Below you can find our coverage of the debate between the leaders of Scotland’s four main political parties as it happened. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, leader of the Scottish Labour Party Jim Murphy MP, leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party Ruth Davidson MSP, and the leader Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP went head-to-head to debate the issues of importance to Glasgow University students. The debate, organised by the Glasgow University Politics Society, took place in the Queen Margaret Union on Thursday 12th of March.
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Alex Pancheva and Imran Hafeez are running for UG Science and Engineering Convenor
And that concludes our coverage of the 2015 Taxis Cup! From Jack Haugh, John Gorrod, Izzy Keating and myself, Selena Jackson, thanks for tuning in!
Neal Juster has expressed his delight at Glasgow’s Taxis Cup success.
The Senior Vice Principal of Glasgow University was in attendance as the prestigious trophy remained in Glasgow’s hands for the fifth consecutive year.
He said: “I would like to congratulate everyone for all of the hard work they have put in. Their success is well-deserved. The Taxis Cup is getting better and better each year.”
And the trophy goes to Glasgow!!!!!
And now for the big one – the champion of the 2015 Taxis Cup
And Glasgow have taken the men’s volleyball title
Women’s volleyball has been won by GCU
Getting close to the results, this year’s Cup is looking like one of the most closely contested there has been, with Strath and Glasgow sitting head-to-head right now
Another new event to the Cup is trampolining. This year, it’s been won by Glasgow
Strathclyde have taken the 2015 tennis title
For swimming, Glasgow have come out on top
Glasgow takes the squash title
As for rugby, Strathclyde have cinched the plaque
On to netball now, with Strathclyde taking the trophy
And the women’s trophy is taken by Glasgow
Next to be announced is the men’s hockey – won by Strathclyde
Next up is the golf, which was a draw
And the winners of the men’s competition were Caledonian
Women’s gaelic football won by Strathclyde
Men’s football won by Strathclyde
Women’s football also won by Glasgow
The fencing has been won by Glasgow
The equestrian competition, fairly new to the Taxis Cup, is won by Glasgow
Men’s cricket won by Strathclyde
The women’s competition is won by Strathclyde
The men’s basketball is won by Glasgow
Badminton is won by Glasgow
The athletics trophy is taken by Strathclyde
Hearing from Recreation President of Caley that Glasgow Taxis have agreed to sponsor the event for the next 3 years, until 2018
850 students have taken part in the Taxis Cup across the day, over 100 more than last year
And its victory for the Caley bear, followed by the Strathasaurus and Glasgow’s Gus in third
GUSA President Tom Gebbie is led in by piper Robbie Jones carrying the coveted trophy, held by Glasgow for the last four years
And an incredible last lap by Strathclyde to beat Glasgow on the last bend
Nikki Manson taking the third leg for Glasgow, flying away from Strathclyde
Glasgow and Strath neck and neck around the first lap
And now for the last race of the night, the women’s 4x200m
And GU makes it look easy over the line, running clear from Strathclyde
Glasgow storming away from the competition with one lap left to go
Incredible start for Glasgow, but Strathclyde are hot on their heels round the second lap
Even more support for Glasgow’s team, from SRC Vice President Liam King, who said that “Glasgow are looking fantastic and the rest of them are struggling”.
Next up, the men’s 4x200m relay
Strathclyde only racing the clock now, with Glasgow 100m behind
Strong start by Strathclyde in the women’s 4x400m, with Glasgow closely followed by Caley
Now it’s the women’s 4×400, with the poor runner from Strathclyde back up again. Should be another thrilling race.
And Glasgow take first and second, followed by Strathclyde and Caley in fourth
Are Glasgow going to lap Caledonia?!
Tight race heading into the final lap, with both Glasgow teams neck-and-neck and Strathclyde falling behind.
And we’re off.
Glasgow have entered two teams for the men’s 4x400m relay
With a late injury, the Strathclyde team have had to draft in one of their 4×4 women’s team runners to make up the numbers.
With the break over, we move onto the 4×4 and 4×2 relays, with the men’s 4×4 up first. Glasgow needing a victory to have any chance.
Whilst we have another cheerleader break here, in other results, the Glasgow University Women’s Football team have just beaten Strathclyde to claim that competition.
Safe to say, the arena is buzzing right now!
And Akpan takes a close second to Strathclyde’s Emma Brown
Speaking to Karen McClymont from GU Athletics earlier in the week she pegged Edidiong Akpan as one of the fresh faces to watch in the women’s 60m, after going from strength to strength throughout the season
Glasgow take it! First and third and now we have the women’s.
Glasgow in lanes 3 and 5
A long delay before the start of the race is only building the tension amongst the exuberant crowd.
After a short break, with the Caledonia cheerleaders performing, we are now into the 60m races, with the men’s up first.
Strathclyde take the victory again with ease, finishing 150m ahead of their nearest competition. Things are looking ominous for Glasgow’s defence here.
Glasgow wins men’s volleyball with a tight 9-8 win over Strathclyde. The game was ended after the 40 minute time limit expired.
Tom Gebbie has arrived and looking sharp as the 800m reaches its conclusion.
Hendry 150m ahead of the competition going into the last lap
Trampolining have posted a photo following their tremendous victory in today’s competition.
Racers in position.
We could be in for a thrilling finale in men’s volleyball. The winner is the first side to reach 15 points. Glasgow and Strathclyde are on 6 apiece!
Now the women’s 800m, Glasgow have two athletes in this one; will they do it?
WOW! Strathclyde take the victory, pulling away with half a lap to go, to win by five seconds. Demolition by Strathclyde. Glasgow take second and third.
After the first two laps, Glasgow are first and third, with Strathclyde sandwiched between them, an exciting finale in prospects.
Clarification: the men’s volleyball is into its third and final set. The score is currently 3-2 in favour of Glasgow.
The first race is ready, the men’s 800m.
We are getting closer, and closer to the start of the athletics, as more and more competitors from throughout the day flood in to support their teammates. But who is winning at this point? We reckon Strathclyde are just sneaking it, all to play for!
Meanwhile, the score finishes at 14-11 to Strathclyde in the men’s volleyball.
The Guardian currently being surrounded by a sea of purple Strathclyde supporters. Expecting big noise tonight!
Elsewhere, Glasgow have won the badminton for a consecutive year and in the tennis, we finished with two points, after Strathclyde won the final match verses Caledonia.
Glasgow Guardian in place for the athletics final.
The trampolining team will be bouncing with that result…
As the second quarter draws to an end, the men’s basketball team are winning with a comfortable 21-7.
Spectators beginning to flood into the Emirate arena as we prepare for our final event.
In the trampolining, Glasgow have claimed another victory!
@GUSATrampoline WON! Everyone was amazing, excellent way to finish the year
Glasgow go into an early lead in their men’s basketball clash with Strathclyde. The score is 4-2 after 90 seconds.
In place for the finale, as final preparations are put in place.
The girls are on for a strong win in basketball against Caley. The score sits at 27-11 to Glasgow.
Yet another stunning save by Rowan Sinclair – at this rate it’ll be a goalless attempt by Strathclyde
Netball has finished. Glasgow rounded off proceedings with a fine 27-18 victory against Caley and came second overall, with Strathclyde champions. Player reaction to follow shortly.
Glasgow and have done it by one -point! 130 to 129 over Strathclyde in the swimming.
Men’s Volleyball: The players are ecstatic with their win against Caley. They took lead in the first set with 15-13 and 15-12 in the second. Player Kristians Cernevics says with confidence, “We have a good chance in the finals and we have done really well all season.”
Glasgow have called for a recount of points at the swimming, just waiting for the result.
Early reports say Strathclyde by one point.
And Glasgow do it, coming back in the final swimmer to claim victory in the relay. Will it be enough?
The men’s race is underway, with Glasgow needing a victory to win the swimming. It’s neck and neck between all the at the halfway stage, with Glasgow second.
In the battle to finish second place in netball, Glasgow are beating Caley 21-13.
Glasgow winning the women’s by the halfway powering beyond their competitors.
Into the final event, a freestyle relay, with women and men both competing.
Seemingly a two way tussle between Glasgow and Strathclyde here.
Glasgow have defeated Caley 48-15 in men’s basketball. Now we have the Women’s equivalent. Let’s hope for a similar result.
A pulsating front crawl in the men’s event, as Glasgow just pip Strathclyde to victory by a fingertip. This is going all the way to the end, here.
Hockey: short corner awarded to Glasgow, followed by another for a Strath foul in the circle
Back underway in the swimming, as Glasgow win the women’s breastbone before finishing last in the men’s.
Hockey: jeering coming from GU’s side followed by shouts of encouragement as Strathclyde are awarded a short corner
Glasgow are providing a masterclass in attacking play in men’s basketball. They now lead Caley by 44-14.
Hockey: GOAL! 2-0 to Glasgow!
In the tennis, after a pulsating match, Glasgow fall to Strathclyde in a deciding tiebreaker.
Hockey: GOAL for Glasgow! 1-0, and GU’s supporters are on their feet
Hockey: Goalie Rowan Sinclair proving her worth in Glasgow’s end with a strong tackle, keeping Glasgow’s goal clear
In the backcrawl, which proved extremely exciting with two photo finishes needed to decide second place, Glasgow take 2nd and 3rd in both races. Strathclyde win both though and appear to be pulling ahead.
Hockey: A hush descends over the stand as the teams huddle on the pitch. Lara Frostwick describes last year’s game as extremely competitive, with a few rough tactics at times so it’s no wonder the players are starting to feel the pressure
In the Butterfly events, Glasgow take second in the women’s and men’s.
In an exciting race, with the crowd being extremely louda, Glasgow take first and fourth.
Strathclyde win the first of the second heat, as their fuel girl wins by a few lengths. Now the men’s event, with Glasgow in lane 3 and 6. SoMe rivalry.
Men’s basketball: the referee has appealed to the players to keep their tempers in check.
And Strathclyde win it, with huge cheers from those in purple.
As we reach the halfway point in the race, Strathclyde are winning by a few lengths. The excitement builds.
Caley manage to get their first points on the board in Men’s basketball. Glasgow are winning 27-2, though.
And Glasgow have won the first race with eas, as Strathclyde finish second and Cali last. Now for the men’s event, with Glasgow in lane 6.
Glasgow dominating as we complete the first few lengths.
Plenty of encouraging shouts from all around the pool and we’re off.
The swimmers are at the starting point for the first race, the women’s relay. Glashow are in lane 3 And 6!
What a performance so far by Glasgow in men’s basketball! At the end of the first quarter, they are 17-0 up against Caley.
The warmups are finished here at the Stevenston building, as we are moments from the first race.
Hockey: in about ten minutes, Glasgow’s girls will be taking on their toughest rivals – Strathclyde, playing in maroon. Speaking to club captain Christy Thomson last week, she told us that the Glasgow girls aren’t ready to give up their top spot just yet, so I think we’re about to see a thrilling game!
There was a shock in women’s volleyball as Caley emerged triumphant. Glasgow player Cassandra Humbert reflected: “We didn’t have it together against Caley but we brought it back when we played Strathclyde. We weren’t expecting Caley to be so good, we were very impressed.”
Men’s Basketball: Goal for Glasgow! And only after 20 seconds.
Glasgow have just made it 5-5 in the tennis!
Strathclyde added a late point to make it 23-20, sparking wild celebrations.
And the whistle blows for full time, after an excellent performance by Glasgow against tough competition
The teams begin their warmups as we get closer and closer to the start of the swimming.
Short corner to Cale
35 seconds to go and Glasgow trail Strathclyde, who are content to see out the clock, 22-20 in Women’s Basketball. And that’s game over.
The Glasgow stand in uproar as a questionable penalty is awarded to Cale
Excellent save by goalie Rowan Sinclair
Disappointment for Glasgow in the tennis, as Strathclyde edge it 4-3.
Huge contingent of swimmers from Strathclyde, with their purple colours taking up half of the arena.
Hockey: Great defending by Glasgow to ward off a close challenge in the circle from Cale
Speaking to some of the crowd who have gathered, they say they would be ‘shocked’ if the swimming didn’t end in victory for Glasgow. Time will tell.
Going into the final quarter, Glasgow trail Strathclyde 21-14 in the Women’s basketball. A big performance is required in the remaining six minutes.
Final preparations going in, with the pool lanes being drawn. All the teams are here now and really for action.
GOAL for Glasgow! 2-0
A buzz is beginning to surround the pool as we near the beginning of play.
Arriving at Glasgow Green after half time between Glasgow v Cale, Glasgow up 1-0
The Glasgow women’s Basketball match against Strathclyde seems closer than predicted. Glasgow play two leagues above their opponents, yet the score is 12-12 at the end of the second quarter.
Strathclyde seem set to claim victory in Netball. Following their win over Glasgow, they are now defeating Caley to the tune of 28-17.
Some exciting play up at Scotstoun, reports Tsveta.
Thrilling start to the Women’s basketball match between Glasgow and Strathclyde. Both sides have managed to get on the scoreboard early; it’s 5-5 after 3 minutes.
In Women’s volleyball, Glasgow fell to a 6-15 defeat to Caley. But, far from downbeat, Alicia Ciesielczuk has pledged to “destroy Strathclyde in the next game.” Fighting talk!
Over at the Scoutstoun Leisure Centre, the tennis event is well under way, and our reporter Tsveta has just spoken of the excitement as the Glasgow and Strathclyde match goes into a fifth-deciding mixed doubles. Stay tuned to find out how that one gets on.
A result just coming in, with Strathclyde winning the cricket on Saturday.
With less than an hour before the swimming starts, the Glasgow line-ups are in;
Men’s: Luke Campbell (C), Andrew Thomson, Martin Kartau, Ervin Gan, Marcus Duve Ng, Nacho Diez and Nikos Tragotsis.
Women’s: Vhari McClemments (C), Cammila Hattersley (who has been picked by GUSA as one-to-watch), Katie James, Camila Dal Rio, Marie-Claire Barry, Shannon Donovan, Allie Quincey and Heather Winfield.
We’ll also keep bringing you updates from all around the grounds, with a keen eye on all the events at the Emirates Arena.
With just over four hours of play left, just a reminder that we still have live action to come from the swimming and athletics events.
To bring you a round up of the play at the moment, over in the hockey, the Strathclyde girls have just beaten the Caledonia girls by 3 goals to 0 and Glasgow are beating Caledonia 2-1 in the football.
