Fifteen minutes until the GUU Hustings begin! Have you seen our coverage of the QMU and SRC elections on our website http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/?
Alastair Thomas, David Patterson and Belén Casañas will be bringing you the Guardian live blog coverage of the GUU hustings tonight, which are the most contested elections this year. Read more about that here: http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/we-have-more-democracy/
The two Presidential candidates, Rory Slater and Holly Fergusson, take to the stage.
Imogen Dewar, Ferguson’s proposer, talks about Fergusson’s manifesto, specifically her vision for the Hive.
Dewar says “Holly has the amazing ability to not take no for an answer.”
The candidates sit in silence, looking nervous. Dewar seems the most confident person on the stage.
Dewar: “She is able to make change happen, I fully believe in her to make change happen at the union.”
Dewar: “She’ll be the right candidate at the right time.”
Rapturous applause ends Dewar’s speech, extolling the virtues of Ferguson.
Rory Slater, presidential candidate, has apparently “always been involved in everything that is going on” including Freshers Week, Oktober fest, Daft Friday and more.
This speaker is far more casual, and uses comedy liberally to win over the audience.
Rory’s proposer is less forceful, and perhaps less convincing, especially when he cites Slater’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” video as an example of his ability.
Slater’s Proposer: “He’s not only here when he has to be here. He’s here when he doesn’t have to be.”
Slater’s Proposer: “A vote for Rory is a vote for progression”
Fergusson speaks first, and says that both candidates are credible.
Holly goes straight into her Hive policies and how she is particularly suited to completing the redevelopment.
Read more here about the Hive redevelopment plans:
Find an interview with Fergusson and an analysis of his manifesto here: http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/04/guu-presidential-candidate-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-holly-fergusson/
Fergusson: “Clubs and societies are what bring diversity into the union”
Fergusson talks about her platinum affiliation package - an initiative to get clubs and societies involved in the GUU.
Fergusson places the Hive at the heart of her policies for clubs and societies.
She asks that people consider who will ensure progression and who will maximise the potential of the clubs and societies tomorrow.
Fergusson asks the floor who they believe can best carry out the work needing to be done over the next year.
Her speech was slow, considered and slightly lacking in content.
Slater explicitly differentiates himself from Fergusson by saying that managing and leading a team is most important.
Slater argues that he is a motivator, not a creator.
Slater pushes the importance of “day-to-day” things.
He believes the role of president is to make everyone feel included and to get the message out there.
Slater: “I really have a strong vision of where we are going.”
Slater: “It’s really important not to lose touch of who we are, with reference to the new club."
He again moves away from Fergusson, saying that the club isn’t the most important aspect to consider and that he wants to keep sight of the union as a whole.
Questions from the floor are about to start.
Slater's stance is more nervous than Fergusson's.
See Slater’s interview and manifesto analysis here: http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/04/guu-presidential-candidate-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-rory-slater/
It is questioned: “In both your manifestos you try to tackle the negative perceptions held about the union - how would you both go about curing this?”
Rory says that the union can seem scary to a lot of people and he wants to get more people into the union so that they can see how great it is.
Slater doesn’t want to talk about specifics - he sees it as a perception problem.
He wants to attract a wide range of people, especially those who don’t know what’s going on inside the union. He says it’s about creating different events to get people in.
Fergusson cites clubs as a way to get people into the GUU - she sees it as the most effective way of getting outside engagement.
Fergusson says that the Hive is not just a new facility; it’s the evolution of the GUU.
It is questioned “What are your views on cliques, and do you think they are a good thing or a bad thing?”
People who have different values, and the “union needs to be way more inclusive”.
Fergusson wants the union to be more inclusive and doesn’t see 'clique' as a negative term unless it excludes people.
According to Fergusson if a clique is a way to get people involved, it’s fantastic; “We need to make a lot more people feel involved”.
Slater says that they need to make people feel more involved, by having open committee meetings.
His stance is more about the board and committee being open, rather than relying on clubs.
It is questioned: “You both gave different speeches in what you see as your vision. Could you pick one area, excluding the extension, that you would change and explain how you would change and make it better next year?”
Slater: “We need more staff to improve our vision.”
Slater: The GUU’s dinner menus haven’t changed in five years.
Slater: “We need to hire another chef’.”
Fergusson answers: “It’s one way we’ll get people into the building...those seeing this place as a home.”
Fergusson talks about the new catering in the Hive being able to improve the GUU’s catering.
It is asked: “Will all the things that have been happening with clubs and societies last year be continued?”
