QMU Autumn By-election 2018: Hustings Liveblog

Hello and welcome to tonight’s hustings liveblog! We’ll be bringing you all updates from tonight – hustings will start tonight at 7pm in Committee Room 1, but if you can’t make it you can catch all updates here!

That’s it! Charles [VP Board] reminds us all that voting takes place on Thursday 1st November online between 9am and 5pm. Thanks for joining us, and remember to vote on Thursday!

20:29 Closing statement

MC: Not much more to add – have done job for a year now, want to push for position to be consolidated and to boost training and to help the union into its best position possible.

20:28 Questions for Tech Convenor candidate!

Q: Role has changed in last year – what’s the most critical part of the [new] role?

MC: Not sure if most critical part but mainly effect on entire events department. Rely a lot on tech team for QM and society events, seems to have become more reliant over the years [therefore reliant on position]. Supporting events staff and committee.

Q: What do you mean by targeted training?

MC: There’s a few options – if someone wants to learn about X thing, I will do 1-to-1 training – would also like to organise training days open to all. Fill gaps in people’s knowledge if they want to learn more as can be daunting otherwise.

Q: Is it tech team’s responsibility to give training for non-QM equipment? Should convenor facilitate or run that training?

MC: Only so much convenor can do – if tech is not in building it has limits, I’d look for a solution but if not possible then apologise.

Q: Do you deal with a specific area of tech?

MC: All tech in building – sound, light, projection. We also run events like QMU Live and film screenings.

Q: As a board member, tech training seems quite overwhelming – what solution can you offer for this?

MC: Tech team can’t be here all the time but duty board should be able to manage certain events. They can come to me and I’ll always help but if I can but I need communication about what problems exist.

Q: Could we make a guide for board?

MC: There is a tech guide that exists, I can try and get more copies out.

Q: Do what extent does your mandate influence social/events committee? What influence do you have over those?

MC: I personally have been keeping in touch with staff and convenors – people generally will listen to issues we find, I don’t think we have much influence but generally we just need to improve communication.

Q: Want to work on boosting attendance to committee – how?

MC: I know we’re working on PR with promotion of committees with about what tech team [and other committees] do.

Q: Is the item of clothing worn in the house called a house coat or a dressing gown?

MC: It’s a dressing gown.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about the union and why?

MC: Opportunities it opens up – the five committees allow union to be truly student run, gives so many opportunities to get involved. Will always need work but level of opportunity for all students.

Q: Delegation in tech team – previous tech leaders have found it difficult, how will you do this?

MC: More training to have more senior members, will promote as best as possible but if not a lot of people want to, there’s not much that can realistically be done.

Q: How would you train team members with a greater tech knowledge than you, would you let others train tech team?

MC: However I can – one general training takes place each semester, can be difficult to get people in team. It depends on who would do external training – Angus [Events Coordinator] and Nicole [Senior Events Assistant] could lead that too.

Q: If you were a biscuit, what biscuit would you be and why?

MC: Digestive – plain and simple, gets the job done.

Q: What’s your favourite non-history Shakespeare and why?

MC: Twelfth Night – beautifully overcomplicated for no apparent reason.

Q: Do you think health and safety training is sufficient for tech team? How would you change it? If you think it’s sufficient, do you think some tasks are appropriate?

MC: Recent years not as sufficient. I avoid using people at height as much as possible. Needs to be looked across the union.

Q: Favourite dinosaur, why?

MC: I know nothing about dinosaurs!

Q: What have you learned in your years with QMU tech team, what’s your vision for its future?

MC: I started with no tech knowledge whatsoever – learned a lot about events management, tech, how the QMU works. In this year want to consolidate position and ensure it’s not creating more problems.

Q: If you had a million pounds, what tech items would you buy?

MC: New lights for Qudos as number 1, new DI boxes…

20:05 FSM candidate can’t be here so last position – Tech Convenor! Opening statement.

MC: 3rd year English Language. Has been ad hoc convenor for a while with Sophie, over a year’s experience leading team and was previously involved as a normal team member. Lots of experience with building, what’s going on, will work with whatever comes up as it comes up!