Sarah-Jane Bush, who played wing attack, said: “It was a sad loss and we’re obviously disappointed. We will move onto the next game and hopefully boost our goal difference against Caley.”
Glasgow’s first netball match has finished at 28-21 in Strathclyde’s favour. The girls played great, and our defenders Lexa Sawyer and Anna Logue particularly stood out as they kept energy at a high.
Great to see so many faces down cheering on the Glasgow teams. Kamyin, who will later take to the basketball court, is among the more vocal/excited/frenzied supporters. He said: “I’m really enjoying it. I was here last year so it’s great coming back when you get to know more people. I’m just cheering on all the sports!”
It’s not looking good on the Netball front, as Strathclyde look to strengthen a 24-14 lead.
In Women’s volleyball, Caley lead Glasgow 10-6. Glasgow are currently in a huddle to discuss how to overturn the deficit.
There’s a tremendous buzz at the Emirates Arena today, a real flurry of activity!
Glasgow currently trail Strathclyde in Netball, the first game of the Cup.
I had my say last night, and reckon it will be close, but that Glasgow will just about pip their opponents to the title!
So, who do we think will win? Are Glasgow destined for five in a row, or will a new champion be crowned?
The Netball club are on their way to the Emirates Arena and have shared a team photo as they set off.
Remember, we will be bringing you live coverage of their games, courtesy of John Gorrod.
And if you can’t, we’ll be there for you!
Make sure to be out in force to support whatever side you represent! With the Squash taking place at the CSR Strathclyde, the Rugby at Garscube and a host of huge events at the Emirates Arena, there is no excuse not to be out in full voice.
Elsewhere, the Glasgow University Squash Club goes into the tournament with great confidence, having won every year since the inception. ‘@GUSASquash: Taxis Cup tomorrow. GU squash have won every year since its inception. Not gonna stop now.
#blackandgold @GUSAPresident @TheGlasgowCup‘
Social media is buzzing with Taxis Cup talk from all sides of the city. Remember to get in touch on the #GTC2015.
So today, from 1pm we have the tennis, hockey, basketball and netball all kicking off. We will then bring you live coverage of what is sure to be an exciting heat in the pool, as from 3pm the swimming competition takes place. And it will all culminate in the final event, as the athletics takes place between 5-6pm.
On that note, I would direct you towards the Taxis Cup section of our site, which is full of previews for all the big matches and will be the place to be over the next 24 hours for all the results and reaction.
And our team is completed by the brilliant Selena Jackson, who will be at the Hockey and Athletics events, Izzie Keating, who will be at the Emirates, and Tsveta Rafaylova, who will be at the tennis.
You can find us on social media, on both Facebook and on Twitter! Make sure to get involved on the #GTC2015 to share your thoughts, photos and feelings. You can also get in touch with me (Jack Haugh, the Sports Editor) @JackMHaugh and @John_CRFC (John Gorrod, Deputy Editor) who will be with you all the way to the finale.
The GUSA President Tom Gebbie has spoken of his confidence in a fifth victory in a row and he has been busy on social media.
There has already been plenty of drama in the competition so far, with Glasgow winning in the Equestrian Event in the bitterly cold early morning.
And we will be with you all the to the finale! Will it be a fifth in a row for the University of Glasgow after last year’s dramatic triumph? Stay tuned to find out.
With a host of top sports still to come, with Basketball, Tennis, Netball and the Athletics on the horizon, we are sure to be in for an exciting afternoon.
That concludes our coverage of the University of Glasgow Politics Society’s Scottish Leaders’ Debate. Thanks for tuning in!
Willie Rennie thanks the audience for their humour, engagement and passion, and says that if it continues in that vein as the campaign continues, it could show politics in a better light. He says that he believes in a stronger economy and a fairer society, and that having a strong Liberal voice in politics makes a big differences to the excesses of the other parties. That is the main benefit, says Rennie, of having the Liberal Democrats in politics and in government.
In Sturgeon’s concluding speech, she thanks everyone at the debate and hopes that the television debates are just as enjoyable.
She hopes that Trident, austerity and powers of the Scottish Parliament are at the heart of the election campaign but believes that the only way for these issues to be a priority in Westminster is by voting for the SNP.
Davidson thanks her opponents, and promises to respect the views of those with whom she disagrees as the campaign continues. She says “I don’t believe in tactical voting – you have to vote for what you want. She urges those who agree with her vision of Scotland to vote Scottish Conservative in May.”
Murphy up first: “Thank you everyone for your questions. I enjoyed this evening except the last question!
“Our country is struggling. Neither government can congratulate themselves on a job well done. People are hurting.
“The UK is punching well below its weight. We need to stay engaged with international issues, like in Ukraine. We need to deal with climate change.
“David Cameron may have a Scottish sounding surname but he is completely out of touch with the needs of the nation of his ancestors.”
Closing remarks coming up.
Sturgeon admits that she “might’ve at this university once” but it made her sick. Davidson and Rennie also admit to having smoked cannabis.
Asked whether he has smoked cannabis, Murphy says, “when I was young on the housing estate I grew up in glue sniffing was the thing to do. Sniffing glue out of a crisp packet.”
Update (13/3/2015 14:16): A spokesman for Scottish Labour later said: ‘Just to be clear, Mr Murphy has never taken drugs. The point he was making at the Glasgow University debate was that when he was growing up drugs weren’t as widespread and that the harmful thing for many people back then was glue sniffing. For the record that’s not something Mr Murphy has tried either.’
Sturgeon says Rennie is right: “We should always have grown-up, science-based discussions.”
She does not agree with the legalisation of cannabis, saying that there is “an awful lot of evidence” that cannabis is harmful.
Murphy: “Most of us probably know someone who has suffered mental health problems in their life.
“We should get rid of the rhetoric of ‘war on drugs’. But if I’m voting in this I wouldn’t vote for the legalisation of cannabis or any of those other drugs.”
Davidson: “Cannabis has been shown to damage mental health, and that decriminalising it does not solve any of the major health problems in this country.. Legal highs are equally problematic from a medical perspective… There needs to be a discussion about the legality of all drugs – not just marijuana. An evidence-based approach is key to that.”
Willie Rennie: “The Tories refused to have the open debate the science behind drug addiction demands. It’s time to have an enlightened debate with the science in mind.”
Question: Will your party be open to the idea of decriminalising marijuana?
Willie Rennie: “If you vote for the SNP you get independence – what on earth would the SNP be for otherwise?”
Sturgeon: “You’ll see in 2016 if it’s in my manifesto”.
Murphy: “What was the answer, Nicola? Mibies aye, mibies naw?”
Question: Will there be a second independence referendum anytime soon?
Willie Rennie: “I want to exert maximum pressure on the rest of the world to get rid of nuclear weapons. We need to be right at the table and by unilaterally disarming we surrender our influence. Anybody who believes unilaterally disarming allows Britain to increase its influence is very naive indeed”.
Murphy: “Surely we all believe in a world without nuclear weapons. It’s about where we get there. Nobody is fetishising nuclear weapons.
Ruth Davidson: “Unilateral nuclear disarmament is a bad idea because the world is not a safer place than it was 25 years ago. It would be an incredibly bad idea for Britain to do so because of Kremlin belligerence.”
Sturgeon tells Murphy to “lose the mock-outrage”.
Willie Rennie: “To suggest that the SNP are Scotland and Scotland I’d the SNP shows how conceited the SNP have become. You cannot have Alex Salmond as Deputy Prime Minister because, before you know it , he’ll have the screwdriver out and will be dismantling the country.”
Sturgeon wants to form a “progressive alliance” with parties like Plaid Cymru and the Greens.
Regarding the others’ refusals to form a coalition with the SNP, Sturgeon says that it is not acceptable that SNP voters are told they should not have a voice.
Murphy: “Who’s my pal? I’m in politics. How many pals do you think I have?
“This is going to be a dull election if all we do is post-match analysis before the match has happened.”
Ruth Davidson: A minority government is an option.
“I do not see the Conservatives doing a coalition deal with anyone at this stage.”
Willie Rennie: “We take a very pragmatic approach. We are prepared to work with others where we agree; Leveson, and minimum pricing are examples. A coalition with the Conservatives was unexpected in 2010, but it’s about doing the right thing for the country. It’s not about self interest – it’s about doing the right thing for the country. Working in partnership is essential, but we would be unable to do any kind of deal with the SNP because they want to break the UK up.”
Question: In the event of a coalition, which parties would make the best Government?
Ruth Davidson: “I don’t think Jim Murphy has actually read the Smith Commission report because all of the powers Labour plan to devolve from Holyrood in the event of a Labour victory in May 2015 are already going to be devolved regardless of who wins the General Election.”
Murphy: “We will take the work programme and devolve it to our towns and cities.”
Murphy: “It’s about more decisions that make sense to take at home. At a local level, it means more power to councils.
“In a dangerous unpredictable world, it makes sense to pool and share resources. We’ll give the Scottish Parliament the power to increase benefits if it wishes; we’ll devolve the 1.8 billion of housing benefit.
“I don’t want a centralised welfare state whether it’s at London or in Edinburgh.”
Ruth Davidson: “It means having access to the levers of economic power”.
Willie Rennie: “The Scottish Parliament needs muscle to raise the money it spends”.
Question: What is Home Rule?
Ruth Davidson: “We are trying to find a way to make zero hours contracts work, without having a blanket ban on them”.
She says that abuse of zero hours contracts is “immoral”.
Sturgeon says she agrees with Murphy and Rennie: “Zero hours contracts cause poverty, stress and family breakdown – they don’t suit the majority of people on them”.
Willie Rennie says the Government does need to legislate against exploitative zero hours contracts. He is determined to try and change it, following an ongoing review by the Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable.
“I met a man a month ago who had had one shift one shift in one month. We have to change this. People want the dignity of work.
“We surely can’t be a country where people who want to work can’t provide for their families.”
Murphy: “Not everyone will have personally experienced zero hour contracts but members of my family have. They can’t pay bills and have to go to payday lenders.”
Question: Is it time to bring back minimum hour work?
Willie Rennie: “The only person who doesn’t want to retain the Barnett Formula is Nicola Sturgeon.”
Ruth Davidson: “The whole point of being part of a larger family of nations is that some years you pay more in, and other years you get more out. We all need to take a long hard look at the information and make up our own minds.”
Murphy says Scotland gets a really good deal from the Barnett Formula, but that “the SNP support full fiscal autonomy. It’s entirely incompatible with the Barnett formula. It’s the idea that you raise money in Scotland and spend it in Scotland.”
Question: Do the leaders support the continuation of the ‘Barnett Formula’, a mechanism to decide how much money is allocated to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
On Murphy and Labour, Sturgeon says, “I think if you’re calling for spending cuts, you can’t call yourself ‘anti-austerity'”.
She doesn’t disagree with the mansion tax in principle but thinks the amount it would bring in has been exaggerated.
Sturgeon answers the question about growing the economy, which she says will happen by “investing in skills and technology”.
Ruth Davidson tells Murphy: “Even Peter Mandelson criticised the mansion tax…”
Murphy: “”Even Peter Mandelson? Maybe it will affect him.”
Willie Rennie: “There are 187,000 additional jobs in Scotland since 2010, and that is a ‘measure of success.’ Wages are outstripping inflation and GDP is growing.”
Murphy: “We should increase taxes on those who have the most”.
Murphy responds to a question about the mansion tax and its purpose: “If we want more money I don’t think you should take it from the middle class or working class”.
Murphy manages to get the audience member’s name wrong three times. Davidson remarks, “It seems I’m a bigger hit with the ladies than you are, Jim!”
Murphy replies: “Story of my life, Ruth!”
The audience are asked how they feel about austerity. A member of audience asks: “Why has Murphy avoided the question?”
Murphy: “The referendum was last year’s disagreement. We pay £400 more in to the budget but we get £1200 more back.”
Murphy: “I’m not here to kick the SNP. This is a contest between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. We stand here as the only political party willing to pay the bills.”
Willie Rennie accused Murphy and Sturgeon of ‘denying reality’ when it comes to the deficit.
Sturgeon replies that austerity hasn’t even worked on the Tories’ own terms: “We will grow our way out of the deficit… My priority is to lift people out of poverty”.
Ruth Davidson says that the debt is so big that servicing the debt costs three times the health budget for the whole of Scotland, and reducing the deficit means that more money will be spent on schools and hospitals.
According to the SNP, says Davidson, the SNP have “no idea” how long it would take to reduce the deficit under their plan. She cites official statistics, but says that the job is not done and that the British government needs to stop paying money to the international money markets and spend more on schools and hospitals.
Murphy: “There has been a massive increase in people in zero hours contracts. That’s no way to live your life when you have a family.
“You can describe a problem, or you can fix a problem: We’ll introduce a mansion tax to fund our NHS. We’ll help working class families.”
“It has hit the poorest people in society: the single mums, the disabled…”
Sturgeon: “I think austerity has failed and it has failed completely and comprehensively”.
Ruth Davidson refers to the infamous joke by Labour that there was “no money left” in 2010. She says that the Tories have had to make difficult, unpopular, decisions but insists that the plan “is working”. She says that part time and low paid workers have been taken out of tax altogether, the minimum wage and the state pension have gone up faster than inflation. She says that things “really are” getting better and that the we all need to “take responsibility for our country now”.
Murphy confirms that Labour will put taxes up to pay for better social services, but that “we’ll increase the minimum wage, a living wage”.
Murphy: “This is the most important election in my lifetime. The decision that we take in Scotland will decide the future of the UK”.
She says that Labour will tell you a vote for the SNP will be a vote for the Tories while the Tories say that a vote for the SNP is a vote for Labour.
Sturgeon says that the SNP will not stand back and let Labour “implement Tory policies”.
She says a vote for the SNP is a vote to ensure Scotland is heard loud and clear in Westminster.
In her opening speech, Sturgeon says that graduating from Glasgow University was one of the proudest moments of her life.
Willie Rennie says that the Liberal Democrats can be proud of the fact that two million Scots have had their taxes cut. They have, he says, delivered on their economic plan and that they have delivered fairness and competence to the people of Scotland.
Each of the party leaders will have two minutes to introduce themselves.
The four leaders have just arrived on the stage of Qudos. Murphy and Sturgeon in the centre of the stage, Rennie and Davidson on the right and left respectively.
Our coverage of The Big General Election Leaders’ Debate is about to begin. Qudos is full to capacity.
