back to ‘Ali Begg’ style, the Guardian’s own.
Hornsby wishes for qmunicate to push more campaigns.
Wilson says that he does not believe it is the role of Publications Convenor to run formal training in InDesign and Photoshop, but rather that people on board should share their skills.
Kat Denholm, standing for Social Convenor. Denholm references sound clashes, something that is currently happening as speakers are being drowned out by an event happening downstairs.
Denholm brings up topics that has been discussed frequently by convenors, those of tech and photoshop, she wants to push tech team and people who can use photoshop to create PR as QM generally is currently lacking people who have these skills.
Current president Hinton ask for specifics about home student engagement.
Denholm brings up specific events for home students, one was attempted last freshers week as a cross campus event between GUU and QMU but it was so poorly attened that it was cancelled. Home students are however given a tour around the QM in freshers week.
Focusing on home student engagement for Fresher’s week during the day is a good point. Denholm’s idea of joining people for taxis up based on where their homes are means students will get to know each other quicker, forming closer relations and feeling the QM is the place to do it.
Jack Taylor asks for definition of what the committee and the hosts of the quiz should do. He mentions is the hosts should just be set wild, as a sort of free range quiz host. Do you think they taste better?
Rhona Simpson asks “would you like there to be a set Monday night event?”
Monday is a difficult one, Kat’s point on more development based events, such as interview tips, will bring in students who maybe aren’t too keen on the Lady Viper and want to improve skills.
A questioner asks about specifics for home students, Denholm replies without specifics.
Merriman asks questions regarding how most PR around campus is taken down, and how Denholm would deal with this.
Denholm thinks on the day PR and more direct PR may circumvent this problem.
Celia Varela-Sixto, for honorary assistant, says she hates public speaking, but seems to be doing well about explaining her manifesto points.
PRing elections is a focus of Varela-Sixto citing that the union doesn’t spread out PR across the campus. Sixto recently went to halls to PR for an election, and this is definitely a good start in bringing the Union to the students
It is asked how she would you balance your role as a teacher and disciplinary at the QM?
She replies that you have to be approachable, but says she is good at being tough.
Stearn asks if there is something lacking from board member training.
Sixto replies that the training is good, but needs to be reinforced throughout the year.
Board training at the QM does seem good, there is rarely a problem with how a board member deals with an issue and the whole team works well.
She is asked if she is looking to make a shorter version of the constitution.
She states people should be reading the ‘CPV’, but agrees it needs to be formalised and made more digestible including the day to day running of the union that board members NEED to know.
Merriman, asks if we should we look into online voting for the QM.
Merriman asks about online voting, a current issue that many people outside the QM ask about, and last voting day had a poor turn out compared to the SRC’s online voting.
Sixto, replies that it is a difficult issue that involves money and that the system would have to be different to the SRC as all GU members are automatically a SRC member, which is not the case for the QMU and GUU.
Expenses mean it is unaffordable, however she agrees that the QM should look into a cheaper service. This would definitely help turn-out at elections, and why? Students are lazy.
Sefton asks if the union does enough to draw people into elections.
Sixto wants to stress that students can really have an effect on how the union is run by picking a specific candidate.
Stearn asks: “How would you like to make the Assistant Honorary Secretary role more appealing?”
Sixto says it is a very appealing role, it’s a more selfless one that is about helping people, and is fun for certain types of people. She really loves the Assistant Hon. Sec Role, probably a good thing seeing as she’s applying for it.
She is asked “What do you aims to achieve in terms of engagement?”
Sixto wants more engagement, and the questioner asks her to quantify it. Sixto cites that only 12% of the current membership vote in election, Sixto wants to go as high as possible.
Emma Anderson and Chris Barrett are running for the Honorary Secretary role.
Emma Anderson has put a lot into the QM over the years, she plays a very active role with Charities and Campaigns, and is very dedicated to the QM, similarly to Lucy Hornsby and Lesley Fraser, the role seems to bring dedicated members.
She wants to use clubs and societies as a medium of engaging members. If the QM can tap in to society life, through society packages, they will feel like they can own part of the membership.
Chris Barrett recently decided to run with Chris Steven in a joint campaign.
Barrett was a freshers helper, currently a CSR B board member, has been a board member for 6 months.
Chris wants to spam our email addresses with information, but it is very true that people do not know what happens in the QM.