20:03 Closing statements

KPS: Got involved early last year and wants to encourage more people to do the same. Vote for me, or vote for anyone else really. Democracy isn’t dead!

JS: Helping QM and helping current Board – can’t make union better by myself but QM to me is about helping out.

[JH not allowed to mention words munchie box, kebab or pakora.]

JH: I would like to implement a cubic object containing deep fried foods with chips and cheeses to be available to students. Work with other board members to achieve their goals too. We should also annexe the Boyd Orr.

YM: Want to improve interaction on campus – so much on offer, we should promote it!

19:58 Questions!

Q (to YM): What changes to you want to make to website? How would you implement?

YM: One part of website about the Union itself, the links don’t work. Wants to rectify that first.

Q (to JS): What does being proactive mean?

JS: Not just what we have to change, but other policies too. Being proactive means going through that legislation and looking for issues and actively seeking problems before they become them.

Q (to JH): I like you celebrate diversity among pakora. Do you hold prejudice against some pakora?

JH: I am a chicken pakora man. It’s the tastiest and best. But vegetable pakora is nice too. All pakora should be born equal.

Q (to JH): Why a munchie box, how, how much?

JH: I’d cook it.

[How would you implement?]

JH: I’ve spoke to catering, they’re keen to try it as a lunch option in Food Factory or Scran.  Can liaise with catering – should be less than £5 for a hearty option.

Q (to JH): What do you want to achieve on board?

JH: A munchie box. Long term goals – a pakora dial up service.

Q (to YM): How do you propose to make affiliation easier?

YM: Would talk to Courtney [VP Members Clubs and Socs] – would be keen to remove membership list as this poses problems. Look into what can be removed to make it easier.

Q (to JS): How would you justify cost of water stand?

JS: Haven’t researched yet – look into why do we only have one in Food Factory. Issue of convenience, especially as difficult to use toilet taps and bars not already open.

Q (to YM): How would you encourage clubs and socs to use building?

YM: Use Facebook to promote affiliation and benefits of affiliation – packages for societies to hire facilities, what you can get from being affiliated.

Q (to KPS): Lights in Qudos?

[Proxy unable to give concrete answer.]

Q (to all): What’s your favourite biscuit?

JS: Oreo.

YM: Speculaas.

JH: Can’t beat a classic half cover [Digestive].

KPS: Proxy’s favourite biscuit is chocolate biscuit.

Q (to all): Favourite thing about union and why?

YM: Feel of community in the place.

JH: Same as YM – always someone here to make you feel involved and included.

JS: People in the building, community, committees here and the freshers helpers.

Q (to all): What is the one thing you’d change about union (without saying kebab)?

KPS: Lightbulbs!

JS: Increase people coming in and increase involvement. Image/perception of the Union.

JH: The doors. Have to use different doors on different sides to get in main doors.

YM: Agree with JS of image of QMU. QMU has much to offer and I wish we could express that better.

Q (to all): What’s biggest issue facing union?

JS: Sexual assault policy right now – very pressing and don’t think that means there’s other issues we can ignore, no issue bigger or lesser than others.

JH: Agree with JS – needs to be addressed. Need a wee facelift.

YM: Agree with JS and JH – acknowledging problem is first step to solving.

Q (to all): How to you address the image of the union?

YM: Start with freshers week – we offer good things to the union, start with new students.

JH: Agree with YM – people enjoy [FW] and still come. We have really good live music, publicise our events more and that it’s a good place to be.

JS: I disagree with the use of the word cool – we need to focus on value of union rather than being cool.

Q (to all): Where do you draw boundary between members use and general use of space?

JS: I don’t know yet because not involved before this year. Of course about membership but important to value external hire of space.

JH: Important to consider how long students are here for throughout [calendar] year and also important to think of union as a business especially during the summer.

YM: Live music should be prioritised as much as possible – other stuff like sales, membership activities should be prioritised but important to raise money for union’s services. Way to bring people into the QM also.

Q (to all): Favourite Dino?

YM: Teredactyl because they fly.