Photo credit: Alastair Swatland
And that also concludes our coverage of the week. Thank you for joining us!
After the sixth count, Blair Lockwood and Oliver Simpson have been elected as (Two Year) PSM. That concludes our coverage of the GUU election.
Max Sefton is elected QMU President with 193 votes.
Emma Anderson elected as Honorary Secretary.
Honorary Assistant Secretary goes to Celia Varela-Sixto.
Kat Denholm elected unopposed as Social Convener.
Scott Wilson elected unopposed as Publications Convener.
Wiktoria Muryn elected unopposed as Events Convener.
Campaigns and Charities Convener goes to Lucy Hornsby.
For CSR B Kathy Carr, Dominic MacInnes, Rosie McLister, Gillian Merriman and Emily Rose elected.
Cat Acheson, Andrew Brown, Jimmy Donaghy, Jonathan Telford all elected uncontested for CSR A. 427 votes cast, 84 spoilt.
First to be called is Former Student Member. Patrick Hughes is elected.
QMU results are about to be announced. Current President Lauren Hinton is speaking.
After a fifth count, Michael Finlayson’s votes were reallocated. The quota was lowered slightly from 147 to 141. Catherine McEachern and Liseli Sumbwanyambe have been elected. Two more (Two Year) PSM will be elected after a sixth count.
After a fourth count, Michael Finlayson has been eliminated from the contest. His votes will be re-attributed in the fifth count. Quote now is 147 votes.
Four more (Two year) PSM positions to be filled.
Robbie Miller is elected after a third count, with 133 votes.
GUU (Two year) PSM is going to a third round of counting. Third preference votes are about to be allocated. James Cordiner and Iain Craight eliminated in the first and second round.
Holly Fergusson got 377 votes and Rory Slater got 411, meaning Slater won with a majority of 34.
Rory Slater elected President of the GUU.
Joshua Gilmore and Faith Kemp elected as GUU PSM (One Year PSM).
GUU results are being announced!
And Caitlin Kelly is elected unopposed as President.
Sagar Ghelani is elected unopposed as Recreation Convener.
Brogan Sinclair is elected unopposed as Vice-President.
Charlotte Howard is elected unopposed as Secretary.
Maria Sasso is elected Publicity Convener.
Alex Mas is Club Sport Convener.
Isabella Heath is elected as Welfare Convener.
Michal Orzeg-Wydra is Travel Convener.
Claire Minto is elected unopposed as Health & Fitness Convener.
Emma Stephen is elected unopposed as Fundraising Convener.
Ruari Thomson is elected Finance Convener.
Alumni Convenor is Alexandra Sawyer.
GUSA election results up next. This year saw its highest ever turnout, with 1458 votes overall.
Liam King elected as SRC President with 1265 votes.
Una Marie Darragh elected as VP Student Support with 737 votes.
Ameer Ibrahim elected unopposed as VP Student Activities.
Gemma Gratton elected VP Education with 639 votes.
Sabbatical positions now.
Fergus Taylor elected Undergraduate Convener – MVLS.
Cathy Steeghs elected as Undergraduate Convener – Social Sciences.
- Oscar Schafer elected as Undergraduate Convener – Science and Engineering.
Luke Evens re-elected as Environmental Officer.
Mhairi Harris elected as Charities, Clubs and Societies Officer.
Kate Powell elected as Undergraduate Convener – Arts.
Lauren Shoogle McDougall elected as Disability Equality Officer.
Tracy Duah elected as Race Equality Officer.
Morag Deans is re-elected as Gender Equality Officer.
Iain French elected Sexual Orientation Equality Officer.
James Richardson elected as School of Social and Political Sciences Representative.
Hannah Kay elected as School of Geographical and Earth Sciences representative
Erin Ross elected unopposed as School of Modern Languages and Culture Representative.
Dickon Copsey of the College of Social Sciences is acting as Returning Officer in this election.
Coverage of the SRC Election Results is about to begin. Turnout is expected to be slightly lower than last year.
The Glasgow Guardian spoke to SRC President Breffni O’Connor, who gave us this overview of this year’s voting figures:
“3,476 students have cast their vote for this Spring Elections. We are disappointed with the reduction of contested categories, however all students have the democratic right to either vote for a candidate, or vote to Reopen Nominations. Last year we trained a record of over 800 class representatives, which was an increase in 200 from the previous year, showing an increase in grassroots representation, where representatives can drive change at a local level.
“This election saw the addition of 2 new positions in compared to last year’s election, and the SRC Council in also a large body of students that span across a variety of disciplines. There is a trend this year within the 4 student bodies that I think is mirrored within the SRC, while I think we can always do better, I am delighted with the number of students who have ran for a position and turned out to vote today.”
Nathan Stilwell speaks to current QMU President, Lauren Hinton, about today’s elections. Listen to what she has to say here.
The Glasgow Guardian has found that this latest round of SRC elections were only 27% contested. This is a drop in 40% from the 2014 elections, which saw 67% of the seats contested.
Even though the seat for SRC President has three candidates, the other sabbatical position, VP Student Activities, is uncontested. Additionally, many of the positions are vacant. Check out our article on how contested the elections have been across the four student bodies here
After a post about quirky candidates of old, Ciaran Owens and Tom Kelly, two former QM board members, got chatting about the slightly strange tactics of former campaigners
We think it’s time for a little Throwback Thursday. This has been a very quiet election season, turnout looks lower than usual across the board. Perhaps what these elections needed was a figure like Christopher “Chippy/Chizzy” Chisholm, a former QMU Asst Hon Sec who ran for the position of SRC President in Spring Elections 2012, but rather than put on a serious manifesto promised to flood university avenue so students could travel by gondola and organise an owl mail service. Still didn’t come last.
Listen to our audio interview with Chris Steven, QMU Presidential candidate, as we talk about his election day concerns, here.
Listen to QMU Presidential candidate Alice Stearn’s election day concerns here.
Listen to our audio interview with Max Sefton here, where we discuss his election day concerns.
GUU Presidential candidate Rory Slater breaking out the bagpipes in his campaign to win this election. Tweet us at @GlasgowGuardian and let us know if this would influence your vote!
Photo credit: Alastair Swatland.
QMU candidates have been out in full force today in an attempt to score some final, vital votes from passers by. However, some members are critical of the current QMU voting system. Ollie Allen, a second year maths student spoke to the Glasgow Guardian about his serious concerns and stated: “I think it’s a disgraceful corruption of the democratic process which the QMU should do all in its power to quash. It’s something we would expect from a third-world dictatorship, not a student union.”
However, if despite this, you’re still interested in voting, head on down to the QMU before 6pm today. If you’re still unsure, check out our coverage of the hustings on Tuesday night here
Presidential candidate, Max Sefton, campaigning outside the QMU earlier today. Photo credit: Nathan Stilwell.
The Glasgow Guardian has got the latest election turnout figures from 1pm. These are the top 5 positions with the highest turnout so far.
SRC President: 1925 votes
SRC Student Activities: 1067 votes
SRC Charities Clubs and Societies Officer: 1058 votes
SRC VP Student Support: 1030 votes
SRC VP Education: 993 votes
Remember voting for the SRC elections shuts at 5pm and you can vote online at glasgow.ac.uk/vote
Our Sports Editor Jack Haugh has been down to the Stevenson Building covering the GUSA elections. Rebecca Boyle is running for the position of Welfare Convenor and spoke to the Glasgow Guardian about her manifesto. She stated her intentions to promote the Starfish Group and the Buddy System if elected. If you have other questions, Boyle and her opposition candidate, Isabella Heath, will be at the Stevenson building until voting closes at 5pm. If you want to learn more about the candidates running in the GUSA elections, check out our coverage of the hustings on Monday night here
Photo credit: Jack Haugh
Here we speak to Cal Davies, SRC Presidential candidates about his election day concerns.
See our audio interview with Liam King, SRC presidential candidate, on his election day concerns here.
See our audio interview with Gemma Gratton, candidate for VP education, where we talk about her election day concerns:
We interviewed students on the street about SRC engagement, see our audio mix here.
We’ve noticed there’s a divide up on the hill: sweets or fruits? The candidates are divided (see our audio interviews), but we want to know what Glasgow students think. Tweet our hashtag #GGelectionday with your view on sweets or fruits!
GUU correspondent Alastair Swatland has been speaking to candidates about a possible cap on election spending. The average cost for a GUU PSM election this year is £120. However, presidential candidates spent less on their respective campaigns. Fergusson spent £50 and Slater spent £100 pounds. Meanwhile, both candidates are in agreement that a caps on election spending would be a good thing. Fergusson stated to the Glasgow Guardian that she “managed to keep costs down, but I don’t know how people would need to spend so much on their campaigns.”
We spoke to Ameer Ibrahim about his election day concerns in this audio interview.
Check out our audio interview on election concerns with UnaMarie Darragh, who is running for VP Student Support: UnaMarie Audio Interview.
Breffni O’Connor shared information about polling numbers with us yesterday at one, listen to the discussion that arose here.
As of last night at midnight the polling numbers were 1179 for presidential elections.
We interviewed a series of SRC candidates on the issue of capping candidates election funds, check out our audio interview with Vicky Leigh and Domi Bacanskaite here.
Have you read our Editorial about the election this year? Check it out here.
QMU: Today is also the QMU’s annual board elections, and a fierce battle between the three presidential candidates. QMU members can vote for all positions today between 9am and 6pm in the QMU cloakroom.
Candidate interviews and manifesto analysis for the three presidential candidates can be found here:
And our coverage of the QMU hustings here.
GUU: Today is the GUU’s 130th Annual Board Election. GUU members can vote in the 17 student and 7 non-student positions in the GUU Dining Room between 9am and 7pm today.
Find our coverage of the GUU hustings here and candidate interviews/manifesto analysis for the two presidential candidates below:
GUSA: This is GUSA’s first and only day of voting for their 2015/2016 council.
Voting is open 9am-5pm, and matriculated gym-members can vote online for the first time at www.gla.ac.uk/vote or in person at the Stevenson building polling station.
Find our live coverage of the GUSA hustings here.
SRC: Today is the second day of the election for the SRC, who must struggle through a fairly gruelling schedule of two election husting events followed by two days of campaigning as students vote online at www.glasgow.ac.uk/vote or in person at the John Mac.
You can find our coverage of their hustings events, including live recordings and commentary here:
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!
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.
“I went to a zoo, all it had in it was a dog. It was a shitzu.”
“How many babies does it take to change a lightbulb? Apparently not 8 because its still dark in my basement.”
Mixed response and groaning.
“Tell us a joke?”
Miller: “Queen Margaret Union.”
Rihanna gets surprisingly little applause. Maybe next year RiRi…
Robbie selects Bruce Springsteen, to loud cheers.
Kat says One Direction, because she fancies them. The Guardian does not endorse One Direction.
The candidates are asked: “If you had an unlimited budget, which act would you book and why for Freshers?”
Someone suggests Beyonce may be in the bar. That’s a fair incentive to move.
Candidates proceed to shout variations of please move to the bar.
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?”
Sexual innuendoes ensue. One candidate sweetly says the kitchen so they could “cook her something nice”.
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?
The Guardian writers wait with bated breath for hustings to resume after the impromptu get-down.
The candidates take it in turns to randomly contort themselves to the delight of the crowd.
They are asked: “If you had all one signature move in Freshers week, what would it be?”
There is dancing now as Oliver Simpson sings “Ain’t No Mountain High.” Maybe I’ve accidentally streamed the X-factor live here?
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.”
It is asked: “what song would you pick to represent yourselves, and can you sing it?”
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.
They manage to do it, but unfortunately minus Gavin.
Candidates made to construct a human pyramid… Will they succeed?
Robbie Miller’s “is that a ladder in your tights or a stairway to heaven?” goes down well.
“Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?” meets with awkward applause.
Questions for two year PSMs now: Can you tell us your best pick-up line?
She thinks being a first year will give her a fresh look at the union.
Subwanyambe: “I love to talk”.
Hse says she knows everyone really well.. Literally everyone.
Describes herself as a keen first year who is literally always there.
Liseli Subwanyambe comes on to massive applause.
He wants to bring more sports in, suggests a “superbowl lock-in”, and wants more clubs involved.
Says it is important not to lose the character of the old building, and wants to keep the quiz in the beer bar.
Oliver Simpson comes next.
Miller: “I want my union to be your union”, “vote rowdy, vote Rob”.
He wants the suggestion box to be worked better, as many people don’t even know it exists.
Wants real ale drinkers in the beer bar, “where they belong”.
He is a convincing and motivated speaker.
Miller: “I want to work across all these committees to better serve your needs.” He wants to include post grads more in the union.
Robbie Miller up next, a “union man”.
She gets the biggest round of applause!
Talks about how the hive will increase involvement in charities.
She wants people to feel as welcome in the GUU as she did.
Catherine Mceachern now. She is heavily involved in the union, and was a Freshers helper.
Wants to build cross campus relationships.
Blair Lockwood now.
Finlayson wants more free cash machines, and to open Freshers events earlier.
Michael Finlayson up next.
“I wish I had a slogan but Craig doesn’t rhyme with anything.”
He would like to continue the success of Daft Friday and Fresher’s Week.
Craig says “small societies should feel like this is their home, and help these societies grow.”
Craig wants to recreate the legend of Thursdays at hive, like Bradford said.
“Because I had too much banter.”
He says he unsuccessfully applied to the PR team.
Craig was a Freshers helper.
Iain Craig is up next.
Claims experience because he is a fifth year. He remembers the old hive and can make the new one as successful.
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”.
“Don’t be sad, vote for Brad.” That’s quite catchy actually…
Is 110 % committed, which is mathematically imposible.
Wants to affiliate 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.
“Really important to have fresher’s week as the best week of students’ lives.”
Fresher’s week is one of the main things according to Bradford, saying she’ll come up with “even greater ideas”.
She says the Hive has the ability to dominate student clubbing, “we can completely take over”.
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.
Questions start for two year PSMs.
Proposer says she’s one of the most outstanding people he’s ever met.
She is a first year.
Liseli Subwanyambe is next. “She gets involved in everything… She is very enthusiastic, was on the Daft Friday committee.”
A dedicated helper.
Oliver Simpson next, another member of the PR team.
“Robbie is totally different from anyone that is running for PSM.”
The most passionate man the proposer has ever met.
He’s always in the union apparently: “If you don’t know him you probably feel like you know him.”