Barrett says that lack of engagement can be changed by making membership benefits unique. He wishes to also engage in rolling membership, which is quite controversial.
Barret also focuses on Freshers week, believing this is the best gateway for students to get involved in the union
Hinton asks: 1) What, in your opinion, is the reason we have Life Members? 2) How would you engage with them?
Barrett pushes the 125 members dinner.
He says life members are not important overall, however, ex members do put a lot of money into the building. Anderson straight up disagrees but says we let them go way too quickly, maybe life membership needs to be more than just a dinner.
Anderson says life members are becoming more and more important, and more effort means more reward. She wants to make life members feel re-connected, by using their abilities and knowledge from the real world.
Some smack talk ensues and an angry microphone put down by a questioner.
Anderson says: “We offer a unique community, but we don’t advertise it well at all. We seriously need a defined difference between members and non-members”, but is not specific on how big that difference should be.
Barrett wants a semester prize for all members to help with more engagment.
Stearn asks “What kind of Fresher’s Week do you two want?”. She expresses concern that neither of them have fully addressed this in their manifestos.
Barrett expresses interest in breaking with tradition of previous Freshers events if they are not continuing to be effective.
It should be noted that both the QMU and the GUU use the same talent agency for live acts, indeed they both fought for Hot-Dub Time Machine. Barett notes that ambitious line ups should be tried, but it is difficult.
Barrett admits his Fresher’s promise is ambitious. He wants to look at what worked and didn’t, and notes the live acts were great. Barrett (in a soon to be published interview) was critical of holding DJ Hodor and Twin Atlantic on the same night, and says that having them on two separate nights would have filled out the week.
Anderson wants to use the building strengths for a unique QM freshers week, and places a strong emphasis on live music, as does Barrett.
Tom Frost aks: “Should we tackle the drinking culture at Freshers Week and the Flagging that is associated with it mid-week?”
Anderson admits there is a flagging. She talks of possibly designating a ‘go easy’ team, who may appeal to non drinking Freshers.
Especially with a lack of restraint, it’s a difficult topic as freshers helpers tend to become QM die-Hards, seen through the CSRs, and while freshers week needs to be for the Freshers, the freshers helper experience should be important too.
Barrett disagrees, Freshers Helpers want to have a good time. The idea of a ‘go easy’ team for one night is demoralising, PRing is tough and the party pulls you through the day.
Denholm asks “How would you attract more members?”
Barrett replies: Regular PR and Membership drives to the halls are key, citing that the QM has only just started this at the end of the year, it would be far more effect if done at the beginning. This quite good as some freshers miss fresher’s week or go to other unions or do other things. However this might bug students and put them off the QM more.
Emma thinks the QM shouldn’t be like high school musical! Maybe some people disagree?
Anderson talks of a sense of ownership, and using the societies as a gateway to get new invested members. The ‘High School Musical’ “We’re all in this together” attitude may be fostered through the wider pool of students available through tapping into existing societies.
It is asked of Barrett to justify re-introducing rolling membership.
Barrett says that students are lazy and can’t be bothered signing back up. It should be encouraged for people to get involved with all aspects of union life.
Barrett states that freshers are usually annoyed by clubs that just want money, the union offers a service, and it can show them that it’s more for their benefit.
Wiktoria Muryn says: “A sober team does work, sections of the Tech team are rolling sober. Why won’t this apply to other teams?”
Barrett is defending that Freshers helpers needs to drink to keep them going. Do you agre?
Wiktoria asks “If the emphasis is on Freshers Helpers doesn’t that mean Freshers aren’t the focus?”
Muryn feels particularly strongly on the subject as Tech team have to stay sober through most of freshers week, Barrett defends his view stating that it’s because freshers helping is a volunteer service and they should be allowed to continue. Tech team, however, is also a volunteer service.
This years freshers ball was not a well attended event, Barrett mentions looking into which events worked and which didn’t, but the questioner brings up that in previous years the ball brought in great numbers and may have decline this year due to the independence vote.
Stearn asks, of Anderson, what would be contained in an affiliation package?
Affiliation packages are particularly important, the QM has to compete with bars that can give societies financial support, which the QM cannot, furthermore the room booking service has issues and societies tend to see the QM as just a room. Anderson combats this well, saying that she would make societies have a tie-in to the building.