Fergusson: “Hive is a gateway to getting more people involved.”
The questioner seems to simply be saying “We are already great, how will you both carry on out being great?”
Fergusson did not really answer the question.
Slater: “We have 20,000 students, but many students are not members. They don’t know what we do. We have to reconsider the ways in which we do things.”
It is asked: “What do you think our (and your) best achievement has been over the past year?”
Slater cites Daft Friday as his greatest achievement.
Fergusson also talks about Daft Friday, but also about communication between her and the affiliated clubs.
She wants to push her platinum affiliation package.
It is questioned: “You mentioned in your manifesto about the platinum plan - what will you put in place to so you don’t default on your commitments?”
Fergusson: “In a real way, you don’t really know. We need a strategic plan...to listen to people at the meetings”
Slater talks about how his strategic plan will be ensured through the committees.
It is asked “You both mentioned you wanted to build stronger links with the different committees. What will both candidates do to promote specifically the debates committee?”
Slater says he will promote topics that people are really engaged with.
Slater is the more popular candidate for debaters. He talks about show debates being a way to get more speakers in.
As well as more money being put into debating.
Fergusson: “I’ll put more money in too.”
Fergusson says that debating is often quite separate from the GUU.
She wants more inclusion of debaters in freshers week.
Fergusson says some people haven’t even heard of the debates.
It is asked: “How are you going to motivate your entire board of management?”
Fergusson: “It’s a good question. There’s no shortage of motivation”
Fergusson says the nature of next year is important.
Fergusson: “Hopefully they will believe in us, in our ability as leaders.”
She certainly wants to put her eggs in one basket over the Hive extension.
Slater doesn’t want a leader with too strong a vision, and looks at Fergusson.
Slater: “It’s about making them feel part of the team. It’s important that everyone’s visions are incorporated.”
He wants to have a range of opinions.
It is asked: “How do the two of you plan on maintaining those levels of commitment?” (set by the last president Owen)
Slater: “(Laughs) I have no shortage of passion for this place…I will always be here.”
Fergusson: “We wouldn’t be running if we didn’t understand that”, referencing the position’s difficulties.
She talks again about her strategic plan but doesn’t specify.
Fergusson says the role of president is carved out for next year, being about implementation of the extension.
It is asked: “In the next 5 years this campus will change radically, moving towards the QMU. How will you as a president to next year safeguard the interests of the union for the next 5 years?”
Fergusson: “Really working hard with yourself and other student bodies is key. What we are providing needs to be what students want.”
Fergusson wants to give people a reason to come to the GUU.
Slater repeats Ferguson’s sentiment about offering more.
Slater: “What we are offering is what’s important.”
The candidates are hesitant to disagree with each other, keeping the debate very civil.
It is asked: “If each candidate was given £100,000 tomorrow, what would each candidate spend it on?” (People laugh at the question)
Slater: “I would spend it on a very strategic plan…on the new club night...and how to spend that money sensibly.”
Slater would put it towards a strategic plan over the Hive. His inability to think of an original answer is telling of his hesitancy to move beyond the confines of his manifesto.
The candidates leave the stage to applause.
Fergusson’s answer about party buses and bouncy castles is perhaps her only answer not about the Hive.
Next up, one year PSMs.
There are four candidates for two positions.
John Combe’s proposer; John is an outsider who almost ran for president before pulling out of the race.
His proposer says that Combe cares about the union; “He made GUU sound like such a nice place I wanted to join.”
He “Cares about the union to make it the best it possibly can” and wants “All to be equal”.
Joshua Gilmore up next.
“It’s as if you’ve known him forever”, his proposer is enthusiastic.
Most experienced member of PR team according to proposer.
He is “Not afraid to do the task”.
Faith Kemp is next.
“She’s one of the nicest, most hard working, friendly people.”
She has been social convener.
She has the skills to run events.
Donald Mackay is the last candidate for the PSM one year position. He ran for SRC president last year so this seems like a step down.
Proposer says he is very dedicated and has been on the Daft Friday committee for two years.
He has the experience to bring to the role, and the wisdom according to his proposer.
Combe begins with: “I am not the best public speaker.”
Combe speaks first, and says that GUU needs more people from the outside. He says he wants to promote democracy, citing uncontested positions in the union as examples.
Gilmore talks about the new building, and states that he knows what students want.
Gilmore says that the “Union itself could give package deals like Viper and other clubs do for societies”.
Gets a big response from the floor.
Faith Kemp wants Thursdays to be a GUU club night.
