QMU Autumn 2016 By-Election: Live Blog


Hello everybody and welcome to our Hustings Live Blog! We are going to attempt to keep up with what all the candidates are saying and relay it all to you. That’s how live blogs work, really. You know the drill.

At the moment, tech team are messing about with lights to try and ensure they don’t blind the candidates and the Assistant Returning Officer, Andrew, is running around listening to Knife Party and having a big dirty EDM party all to himself. We do democracy a little different here at the QM.

Some important information: the vote is on Thursday and you can vote online with your GUID, which is exciting. You need to be a member of the QM in order to vote so if you’re not already a member then get yourself down here before the close of play tonight and join to be able to vote.

Andrew says we’re going to kick off at around 7:30pm with CSR A, for which the candidates are Rachel Campbell, Caitlin Hagerty, Fay Pennington, and Isaac Roy. There are three seats available.

19:25 – Little Mix have finished doing their thing and we are off! Andrew is talking us through the schedule of events and invites the CSR A candidates to the stage. Candidates will give a two minute speech about why they deserve your votes, then we will open up to questions from the floor for all candidates and questions for individual candidates. First up – Isaac.

IR – Isaac was a QMU Freshers’ Helper which helped him learn how to help people and got him thinking about what he could do on board. He wants to look at the University community and the wider Glasgow community by trying to help address Glasgow’s homelessness problem. He also wants to better exploit social media and diversify the social media platforms that the QM uses.

CH – Caitlin hosts FUQ (which you should all come to, by the way) with Rachel. She wants to send out a weekly email to QMU members so they get to know what the Union is doing and they do’t miss out, though obviously this would come with an opt-out. She wants to better advertise the Union’s facilities (such as the laundry room on the third floor). Thinks the QM should have a suggestion box so that you can bring about change without being on board.

RC – Has spent most of the last two years in Champs Bar (same, pal). She would like to have weekly film screenings where the film is chosen by facebook poll. Also monthly film and tv marathons. She would like to create a more sheltered outdoor area, and sell cheap ponchos and flip flops from reception so people get home safely and comfortably. Finally, Rachel thinks we should all play more ping pong. Yes we should, Rachel. Ping Pong’s ace.

FP – Fay was a QM Freshers’ Helper this year. She has recently joined the social committee but had no idea it existed last year. She thinks that is a common problem and people just don’t know what the QM has going on. She thinks the best way to inform people is via the QM website, so she would like to update it and make sure it always has the most up to date info on it.

19:34 – Questions for all candidates now! First up: sell the QM to me. Convince me to come.

FP – The QM sells itself once people are here.
RC – It’s not the GUU (The crowd laughs. qmunicate does too). The people are friendly, there’s a big variety of drinks and events for everyone. It’s a nice place to be.
CH – The QM sells itself and there will be something on for you whatever you want. No matter what it is, you can find it here. She repeats that everyone here is nice. Awwwwwwww.
IR – The level of involvement you can have here is great. You can do a lot here that you couldn’t do elsewhere. Being involved here helps you make friends and builds confidence.

19:39 – Q: What’s the worst thing about the QM (apart from the building. Ouch. qmunicate loves this big brutalist sweetie.)?

IR – It could do to be more inclusive. It can be a bit cliquey.
CH – What goes on in the QM isn’t publicised well enough.
RC – Two weaker aspects. The benefits of membership aren’t publicised well enough, and neither is the fact that membership is free. PR generally isn’t good enough.
FP – Not enough is done during the day, which excludes Home Students who will need to go home earlier. More day time events to cater for them.

19:42 – Q: Which Committees do you go to and what do you bring to them?

FP – She goes to social committee because she likes the quizzes. She writes rounds and stuff.
RC – Also social committee as a quiz host. Feedback on how the quiz goes and help work on the other events. Offer to help out with them, such as the Jazz Night.
CH – Also Social Committee. Also a quiz round. Writes quiz rounds, and sharing feedback with other quiz hosts so both can improve. Wants to help plan a gaming night too.
IR – Hasn’t been that involved in committees but has been to Publications and C&C a few times. Suggested having a donation jar for voting on stuff. Keeps losing coin tosses and rock paper scissors in Pubs meetings so is yet to be given a qmunicate article to write. Sorry Isaac pal.

19:46 – Q: Give us an example of something you’ve done outside that QM that would make you a good Board Member.

IR – Two communications based work experience placement. Equipped him with skills he thinks will help him help improve the QM’s social media presence.
CH – Been a Girl Guide for years, which has improved her organisational skills. Thinks it will also help her work well with a team.
RC – Internship with Diabetes Scotland. It helped her learn to speak to people who may have difficulty communicating, which has improved her communications skills more generally.
FP – Involved in the Harry Potter Society as Treasurer. Helps run events and talk to first year students and international students. She did a course in resolving arguments.