“She brings lots of new ideas and is always involved.”
“She would be a perfect board member because the union needs creative members.”
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.
Lockwood’s proposer reinforces his “great potential.”
“Is a bright young lad” to laughs from audience.
Lockwood won helper of the week during Freshers.
Blair Lockwood is next. His proposer gets his name wrong, to general hilarity.
He has been involved to a high level with the rugby club, as well as the debates society, so has an insight about how other societies interact with the union.
Paul Baird, debates convener, proposes Michael Finlayson: “He will be great at being able to get stuck into the role.”
Craig wants to open up the union to as many people, to bring down the barrier.
Proposer for Iain Craig says he is “someone who can actually make a difference.”
Cordiner is a post grad and will give a unique look at the GUU, because of the different experience of postgrads.
Cordiner is going to express his views on the student experience of postgraduates.
James Cordiner proposed by Breffni O’Connor, current SRC President.
Guthrie describes Bradford as “the greatest networking tool you can have”.
Guthrie: “She’s perfect for this role. This place really is her home… She’ll make you feel welcome.”
David Guthrie for Laura Bradford.
Next up, two years PSMs.
Mackay wants more dinners for sports clubs.
PSMs leave the stage.
It is asked: “Donald, how can we get GUSA more involved with the union?”
Mackay would pick Donald Dewar, the audience shout “play him at darts”.
Kemp says Roald Dahl, due to great stories.
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?”
Much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
Josh becomes a monkey.
Someone asks Gilmopre, “Can you do your best animal impression?”
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.
Gilmore wants to go out and chat to people.
Combes and Kemp: “How would you revamp the PR system if you were psm?”
Combes hasn’t been involved in anything.
Mackay is the second best darts player in the union.
Mackay involved in darts, and has a parliamentary debate last week.
All candidates cite union events they have participated in.
It is asked: “How have you been involved in the union in the last month?”
Mackay’s joke is an oldie but a goodie. Check the video and play it back if you missed it!
Kemp: “Do you want to hear a joke about pizza? It’s a bit cheesy.”
Gilmore: “I once owned an origami business but unfortunately it folded.”
John Combe can’t think of one.
Asked to tell a favourite joke that has nothing serious to do with what you might want to achieve.
The PS<s start singing “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Democracy breaks down.
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?”
End of PSM speeches, onto questions.
Mackay: “I have the most unconventional path running for a PSM, but if you agree that I have the best vision, vote Donald Mackay tomorrow.”
He also wants to diversify the union so that groups like debating mix with the rest of the union.
He wants to welcome in more freshers, and post grads.
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.”
Mackay is the strongest speaker, and talks first about GUU parliamentaries.
Kemp says: “I urge you to have a little faith and vote for me.” (laughs and cheers from the floor)
Kemps says “I will make sure everyone knows the union.”
Talks about falling in love with the building, and wants to hold more events in the debates chamber.
She wants GUU to be inclusive and fun, says she likes thinking of new ideas for nights.
Faith Kemp wants Thursdays to be a GUU club night.
Gets a big response from the floor.
Gilmore says “union itself could give package deals like Viper and other clubs do for societies”.
Gilmore talks about the new building, and that he knows what students want.
Combe speaks first, and says that GUU needs more people from outside. He says he wants to promote democracy, citing uncontested positions in the union.
Combes begins with: “I am not the best public speaker.”
He has the experience to bring to the role, and the wisdom according to his proposer.
Proposer says he is very dedicated, has been on the Daft Friday committee for two years.
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.
She has the skills to run events.
Has been social convener.
“She’s one of the nicest, most hard working, friendly people.”
Faith Kemp is next.
He is “not afraid to do the task”.
Most experienced member of PR team according to proposer.
“It’s as if you’ve known him forever”, his proposer is enthusiastic.
Joshua Gilmore up next.
He “cares about the union to make it the best it possibly can” and wants “all to be equal”.
His proposer says that cCmbe cares about the union; “He made GUU sound like such a nice place I wanted to join.”
John Combe’s proposal; John is an outsider who almost ran for president before pulling out of the race.
Two positions are available, with four candidates.
Next up, one year PSMs.
Fergusson’s answer about party busses and bouncy castles is perhaps her only answer not about the Hive.
The candidates leave the stage to applause.
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.
Slater: “I would spend it on a very strategic plan…on the new club night .. and how to spend that money sensibly.”
It is asked: “If each candidate was given £100,000 tomorrow, what would each candidate spend it on?” (People laugh at the question)
The candidates are hesitant to disagree with each other, keeping the debate very civil.
Slater: “What we are offering is what’s important.”
Slater repeats Ferguson’s sentiment about offering more.
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.
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 says the role of president is carved out for next year, being about implementation of the extension.
She talks again about her strategic plan but doesn’t specify.
Fergusson: “We wouldn’t be running if we didn’t understand that”, referencing the position’s difficulties.
Slater: “(Laughs) I have no shortage of passion for this place… I will always be here.”
It is asked: “How do the two of you plan on maintaining those levels of commitment?” (set by the last president Owen)
He wants to have a range of opinions.
Slater: “It’s about making them feel part of the team. It’s important that everyone’s visions are incorporated.”
Slater doesn’t want a leader with too strong a vision, and looks at Fergusson.
She certainly wants to put her eggs in one basket over the Hive extension.
Fergusson: “Hopefully they will believe in us, in our ability as leaders.”
Fergusson says the nature of next year is important.
Fergusson: “It’s a good question. There’s no shortage of motivation”
It is asked: “How are you going to motivate your entire board of management?”
Fergusson says some people haven’t even heard of debates.
Fergusson says that debating is often quite separate from the GUU.
She wants more inclusion on debaters in freshers week.
Fergusson: “I’ll put more money in too.”
As well as more money being put into debating.
Slater is the more popular candidate for debaters, he talks about show debates being a way to get more speakers in.
Slater promotes topics that people are really engaged with.
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 talks about how the strategic plan will be ensured through a committee.
Fergusson: “In a real way, you don’t really know. We need a strategic plan.. to listen to people at the meetings”
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 also talks about Daft Friday, but also about communication between her and the affiliated clubs.
She wants to push her platinum affiliation package.
Slater cites Daft Friday as his greatest achievement.
It is asked: “What do you think our (and your) best achievement has been over the past year?”
Slater: “We have 20,000 students, but many students are not members. They don’t know what we do. Wd have to reconsider the ways in which we do things.”
Fergusson did not really answer the question.
The questioner seems to simply be saying “we are already great. how will you both carry on us being great?”
Fergusson: “Hive is a gate to get more people involved.”
It is asked: “Will all the things that have been happening with clubs and societies last year be continued?”
Fergusson talks about the new catering in the Hive being able to improve the GUU’s catering.
Fergusson answers: “It’s one way we’ll get we’ll get people into the building. .. those seeing this place as a home.”
Slater: “We need to hire another chef’.”
Slater: The GUU’s dinner menus haven’t changed in five years.
Slater: “We need more staff to improve our vision.”
It is questioned: “You both gave different speeches in what you see as a 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?”
His stance is more about the board and committee being open, rather than relying on clubs.
Slater says that more people need to feel involved, by having open committee meetings.
If a clique is a way to get people involved, it’s fantastic according to Fergusson, “We need to make a lot more people feel involved”.
Fergusson wants the union to be more inclusive, doesn’t see the clique as a negative term unless it excludes people.
People who have different values and the “union needs to be way more inclusive”
It is questioned “What are your views on cliques, and do you think they are a good thing or a bad thing?”
Fergusson says that the Hive is not just a new facility; it’s the evolution of GUU, and that people are championing them, not just from the union.
Fergusson cites clubs as a way to get people into the GUU, which she sees as the most effective way of getting outside engagement.
He wants to attract a wide range of people, those who don’t know what’s going on inside. He says it’s about creating different events to get people in.
Slater doesn’t want to talk in specifics: he sees it as a perception problem.
Rory says that the union can seem scary to a lot of people, he wants to get people into the union so that they can see how great it is.
It is questioned “In both your manifestos you try to tackle the negative perception held by the union. how would you both go about curing this?”
See Slater’s interview and manifesto analysis here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/04/guu-presidential-candidate-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-rory-slater/
Slater is more nervous than fergusson in his stance.
Questions from the floor are about to start.
He again moves away from Fergusson, saying that the club isn’t the most important aspect to consider, that he wants to keep sight of the union as a whole.
Slater: “It’s really important not to lose touch of who we are, with reference to the new club.
Slater: “I really have a strong vision of where we are going.”
He believes the role of president is to make everyone feel included, to get the message out there.
Slater pushes the importance of “day-to-day” things.
Slater argues that he is a motivator, not a creator.
Slater explicitly differentiates himself from Fergusson by saying that managing and leading a team is most important.
Her speech was slow, considered and slightly lacking in content.
Fergusson asks the floor who they believe can best carry out the work needing to be done over the next year.
She asks that tomorrow people consider who will ensure progression; and who will maximise potential of the club and societies.
Fergusson places the Hive at the heart of her policies for clubs and soceities.
Fergusson talks about her platinum affiliation package, an initiative to get clubs and societies involved in the GUU.
Fergusson: “clubs and societies are what brings diversity into the union”
See Fergusson’s manifesto analysis and interview here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/04/guu-presidential-candidate-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-holly-fergusson/
Read more here about the HIVE redevelopment plans:
Holly goes straight into her hive policies, and how she is particularly suited to completing the redevelopment.
Fergusson speaks first, and says that both candidates are credible.
Slater’s Proposer: “A vote for Rory is a vote for progression”
Slater’s Proposer: “He’s not only here when he has to be here. He’s here when he doesn’t have to be.”
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.
This speaker is far more casual, and uses comedy liberally, winning over the audience.
Rory Slater, presidential candidate has apparently “always been involved in everything that is going on” including freshers week, oktober fest, Daft Friday and more.
A rapturous applause ends Dewar’s speech, instilling the virtues of Fergusson.
Dewar: “She’ll be the right candidate at the right time.”
Dewar: “She is able to make change happen, I fully believe in her to make change happen at the union.”
The candidates sit in silence, looking nervous. Dewer seems the most confident person on the stage.
Dewar says “Holly has the amazing ability to not take no for an answer.”
Imogen Dewar, Ferguson’s proposer, talks about Ferguson’s manifesto, specifically her vision for the hive.
The two Presidential candidates, Rory Slater and holly Ferguson, take to the stage.
Alastair Swatland, 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: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/we-have-more-democracy/
Fifteen minutes until the GUU Hustings begin! Have you seen our coverage of the QMU and SRC elections on our website https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/?
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!
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’.”
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 says “This is something that has been done before it was just poorly advertised.”
To Stearn is it asked: “Why would businesses outside the union want to give discounts to members of the QM?”
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.”
The issue of cliquey-ness had been brought up again, following a recent Guardian article. This has been a recurring issue all night.
To Stearn, is has been asked “do you believe the image of a clique is legitimate?”
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.
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.
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.”
Steven is asked: “You said that your tweets are abstract humour, then is the oppression of minorities funny?”
Sefton wants to improve the website, which has been frequently criticised as being difficult to navigate.
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.
To Max, what are your plans for the QMU website?
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/
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.
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.
See Sefton’s interview and manifesto analysis here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/qmu-presidential-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-max-sefton/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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
Simpson asks: “Could you elaborate on the financial side of providing the Living Wage?”
Steven must believe the revenue brought in from a Saturday club night will bring in enough to pay for a professional tech team
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”
Muryn brings the question of who would run tech on a Saturday Magic as it is hard to get volunteers for a Saturday.
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.”
The QM does have a very good track record when it comes to equality, across their freshers helpers, staff and executive.
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?”
Questioner mixes surgeries and autopsies to the general hilarity of the room.
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.”
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.
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.
Sefton believes showing the Student Finance Committee what ‘graduate atributes’ the QM adds to the student experience would convince them.
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.
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 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.
Sefton says the QM can still strive to create .a more welcoming atmosphere
Stearn says that workshops for publications could work, but for other committees it could be more difficult.
Steven focusses on his freshers only night to pull the first years into the union again.
The QM does already hold cheese and wine nights to bring people into committees but this year they wasn’t greatly attended.
Cosmo Neacsu asks: “Would you consider running new comers and Freshers to committee workshops to curb intimidation?”
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.
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.
Max says that Publications Committee often had 40/50 attendees, and nostalgia doesn’t play a part.
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.
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.
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.
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.
She gives a very broad answer to the first question, then admits that she loves Gossip Girl. A crowd member shouts “vote lost”.
Stearn says that students should want to come here. They should be able to get whatever they want from it, and should feel valued.
Jack Taylor has two short questions: 1) I’m a fresher, sell the union to me. 2) Favourite Netflix series?
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.
Alice has said more than once she doesn’t have enough time to say everything she would like to.
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.
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.
It is questioned if a lack of consistency in club nights is harming the 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?
Stearn says that by getting greater communication between staff and board members we will get a more cohesive union.
Tom Frost asks “As President, how would you empower your board and get your board members to represent the union?”
Stearn praises the experience of Radio 1 last year and how those workshops benefitted students.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They are asked if they fee thatl there should be a policy that holds board members to account for their activity on social media.
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.
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.
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.
The room is currently full of people who all know each other with very few outsiders.
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/
Is it questioned with regard to a recent Glasgow Guardian article about ‘cliqueyness’, how the union will be made more approachable after Freshers Week?
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”.
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.
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.
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
Chris speaks insanely fasts to get in as much as possible. He has loads of ideas for Freshers week.
Merriman brings up the rivalry between the two Unions, and a way of keeping the QM alive with Hive on the go.
Merriman asks how the QMU will compete with the Hive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Steven, brings up the recent Glasgow Guardian Article, and quickly moves on, stating he has addressed it.
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.
He brings up the Food Factory, which has been a big issue across nearly all candidates tonight.
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
Max Sefton, Alice Stearn and Chris Steven are up for the role of President of the Union.
Max Sefton to begin the presidential section of the hustings.
We are happy to announce that the video streaming sound issues have now been resolved! Tune in happily once again!
There will be a ten minute break before the QMU Presidential candidates take the stage.
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.
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.
Stearn asks, of Anderson, what would be contained in an affiliation package?
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.
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.
Wiktoria asks “If the emphasis is on Freshers Helpers doesn’t that mean Freshers aren’t the focus?”