Anderson states that this will have to be assessed in the future, because currently societies are being bought by the clubs and bars around Glasgow due to their finances. Anderson admits that the QM can’t support societies financially but by advertising what societies are doing a specific day will be advertisement for them, boosting society membership.
There will be a ten minute break before the QMU Presidential candidates take the stage.
We are happy to announce that the video streaming sound issues have now been resolved! Tune in happily once again!
Max Sefton to begin the presidential section of the hustings.
Max Sefton, Alice Stearn and Chris Steven are up for the role of President of the Union.
Max refers to his ambition and success as the Publication Committee Convenor. He wants more people to be able to make decisions, and how many outside members don’t realise how much they can change the Union. He wants the QM to be more than just a room
He brings up the Food Factory, which has been a big issue across nearly all candidates tonight.
Stearn wishes to move toward a living wage employers citing that Manchester Union has already done it. Stearn wants the membership to carry with it a certain amount of pride. Before running out of time she says she wants to work closer with staff as she believes they have a lot to offer.
Chris Steven, brings up the recent Glasgow Guardian Article, and quickly moves on, stating he has addressed it.
See the article Steven references here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/02/qmu-presidential-candidate-calls-homophobic-and-transphobic-twitter-account-a-tongue-in-cheek-parody/
Chris really pushes the ideas of Freshers, bringing in their talent and bringing them up and into the union. He brings up how the Union has had the same DJ, DJ Toast for the past 20 years, despite rebranding the clubnight multiple times.
Cat Acheson says that “We at the QMU pride ourselves on being a safe space for everyone, standing up for the rights of all minorities, how do you intent to tackle sexism, racism, transphobia and homophobia?” She brings up the QM being a safe place, and brings up gender equality. The QM itself was founded because woman was not allowed into the GUU. However the group question does seem like a dig at Chris stevens and Jack has stepped in to bring this up.
Stearn says that this can’t be covered in a minute, it must be something that is constantly strived for. Proper training of all board members and freshers helpers in these values is needed.
Sefton believes in working a lot with the SRC, and introducing an equality and diversity program is one of his manifesto points, however Board members already have a very good record with equality and diversity. Max believes there’s always room for improvement and that students should feel they can be at home in the Union.
Steven says that The QM does a fantastic job of equality and that this is the first day of his life he’s not felt welcome in this union. “We should keep doing what we’re doing” and in particular welcome societies such as the LGBTQ+ society.
Merriman asks how the QMU will compete with the Hive.
Merriman brings up the rivalry between the two Unions, and a way of keeping the QM alive with Hive on the go.
Chris speaks insanely fasts to get in as much as possible. He has loads of ideas for Freshers week.
Steven continues to push freshers as hugely important, and that the brand of Magic needs refreshed. Chris actually brings in a specific idea for freshers week with a day by day blow of what events he would hold
He points out how Hodor and Twin Atlantic did well last Freshers week and should have had their own nights
Stearn says that the QMU cannot rest on its laurels, and needs to match the enthusiasm for the GUU’s new building to try and compete.
Sefton says that all student clubbing in Glasgow is down. He believes the answer is being creative, and says the QM has great live music that it hasn’t been exploiting.
He pushes a point of his Manifesto, of closing Qudos (the big live area) on days where it isn’t possible, to make people perceive the QM is “bangin”.
Is it questioned with regard to a recent Glasgow Guardian article about ‘cliqueyness’, how the union will be made more approachable after Freshers Week?
See the Glasgow Guardian article on QMU cliques here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/02/how-the-queen-margaret-union-is-slowly-killing-itself/
The room is currently full of people who all know each other with very few outsiders.
Sefton and Stearn both refer to how the clique is inevitable, especially as everyone is so friendly when they work together and that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Stearn says that friendships get formed when working together, and that the QM is very friendly and this should be expressed better and show more of a welcome.
Steven says that all pubs have regulars, just like the QM. He repeats that the QM usually waits for people to come to it, rather than going out to people. He believes the QM freshers helpers are instructed to make friends with freshers and bring them in, but this doesn’t continue for the whole year.
They are asked if they fee thatl there should be a policy that holds board members to account for their activity on social media.
Stearn says that, yes, Jack has already begun working at, and it should be there because a lot of communication happens online. It should be continued.
