All entries for February 2007
February 11, 2007
Yes, the time has come to reveal the results of my Facebook experiment thingy!
Basically, I’ve recorded the number of friends each of the candidates for the ‘main’ posts (as I couldn’t be arsed to do them all) on Facebook at the start of the campaign (02/02/07) and at the end (08/02/07), and the numerical and percentage changes of their friendship numbers between these two. Below are screenshots of the Excel Spreadsheet with all the really exciting figures on. First up, the potential Presidents:
Right, here we can see the most popular before and after the campaign in Joe Kirby, the biggest numerical and percentage increase in popularity is that of Joe Kirby, and the winner is (you guessed it) Joe Kirby! What a surprise! Note: James Clarke’s number of friends was not viewable.
Now, Education Officer:
OK, there’s only two people in this category: Pistachio and Pam ‘Let’s ban 9am lectures ‘cos I once had one and didn’t really like it that much’ Stallard. Anyway, as above, we have the most popular before and after being Pistachio, the biggest increase in Popularity going to Pistachio and, funnily enough, the winner being Pistachio. Is there a pattern emerging I wonder?
Matt Chapman has the largest popularity increase, Andy McEwan has the biggest percentage popularity increase, but the (vastly) more popular before and after the campaign is Tom Callow, and the winner is Tom Callow. Did I hear someone say popularity contest? The results so far are seeming to be screaming it at me!
CDCO. Note: due to a cock up by me, I failed to find ‘Mitz Mistry’ on Facebook the first time I looked (if she’s only use her actual name in her campaign, it would’ve been helpful!), so there are no figures for her for the first time:
Hmm, maybe I’m wrong. James ‘The Great’ Gadsby Peet wins, which completely doesn’t correlate with my predictions at all. My results suggest Tom Precious would come out on top, or Kate Hitchcock. But then again, I never even noticed their campaigns, so it just goes to show what a high profile campaign can do, despite some dubious policies. (I for one would love to know how much subsidy Stagecoach/Travel Coventry would want for free post-event buses to cover driver wages and the lost night fares!).Next up, Wefare and Equal Opps:
Nope, back to the expected again, a landslide in all categories by Ed Callow. Just a couple of two-candidates-standing posts left:
In the Sports Officer category, we have all signs pointing to Ali Moore, but then Kate ‘Cardboard Poster’ Bennet makes a comeback in the final moments and wins. And SSDO-wise, it doesn’t go the expected way entirely, with signs pointing to both of the candidates (it actually going to Tom Lindsay).
So, to answer the question: Is the Students Union Elections basically a popularity contest?
Answer: Sort of.
February 08, 2007
Firstly I’ve got to start off with an apology. Due to me not feeling very well this afternoon, I went home early, so didn’t manage to find much of interest. Also, this entry will be quite brief for the same reason.
Anyway, stepping off the 12 at the Arts Centre bus stop put me fact to face with these two:
First we have Peter ‘Pistachio’ Ptashko (who I’ve meant to write about before but keep forgetting), whose main campaign ploy seems to be highlighting the fact that his surname sounds a little bit like a variety of nut. Cue lots of puns along the lines of ‘You’ll go nuts for his policies’.
And underneath we have what is probably the crudest campaign slogan of the year – “If you don’t have a pecker, vote for Becca!” i.e. the condition of not having a cock is a good enough reason to vote for her apparently. Does this include men who’ve had unfortunate accidents, I wonder?
And finally, the award for most amazing lack of modesty goes to the self-titled “Great Gadsby”. Well done for completely not making yourself look like a dickhead. It’s also interesting to note the bizarre rememblace between his campaign logo and the shed plates steam locomotives used to have on them.
Anyway, that’s as far as its going to go campaign analysis-wise. Stay tuned for the results of the facebook experiment!
p.s. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading all this rubbish…
February 07, 2007
I was quite worried up until earlier today. I was worried that this wouldn’t be a legally-valid union election. Why, you ask? Well, up until today, I wasn’t aware we had the token candidate-with-stupid-hair (which no union election could possibly be without). But now I can rest assured that we have one – it’s Al running for president!