She wants the GUU to be inclusive and fun and says she likes thinking of new ideas for nights.
she talks about falling in love with the building, and wants to hold more events in the debates chamber.
Kemp says “I will make sure everyone knows the union.”
Kemp says: “I urge you to have a little faith and vote for me.” (Laughs and cheers from the floor.)
Mackay is the strongest speaker, and talks first about the GUU parliamentaries.
Mackay says that “There is only one daft Friday…we take the ordinary and we say screw that…the GUU is going to be the best union in the country.”
He wants to welcome in more freshers, and post-grads.
He also wants to diversify the union so that groups like debating mix with the rest of the union.
Mackay: “I have the most unconventional path in running for PSM, but if you agree that I have the best vision, vote Donald Mackay tomorrow.”
End of PSM speeches, onto questions.
First question: “Working as a team is quite an important park of the PSM, can you all sing barbie girl to show your team work?”
The PSMs start singing “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Democracy breaks down.
the candidates are asked to tell a favourite joke that has nothing serious to do with what they might want to achieve.
John Combe can’t think of one.
Gilmore: “I once owned an origami business but unfortunately it folded.”
Kemp: “Do you want to hear a joke about pizza? It’s a bit cheesy.”
Mackay’s joke is an oldie but a goodie. Check the video and play it back if you missed it!
It is asked: “How have you been involved in the union in the last month?”
All candidates cite union events they have participated in.
Mackay involved in darts, and had a parliamentary debate last week.
Mackay is the second best darts player in the union.
Combes hasn’t been involved in anything.
Combes and Kemp: “How would you revamp the PR system if you were PSM?”
Gilmore wants to go out and chat to people.
Kemp says; “If once a month, all the convenors could come along and say what they want us to focus on”, that this would be beneficial to PR.
Someone asks Gilmore, “Can you do your best animal impression?”
Josh becomes a monkey.
Much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
A question from a live stream viewer: “If any of the candidates could have dinner with a famous person, alive/dead person, who would it be?”
Kemp says Roald Dahl, due to his great stories.
Mackay would pick Donald Dewar, the audience shout “Play him at darts”.
It is asked: “Donald, how can we get GUSA more involved with the union?”
Mackay wants more dinners for sports clubs.
PSMs leave the stage.
Next up, two year PSMs.
David Guthrie for Laura Bradford.
Guthrie: “She’s perfect for this role, this place really is her home… she’ll make you feel welcome.”
Guthrie describes Bradford as “The greatest networking tool you can have”.
James Cordiner proposed by Breffni O’Connor, current SRC President.
Cordiner is going to express his views on the student experience of postgraduates.
Cordiner is a post-grad and will give a unique look at the GUU, because of the different experience of post-grads.
Proposer for Iain Craig says he is “Someone who can actually make a difference.”
Craig wants to open up the union to as many people as possible in order to bring down the barrier.
Paul Baird, debates convener, proposes Michael Finlayson: “He will be great at being able to get stuck into the role.”
He has been involved to a high level with the rugby club, as well as the debates society, so has an insight into how other societies interact with the union.
Blair Lockwood is next. His proposer gets his name wrong, to general hilarity.
Lockwood won helper of the week during Freshers.
“Is a bright young lad” to laughs from audience.
Lockwood’s proposer reinforces his “great potential.”
Catherine Mceachern is next. Her proposer says: “She’s thrown herself in the union since she’s been here”, she spends hours every week, putting work into the union.
“She would be a perfect board member because the union needs creative members.”
“She brings lots of new ideas and is always involved.”
He’s always in the union apparently: “If you don’t know him you probably feel like you know him.”
The most passionate man the proposer has ever met.
“Robbie is totally different from anyone that is running for PSM.”
Oliver Simpson next, another member of the PR team.
A dedicated helper.
Liseli Subwanyambe is next. “She gets involved in everything…she is very enthusiastic, was on the Daft Friday committee.”
She is a first year.
Proposer says she’s one of the most outstanding people he’s ever met.
Questions start for two year PSMs.
Laura Bradford talks about how much she loves the union, she says she is committed to improving on the standard of the union at present.
She says the Hive has the ability to dominate student clubbing, “we can completely take over”.
Fresher’s week is one of the main things according to Bradford, saying she’ll come up with “even greater ideas”.
“Really important to have fresher’s week as the best week of students’ lives.”
Wants to integrate GUSA clubs and societies more into the union, further diversity in the GUU and to expand on the current loyalty card scheme, and publicise more so that people know about it.
