Glasgow University Union
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Finlay McWalter

GUU Hustings Coverage 2021

By Chloe Waterhouse and Matilda Handley

GUU Elections are on Thursday 4th March from 9am to 7pm. Here’s what went down at their hustings. 

The Glasgow University Union Elections are today. They ran their hustings on Facebook Live, with candidates summarising their manifestos and answering questions last night. There is only one contested election, which is the libraries convenor race. 

Executive positions:


Amy Briggs

Amy has been involved in the Union for years, becoming a Freshers’ helper in her second year, then holding the position of PSM for the last two years. Amy stated that she found community and friendship within the union and wants to get the Union back open to make sure that the new students can get the same experience. This includes students getting to know more about the union and the committees in the Union. One of Amy’s main objectives is to put together a thorough and detailed sustainability plan and to promote sustainability in students. Additionally, Amy wants to implement the diversity report from this year and continue training in board members, to ensure that new members are up to date with all the necessary training. As there has been limited union interactions with first and second years due to the pandemic, Amy wants to make sure that they get involved and sell the Union through publicity. When asked about how to deal with feeling unmotivated Amy said that knowing that students are being benefited that the effort feels justified. Amy’s ideal acts for Freshers’ Week and/or Daft Friday would be Pitbull or Lizzo, whilst her favourite Pint of Fun is Ice – if she made a new Pint of Fun it would be Ice with tequila and a splash of lime.

Honourary Secretary

Emilio Seifert

Emilio is a third year Economics and Geography student who has spent the last year on the GUU board as PSM. He aims to work with the PR committee to spread a greater awareness of what the Union does and the opportunities it has to offer students, utilising social media and PR channels to especially reach first year students. Additionally, Emilio places emphasis on discipline, for in his eyes the Union does not currently have a comprehensive enough discipline strategy to deal with big issues that may arise. Emilio also wants to work with current PSMs and conveners to achieve their manifesto points and wants to utilise his experiences within events organisation to create the best Freshers’ Week possible. Rihanna would be Emilio’s ideal Daft Friday act and he proposes a *probably* illegal Long Island Iced Tea Pint of Fun to be added to the Union’s drinks list.

Assistant Honourary Secretary: 

Vilhelm Carlsson

Vilhelm is a third year Law student who also plays rugby with the University. He has been involved with the Union since second year when he was involved in Freshers’ Week and then joined the Daft Friday Committee. Utilising a Joe Biden quote, Vilhelm wishes to build the Union back better, he wants to focus largely on catering, which will be beneficial for students as the Union slowly makes the transition back to in-person events. Vilhelm proposes to advertise committee roles in a more descriptive manner so that students have a greater understanding of what such roles entail, whilst raising awareness of everything the Union does for the student population. On a saturday, his favourite Pint of Fun is Reef, on a rainy day he opts for Black Cherry – if he made a new pint of fun it would be Coca Cola flavoured.

Convener positions:

Debates Convener 

Joseph Hutchison

Joseph is a third year Politics student who has been a debater at the Union since first year, and on Debate’s Committee for a year. He hopes to ensure a smooth transition from virtual to in-person events when Covid restrictions are gradually lifted and wants to ensure the debating team are part of a bigger community. Joseph’s aims are simple: to keep the success going. His favourite GUU committee is (of course) the Debating committee, but if he could join another committee he cites Games for their banging quizzes. He would perform Dancing Queen by ABBA on the Beer Bar tables and his favourite Pint of Fun is Tropical, contesting a rum Pint of Fun to be a possible new introductory drink for next years Union menu.  

Games Convener

Sara Matthews

Sara wants to get the ball rolling and get people interviewed and onto the committee as one of her first actions. Sara wants to continue the work of previous Games Committees with pub quizzes and preparation for the Month of Games. Additionally Sara wants to introduce new events, for example Month of Games, as well as gaining more awareness for the Union in general. When asked, Sara thinks Games Committee is the best Union committee as they produce good times and carried Freshers’ Week on their back this year, but if she had to be on another committee it would be Entertainment as it’s the closest to Games. Sara would play Mr Brightside by the Killers in Beer Bar and her favourite Pint of Fun is Reef, and to improve it she would replace the lemonade with more vodka.

Libraries Convener

Fuad Kehinde

school’s officer for Debates Committee Ananya Venkatesan proposed Fuad Kehinde for Libraries Convener, having worked with him previously on debating within the GUU and societies outside the union, as his work ethic is unparalleled, and he has already settled some amazing events on campus such as the Women in Science panel, whilst increasing engagement massively with G-You magazine. Fuad plans to reawaken Groundings, an academic journal published by the GUU. If appointed libraries convener, Fuad would restructure Groundings in a way that’s easy for future conveners to continue ensuring the journal’s success, and wishes to make it a yearly publication. Fuad is unsure about the cost of producing 300 issues of Groundings, however approximates in the past costs have been upwards in the region of £800 back when the Dialectic Society produced it. 

When asked how he will make people pick up magazines published by the GUU, Fuad wishes to up student engagement through creating fun Freshers’ Week events, enhancing their social media strategy and putting posters up around the Union. If made libraries convener, Fuad plans to collaborate with more cultural and activist groups on campus such as the Nordic Society and African-Caribbean Society to elevate their voices and make the GUU a more diverse and inclusive place. Fuad’s favourite thing about the GUU is their parliamentary debates, and his favourite Pint of Fun is Dark Cherry – though he proposes a wider variety of VK flavours to be had within the Union as the current selection is not up to scratch.