19:50 – Q: One thing you would do to improve the QM’s PR.

FP – Improve the website. All the information in one place.
RC – Use facebook more. Publicise a timetable. Distribute qmunicate more widely around campus.
CH – Weekly emails to members with what’s going on. Put an electronic version of qmunicate online so it reaches more people.
IR – Push facebook more. Be smarter about how we use it.

19:53 – There are no questions for individual candidates, so the CSR A candidates are done and we’re cracking on with CSR B, for which there are two seats available. The four candidates are Chris Ashforth (who is represented by Megan Davis), Una Marie Darragh, Chloe Tobin-Kemer (represented by Rose Jackson), and David McGinley.

UD – Been involved in SRC last few years but was a QM helper this year and had a lot of fun. She believes her experience at the SRC will be helpful in board meetings. She would like to bring in microwaves and kettles for students to use as this will bring people in and then they can learn about what else is going on at the QM. A taster session in Scran for Clubs and Socs because Scran food is beaut. She wants to work with Elephant in the Room (the QM’s Mental Health campaign) and work more with the other student bodies.

CA (actually MD) – Chris is a member of the social committee and hosts Big Wednesday Night Pub Quiz. Has been a freshers’ helper. He is not a serious man, but he is passionate. His greatest passions are sports and food so that’s what his manifesto is all about. He would like to be social lieutenant. Chris wants to promote what sports we show more and show more sport, by getting a blackboard outside with what sport we show. Get a dartboard. Look at Scran meal deals. More cohesive PR strategy within the QM committees.

CTK (actually RJ) – Three main points – mental health, activism, and Scran. Chloe secured funding during her time on board previously to improve the TV room as a reflective space. Start an activist committee which would involve activist clubs and socs who will meet to discuss what to do when there is an issue they are passionate. Loves Scran but feels it is underused and could be better publicised, perhaps used as a music venue.

DM – Has been involved in Publications Committee since January and Social Committee as a Big Wednesday host, and finally as a freshers’ helper. David is a home student so his manifesto is about making things better for home students. Events start and end too late sometimes. During Freshers’ events which run from 10-3am it costs home students too much to get here and back. Have events earlier in the day. Need a better way of targeting PR at home students, such as by putting up more posters in uni buildings.

20:04 Q: Which committees do you go to and what do you bring to them (other than being a quiz host. ooooh)?

DM – Goes to publications and enjoys discussing issues with the people there and makes pals. Social Committee, he writes quiz rounds and suggests improvements to events. Threw a pen at somebody once.
CTK (actually RJ) – Rose is not Chloe and does not keep track of what she does really. That seems fair to us.
CA (actually MD) – Writes a lot of quiz rounds and contributes well to discussions in Social Committee. Goes to Campaigns and Charities as well and suggests ideas for events, such as charity football matches.
UD – Goes to C&C, does a lot of condom shifts. Brings witty banter, such as naming SHAGMAS which will be part of SHAG week. Goes to Events. Wants more chalk. Made jelly shots. Working on a quiz in association with Social Committee and GULGBTQ+. Probably not getting a degree.

20:08 Q: Which of the other candidates would you vote for and why?

UD: David because he’s here, but also Chris because they were on a helper team together and she saw how enthusiastic he was.
CA (actually MD): Torn between Una Marie and David. Una Marie has ideas, while David has banter. Two seats though so he can vote for both.
CTK (actually RJ): Rose is still not Chloe and doesn’t know how she would vote.
DM: Chloe’s points on mental health are good and it’s good to fight for something important like that.

20:11 Q: What was your first impression of the QM?

DM: Came for Freshers’ Ball in his Freshers’ Week. Hated the tables in Jim’s. The thing he likes most about the QM he didn’t pick up on until he staarted going to committees, but the people are very friendly.
CTK (actually RJ): Rose still very much not Chloe, but can confirm she loves the QM.
CA (actually MD): Favourite thing is Scran, least favourite thing is there not being sports on.
UD: Likes it when the place is busy with people having a good times, dislikes when it isn’t.

20:14 Q: Disney Princess or WWE Superstar, and which one?

UD: Wrestler. People would think she can’t wrestle, but she would be able to and she’d be strong if she should ever need to dropkick someone.
CA (actually MD): (the crowd answers for Megan. Chris would be Stone Cold Steve Austin.)
CTK (actually RJ): Disney Princess, not sure which.
DM: Doesn’t know much about Disney or wrestling but would be a wrestler because the bad guys look like they’d be fun to be.

