Interview and analysis: Peter Dobbins – QMU Presidential Candidate

Andrew McIntyre and Kate Snowdon

Dobbins’ campaign hinges completely upon his sole idea to convert one of the third floor committee rooms into a fully functioning recording studio for students to use freely and to further Dobbins’ own society/record label, Uog Records. Leaving aside the expense, time and labour required to first establish a recording studio in presumably under a year, Dobbins has not provided a clear cut plan for the day-to-day running and maintaining of such a studio, in spite of his experience in the music industry, alongside his presidential duties.`

Beyond the plethora of technical and financial problems that may arise, this plan would only appeal to a minority of the union’s membership, disregarding those uninterested in pursuing a career in music and who might prefer to see time and effort spent on other more easily attainable and beneficial projects. Should this plan come to fruition and fail, Dobbins has admitted that he has not considered a backup plan. Ultimately, this idea is unlikely to be the resounding success that Dobbins envisions it to be, nor will it be the lifeline that the union desperately needs right now.

The other projects that Dobbins puts forward in his manifesto are similarly unrealistic and ignore the QMU’s current situation. Dobbins proposes “four nights a week of live music and dance DJs” every weekend, despite the fact that the union’s weekly club night (Cheesy Pop/Snap, Crackle & Pop/Magic) frequently struggled to maintain numbers in recent years and was subsequently stopped in 2016. Dobbins also proposes to create a beer garden behind the union, however the same project was proposed three years ago with no further development since. These ideas are simply not attainable with the time and resources available to a union President and while his competitors have mentioned strategies for improving union finances and student engagement, Dobbins seems completely unconcerned with, or unaware of, these issues, beyond how they relate, tangentially, to his recording studio.

However, the recent discovery of numerous offensive comments made by Dobbins on his personal twitter account has rendered his manifesto points almost entirely moot. When asked by The Glasgow Guardian if he believed his tweets were insensitive towards women and minorities who face genuine and systemic discrimination, Dobbins continued to defend his comments claiming that he himself had “suffered sexism and racism; 1950s style”.

The QMU has always openly supported and welcomed the diversity of all people through its multitude of campaigns and events, repeatedly speaking out against blatant and offensive ignorance. Above the hollow promises, the unrealistic ideas, and the complete ignorance of relevant union issues, Dobbins fails to identify with anything that the QMU, and indeed this university, stands for. He does not understand the needs of the QMU’s members, in no way embodies their values, and is unfit to represent them as President.


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