Olivia Swarthout 

Catherine Bouchard, this year’s co-editor in Chief of G-You, proposed Olivia. Olivia has been graphic design editor this year, and worked on a union collaboration issue with QMU. Olivia acknowledges that Groundings is a huge time commitment and will work with the Dialectic Society who would also put forward a Groudings convener to help. Olivia states that the paper has moved to eco-friendly paper so cost around £185-£300 per issue. As Freshers’ Week is critical, Olivia seeks to make plans in case it happens online – critically looking at events to see if they can happen and finding ways that are quick and easy making them engaging. When discussing crossicampus relations Olivia cites her time on the Dialectic Society, who can be involved with Libraries through increased speech and discussion based events. Olivia also wants to work more with Qmunicate and support activist groups on campus. Previously, Olivia had been involved with a collaboration with the Art Appreciation Society through Libraries’ events and writing on their blog, which Olivia would want to see continued. One of Olivia’s main focuses is outreach wanting to evaluate its structure to see what works best to improve this. Through the Union, Olivia wants to improve and cultivate a feeling of community whilst increasing accessibility and inclusivity through publicity. Olivia’s favourite thing about the Union is the people, and her favourite Pint of Fun is Tropical – thinking about other flavours Olivia remember the candy cane flavour so suggested other seasonal options.

Entertainments Convener

Lewis Moore

Lewis has been on the Entertainments Committee and has organised Open Mic Nights which he hopes to coordinate as an online event too. Lewis seeks to showcase student talent and looks forward to organising the acts for Daft Friday and Freshers’ Week if in person. Lewis’s favourite committee is Entertainment, with Daft Friday as his second, though he would join debates if he had to join another committee so he could travel the world for competitions. To get people on their feet in Beer Bar, Lewis would play Love Song by Taylor Swift, with his favourite Pint of Fun being Hooch and Gin, and if he had to introduce a new flavour it would have to be blackcurrent and lime.

Present Student Member positions:

Present Student Members (2 years)

Yasmin Baker-Marshall 

Yasmin is a second year Classics student who applied for the role of PSM as she wishes to get involved with the University’s social life, having not had the chance to do this in first year. As PSM, Yasmin aims to represent the voice of others who are unfamiliar with the Union because of Covid restrictions, increase publicity of membership with incentives like food and drink offers, improve student/staff relations and relations with bouncers and students to enable comfortable and welcoming social spaces. Her song of the year is Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, and she would love to introduce a mango flavour to the Pint of Fun lineup. Yasmin cites the smoking area of the Union as her favourite place due to its social aspects.

Sam Bracken

Sam is a second year history student, and has previously been involved as a Freshers’ Helper in the union. Sam wants to focus on creating closer ties to societies and to promote socials including joint socials in the Union. He also wants to improve advertising to freshers and second years who have missed out this year. Sam’s song to summarise the year was Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis, and believes that the GUU is better than the QMU because of Beer Bar, Daft Friday, and Freshers’ Week. His favourite Pints of Fun are Ice and Reef, and would want to try Fanta lemon as a new flavour.

Alex Hull

Although Alex is in first year of Sociology, he has been at Glasgow University for the last three years. During this period, he has spent a lot of time in the Union, being a Freshers’ helper this year. He looks forward to making the Union a safe and accessible space on campus. Alex’s main goal is to retain and improve the Union’s presence on social media, continuing the advertisement of duty board members on Hive nights, and increasing the Union’s presence on Instagram with more polls. Alex believes Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal and Scream sung by Zak Efron in High School Musical summaries the past year, and thinks the GUU is better than the QMU because of the Union Kitchen and the lack of Iyaz, who notably sang the song Replay at least 3 times in a 30 minute set during the last in-person Freshers’ Week in GUU. His favourite Pint of Fun is Tropical, though he has had a Dark Cherry phase and recently discovered Ice with Gin, whilst Alex’s favourite room is Billiards. 

Eleanor Kirk

Eleanor is a second year History student and cites the Union as being a huge part of her university experience so far, leading her to apply for PSM. Her aims as PSM are to expand social media outreach onto different and newer platforms, reach out to first years who have missed out on union events, and promote safety around the Union, whilst helping calm any anxieties people might have when struggling to adapt to a post-Covid scene. Eleanor makes Ironic by Alanis Morrissette her song of the year, and puts Daft Friday, Beer Bar, and the aesthetic qualities of the GUU as what makes the superior union to the QMU. Her favourite Pint of Fun is Reef, and suggests a sugar-free Pint of Fun as a new edition to the Union’s selection, to help alleviate those raging sugar-induced hangovers after one too many VKs. Controversially, her favourite room in the Union is the HIVE mainroom.

Lauren Lilly

Lauren is a second year Politics and Theology student, and has been involved in the Union as a debater, being competitions’ convener on the committee this year. As part of her debates involvement Lauren has seen that online involvement has suffered, hoping to improve this whilst on board. Lauren’s focus will be on improving knowledge around safety procedures. To summrise the year Lauren cites Don’t Watch Me Cry by Jorja Smith and states that she has been listening to a lot of Murder on the Dance Floor by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Lauren thinks the GUU is better than QMU due to debating and parliamentary debates, and the running of events like TikTok Hive. Lauren’s favourite Pint of Fun is Orange and Passionfruit with Hooch as her choice for a new pint. As a debater, her favourite room is the Debates Chamber.

Present Student Members (1 year)

Duncan Armstrong-Martin 

Duncan has been on board as PSM for the past year and looks forward to helping ensure a smoother re-opening of the Union. He jokingly notes The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel as his song of the year. He states that pints of fun, Freshers’ Week and HIVE are what makes the GUU better than the QMU and cites the Tropical Pint of Fun to be his favourite. Most of his time has been previously spent in Beer Bar however The Well is his favourite room within the Union when it is bouncing on a saturday night.

You can find more about the elections on their Facebook page and the following link:


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