Barrett is defending that Freshers helpers needs to drink to keep them going. Do you agre?
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 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.
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.
It is asked of Barrett to justify re-introducing rolling membership.
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.
Emma thinks the QM shouldn’t be like high school musical! Maybe some people disagree?
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.
Denholm asks “How would you attract more members?”
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.
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.
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.
Anderson wants to use the building strengths for a unique QM freshers week, and places a strong emphasis on live music, as does Barrett.
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.
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 expresses interest in breaking with tradition of previous Freshers events if they are not continuing to be effective.
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 wants a semester prize for all members to help with more engagment.
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.
Some smack talk ensues and an angry microphone put down by a questioner.
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.
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.
Barrett pushes the 125 members dinner.
Hinton asks: 1) What, in your opinion, is the reason we have Life Members? 2) How would you engage with them?
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
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 was a freshers helper, currently a CSR B board member, has been a board member for 6 months.
Chris Barrett recently decided to run with Chris Steven in a joint campaign.
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.
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.
Emma Anderson and Chris Barrett are running for the Honorary Secretary role.
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.
She is asked “What do you aims to achieve in terms of engagement?”
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.
Sixto wants to stress that students can really have an effect on how the union is run by picking a specific candidate.
Sefton asks if the union does enough to draw people into elections.
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.
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.
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.
Merriman, asks if we should we look into online voting for the QM.
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.
She is asked if she is looking to make a shorter version of the constitution.
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.
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.
She replies that you have to be approachable, but says she is good at being tough.
It is asked how she would you balance your role as a teacher and disciplinary at the QM?
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
Celia Varela-Sixto, for honorary assistant, says she hates public speaking, but seems to be doing well about explaining her manifesto points.
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.
A questioner asks about specifics for home students, Denholm replies without specifics.
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.
Rhona Simpson asks “would you like there to be a set Monday night event?”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hornsby wishes for qmunicate to push more campaigns.
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.
Max Sefton, current Publications Convenor asks about current themes and breaking news on campus.
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.”
Lauren Hinton, current QM president asks about advertisement, and Wilson believes that qmunicate could be opened up to advertisement to bring in funds.
Here’s the full story of Professor Green at the QMU:
Wilson says that Publications has brought in more members than any other committee under his Editorship, and hopes to continue this rise.
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.
Scott Wilson is running for Publications Convenor.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Sefton asks “What do you mean by a strong identity for Magic?”
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.”
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.
That’s the end of the SRC Sabbatical Hustings coverage. Thanks for following!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Back to the live blog with the Events Convenor candidate Wiktoria Muryn.
Charalambous interrogated by a former Council member over anonymisation. She insists that it is a practical system which would benefit those students who do not want their identity to be revealed in relation to a complaint.
Davies says he will be “keen to promote to Council” the proposal to publish Council reports online. He says that there need to put structures in place to ensure a that Council works efficiently, including a measure remove those members from Council who do not attend repeatedly.
King is asked how he will improve the relationship between the SRC Exec and Council members. King says that there has to be support for those who are not “achieving as much as they could do” and to encourage them to submit their Council reports, as they are meant to. However, there needs to be some “slapping of the wrists” for those Council members who consistently let down the SRC and the students they are meant to represent.
Davies is asked how he will be more effective as President in preventing the University from banning translation dictionaries. He says that his experience as VP (Education) puts him in a better position to fight the University on this issue, without compromise.
Read more about Glasgow University’s involvement with animal testing:
Former SRC President accuses King of “shirking his responsibilities” as he is on the current SRC Executive and he has had an opportunity to change the way the SRC works. King says that the Campus Redevelopment Framework Consultation was presented in a way that totally bypassed students, and that student input in the consultation has been largely a fantasy. King says that the proposals for the new campus include a proposal for an animal testing facility which, even as a member of the SRC Executive who was intimately involved with the consultation, he did not know anything about until today.
The proceedings have now taken a ten minute break. We’ll be back in ten!
Kat Denholm to Hornsby on Food Bank. There is already a Food Co-op, so she wishes for closer relations.
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.
A food bank is already in place at Maryhill, but a QM one would help relieve the stress this food bank undertakes.
Reece O’Hara asks about Hornsby’s idea for a food bank in the QM.
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.
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.
Charalambous is asked if she is a “one trick pony” due to the lack of mental health policies in her manifesto. She says that her main priority is “representing students in the best way” but that she includes addressing mental health issues in that promise.
Fraser – QMU’s history with charities mean that they can be sent into help charities and campaigns that need a headstart.
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.
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 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.
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.
Both have been CSRs and run their own successful projects, which is why this will be one of the most difficult votes to cast.
Sefton’s second question: “What would make you personally good for C&C?”. Unoriginal but potentially useful.
If King’s workload has been too much this year, how will he follow through with his promises of positive activism in the role of President?
Same from Fraser, wants to put charities before the board for review.
Hornsby wishes for charities to get a bit more board review before being selected. Fair point, as boards should work together.
King says that the SRC Executive is too often caught up in administrative tasks, and that the work of the Exec consumes much more time than he realised this time last year. He reiterates that the SRC should not always accept the “narrative” of the University and that, sometimes, the SRC should go to meetings with the intention of disagreeing with a consensus.
Max Sefton, prospective president asks if the QM fundraises for too many charities?
King excuses a lack of action and campaigning this year, saying he underestimated the workload of his current position.
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.
Hornsby double checks the question: clearly engaged.
There is an intake of breath as Charalambous accuses King of being hypocritical.
Kat Denholm, CSR, is asking.
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.
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.
Charalambous says that “finger-pointing is a relative thing to say” and that it is important to give credit to those who have “done things”. She says that King is a hypocrite for not replying appropriately to her anonymisation campaign when she raised the issue last year with him.
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.
Audience member challenges Georgia on her perceived negative campaigning.
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.
King wins the “competition” for the closest estimate for total SRC expenditure 2013-14.
God the cliches, the cliches!
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.
Davies says that getting information to home students, mature students and international students relating to the services that are available to them is essential if the SRC is to “draw in” new people.
Lesley Fraser and Lucy Hornsby for Campaigns and Charities are up next.
Manages to correctly answer on the Simpson seasons 2 through 10, his chosen field. No-one asks about political policies of Hughes.
A truly inspiring QM speech.
“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”.
King contends that the SRC’s “club” image prevents effective communication with people who are not members of that “club”.
Pad Hughes through Paul Kelly. Seems to be reciting a stand-up routine. Is going down pretty well.
Charalambous says that representatives who are receptive to new ideas are better representatives overall. She refers to her anonymisation campaign to illustrate the point.
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.
King says that the SRC “probably is quite out of touch” and re-emphasises his belief that the SRC appears very “insular” and “exclusive” from the outside. Better management of the business of Council, and holding Council meetings in a larger room are part of King’s plan for improving engagement. He says that there have not been enough motions put to Council this year and instead it has been focused on bringing Council up to date rather than serious discussion and debate.
QM die hards don’t know about the mythical suggestion box, so it must not exist.
Jack Taylor gets up to go to the bathroom. The MC thinks he’s asking more questions.
Macinnes wants a suggestion box, which may exist in the food factory, but is obviously not known about.
McLister through Priya, wants a real drive at halls not just for Magic, but for the QM’s many events during the week.
Charalambous says making the SRC “more transparent” will make students want to engage with the SRC.
Merriman wants to exploit students… in a good way!
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.
Davies says that if the SRC is to remain relevant, they need to think of more effective ways of communicating with students. More “targeted” emails or “better” emails, and engaging properly on social media are the best ways to raise the profile of the SRC.
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.
Jack Taylor ask again how they will get first years involved. Keen guy.
Merriam wants to have a review into Magic’s current flagging, as does everyone.
Merriman has nearly perfect attendance at the QMs clubnight, she would be distraught if it were to fail. Something for the Presidents to discuss.
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.
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.
Charalambous says that knowing what students want is key to any progress that the SRC can make with regard to engaging with politicians.
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.
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.
Davies says that although campus is already engaged with political issues, he wants to build stronger connections with people in power, bring them to campus, and involve Glasgow students in the political process.
She asks about what one solid project would the candidates like to achieve in the short 6 month term, and acknowledges the difficulties.
Alice Stearn has lots of questions for the candidates tonight. Prepared, I like it.
In the run up to the General and Scottish Parliamentary elections, King says that communication is key and that the formation of a “Student Manifesto” is something he would consider.
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.
Rose reckons random traffic would help causes such as the Anthony Nolan bone marrow trust. Would you randomly decide to donate your bone marrow?
Davies says that “often things slip through the net” in committees and that there needs to be a combination of activism and cooperation if the SRC is to be effective.
Merriman doesn’t know how to count and goes for 4 words. Amusing nonetheless.
Describe yourself in three words has stumped the candidates.
Charalambous says that student activism is essential because students expect the SRC to fight for them. King says that he is an ‘activist’ candidate because he knows that back-room deals are common across the University. “If it smells like bullshit, it probably is” says King of the way in which the Senior Management Group engage with the SRC.
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.
Charalambous positions herself on the side of activism (key to King’s bid), as opposed to table discussion, which Davies advocates.
(We are also fond of Emily Rose’s dinosaur jumper)
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.
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.
Liam King insists that there is a need for major reform within the SRC, and that the President should not chair SRC Council meetings because members are often “afraid” to challenge the chair. He says that there are barriers to access, including the living wage and the SRC recruitment process as it currently exists. With regard to Council, he says that members of Council should have some basic training to improve their effectiveness.
Emily Rose, a first year, wants to bring people’s personal ideas onto the charities committee.
Gillian is building on her previous dedication to selling Popcorn at Magic.
Georgia Charalambous says that the work of Vice Presidents needs to known across campus so that students know who does what on the SRC Executive. She says that she would host workshops to do this.
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 Merriman is realistic about what she can achieve in six months
Davies’ statement that the SRC does not need reform provokes muttering from audience members.
Cal Davies says that Council members need to be better informed about what it is that they should be doing, but concedes that that is not a huge reform. He says that he does not believe that the SRC needs “huge reform” but the SRC needs to become better at communicating with those it purports to represent.
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.
Cal has told us about how the Counter-Terrorism act will affect students. Read more about it here:
King says that he has “a vision” different from what has gone before. The SRC has “professionalised” says King, but in doing that what has happened is they have forgotten how to fight for student issues within the University power structures. He says SRC Council and Executive members have become “technocrats” and that too often the “SRC and student input” are sidelined. He says that the SRC is at a crossroads, and activism needs to be a key part of challenging senior management.
Khindria is reading off her phone for McLister which is understandable, but no reason is given for McLister’s absence.
Read the three SRC presidential candidates’ Glasgow Guardian interviews and see what they said to us.
Macinnes is flustered by the time limit.
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.
Priya Khindria is standing in for Rosie McLister, who sadly couldn’t be in today.
King talks of backroom deals and secrecy of University senior management that needs challenged by a resurge in student activism.
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?
Questions are few for the CSR candidates, unfortunate as they have some potentially hard to implement ideas.
Liam King claims his manifesto is not bold but shows what is possible.
Jack Taylor asks questions regarding the trips proposed by Donaghy earlier.
Davies says that he wants to improve communication with students. He addresses the Counter Terrorism Bill by putting pressure on political parties in the lead up to election season. Reaching out to more people is a key part of getting people involved with the SRC.
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.
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.
Davies uses his introductory statement to blueprint a vision of the SRC as a body who can challenge government policy.
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.
Donaghy likes the speed-mating event that the QMU currently holds. How well attended are these?
Charalambous would like to see a conference so that students have the opportunity to express their views on how problems on campus should be resolved. She says that the SRC has not been very “open and engaging” with her in the past, and that is a problem which prevents the SRC from engaging properly with students who are not already involved with the SRC. “Anonymisation” of complaints procedure is something which she intends to implement if elected.
Brown focusses on “passing on passion” to first years. Will this be enough to bring them in?
Charalambous contests Liam’s aim of challenging the University – the SRC is what needs challenged.
Taylor questions how they will attract first years, a pertinent question given the QM’s falling membership.
Telford loves his music and acts and wants the QM to be a music and culture zone, specifically bringing in more indie acts.
Liam King, Cal Davies and Georgia Charalambous are running for President.
He feels that having condoms for breasts would push more people into the QM. Interesting proposition.
Brown wants to introduce a drag ball. His alter ego is Lady Magic, a drag queen that frequently attends the QMs clubnight.
Not for the first time Gemma can only agree and reiterate.
Brown says that she is uncomfortable with the idea of students having to disclose their disabilities because courses should be set up in a way that supports any and all students. Gratton says that resources need to be made as accessible as possible so that students are supported, and to make it possible for the SRC to target staff who are not.
Asked whether they feel that uploading lecture slides to Moodle should be mandatory, Gratton says Yes, unequivocally. Brown agrees, and says that uploading lecture slides to Moodle is essential for exam preparation, and should therefore be encouraged at all levels.
Alice Stearn, who just asked a question is running for QM president. Maybe she’s looking for someone who shares her vision..
Candidates are asked whether or not they think that lecturers should be encouraged to use technology in their lectures and how the candidates would encourage them to do so. Brown says the recent Education and Technology Conference that she attended proved to her that when students are given a platform to express how they feel technology could aid their learning is an effective way to do that. Gratton says improving the staff-student dialogue is part of that process.
Here at the Glasgow Guardian we like art, go Cat.
Everyone complains about loud singing upstairs
She brings up a regularly debated topic about the state of the board rooms, especially making them more cosy
She is evidently passionate about her project and really wants to continue and make the union and hub of activity
“Creating writting zine” – A place for all ‘Aloud’ poets and writers to get their work seen in a smaller magazine, been a good success.
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
Apologies for the lack of sound on the QMU live feed, we are working on fixing it.
“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
Believes there should be better communication between international students and the union.
Jimmy Donaghy, used to have pink hair, not anymore. He ran for the last election as the only first year candidate.
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.
Andrew Brown notes how the QM replaced his dog as his friend. He wants to change this by including home students.
Jonathan tends to waffle a bit..
Jonathan Telford ran for CSR A last November.
Gratton is enthusiastic that change is possible through the SRC, despite gloomily pointing out bureaucracy in her introduction.
Current Student Representatives, these students bring their own ‘projects’ to the union in order to improve it in a manner the deem fit.
Brown admits that it would not be compulsory for Council members to attend meetings of the academic committee she intends to set up if elected, but says that academic officers would be encouraged to attend monthly meetings of that committee.