20:16 Q: What superpower would you like to gain to use to improve the QM?

DM: Being like Quicksilver, running fast and listening to cool music. Could put up posters very quickly.
CTK (actually RJ): Unlimited energy to help the QM as much as possible.
CA (actually MD): Batman. He has loads of money.
UD: Mind control. Brainwash people into being in Scran.

20:18 Questions for individual candidates. Q for David: You’ve run for board before. What has changed since the last time?

DM: Got involved more as a helper and social committee member.

20:20 Also for David. Attendance dropped when we moved events earlier in the past. Have you thought about that?

DM: You can move things earlier without starting them really early. Doesn’t have to be a big change. For example, half an hour or an hour earlier is a good start.

20:21 Q for Una Marie. Finish your manifesto chat.

UD: Go out and speak to people about what they actually like and dislike about the QM. Get a bouncy castle.

20:22 Q for Una Marie – Will microwaves etc. not negatively impact on trade?

UD: There will always be people who bring their own food down. This will bring them in whereas before they might not come in. Then when they are here they may buy a coffee or come back later and buy something else.

20:23 Q for David. Any ideas for evets you can do early?

DM: The Open Mic starts very late at 9pm. It can be brought back to 8pm at least. No specific ideas for events but maybe something like a gaming tournament that can start at 5pm or something.

20:25 Q for Chloe/Rose. What can she do on board this time that she didn’t manage to do before?

CTK (actually RJ): She managed to get some funding to improve the TV room. She has done other stuff since. Rose reminds us all she is not Chloe and that she only knows so much. Still a very fair point.

20:26 Q for Chris/Megan. This is Chris’ third consecutive election. What up with that?

CA (actually MD): He doesn’t give up and doesn’t mind looking a bit silly. He’s making some fun PR in the process so that’s good too.

That concludes the CSR B section of the hustings. We’re all away for a short break. This particular blogger is pleased not to have missed anything major yet, but hot damn are his arms sore. For those of you who are interested, this blog now sits at 2354 words. Deary me. See you in a bit troops!

Aaaaaaaand we’re back! We missed you. Next up is the First Year CSR A category for which there are three candidates. They are Nikola Anic, Daniel Donoher, and Annie Roland. There are two seats to be had.

20:45 First to tell us about their manifesto is Daniel. He is madly in love with the QM (which is awkward, because we are too… fight us, Daniel). He wants to work on offering some mental health support and promoting the third floor better as he feels it is underused. He thinks a nap room would be good and has read about it being very successful at Manchester Uni.

20:48 Next up is Nikola. Nikola enjoys the diversity of the Union’s offerings but thinks we can do better by getting more people to come here. He was fortunate enough to meet cool people who know about the QM but not everybody is that lucky. He would like to arrange more tours of the building, and work on mental health provisions. He has already been involved in Elephant in the Room and would continue that.

20:50 Finally Annie. She is from Finland and was really excited about the events on at the QM during Freshers’ Week. She would like to make board games readily available in all the bars, and have a proper board games night. She wants to support and promote Campaigns and Charities more. She would like to improve the vegan and vegetarian options in the QM’s catering outlets.

20:52 Questions for all candidates. First Q: Is there anything you are surprised that the Union does or doesn’t do? What do your first year peers think about the QM?

AR: Not many of them know about the events going on at the QM. The GUU has a weekly clubnight whereas the QM doesn’t which means people don’t hear about it as much.
NA: The QM can offer more diverse events than the GUU, in that it can have different atmospheres in different rooms. The QM can promote that better though.
DD: The QM should welcome people whether they are spending money or not, because they may not have the money to spend. It should be more of a social space.

20:56 Q: What would you like to have done in your first month on board?

DD: Some sort of counselling sessions, perhaps something to do with info on e-cigarette usage too.
NA: Work with Elephant in the Room. They are under-resourced and would like to help fix that, as well as organise some more events.
AR: Get board games in bars and cafés.

20:58 Q: What do you want to look back on and say you did after your term finishes?

AR: She’s conscious of repeating herself but she wants to see a board games night exist and be successful. She would also like to help decorate the place a bit.
NA: Support Elephant in the Room and see it do well.
DD: More counselling support and help and advice on things like e-cigarette usage.

21:02 Q: Which other candidate would you vote for and why?

DD: Annie. He thinks they have a similar outlook on things on stuff like a broader range of food choices and being understanding of that.
NA: Annie. He thinks she is a great person and they have worked together on Elephant in the Room.
AR: Nikola. She knows him and knows how dedicated he would be in the role.

21:05 Q: How would you make the QM more welcoming to international and home students?