JH: Veloceraptor. One fast boi.

JS: The dinosaur that’s wings are its legs.

Q (to all): What you dressing up as for Halloween?

JS: Would ruin surprise. [Clue: Star Wars].

JH: Killieween [Kilmarnock Halloween] was last Friday I went as Victor from Still Game.

YM: A pirate or Zorro.

19:29 Onto CSR B – opening statements

YM: 2nd year Sociology and Politics. Got involved this Freshers and started going to committees and now wants to be more involved. Wants to improve clubs and soc affiliation with QMU – some clubs find this more difficult. Improve website.

JH: 2nd year French and History. Wants to implement a munchie box on campus. It is abhorrent that there is no munchie box available on campus. Use space by Qudos to sell kebabs. We need munchie boxes and we need them now.

JS: 3rd year Archeology. No grand plan but small changes – water filters like library, only one in Food Factory. Heating in Union – waste of energy and difficult to practise large societies in a large space. Wants to work on the sexual assault policy and help to proactively review all areas of policy.

KPS [Proxy representing KPS this evening]: Katerina is sorry she can’t be here! She wants to do whatever is possible to how great QMU is. Utilise space as much as possible, will listen to concerns and deal with them as well as possible.

19:21 Closing statements

MS: Will focus mainly on diversity and space for minorities in the QMU. Harder to feel comfortable if you’re from a minority background – will work to change this.

GR: We do have big changes to make but important to gradually improve union. Structural changes are just as important as ones bit by bit. Make union experience better.

19:20 And for questions:

Q (to both): What’s your favourite dinosaur?

MS: I don’t know any dinosaurs other than T-Rex! So I’ll go with that one.

GR: Brontosaurus? Looks really silly and survived for so long.

Q (to both): What is the biggest problem with the union?

GR: Long term is getting people in and getting people to events. Best way to fix – cross campus reach, QMU is not just for people already involved. We also need to fix sexual assault policy as highlighted recently.

MS: Not sure where to go in building – rooms can be unlit if not in use, better to make people feel welcome and comfortable.

Q (to both): What is your favourite biscuit and why?

GR: Jammie Dodgers.

MS: I just like cookies.

Q (to GR): How to improve cross campus as a CSR?

GR: Take opportunity to work with others – Movember for example.

Response Q: What other events would you organise?

GR: Film screenings with GUU – could be one month here one month there. Other incentives like training or campaigns.

Q (to MS): How would you increase attendance to events you propose?

MS: Charges for events [like recent BHM performances]. Possibly free for students and pay for non-students.

Q (to MS): How do you plan to store records of events?

MS: Has worked before on similar projects, has experience in recording data in other projects. Online on a separate section of website.

19:10 GR: 2nd year English Lit & Philosophy. Got involved through Freshers’ Week as a helper – wants to get involved moreso after enjoying FW. Wants to make positive changes, changes we need right now – not just for members but for all students and people using the building. Wants to make QM the best union possible that works cross campus for best student experience possible.

MS: 2nd year Stats student, got involved with QMU through recent Black History Month events. Wants to get involved with BHM beyond black history, including issues relating to music and diversity. Wants to get involved with equality and diversity on campus more generally. Enjoyed and felt at home at recent BHM events and wants to continue that through CSR position.

19:07 And we’re underway!

Gabriel (GR) and Maïana (MS) will start their opening statements for the seats of CSR A.

18:57 The candidates tonight are as follows:

Former Student Member: Graham Paling (GP)
Tech Team Convenor: Molly Campbell (MC)
Current Student Representative A: Gabriel Rutherford (GR), Maïana Sanjuan (MS)
Current Student Representative B: Josh Hay (JH), Juliet Smith (JS), Katerina Partolina Schwartz (KPS), Yente Meijers (YM)

17:42 Tonight’s hustings we’ve got candidates for Former Student Member (1 seat), Tech Team Convenor (1 seat), CSR A (12 months – 4 seats), and CSR B (6 month – 4 seats). We’ll update with candidates names nearer the start – come back from 7pm for live updates.


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