Wahey! Anyway, he came into R0.21 between MathStats and Metric Spaces and gave us his speech. One of his main policies (and a possible contender for stupidest policy of the campaign) is to improve access to the University, particularly with regard to the morning and evening peaks. The following is taken from his manifesto:
“I will lobby Coventry Council to improve the road system around campus in an effort to reduce the traffic jams that occur on Gibbet Hill Road every morning and evening, this will mean less congestion, therefore less environmental harm, quicker journey times and off campus students can wake up later for their morning lectures.”
I personally would love to hear his suggestions for doing this. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be as simple as him walking into Coventry Town Hall, saying “hey guys, can you not do something about all the roads round Warwick Uni?” and they reply “yeah, now you mention it, it could use a little tweak. All we need to do is spend £5 million quid, demolish a few houses here, build across some Green Belt there, no problem. In fact we were just waiting for you to ask. Then all you students can have an extra 5 minutes in bed!” Yeah right! I personally find it difficult to see how the existing network could be improved without basically flattening it all and starting again.
Also (and several friends agree with me) he seemed slightly drunk during his presentation, swaying a little and slurring his words slightly. But as I have no proof of this fact, I am unable to call him Alcoholic Al…
Before this, we had “Mitz Mistry” (that can’t be her real name, surely?) give us an address. Nothing of note in her manifesto/speech (basically take a bit from everyone else and you’ve pretty much got hers), but she has resorted to the (admittedly imaginative) tactic of walking round with a giant version of one of her fliers blu-tacked onto the back of her jumper (and a ‘vote Mitz’ badge on the front). Makes her look kind of like one of those people you see in London dressed in a front-and-back billboard with ‘Golf Sale’ or ‘Theatre Tickets’ written on it.
And that’s about it for today. I’ll probably do my final campaign-related entry tomorrow, and Facebook experiment results hopefully on Sunday night if I have time (parents down + algebra assignment = not much free time this weekend!).
To kick off with, I’m just going back to a couple of things I said in my previous post.
Firstly, here’s the hallowed cardboard election poster:
No expense spared, quite clearly. And here’s a flyer I was handed from L3 earlier featuring a certain Pam:
NO IT BLOODY DOESN’T!!
Also, note the fact that this makes no mention of the fact she’s only proposing it for 2nd and 3rd years, contradicting her manifesto.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ve vowed to actually get on with some work now, but I should be back later to regail you with stories from today.
Bye for now!
February 06, 2007
Something really weird happened at 9 o’clock yesterday morning. Walked into R0.21 for PDEs to find two bored-looking people sat on the platform-y thing (you know, the bit that looks like it should spin through 360° (or 2π radians for you mathematicians) half way through every lecture à la Numberwang, with the lecturer declaring ‘Let’s Rotate the Boards!’, to reveal Frankenstein or something on the other side), and I thought ‘Sigh, more officer wannabes’. As it turned out, they were Olley Hambrey, running for president, and Andy McEwan, running for FDSO. I didn’t like Olley, as he came across as being a little overconfident (although it may actually be because I was jealous of his muscles), but I was impressed by Mr McEwan, as his speech seemed to imply that he is actually looking to give students what they actually want – cheaper drinks, cheaper (and more) food and actually going back to running the Union (I apologise profusely for the cliché) ‘by students for students’, rather than being a business designed to extort as much money from us as possible, thus putting people off from visiting. Let’s just hope the Union isn’t stuck too deeply in its rut to get itself out again! So he’s my only potential vote so far. I’ve decided not to vote for Joe Shepard, as, upon reading his manifesto he wants to “engage with Warwick Accommodation as regards its draconian policies on cannabis…”. I’m sorry, but I don’t see why Cannibis use should be tolerated, as it is an illegal drug, so any known use should be punishable, particularly as other hall residents don’t want to have to put up with other people smoking it, and any punishment would, ultimately, be for the students own good. So I ain’t votin’ for him no more!
