Controversy over the one-night revival of Cheesy Pop

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cheesy pop

Nathan Stilwell
News Editor

A one-off Cheesy Pop night has been organised by the Queen Margaret Union (QMU) for Friday 29 January, but concerns have been raised about the role played by QMU board members in the decision to revive the long-running club night.

While Cheesy Pop was a well attended successful club night, its revival has been divisive among the student community and the QMU’s own board of management. Following the request of an affiliated student society for a ‘cheesy music’ night, the commercial department and events manager, who are employed over the winter vacation, organised a “one-off revival” of ‘Cheesy Pop’. The decision, however, was made without consultation with the QMU Events Committee, which is open to all QMU members, as well as the elected board of management.

Cheesy Pop was the QMU’s regular club night that ran for 20 years until 2012, before being rebranded as Snap, Crackle and Pop in 2013, and Magic in 2014. Magic no longer runs as a regular club night, but the brand will continue to be used to run special events throughout the year.

The Glasgow Guardian asked Jimmy Donaghy, a current board member of the QMU, if the current board of management discussed the Cheesy Pop night that will run on the 29th of January.

Donaghy replied: “I don’t much remember talking about it at any board meetings last semester, and we’ve yet to have a meeting this semester. Our commercial events department still works over the winter break when the students aren’t on campus so they were the ones responsible for putting this on”.

The Glasgow Guardian also asked Donaghy if he thought it was appropriate that neither the events committee nor the board of management had a say in a major event run by the QMU. He responded: “In this case the event was originally planned as a hiring of QUDOS by one of our affiliated student societies, who requested a ‘cheesy music’ night, which went through our commercial department as normal. Our events manager then decided that the night could be made into  a one-off Cheesy Pop revival night. I do think that when the QMU is putting student nights rather than private hires or gigs they should be going through the events committee. It’s ambiguities in our hierarchal structure that’s led us to this point, but I don’t really think it’s that big of an issue”.

Max Sefton, president of the QMU, told The Glasgow Guardian: “Cheesy Pop has always been a divisive topic within the Union and as such both events committee and the board were given opportunities to contribute to the discussion. No one, me included, is ever going to be happy with every decision but ultimately we are here to try to respond to what members are asking for. Over the past few months this has included everything from more vegetarian and vegan options to the return of £2 Tennents (with QMU membership cards).

“I would always like to see the board given a greater say in how the QMU is run and have been seeking to work towards that over the past few months. For example; board members are currently being asked to give feedback on the events and publicity plan for the next year.

“We try to avoid discussing important matters over the holiday period, however as a last resort we have our board Facebook page as a way to facilitate discussion. In this case however the board of management discussion took place well before the holidays (7th December)”.

Cheesy Pop remains divisive topic in the student community. Joe Mullally, a fourth year Medical Student, told The Glasgow Guardian: “Cheesy was fun because of the atmosphere. It was a bunch of nice people, getting ridiculously drunk to crap 90’s music but that’s what made it fun. Nowhere else on campus could you find such a mix of people with one shared aim: to just have fun. Having it as a one time revival is a good thing to show newer students a club night that was so good that it ran every term Friday for a longer time than most freshers have been alive. Success like that doesn’t happen without it being good”.

Oliver Allen, a third year Maths student, thinks a ‘Cheesy Pop’ revival is a step in the wrong direction. He said: “I understand having a revival five, or even ten, years down the line, but Cheesy has only been dead three years and the majority of students don’t even remember what it was. The QMU doesn’t need cringey event attended by ex-students in their 30s and 40s. The QMU already has a pretty uncool reputation and, while this event might be well attended, keeping these types of events and their terrible DJ, doesn’t seem like a good long-term strategy.”