Asked whether Schools encourage enough undergraduates to undertake postgraduate study at Glasgow University, Brown says that she “cannot really answer” that because she has not been a student in all Schools. She commits to investigating the issue, so that students who wish to continue to postgraduate level have the opportunity to do so. Gratton says that funding is an issue, so publicising the funding that is available would be a way of encouraging undergraduates to apply for postgraduate study.
The video stream is up and the hustings are about to begin!
Both candidates believe there is a need to close the “feedback loop” so that student feedback reaches subject areas, Schools and Colleges.
Hugh Robertson asks how the candidates intend to improve the communication and engagement between the SRC and PGT students. Brown says that school representatives need to be more aware that it is their job to represent PGT students as well as undergraduates. She adds that school representatives need to meet with heads of Colleges to make them aware of the issues that affect PGT students. Gratton says by raising awareness amongst PGT students so that they know what they are entitled to, saying that she will be very vocal in representing PGT students.
Stay tuned for our live blog and video stream of hustings, beginning soon!
Ruth Brown says that there is relatively little discussion of education policy at Council meetings, and to rectify this problem, she intends to form an academic committee on the SRC Council so that issues relating to education policy are fully discussed.
As a postgraduate who has visited the Singapore campus, Brown hopes the restructuring of the SRC could help make students aware of the services available to them.
Gratton says she realises how dense the University’s bureaucracy can be from other positions. Shows experience but hardly a confidence-building admission for students.
Ruth Brown just mentioned her Glasgow Guardian interview. Have a read:
Gemma Gratton’s manifesto and interview:
Gemma Gratton and Ruth Brown running for Vice President (Education). Gratton argues that class representatives and school representatives need to meet more often and the communication needs to be more transparent. She says that publicising the work done by Council would be an effective way of improving communicating so that students are aware of what the SRC actually does.
There has been a large increase in the number of students seeking helping at the Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS.) We’ve been reporting on the issue from the start:
Candidates agree that raising awareness of mental health issues has to be a priority for VPSS, with particular reference to mental health training.
The subject of mental health is raised. Domi highlights signposting and suicide prevention classes as key to reducing stigma around mental health.
Candidates are asked how they would consolidate all of the information on student support services to make it easily available to all students. Candidates agree that the information should be collated and uploaded to the SRC website.
Rhetorically Darragh is far more conversational than Domi’s straight-to-the-point style.
Domi says she can’t guarantee that consent training will be made mandatory by the start of the new year, but is determined to make it so.
Darragh neglects to mention her previous experience as disability officer.
Darragh says that signs on campus need to be improve to make life easier for disabled students, as well as complementary passes for their carers. With regard to home students, Darragh says that there needs to be more emphasis on daytime events on campus to accommodate students who live at home. Bacanskaite says that it is important to have a variety of daytime events for the benefit of home students. Accessibility, says Bacanskaite, is key to making the environment more welcoming for disabled students.
Darragh says that signage is key in making home and mature students feel included in Freshers’ Week and events in general.
Both candidates are in agreement that the SRC should be contesting student cuts.
Bacanskaite insists that the SRC has to fight cuts to CAPS (Counselling and Psychology Service) rather than just addressing the effects of spending cuts after they have happened. Darragh says that the SRC needs to communicate with students to address individual issues that arise from spending cuts.
Alastair Craig asks how the candidates intend to oppose a “real terms cut” to Counselling and Psychological Services. Darragh says that services need to be good for students of the future, but provision for current students needs to be good too. She says that the cuts “need to stop” but that the SRC have to think of other ways to “come together” in the meantime. Peer support, so that students can discuss coping mechanisms, are part of this strategy. Bacanskaite says that it’s important to focus on the future, but not at the expense of current students.
Darragh says that she is keen to work with the new GUSA Welfare Office.
Bacanskaite says that she is “not suggesting” that there will be consent workshops for “every new student next year”, but that they can be piloted to see how they could work and how effective they are.
Here is Unamarie’s manifesto as well. Have a read!
See Ameer Ibrahim’s (VP Student Activities) interview and manifesto analysis here: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/03/vp-student-activities-interview-and-manifesto-analysis-ameer-ibrahim/
Darragh says that she has been an effective member of Council as Disability Equality Officer. If elected, she says that she will campaign for a peer support network to be established across the University and for Equality and Diversity training to be part of the induction process. She says that we “cannot stop fighting” for better student services to ensure that the new campus is as accessible as possible.
Domi Bacanskaite’s manifesto. Have a look and see how it matches up to what she said.
Bacanskaite says that there is a need for somebody who is “ready to stand up for student welfare” and believes that she would “do a great job.”
Domi Bacanskaite and Una Marie Darragh are running for the position of Vice President (Student Support). Bacanskaite says that her experience and passion make her the best candidate for the role, and that she is keen to work on the Consent Campaign as educating everyone on those issues is the best way to “make campus a safer space”.
Elliot Napier asks how Ibrahim will make Freshers’ Week available to mature students, many of whom do not use social media. Ibrahim says that it’s not good to segregate mature students too much, and that a “ubiquitous” set of activities are there for all students to participate in, and all of those who want to, should have the opportunity to do so. He says that he will engage with mature students and the bodies that represent them in order to find out how the SRC can improve communication with them.
Ibrahim says that he apologises for his absence from SRC Council meetings over the last year as International Students Officer, but says that he believes in a more active form of representation. He says that he will attend every Council meeting this year.
Ibrahim says that he has been involved with 22 societies during his time at university and that all students deserve those opportunities too. Communication with students, using social media, is key to his strategy.
Vice President (Student Activities) up first. Ameer Ibrahim is running unopposed for this position on the Executive.
Coverage of SRC Sabbatical Hustings about to begin.
That concludes our coverage of SRC non-executive hustings. The coverage of Sabb hustings continues tomorrow at 6pm.
Thanks very much for tuning into our QMU live blog and video stream! Apologies for any technical errors experienced, and we hope you’ll join us tomorrow for the QMU hustings!
The chair’s beard gets appreciation from the Guardian’s own beard-king Ali Begg.
Steven wants a union that doesn’t cut things and respects members. He’s not brought up his concrete ideas up much tonight. What about the freshers’ club night and moving Magic to Saturday?
Q; Whats your vision for the QM union
Max: Makes valid point about accessibility, but the QM is already very accessible and has an accountable board already. Then he tells the audience to clap.
Alice: talking and listening and a clear image. Alice reinforces her long 5 year experience again, as a very subtle dig to Chris.
Chris: Chris wants respect! Notes how Karl Marx would be spinning in his grave at the QM. Odd.
Chris Steven comes out with a Karl Marx joke, wow. I did not expect that…
Alice Stearn wants the union to communicate to a member its vision, get staff involved more in the more clerical aspects of the union, she wants the volunteers to feel more appreciated. She’s certainly targeting the QMU core, who I guess are the only ones who vote anyway.
Kate Powell, who is standing for re-election as College of Arts Convenor, says that she wants to be there to ensure the success of the changes being made to the College’s advising system. Having done the job for a year, she has finally got into her stride. This experience could prove to be essential in the coming year.
Max Sefton says he’s delivered every point in his manifesto this year ,but still has to ask the audience to clap
The chair asks people to go to tommorow’s hustings, but you can watch our live stream which will be in better quality tommorow as the tech fairies won’t be on strike
Almost certain there are international students who are closely connected to the QM, why not ask them?
New students and international students are a minority within the union, how would you counter this?
Chris: We really need to find out what the Freshers want, its a point he drives continuously. Not making decisions on their behalf
Alice: By taking pointers from Cali, organising trips for international students and getting them engaged in the summer
Max: Disagreeing with alice “We arent a tour group organiser!”
But he points out QM should engage with them, which it rarely has done since the failed QM international society projext
Chris points out international students don’t drink as much. Tom Kelly says technically I’m an international student and I’ll drink you under the table son.
Q; Holding on to life members and keeping members after 1st year
Alice: didn’t anything very useful.
Max: focusses on a big life membership drive for postgrads and leavers
Chris: usually a selection of old convenors, pushing for people who have been in the real world for a while to bring their experience into the union. But he still says you shouldn’t focus on life members.
Max: No benefit for life members but reliving old memories. A facegroup and newsletter is the way forward
Fergus Taylor says he wants to see training “for a handful of people in each year” so that they can recognise the signs of deteriorating mental health amongst their peers. He will have to work with the School of Medicine and CAPS to achieve this within one year.
Marc Vives Enrich says that he was intentionally not included everything he wants to achieve in his manifesto because he believes that to be a more effective way of being receptive to the ideas of students. He says that communicating with Vetinary students is can be done much more effectively through social media and emails to bridge the gap between them and the SRC.
Why not ask former Life Members for a bit of extra cash? There is no harm!! It’s an interesting thought.
Alice is against the GUU model of life membership. She claims the Old Guu’ers are tapped for money on the regular, if you follow most of them in the media, you’ll find they have plenty to be tapped and perhaps they’re happy to give it?
Max points out there’s no benefit to life membership, which is a bit of a bad advertisement for access to the building
Alice: We do have a life membership group, but its underused. Dont just give em money
Chris points out that honorary’s should have real world experience not be people who are getting rewarded. That must sting for Stearn, current Honorary President. Its something often said but rarely acted on but is none the less correct.
Both Unions nearly exclusively for freshers week through the same agency, max speaks about unique events for freshers week, but does not address this problem
alice places emphasis on live and exciting music, then jokes about Colin taps her off the stage
Marc Vives Enrich says be “believes in big projects” and a longer-term vision for the SRC. He says that he intends to start working this year in the hope that his successors will build on his legacy.
Alice wants life members to feel they can give something back, the QM has been terrible at this. Anne Anderson University VP has barely been engaged and she was a board member, which gets her free life membership!
Q: New students accounts for 1/3 of students, home students are difficult to engage, how do you overcome this:
Max: *elusively pushes towards events during the day and less focus on events around alcohol (“Important for our lives as QM regulars”)*
Chris: Not really sure he wants home students, he says home students have less interest in both unions. Engage people who don’t want to be here
Alice: pushes away from events during the day, e.g the quiz being put later. She completely contradicts Max’s answers, but pushes “event that they cant get at home”. Not really a response.
Chris: Home students want food, revamp the food factory, make it our strengths and at least have that for the home students
Alice: Loves her meat free mondays
Chris’ point about not engaging with home students not wanting to engage may defeat his point about QM not being able to reach out, does it not?
Events earlier in the day? Unfortunately the Board of Managment is mainly students, who will be in seminars and lectures. Not able to staff.
Fergus Taylor and Marc Vives Enrich are running for College Convenor for MVLS.
Taylor says that momentum for change is hard to come by within the University, and that the Medical School is in the process of reforming its welfare practices. He says that raising the awareness of students on this issue is key to improving the quality of mental health provision within the College and across the University. He says that he will continue to push the University to fund the transport costs of Medicine students who have placements around the City.
“Avoid confrontation” – severe lack of debate then.
Chris thinks home students engage for lunch, does no one makespacked lunches anymore?
Alice thinks meat free mondays were a good idea, that’s the carnivore vote gone.
On the opening of the Hive, how will they compete?
Alice says that we should focus on what we provide. This is the problem, people aren’t attracted by what the QM has, this has been acknowledged.
In a half time analysis:
Alice has been solid in her convictions, Max has been wavering occasionally but been solid, whilst Chris has shown how he wants to radically change the QM and how it’s run.
Adi Childs says that banning dictionaries is ‘ridiculous’ and would urge the University not to go through with this policy.
Oscar Schafer says it’s about communicating with the University and academics for a productive dialogue between students and staff on the issue of dictionaries.
Oscar Schafer and Adi Childs are running for College Convenor for Science and Engineering.
Oscar Schafer doesn’t “promise great things” because they are “not going to happen” but says that Honours students need to have access to buildings at weekends in order work on their projects. He promises to make sure that there are chairs outside labs so that people can eat without taking food into science labs.
Adi Childs believes that she can do as good, if not a better, job than her opponent despite her lack of Council experience. She says that the University need to do a better job of listening to students and student bodies. Raising the profile of the SRC amongst Science students is key to improving communication and effectiveness.
And with that, that concludes the Guardian’s live coverage of the GUSA Hustings event. It has been an exciting night and there has been plenty for each of the candidates to talk about.
Selena and I would like to thank you for following our feed and make sure to pick up your copy of the Guardian tomorrow, with our interview with Caitlin Kelly, and continue to follow our coverage online.
Thanks and goodnight!
As the final question, Kelly sits down to applause and the chair gives his final remarks, wishing all the candidates good luck!
Cathy Steeghs is running unopposed for College Convenor for Social Sciences. She promised to continue the good work of her predecessor.
A question from Twitter now regarding the rumours of gym memberships rising – Kelly denies that anything is in place now and that the rumours are only that. She suggests that the idea of tiered membership fees may be an idea.
Kelly – No!
Question: Is it through sheer fear alone that you have taken up the post?
Laughter from the audience and from Kelly herself
Iain French and Viljami Yli-Hemminki are running for Sexual Orientation Equality Officer. French says he wants to build upon the progress of the last year. He also says that he wants to create an LGBTQ space on campus so that LGBTQ people know where to go on campus for help and support. He concedes that space is limited on campus, but regardless, he believes that the space would be possible for this policy to be implemented.
Yli-Hemminki admits that he has less experience than his opponent in this election, but insists that he will adopt a more creative approach to addressing LGBTQ issues on campus. He says that he wants to start a lecture series in which experts and professionals address LGBTQ issues on campus, to ensure that the SRC and LGBTQ Society are not “preaching to the choir” on these issues.
Kelly is received to great applause and now prepares to answer some questions.
Kelly’s main manifesto points include working with the SRS to source the best quality coaches for clubs.
As as for the extension to the Stevenson, Kelly is keen to keep membership costs down for all students. She will ensure more regular meetings with the rest of the council Convenors to keep on top of everyone’s ongoing projects
As the VP leaves, we have the final candidate, the Presidential Candidate, Caitlin Kelly.
She promises to keep it short and someone in the crowd cheers.
Make sure to check our exclusive interview with Kelly in tomorrow’s Guardian.
Sinclair: I’d say that one of my greatest weaknesses is not being able to leave something unfinished, so I’d say keeping control of time management and keeping on top of all of our projects
We have some questions!
Question : What are the main challenges you will face?