Is 110% committed, which is mathematically impossible.
“Don’t be sad, vote for Brad.” That’s quite catchy actually…
Cordiner has been involved in a lot of societies, was president of Whisky Soc, and engaged in iron stomach and badge. He says “using my 3 year experience I can make the most of the Hive”. He wants to continue “Paws For Stress”.
Claims experience because he is a fifth year. He remembers the old Hive and can make the new one as successful.
Iain Craig is up next.
Craig was a Freshers helper.
He says he unsuccessfully applied to the PR team.
“Because I had too much banter.”
Craig wants to recreate the legend of Thursdays at Hive, like Bradford said.
Craig says “small societies should feel like this is their home, and we should help these societies grow.”
He would like to continue the success of Daft Friday and Fresher’s Week.
“I wish I had a slogan but Craig doesn’t rhyme with anything.”
Michael Finlayson up next.
Finlayson wants more free cash machines, and to open Freshers events earlier.
Blair Lockwood now.
Wants to build cross campus relationships.
Catherine Mceachern now. She is heavily involved in the union, and was a Freshers helper.
She wants people to feel as welcome in the GUU as she did.
Talks about how the Hive will increase involvement in charities.
She gets the biggest round of applause!
Robbie Miller up next, a “union man”.
Miller: “I want to work across all these committees to better serve your needs.” He wants to include post grads more in the union.
He is a convincing and motivated speaker.
Wants real ale drinkers in the beer bar, “where they belong”.
He wants the suggestion box to work better, as many people don’t even know it exists.
Miller: “I want my union to be your union”, “vote rowdy, vote Rob”.
Oliver Simpson comes next.
Says it is important not to lose the character of the old building, and wants to keep the quiz in the beer bar.
He wants to bring more sports in, suggests a “superbowl lock-in”, and wants more clubs involved.
Liseli Subwanyambe comes on to massive applause.
Describes herself as a keen first year who is literally always there.
She says she knows everyone really well...literally everyone.
Subwanyambe: “I love to talk”.
She thinks being a first year will give her a fresh look at the union.
Questions for two year PSMs now: "Can you tell us your best pick-up line?"
“Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?” meets with awkward applause.
Robbie Miller’s “Is that a ladder in your tights or a stairway to heaven?” goes down well.
Candidates made to construct a human pyramid…will they succeed?
They manage to do it, but unfortunately minus Gavin.
It is rightly pointed out that the Guardian mic is picking up some interesting noises. I’m very glad I can see what’s going on.
It is asked: “What song would you pick to represent yourselves, and can you sing it?”
As the hustings degenerate into a scout camp come karaoke party, top picks include “I Like to Move it Move it”, “Bonkers”, “Caledonia”, and “You Got a Friend in Me.”
There is dancing now as Oliver Simpson sings “Ain’t No Mountain High.” Maybe I’ve accidentally streamed the X-Factor live here?
They are asked: “If you had all one signature move in Freshers week, what would it be?”
The candidates take it in turns to randomly contort themselves to the delight of the crowd.
The Guardian writers wait with bated breath for hustings to resume after the impromptu get-down.
Asked: “If you had a hot date, what room in the union would you take them to and why?”
Is it telling that this has been the most relevant question of the night?
Sexual innuendoes ensue. One candidate sweetly says the kitchen so they could “cook her something nice”.
The candidates are asked: “Can you do your loudest voice to get people into the bar, because you would have to do this when the Hive is over-flowing?”
Candidates proceed to shout variations of please move to the bar.
Someone suggests Beyonce may be in the bar - that’s a fair incentive to move.
The candidates are asked: “If you had an unlimited budget, which act would you book and why for Freshers?”
Kat says One Direction, because she fancies them. The Guardian does not endorse One Direction.
Robbie selects Bruce Springsteen, to loud cheers.
Rihanna gets surprisingly little applause. Maybe next year RiRi…
“Tell us a joke?”
Miller: “Queen Margaret Union.”
“How many babies does it take to change a lightbulb? Apparently not eight because it's still dark in my basement.”
Mixed response and groaning.
“I went to a zoo, all it had in it was a dog. It was a shitzu.”
You could probably also get these jokes from reddit, rather than a hustings feed, however, you wouldn’t get our beautiful video stream, brought to you in association with Subcity.
And that concludes our live blog and video stream for the GUU Hustings. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, and that you’ll check out our other election content at glasgowguardian.co.uk. Remember and vote tomorrow for the SRC, QMU and GUU!
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