Sefton says that there is already a charge bringing the board into disrepute. But I would be happy for a specific policy to be created if the members want to see this.
Steven focusses on how it’s hard to draw the line on offence, and that it may act as turn off for possible future members who may have made mistakes on social media in the past.
Two questions so far, aimed at all candidates, have been seen as jibes at Chris Steven, which isn’t wholly appropriate for a hustings about policies and manifestos.
Stearn praises the experience of Radio 1 last year and how those workshops benefitted students.
Tom Frost asks “As President, how would you empower your board and get your board members to represent the union?”
Stearn says that by getting greater communication between staff and board members we will get a more cohesive union.
Steven wants the board equipped for all possible events, all candidates have brought up training for board members, and spoken of the role of duty board in the building. So far the board play an important role in helping out with drunkeness and upkeep of the building, the question is should they be doing more?
It is questioned if a lack of consistency in club nights is harming the Union?
Sefton says that with 6 and 12 month boards and multiple transitions, the QM is bound to be inconsistent at times, but with proper all round training this consistency could be changed.
Steven says all social convenors and board members have been consistent and passionate but the QM needs to focus on increased budget and in fact the club night has had a problem With being too consistent.
Alice has said more than once she doesn’t have enough time to say everything she would like to.
Stearn is pushing training like Sefton, and says the handover needs to be looked at to keep consistency but the constant change means constant new ideas, which is positive.
Jack Taylor has two short questions: 1) I’m a fresher, sell the union to me. 2) Favourite Netflix series?
Stearn says that students should want to come here. They should be able to get whatever they want from it, and should feel valued.
She gives a very broad answer to the first question, then admits that she loves Gossip Girl. A crowd member shouts “vote lost”.
Sefton says that QM welcomes everyone without discrimination, and that all students will always have a home here as there is something for everyone. With regard to Netflix, he chooses House of Cards citing that President Underwood may have got him this far.
Steven says he wants to engage freshers before they are here. Chris says he has been told he missed the golden years, and thinks this is a poor attitude, saying the QM is a voice that matters! He also loves Breaking Bad.
Merriman says that people on committee tend to hold onto a nostalgic past, and others get voiced out in committees, and asks how this would be addressed.
Nostalgia is a problem the QM can suffer from naturally, many people have had the best years of their lives here and will naturally look back fondly.
Max says that Publications Committee often had 40/50 attendees, and nostalgia doesn’t play a part.
Steven encourages people who think out of the box and committees that bring new ideas. He says as social convenor he strived to get new ideas in all the time, from the most simple to the most out the box. He states that the past is the past for a reason andthat failed plans should stay there.
Stearn says that it depends on how you look at nostalgia, as the past of QM needs to be looked at to push the QM into the future.
Cosmo Neacsu asks: “Would you consider running new comers and Freshers to committee workshops to curb intimidation?”
The QM does already hold cheese and wine nights to bring people into committees but this year they wasn’t greatly attended.
Steven focusses on his freshers only night to pull the first years into the union again.
Stearn says that workshops for publications could work, but for other committees it could be more difficult.
Sefton says the QM can still strive to create .a more welcoming atmosphere
Sefton states that with his previous publication committees, he always made sure people got to the bar after the meeting to help keep people involved, and makes sure they are added to the facebook group and there is good communication between editors and the contributor.
Last question to all members: “The role of President is the public face of the union, justifying the QM’s position is tough. If the University said we don’t need the QM, how would you deal with that?”
Sefton: the QM currently depends 15% of its money from the uni. He says the QM needs to make sure it never gets to that position.
Sefton believes showing the Student Finance Committee what ‘graduate atributes’ the QM adds to the student experience would convince them.
Steven says that if the QM bands together, there is no reason to close the Union it means so much for the union. This is true as the union means a lot to every one in the room and those watching the live stream and that students would stand against the closing of the QM.
Stearn adds that the union need to be pushier, and communicate with the University constantly to try and avoid this situation. I would look to the membership of the union to protect the union.
To Steven is is asked “Have you considered withdrawing your candidacy ?”
Steven replies: “If you don’t trust me then don’t vote for me. The Glasgow Guardian attack was out of context, but I’m up here defending myself because I believe in this union.”
Questioner mixes surgeries and autopsies to the general hilarity of the room.
Steven is asked: “Do you believe that because of your privileged status as a white man, that you can comment on whether or not we have the best equality policy?”