Brogan Sinclair is welcomed by cheers and rapturous applause. Running for the role of Vice President, she speaks of her ‘unrivaled enthusiasm’ for the position, and her hopes to continue the legacy of the GUSA Ball. She will review GUSA’s sponsorship structure, and ensure that the association remains attractive to corporate sponsors
Howard up first and outlines several key aspects of her manifesto, which the crowd love. With no questions, we move on.
Now, it is onto the final uncontested positions – Secretary, Vice President and President. It is disappointing that the biggest roles are uncontested, but hopefully the candidates will live up to the expectations. Secretary up first, as Charlotte Howard takes to the front
Discussion about first years and branching out. The special First Year CSR seats were cut.
What is the QM’s biggest hurdle?
Max: Students not being involved. Clearly not doing enough for first years and international students.
Sawyer focusing on links with clubs and pushing their connections with previous members. She feels that keeping an updated database of contacts is the best way to maintain these links
Both candidates fend off a variety of quesitons involving their experiences and how they would implement their ideas – both fully emphasise their experiences as a cadet (Pulham) and on the netball team (Sawyer)
From the current Alumni Convenor: One thing that I have struggled with this year is contacting older alumni, how would you handle this?
Three candidates for Race Equality Officer:
Tracy Duah says that she will work with all student bodies and external bodies to make sure that instances of racism are dealt with immediately, and organise workshops to deal with things like micro-aggressions and cultural appropriation.
Aurora Piergiacomi says that she too wants to use workshops to raise awareness, but also wants to campaign on campus to draw attention to racism and racial discrimination, by working closely with the University and other student Welfare Officers.
Lea Balint argues that racism and the deconstruction of democracy are interlinked, and that students need to fight against racism in all its forms. She proposes public awareness lectures and seminars, promoted via MyCampus, with the possibility of sharing best practice strategies for dealing with racism with other universities.
On the issue of cultural appropriation, Balint says it was not something she was aware of of, but agrees to continue working towards resolving the issue.
She says that the Race Equality Officer is in a position to represent students who feel that they are discriminated against on the basis of their religion, on the grounds that religious and racial discrimination are linked. There is a proposal to create an entirely new post of Religious Equality Officer on the SRC Council.
How far do you think that the QM can be enclosed in the Learning and Teaching Hub that will be right next to the union and the QM’s involvement in the Western Development?
Chris suggests cooperation to gain trade, to get people to use both services. He continues to emphasise the role of new students.
Max disagrees and believes that the QM can plan ahead, especially as it will be subject to new rivals.
Alice reiterates offering better services. She struggles to be coherent, arguing that the Fraser Building didn’t damage the QM’s food sales.
Check out our article on the failings of the QMU! What do you think? https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2015/03/02/how-the-queen-margaret-union-is-slowly-killing-itself/
Sawyer : Obviously I can’t run every alumni event, but I think I should be there to support as much as possible.
Question: Do you think it’s your job to encourage clubs to bring back their own alumni? Do you want to focus on more insular events, or concentrate on representing GUSA as a whole?
Sawyer up next : As a second year and part of the netball club, GUSA has played a big role for me. I play a lot of netball, and playing twice a week, I see how much work goes into the Sport services.
I would like to start a newsletter generally about GUSA, benefit discounts – offered to alumni – and with the gym opening, I think it would be good to have an event where we bring back some of the alumni. But finally, I would want to do an alumni v current event (this is recieved extremely well from the crowd and sounds like a very good idea! )
Alice says that the QM could possibly bring people into the QM on a Saturday, but fears students may not come.
Chris really pushes that this is a real attitude problem of the QM that services aren’t open on the weekend, referring to the example of the library and gym.
Pulham expressing enthusiasm to organise events for alumni to come back and see how their club has progressed, in addition to a regular newsletter in order to maintain strong connections with them
Max wants more live music, but the latest debacle with Professor Green cancelling a show amid rumours that this was due to low turn out may indicate that something else needs changing. Can the QM attract people even if the names are quite big, like Professor Green?
A successful weekly club night is something that presidents have attempted to establish over the years. Other universities use outside companies – what do you think?
Max says that the QM put a lot of work and time into a club night that is not regularly attended. He believes closing Qudos on some nights as “busy breeds busy.”
Alice is wary of opening the QM up to national club nights. She points out that the Glasgow School of Art have monthly nights that work well. She says that QM volunteers are bogged down by a club night, but she would be open to it.
Chris seems almost offended; he emphasises the role of uniqueness and how the students’ views are more important than “its cash registers”.
Max, disagreeing with Alice, puts forward that it’s identity that’s important and that they couldn’t take the Art School’s plan and take it into the QM.
The final contested position up now, the Alumni Convenor with Alexandra Sawyer and James Pulham up now. They will now offer their opening remarks.
And that concludes the Club Sport Convenor who leaves to applause – but sadly they don’t appear to be fighting it out. But Thursday is another day.
Mas – I know that muay thai was late in applying, and that a lot of sports have the chance to, but they don’t. We could arrange slots for two smaller clubs to share at prime times.
Alice believes that her relationship with staff and other members of the board will benefit her as President.
Chris believes that the fact that he will be a student means he can be more engaged.
Alice believes that the role of president benefits from experience and change, clashing with Chris’ belief that a younger candidate with time left after their role gives it a fresh perspective. Chris believes that his youth and new ideas mean an actual change for the union instead of re-hashing old ideas.
Thom – I think it another issue of prioritising. How can I put this, if you look at the hockey club, they are big already, but for the smaller clubs, we should maybe be offering them the slots at the Freshers.
Chris mentions that he will be the only one who will be a student at the end of the year, and he will bring in new ideas
Alice replies that it does not matter what year you are in, but more experience will be useful.
Chris retorts: we need new ideas, and someone who is not afraid to try new things and that is what he supplies as a candidate
Question: All clubs are allocated the same amount of space in the freshers’ faire, and all get the same opportunities for demo sessions. How would you ensure that all clubs are fairly treated?
Milia Hau running unopposed for International Students Officer. She is passionately against attempts by the University to ban translation dictionaries in exam because only a “minority” of students use them to cheat. Says that she will do all she can to encourage a change of policy on the part of the University.
Mas carefully explains and brings out laughter from the crowd when he compares himself to any idiot – he certainly has the charisma.
Question: how would you be able to maintain the system that you want to implement when you’re no longer in the position?
Mas – As Alexander said, it is almost impossible to do at the last minute. But, I think we could have three sessions a week with the third used as a back up.
Q: What is the main priority for this year?
Chris: Engaging first years to ensure that the QM survives.
Max: To ensure the survival of the union.
Alice: Presenting a cohesive imagine of what we are, and what we are here to do.
Elliot Napier, who is standing for re-election as Age Equality Officer, says that mature students need to have a more tailored system of support throughout their degree.
Going forward, he says he wants to continue with drop-in surgeries so that mature students know where to look for the support that they need. Not enough people speak up for mature students, says Napier, and the University needs to consider things like child care facilities and access to storage lockers for mature students who have full or part-time jobs in both the short-term and the long-term.
The chair reworks the question.
Question – I have a question about facilities, especially with the snow, we were badly affected, and I was wondering if there is anything you guys can do to help us find last minute facilities?
Max Sefton notes how nearly all of the members of the audience were once Freshers’ helpers, but his involvement with QMunicate has involved many new members and he hopes to extend that across the QM
Mas – It will really be on a first come, first serve basis, as I cannot wait around for the rugby club if I am to see hockey. Ideally, I would like to get around all the clubs, but it is not always managable.
Alexander Thom has three main aims: making better use of the Sportify facility and expanding that; creating a ‘Wednesday buzz’ for fixtures and encouraging more publicity by clubs. Finally, giving smaller clubs a level of priority at freshers’ week in order to recruit new members.
Now onto the questions.
Question : Would you guys like to prioritise certain clubs for your visits?
Chris agrees that all the candidates are strong this year, and he admits that he has had less experience than the others, and will celebrate what has happened in the last few years, but he is here to change what will happen in the future
Alice Stearn says she believes all the opening speeches were well done, in response to Chris’s comment she says she believes all candidates are honest candidates with nothing to hide
Mhairi Harris & Vicky Leigh running for Charities, Clubs and Societies Officer. Both candidates have lots of experience in different societies so both candidates could use their connections to make it clear what the SRC can do for charities, clubs and societies on campus.
Leigh says that a ‘welcome tent’ would be a good way for societies to welcome new members. Worth noting that the SRC cannot compel clubs and societies to do this.
Leigh concedes that she does not have much experience of Central Room Bookings, but commits to do all she can to improve the service for societies.
However, this hasn’t deterred the candidates, with Alex up first to deliever a prominent speech, bringing in his experience with the Muay Tai club and their incredibly succesful App. He is warmly recieved.
Max Sefton takes to the stage, having not prepared a speech beforehand, he speaks openly about what he feels concerning the QM.
He believes that the QM needs to be unique. He believes that his role as Publications Convenor has taught him how to lead and think critically. He didn’t see himself running for President, but found that he has more to contribute and he can achieve this as President.
Both candidates finish and in a flurry of excitement, leave the stage. Some of the crowd appear to have had enough and begin to flood out from the hall. But we move on and now it’s Alex Mas and Alexander Thom up for Club Sport Convenor.
Before the speeches, the chair thanks us for staying and for our continued attention – at least a third of the audience must have left.
Chris wants a Union that gets all of the students at the University to come and celebrate. He doesn’t want a union that tries to change the world but a union that will to cater to it’s members, fearing that the QM will not exist in 10 years if they fail to reach out to new members.
Club sport Convenor candidates up next, and it’s Alex Mas and Alexander Thom
Alice Stearn is up first.
Alice talks about what kind of President the QMU needs, noting her history as serving with 4 Presidents and her former roles in the QMU including Honorary President. She believes that the QMU is under appreciated on campus, and as president she would not let that continue.
Opening statements are about to begin, the focus tonight will be on debate, with individual questions for candidates being saved for tomorrow. Candidates will have 2 minutes each to talk about their presidency.
Baker replies that if a club pays GUSA the wrong money or isn’t very specific about where it has come from, then it is not GUSA’s fault.
The questioner tries to respond but is cut off by the Chair. Things are heating up!
The current Finance convenor points out to Michael that introducing an online banking account for GUSA is a very difficult process, as this was something that she had looked towards doing in her role. There are accountants that work for the university, and the council do not have the time to handle this – how else would he cope with this?
Luke Evens is standing for re-election as Environmental Officer. He says that senior management have not met frequently enough over this year. He says that there is a need for strong ethical leadership on environmental issues. The best way to get the University to listen, says Evens, is using established connections to affect change and not being afraid to be vocal when holding the University to account over environmental issues.
Baker awkwardly answers that he intends to improve this list.
A question for Michael : In your manifesto, you want to create a spreadsheet for conatacts for all the clubs – but this already exists. How would you plan on improving this?
Prospective Presidents have now taken to the stage, the chair of the debate is the former QMU President Colum Fraser.
Baker believes it has been under-publicised and that we should be explaining to people what it is; we need to get the word out.
Moving onto the topic of the Chancellor’s fund, Thomson speaks about introducing a university-wide email to promote as many people as possible applying to the fund for subsidies.
Elliot Porter, who is running for Mental Health Equality Officer, says he wants more representation for Mental Heath to sit on the Students with Disabilities Committee, and would like to see the creation of a separate Mental Heath Committee, promising to do the foundational work to make this happen. He must know that it will take more than one term in office to convince the University to do this. He also says that the University need to be made aware of the effects that cuts to the CAPS budget will have on students with mental health problems. CAPS are due to take on more staff, and Porter says that the SRC needs to have a greater influence within CAPS and there needs to be a concerted effort to cut down on bureaucracy to make the service more accessible. He commits to working with other student bodies, like GUSA, to promote the mental health and well-being services that they offer.
CAPS are beginning to gather data during their reorganisation, and Porter says that this will become more important year-on-year as budgets become more strained. He says he will do all be can to encourage CAPS to do that.
The chair tries to find out how many questions there are, and several hands try to rise higher than the others, we could be at this one for a long time.
Thomson: The GUSA budget is stretched pretty thin and there’s 50 clubs to cover. I think that with help and with healthy allocation of the budget, we could really push external funding. I would be really willing to go for lottery funding and to help clubs with this application process, as I have experience in the area.
Baker – (Long pause) For clubs that haven’t had their kit replaced for a long time, we will look to buy kits which will last a really long time. In terms of the average club, I think we should be given clubs a little bit more money who do really well at BUCS. But we need to do this on an individual basis.
Question from Caitlin Kelly: the grant that we receive from the university is not enough to cover all clubs. How do you plan to subsidise the funding that GUSA provides in order to help clubs achieve their potential?
Thomson – I have a really good understanding with claims forms and finance forms and what this involves for the clubs. As the Finance Convenor I would offer as much support as possible to the Club treasurers.
Question: What is your knowledge of GUSA with regards to the Finance side of things, and what would be your experience qualifying you to deal with this?
The crowd seem to react even stronger to Thomson, with some even waving a club shirt in support! Onto the questions, and thankfully we have some.
That’s the live recording back up and running again. Apologies once again for any difficulties experienced.
Some big promises such as encouraging clubs to use internet banking – an interesting idea, but how safe would it be for the students? The crowd are happy though.
Anticipation builds as the candidates will momentarily take to the stage.
Seats are starting to fill up here at Qudos, as the prospective presidents get ready for their debate.
A confident start from Michael, who “wants to bring GUSA into the 21st century” to the approval of the audience.
The Finance Convenor and as the two candidates step up, the crowd goes wild. Michael Baker goes first and he will be followed by Ruari Thomson.
A quick speech by Emma covering her hopes for a GUSA Ceilidh at the end of the year to raise funds for its chosen charity.
After escaping unscathed, following Claire Minto is Emma Stephen, running for Fundraising Convenor.
No questions from the floor for Claire , but one unfortunate ladt comes back in from a comfort break and breaks the unfortunate silence.
With no questions, we move on.
Claire Minto highlighting the point that nutrition awareness is key to success. It’s important to realise the needs of individuals, and to reach a lot of people by working closely with the Publicity team.
And that is it from the Publicity Convenors, who have certainly entertained. Up next, Health and Fitness Convenor, which is an uncontested position, with Claire Minto the only candidate. Anyways, she is up now and giving her opening remarks.