AR: Some Freshers’ Week events targeted at international students, and some more like that throughout the year.
NA: Better use of Freshers’ Week. Speed Mating specifically for international students. Freshers’ Week could be better explained to international students who may not know what it is.
DD: Integrating is difficult as a home student.

21:08 Q: Anything you’ve done in the past that has given you skills/experience you can use on board?

DD: On prom committee at school, so some events organising experience. Worked in an e-cigarette shop so is aware of some of those issues. Variety of experience is key though.
NA: Would like to be more involved in Elephant in the Room because he likes helping people and listening to them.
AR: Helped support new students coming to her school, and worked in youth camps and working on planning events at that. Also good for experience in teamwork.

21:11 Q: Which committees do you go to and what do you bring to them?

AR: Elephant in the Room. Helping with the #MyElephant campaign. Planning to get involved more in Campaigns and Charities Committee.
NA: Also Elephant in the Room. Not much experience yet as he has only been here a short time but he is excited to do more.
DD: Not been to any committees yet, but he is hoping to. He wants to get involved in as many as possible.

21:14 Q: What is your favourite biscuit and why?

DD: Stuck between two. He likes fruit shortcakes and rich teas, but will go for the fruit shortcake. It makes him feel healthy even though it isn’t.
NA: Nikola admits he doesn’t know much about British biscuits, which is fair, but was disappointed by shortbread at first but is coming round to it.
AR: Chocolate chip Hob Nobs. Hob Nob is a lot of fun to say and chocolate chip cookies are ace.

21:17 Q: Who are your idols and what have you learned from them?

AR: Ellen Page. She is a very brave woman and using her platform well to promote a good cause.
NA: Stephen Hawking. The work he does i spite of his disease is incredible.
DD: There are people he aspires to be like but is quite content to be himself, rather than have an idol as such. (I was engrossed by a very deep and thought provoking answer, so haven’t written it down. Sorry folks).

21:20 Q: What is your harshest criticism of the Union so far in your experience of it?

DD: It’s difficult to socialise here if you’re by yourself. You can’t just walk up to somebody and ask if they want a game of pool. He thinks it would be great if people were a bit more open and more comfortable doing that kind of thing.
NA: Everybody keeps saying they want to improve PR (he admits including himself), but if that’s the case then surely nobody is actually improving PR. They say it in a manifesto and don’t follow through. Nikola promises he will actually do it.
AR: Disappointed in the lack of vegan options. The Activist Mixer wasn’t very well run, so she would like to make that better. The events should always be top quality.

21:24 Q: What is your favourite board game?

AR: Cards Against Humanity
NA: Pictionary, or Drinking Monopoly
DD: Werewolf or Cards Against Humanity

21:25 Q: What is your spirit animal and why?

DD: A wolf. You can be a lone wolf or a pack wolf. They are vicious but caring and nurturing and look after their pack.
NA: A dog (a domesticated wolf, he says). Dogs’ lives are amazing and they make people feel better.
AR: Actual Bambi from the film. Clumsy and dorky, but has great potential and eventually grows big ass antlers.

21:27 Questions for individual candidates. Question for Daniel – Nap room: Expand.

DD: Somewhere on the third floor. Basing it off the Manchester model. Probably book a space by email or something.

21:29 Question for Daniel – All the ideas you’ve had tonight are great but none are in your manifesto. Why?

DD: He wanted to give an idea of himself and a general impression of what he wanted to be like as a board member. Would like to see ideas and desire for change to come from members. He says the board aren’t the ones to decide everything, so that’s why.

That ends the First year CSR A section of hustings. Last but not least is Former Student Member (FSM) for which there is one candidate, Scott Wilson, who is represented by Nour El-Issa.

21:31 Nour reads a passage in first person and asks the crowd to suspend their disbelief and imagine he is Scott. Scott wants to explore the FSM role more as it is a little too inward looking. He would like to scrutinise decisions made by the board more. He wants life members to feel welcome here. QM’s great, clubs and socs are good, and Nour has run out of time. He refuses a request from the crowd to tell a joke.

21:33 Question for Scott. What do you want to do on board as FSM?

SW (actually NEI): The role is undefined so not sure.

21:34 Another request for a joke.

SW (actually NEI): “Did you hear Subway are taking on new staff? I’m told they have a few roles (rolls, lol) to fill.” (Nour urges people not to vote for Scott because the joke sucks).

Hustings is over! Everybody gets a big round of applause and we stick on some Beyoncé. Life is good, and all is well in the world. Thank you for joining us and please make sure you vote on Thursday! If you want to go look the candidate manifestos they can be found at bit.ly/qmuautumn16

qmunicate out xo

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