The QM does have a very good track record when it comes to equality, across their freshers helpers, staff and executive.
Stevn says: “My door is always open if someone feels that there is a certain degree of inequality they can come to him to talk about issues.”
Muryn brings the question of who would run tech on a Saturday Magic as it is hard to get volunteers for a Saturday.
Stevens replies: “We can’t force people to do Tech Team on the weekends, so we might have to look to tendering out the service profesionally”
Steven must believe the revenue brought in from a Saturday club night will bring in enough to pay for a professional tech team
Simpson asks: “Could you elaborate on the financial side of providing the Living Wage?”
Alice says: “The living wage has been brought up, while very valid, this would be a serious strain on the QM finances.”
It turns out it would not be valuable at the moment, but Stearn believes it’s something we could work towards
Read Stearn’s interview and manifesto analysis, where we question her on the living wage: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/qmu-presidential-candidate-interview-and-analysis/
Stearn says: “This idea has already been brought and struck down because it was found to bankrupt the union in 5 years”. Stearn wants to push this possibility out of her presidency as a more constant project for the QM.
Cat Acheson to Steven: “Do you think the President of the Union should be hold personally responsible for what they put on social media?”. She states that she felt personally attacked by Steven’s Twitter account.
Chris emphasizes the separateness between his social media and his role in the union, he doesn’t believe that the two should be combined and effect each other at all.
He calls the Twitter account a place where he practises more abstract comedy and that it wasn’t used to attack a specific group of people.
Sefton believes that societies are a great middle man between students and the QM and that societies need to view the QM as more than a room.
See Sefton’s interview and manifesto analysis here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/qmu-presidential-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-max-sefton/
Sefton has mentioned bringing societies material into the building, this would be a good way of having societies have a stake in the building, but it could lead to issues when it comes to seeming to endorse these societies.
Steven talks about how he and Chris Barrett would work together well, and you can read more about this in his interview with the Glasgow Guardian, published soon.
Steven is asked: “If a vote of no confidence is brought on you and it passes and you are still elected as President would you continue as President?”
Steven says if he wins the election, then yes.
See his manifesto analysis and interview here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/qmu-presidential-candidate-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-chris-steven/
To Max, what are your plans for the QMU website?
Max says that he would gut the website and start afresh and re-launch with a new colour scheme that QM have been pushing, which i’s very red. This question comes as Sefton has overseen a great increase qmunicate’s public image.
Sefton wants to improve the website, which has been frequently criticised as being difficult to navigate.
Steven is asked: “You said that your tweets are abstract humour, then is the oppression of minorities funny?”
Steven says “I am sorry that these tweets may have caused offence. The role of the comedian is to make light of bigger issues. If you feel I am not the appropriate person to stand for President I encourage you not to vote for me.”
The issue of social media has been brought up, which could be seen as spam and is not always effective, especially as at the moment there can be up to 10 people posting different QM related posts on social media at the same time.
Sefton replies that there are always going to be a lot of things QM are trying to publish. Sefton, qmunicate editor, has learnt a lot about how best to engage on social media and that can be transferred to the QM social media platform as a whole.
To Stearn, is has been asked “do you believe the image of a clique is legitimate?”
The issue of cliquey-ness had been brought up again, following a recent Guardian article. This has been a recurring issue all night.
Stearn “I believe we are viewed as clique because the people who mainly run for board are Freshers Helpers.
“I don’t believe there is a clique here, if I compared this building to how it was when I started we have improved greatly.”
To Stearn is it asked: “Why would businesses outside the union want to give discounts to members of the QM?”
Stearn says “This is something that has been done before it was just poorly advertised.”
Tom Kelly asks: “There has been problems with trying to get more money from the University, can you try and justify how you will get the money to pay for a living wage?”
Stearn replies that: “We all agree that it is a good thing, and I will ensure as President that we constantly improve our standing with the university to get this thing we all want. As the Guardian has said ‘I will be friendly but firm’.”
As the Husting closes, you could cut the tension with a knife, the event itself has been tense and the atmosphere is unpleasant. However, all candidates did answer all questions and everyone from the CSRs to convenors to the potential presidents spoke well in this unusually difficult and hostile hustings. Best luck to all candidates involved, and thanks to the Guardian readers for watching and reading!