Anyway, on to today, and the first thing of note was the noticeboard outside L3. The highlights were Katt’s (I think) 30/40-odd A4 flyers posted along the wall above the noticeboard, barely legible to anyone from any angle. Oh, and Joe Shephard’s title of most unprofessional looking poster campaign has been stolen by Kate Bennet (Sports Officer) who had ‘Vote Kate for Sports Officer’ written in black marker on a torn-off piece of cardboard. I wouldn’t have been too surprised if I’d turned it over to find ‘The Midlands’ written on the other side. Full marks for recycling, nil points for presentation.
Then it was on into L3, where the blackboards kindly greeted us with possibly the daftest policy of all the candidates:
It’s Pam Stallard and her proposed banning of 9am lectures. I admit they’re not exactly the most fun things in the world, but surely if we were to start an hour later, we’d more than likely just finish an hour later instead. Which I’d rather not do (and would play havoc with extra-curricular stuff like sports fixtures and stuff). Plus, if lectures were made to start at 10 instead people would just get up an hour later instead, and, before long, people would start saying ‘ban 10am lectures’. Let’s also not forget that the ‘real world’ starts at 9, if not earlier. Plus the ability to go to bed an hour later would be cancelled out by finishing an hour later, so we’d be back to square one anyway. In short, please don’t vote for this frankly ridiculous, poorly thought through policy. Also don’t vote for her on the grounds she wrote ‘vote Pam 4 Education officer’. Writing ‘4’ is just sheer laziness, completely unprofessional and some vain attempt to sound cool. Also (out of picture) she drew a heart. ‘Nuff said.
That’s my ranting over with for this episode. Watch this space for the results of my Facebook experiment and maybe some more reaction to the whole elactions saga.
p.s. Can anyone explain why the Boar used a picture of Spiderman on the cover of the Manifesto Booklet? What relevence does it have (if any at all)?
February 02, 2007
Whoop de doo! It’s that time of year again, where half the Amazonian rainforest gets pinned to notice boards around campus, 5 minutes are lost at the start of every lecture and there’s more chalk on walls, pavements and the like than there actually is on blackboards. Yes it’s election time once again, where a load of people who clearly aren’t busy enough already go around and try to convince us that they’re going to change the union for the better and make a load of promises that will make the university nothing short of perfect, without any suggestion that in fact it’s all just so they can put it on their CVs.
I must say that I didn’t really pay that much attention last year, partly due to not being entirely sure what was actually going on, but now here’s my own view on the first 8 hours and 35 minutes of election campaigning!
The highlight of all the pre/post lecture speeches today must have been where insert name who was running for insert post (can’t remember details unfortunately, which highlights the effectiveness of her speech) came in at the end of Maths of Random Events and asked ‘Can a take a minute of your time please?’, which got quite a loud shouted response of ‘No!’ from the audience (it was the last lecture of the day), although she pleaded and one kind soul mumbled ‘Yes’, after which she gave us the quickest speech I’ve ever heard (impressive time at less than 10 seconds)! At the start of said lecture, there was also Anna, running for President, who was the complete opposite of this and treated us to a tirade that must have lasted a good 2/3 minutes (with the added bonus of going round in circles it seemed). Anyway, onto the poster campaign highlights of the day!The (so far) two most irritating campaigns seem to me to be these:
Here we have the most annoying slogan in ‘CommuniKate’, which, to be fair, probably took her a good few minutes to come up with. She also seems to enjoy sitting in the pub alot too, judging by the background image. Underneath we see Matthew Lloyd’s campaign to be whatever it is he wants to be, which seems to consist entirely of finding words and names that rhyme with Lloyd (so far Freud, Annoyed…). Clever. Finally, my favourite campaign so far (which I still can’t fathom whether he’s actually being serious or taking the piss), is that of Joe Shepherd:
Nice to see someone claim that it’s not actually going to be put on their CV, which is a breath of fresh air (although I suppose we’d never actually know if he ever did or not). Another of his reads something to the effect of, ‘He’s actually been to an AGM’ complete with a drawing of a guy asleep on the officers’ table at the meeting. Also, I love the complete lack of professionalism in the poster design – so he’s not taking it too seriously it seems. Nevertheless, he’s the only person that I’m so far tempted to actually vote for!
Anyway, I hope to be back for more mindless, poorly informed ramblings about the elections over the next week. I hope you greatly look forward to them (although I would understand why you wouldn’t…)!