Erin Ross is running unopposed for School of Modern Languages and Cultures Representative. If elected, she intends to communicate more effectively with class representatives and students in general, and to improve the level of support for students who are going on their year abroad.
Cameron Hill is running unopposed for School of Life Sciences Representative. He intends to make sure that labs are inclusive environments for transgender students. He says that people are not told in advance that they have to reveal their gender identity for certain experiments within labs, which not everybody is comfortable with. Presumably he would have to work with the Gender Equality Officer and LGBTQ Equality Officer on this issue.
Ricchi – I would agree with using flyers. It’s much easier to distribute them and reach more people.
Sasso – It’s really simple. A flyer is small, so it’s handy, it can go anywhere, and one can explain what we are doing when we hand it to people.
Sasso demonstrates with someone in the front row – ‘Will you come?’ – and the crowd love it.
Question: If you could only use one form of physical publication, e.g. posters or wristbands to promote GUSA, what would you go for?
Sasso – If your club is quite small, I don’t think you need a publicity convenor. If you have enough people, the bigger your club is, the harder it is to control. I think that even the secretary of smaller clubs is capable of taking care of smaller clubs
Mihaela Dimitrova is running unopposed for Business School Representative. She says that she wants to incorporate a practical element into the Business School curriculum.
Ricchi – A smaller club cannot get bigger if it doesn’t have any publicity.
Question – Do you think it is important to encourage clubs to have a publicity convenor, and how would you encourage the clubs to get one who don’t?
Ricchi – As part of the Water Polo club, I know that we have a database of contact details for our alumni. I believe that most of the alumni will be on Facebook; I have a 70-year old neighbour who is, so I don’t think it’s unrealistic!
Alex Pancheva is running unopposed for School of Computing Science Representative.
She says that there should be a change to the third year curriculum to make the course more “balanced.” She says that she SR should have a higher profile within the School of Computing Sciences.
“If I work hard enough, and people work with me, we can achieve this very soon.”
She says that she will promote the role of the Computing Science Society on campus.
Sasso – I think most of us are a generation who use email, and I think we should create a database with all this info (who would run this database, I wonder?). We would have names, clubs and can push our news both through email and clubs.
Question: If the alumni convenor came to you looking for help on reaching older alumni who are not as well connected with social networking, what would you recommend?
A slightly more hesitant answer from Ricchi, however he would be keen to ensure that Instagram posts are embedded on the GUSA Facebook page in order to reach a larger audience
Glasgow Guardian apologises for the technical issues experienced with our live coverage. We are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Many thanks for your patience.
It’s safe to say, whoever is elected, we can expect plenty of flyers and posters from GUSA next year!
Sasso – Basically, as long as you know what GUSA is doing, you make your plan. I am a really structured person and can comfortaly sit down with a plan. In order to PR, you need to understand the best point about that event, or whatever.
QMU Presidential debate is about to begin. Candidates will soon take to the stage.
Question: You’ve both spoken in your manifestos about working closely with clubs, but the way the council structure has evolved, the club sport convenor will take charge of a lot of club sport publicity. How will you promote GUSA and its work as a whole?
Imran Hafeez is running unopposed for School of Engineering Representative. He says that he wants access to the Rankine Building to be limited to third, fourth and fifth year students after 5pm. He also says he wants the James Watt Building and the Rankine Building to be opened at weekends so that engineering students can work on their projects at weekends.
Is it true that heat rises? If so, we made a mistake sitting near the top row.
Sasso – First of all, I believe publicity this year has been great – Olivia is a really good writer. For me, as more of a photographer than a person, I will bring my promotion from this and design. I cannot tell the clubs what to write, they have to tell me. As a Civil Engineer, I frequently read reports and just know what to say.
Ricchi: I was a member of the library team at the GUU and wrote our pieces for the magazine frequently. I worked on the new layout and having been to all the meetings I know what is needed. I can write and I can provide help to other people. I want to bring my past experience to the role, but make it better.
Question – It’s quite clear you both have experience with software, but as the role has a lot to do with writing, what experience do you have for this role?
Ricchi: I’d be keen to introduce individual publicity specialists within each clubs to get things done quicker and more efficiently.
Sasso certainly has the self belief for the role – and some in the crowd certainly agree. Pretty sure those in the front row edged back a bit.
Sasso – (With real passion! ) If you have an event and I create a poster, I think the best thing about PR is to let everyone know what you are doing. I am naturally good with software and I can show the teams how to use them and spread the news. I will share my knowledge with the events team and they can help me out.
Question: you’ve mentioned a lot about increasing the use of social media, how would you use it to promote events?
School of Geographical and Earth Sciences Representative:
Sarah Bacom says that she wants to promote the StudentVoice feature on MyCampus. “We’re all in this together so we may as well bloom together.”
Hannah Kay says that there are opportunities to make change that could really benefit GES student. She says that exam feedback is a problem, especially for essay-based exams,
“Puppies aren’t just for Christmas, and manifestos aren’t just for elections.”
Passionate opening from both candidates – the crowd are loving it!
Romain Ricchi’s highlight from his opening remark is to introduce a scheme which will see all the clubs being trained on how to fully promote their clubs and to take pictures of their clubs. He wants to feature a monthly newsletter which will see the clubs summarise their results
Peter McCluskey, School of Education Representative:
He wishes to increase the dialogue between the school and the SRC, specifically with regards to placements and students being placed schools too far away, or in denominational schools.
Also says he would set up a Facebook page, drop in sessions, and personal contact to engage with constituents.
The hugely important Publicity Convenor up now.
And with the final question, Ghelani leaves to applause.
Ghelani: I think this was mainly down to a funding issue. I’m sure the bigger sports are still keen to encourage people into smaller leagues to get experience and improve their fitness.
Question – You mentioned the decline in the recreational league – why do you think this happened and what do you plan to do to stop that?
Peter McCluskey, who is running for the School of Education Representative, says he wants to ensure that the SRC is more visible in the St. Andrews Building because, otherwise, the problems with placement will never be solved. He is running unopposed.
Some stream back in from their toilet break, relief etched on their faces as the chair stops Sagar for questions.
Question: if you had been contested, what would your strategy have been?
Ghelani replies by saying that he would only want the best contestant to win, rather than winning himself – a popular answer with the audience.
After a round of applause for the Travel contestants, next up is Sagar Ghelani, uncontested for the role of Recreation convenor.
Orzeg-Wydra: I’m a good communicator and good with team-work. Laughter in the audience to a comment about coming from a family with 9 kids, and having lots of experience in the area as a result.
Question: what experience other than that with GUSA do you have which would be relevant for undertaking this job?
The next question involves international student drivers with them being asked if they will pay for the permits for international students to drive. Tom Gebbie steps in to explain why this is in place and that it is UK Law rather than GUSA. The questioner appears unhappy and fires back to ask if GUSA will pay for these – the chair forbids as it is beyond the travel convenor power and we move on. A contentious issue that has the room divided. Hats off to Tom for stepping in.
Lots of questions being fielded to the current President concerning financing travel arrangements.
Hawes replies by saying that with 49 clubs this is achievable. Orzeg-Wydra responds with a stronger answer: this is proportionate to how much individual clubs actually use them.
Question for Hawes: do you think it is realistic to say in your manifesto that clubs will only need to clean the buses once a year?
Read more about sexism in institutions on our campus: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2014/05/04/1-in-5-students-witness-sexism-in-lectures/
Former GUSA President Stuart Law asks if both can drive – he is met with a reaffirming ‘yes’ from both.
School of Social and Politicsl Sciences Rep:
James Richardson says he has been campaigning against the way that the University treats first year students in halls, via a private company, and accused the University of being “a bit of a bully” on this issue.
He also wants to encourage the University to replace Turnitin as quickly as possible.
He says that the University is trying to make as much money as possible at the expense of student welfare.
Hands raise to the ceiling as club captains eagerly seek to question the two candidates.
Hawes apears to avoid the question and we move on.
Orzeg-Wydra: I would be the first point of contact for clubs who are missing drivers etc. I will try to address this very quickly rather than leaving clubs with this burden.
How do you see yourself working with unions for gender equality?
Thais: Campus wide campaigns. “the issue here is a problem with society in general.” Thais also advocated teamwork with the unions and felt that working with welfare officers is a start, because they know the unions, what works and what doesn’t.
A contentious question about the handling of this year’s council brings the crowd to life, as those in the room heckle with one another – all in good spirit! Orzeg-Wydra and Hawes swat aside the question with ease.
BUCS a high area of demand for GUSA transport. Candidates in agreement over wanting to prevent the need for private members’ cars being used to transport teams to competition.
The room remains eerily quiet with Orzeg-Wydra’s booming voice filing through the rows of attentive supporters.
Both candidates with largely similar answers to questions fielded at them. Both keen to improve the administrative system and uphold what has been established in previous years.
Morag Deans says that institutions which reinforce sexism are a major part of the problem, and are preventing a serious discussion about sexism and misogyny on campus.
The questions move onto the smaller clubs and their need for transport – both candidates suggest that mini-buses may not be ideal for teams under five and that GUSA funding these teams using cars or renting smaller cars may be the solution.
The crowd remain quiet as the questions move onto audio cables in buses. Orzeg-Wydra speaks of his past experiences with cables being stolen and that he would be more interested in having working radios on all the mini-buses.
Both candidates wholly opposed to this fee, and will work towards reducing and avoiding this where possible.
Morag Deans, current Gender Equality Officer:
“I feel like I finally have some momentum and some confidence in my role.”
She also said she wants to incorporate “trigger warnings, making students feel comfortable, combating mental health stigma equality” and diversity training as part of the freshers application process.
Question: what are your views on clubs being charged £50 for buses when this has not previously been mentioned?
Orzeg-Wydra: my aims are to keep up-to-date logged information and to liaise with the security staff to keep everything running smoothly. I will ensure that all travel during Fresher’s week is organised, and will pursue the option of travel outwith campus to avoid hassle for club members
Michal Orzeg-Wydra up next.
Oliver Hawes from the Rifle and Gun committee.
On that final question, the chair thanks the two for their time and they leave to a big applause from the crowd. Travel Convenor up next!
Isabella – I’ve been involved with Starfish continuously and have been to every meeting; I know how this works and I know how to help out. I want to progress the Buddy system in every way I possibly can. I promoted the council cycle the full day when it was going on, and I think that publicity is the most important thing to focus on in achieving my aims for the next year
Rebecca – I think my experiences of welfare are both within and outwith student wealthfare and I think my experience of dealing with a variety of mental health issues and with events like starfish speak for themselves.
Morag Deans is running for re-election.
Question from Caitlin Kelly, Presidential candidate for next year: what is your experience specifically with student welfare on campus, and what you feel your biggest success is so far?
Rebecca – I think that although it is really great that all the clubs have been encouraged to have the one Equality Officer, I think it is a case of perhaps having one Officer for every year at the Uni.
Isabella: I think it’s important because it’s a way to take positive steps to counter any barriers that people might come across with regards to sport. There is already a member trained in every club, and now we need to focus on promoting that and making sure that people are aware of who to turn to
Question – You both mentioned equality and diversity training, but why do you think this is so important?
Isabella: I agree with Rebecca’s points about publicity; I will be on the back of this from the start to really push for what we have achieved this year and hope to build on that
Rebecca – I don’t know if non-smoking is the most important, but we should use the publicity convenor to publish the benefits of not smoking and this should be done by ourselves and across campus with all the unions involved.
Question from Tom Gebbie, current President: what projects would you promote to deter smoking across campus?
The questions sway back to the Buddy system and how it would be promoted and ends with Isabella promising to fight for free gym memberships for all who are involved in volunteering for this.
Three candidates for Gender Equality Officer.
Isabella: I would like to organise more activities such as the council cycle which we did this year. I would organise regular email reminders to keep everyone engaged with what SAMH are up to, and events such as fun football matches to maintain a high level of awareness and momentum
Rebecca: Having already worked with SAMH, I want to raise the profile of SAMH as it is an incredibily important cause and the need to get rid of mental health stigma is vital.
SRC Hustings about to begin
Question: the partnership with SAMH has been great so far – how would you plan to build on that this year?
Rebecca tags on the back of Isabella’s answer by saying she will improve the way it is run by approaching freshers who may not necessarily be into sport and getting them involved – and this will increase those who participate.
Heath: the buddy system is one of the best things I signed up to at university, and it was so fulfilling to see the impact it had on my buddy. The system is not at all one-sided, and is totally beneficial to both people involved.
Question for Isabella: How does she intend to promote the Buddy system?
Second Question for Rebecca: Do she not feel that the expansion of the starfish event will not compromise the privacy of those involved?
The question coming from Alison Eadie who captains the Women’s Water Polo Team.
Both candidates in agreement about funding a psychologist for the Starfish group. Boyle would also use funding for free gym membership, and increased use of “therapets” to combat stress.
Both candidates were recieved to huge cheers from the huge crowd.
First question: if you could only spend your budget on three things, what would they be?
Heath wants to help people stay active for their mental health and believes GUSA can help this.
Questions will be taken at the end of both candidates’ speeches, and can also be tweeted @GUSAPresident.
Isabella Heath up now, outlining her past experience on the GUSA buddy system. She then goes onto demonstrate her passion in the fight for mental health wellness.
Rebecca Boyle emphasising her keenness to maintain the current Starfish group and continue to work on improving mental health awareness both within GUSA and further afield on campus.
Isabella Heath and Rebecca Boyle are the first to take the floor for the position of Welfare Convenor.
A sudden hush descends over the crowd as we begin, with the chair of the Hustings going over tonight’s format. A nod to tonight’s Twitter #GUSAelection15. Please feel free to get in touch!
The melting pot of University of Glasgow sports clubs is on full display tonight, with every sport from sailing to tennis represented.
Tom Gebbie, the current GUSA President, welcomes a vibrant crowd into the room, a buzz of excitement filling the air. The room is packed with enthusiastic supporters of all the candidates.
The Hustings will begin in 20 minutes in room 201 of the John Mac building.
Live Blog 2: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2012/02/12/live-blog-2/
Live blog 1: https://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2012/02/12/test/
Look at this guy
Its about writing out the whole analysis not little chunks, little chunks are annoying anyway
This is quite slow I think but if you write full posts instead of little snippets it will work
Thank god were off the home page
This guy is pumped
Jim Bean rode a horse
Some foreign sports, for your entertainment.
Josh says hi