All entries for October 2006

October 25, 2006

Going for the world record

Those of you who know me or have been reading this blog will know that I am in 11 societies – yes, that’s right, I did say eleven! You will also know that I have 3 non-society non-course-related commitments, bringing my total to 14. This is on top of my 19 hours of lectures each week.

I am yet to regret any of it. It is great for my social life that I am in 11 societies – debating society, speak, Conservatives, maths society, physics society, maths and physics society, atomic, volunteers society, Christian focus, craft society, international current affairs. It is great for my CV that I’m in Union Council and the SSLC. I haven’t quite decided where to put being in the equal opportunities working group yet (but then I did only join that one last night at council).

This is not including, however, my 2 further commitments that I do not generally talk about. I am a kitchen rep for my flat (which isn’t particularly exciting but it is a responsibility so will look good on my CV). I am also, as of earlier this evening, equal opps officer for the craft society – they didn’t have enough people on their exec so I thought I would give it a go as I had nothing to lose and I’m sure that too would look good on my CV. Not bad for someone who’s only been at uni for 3 1/2 weeks!

If anyone has more than 16 non-course-related commitments then please post in the comments section. We could get quite an interesting debate going (or I could prove that I have the most number of commitments out of anyone and the world record is mine).


My 15 minutes of fame

I’m going to be on TV this Sunday. The BBC came today to film 4 of us – Brian Duggan, 2 people who’s names I can’t remember (but both from council), and me – debating top-up fees.

We will be on this coming Sunday’s (29th October) Politics Show on BBC1 in the West Midlands region between 12:30pm and 1pm. Viewers outside of the West Midlands can see the show by going to Sky and choosing the West Midlands region for BBC1 (channel 970-something). To the best of my knowledge, however, people watching outside the region not on Sky will be unable to watch our debate.


I work for you

Throughout the year, I will be using this blog as a bit of a democracy tool. I will be informing all of you guys about the goings on in council – the policies we discuss, whether they were approved (as I am sure that going and looking up the policy file is more than the average student would be willing to do in their free time), and how I voted.

Feel completely free to hold me to account on anything. I will always be willing to explain why I voted in that particular way or why I decided to take any other action I have taken. Just ask me through the comments, through email, or by talking to me around campus. As long as I do not have a lecture to go to really urgently, I will answer any questions.

Last night we discussed the following:
  • Policy 579, Officer support for candidates.
  • Policy 512, Sabbatical officers holding positions of responsibility within the Union.
  • Policy 580, Civil same-sex marriages and equal rights.
  • Policy 583, Union independence.
  • Policy 582, Cannabis in university halls of residence.
  • Amendments to policy 584, Promoting Union democracy.
  • Amendments to appendix 8, Sports clubs.
  • Multi faith working group.
  • Affiliating to “Abortion Rights”.
  • Themed weeks.

Policy 579, Officer support for candidates
This was added into appendix 4, elections. I voted in favour of this change.

Policy 512, Sabbatical officers holding positions of responsibility within the Union
The renewal of this policy was approved. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Policy 580, Civil same-sex marriages and equal rights
The renewal of this policy was approved. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Policy 583, Union independence
The renewal of this policy was approved, with a few amendments to bring it up to date. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Policy 582, Cannabis in university halls of residence
The renewal of this policy was approved, with a few amendments to bring it up to date. I voted in favour of keeping the policy.

Amendments to policy 584, Promoting Union democracy
The amendments were approved. I voted in favour of making the amendments.

Amendments to appendix 8, Sports clubs
The amendments were approved. I voted in favour of making the amendments.

Multi faith working group
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of the motion.

Affiliating to “Abortion Rights”
This motion was rejected. I voted against the motion.

Themed weeks
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of the motion.

Next meeting of council is in week 6 so I shall add a similar entry to my blog shortly after that meeting. The aim of these entries is to make myself more accountable to all you guys so please let me know if you feel I am not achieving that aim and I will think of something else to increase accountability.


October 23, 2006

Democracy

I’m all ears. As both Union Councillor and SSLC Rep, I would like you all to feel that you can come to me with any issues that you feel I can represent you on.

I wrote in my profile the following:

I am also a Student Union Councillor and a maths/physics SSLC rep so if you have any issues whatsoever you want me to bring up in either meeting then I am all ears. Just email me or find me around campus. Representation may be a myth but I will do my best to best represent your views, wherever I am.

If you see me around campus or just want to send a quick email then you are free to do so. I will always look into any suggestions in whatever way is appropriate for that particular suggestion and act upon any findings I make.

Feel free to go mad at me for suggesting this but if there are lots of you who all think the same thing and want to get together and just send one email or tell me only once then let me know approximately how many of you are in favour of the suggestion. It would be really useful as many voices are better than one and if there is a situation where I can’t figure out which is the best way to vote in the best interests of all of you guys, I will consider all of the suggestions I have been given and it just helps to know how many people are on either side.


October 21, 2006

I missed out on going to Leamington, so why not go to Nottingham

Since I arrived here 3 weeks ago, I’ve been involved in the most random of experiences.

  • First, I was mad. This was when I decided that I needed to join 11 different societies (on top of my 19 hours of lectures each week) in week 1. I further reaffirmed my insanity when I also decided that I could fit in Union Council as yet another commitment.
  • Then I became ill with the dreaded freshers’ flu during week 2. This was followed by a mission to spread my illness to as many people as possible during last weekend. I’m only glad that this did not backfire big time!
  • Having recovered in time for week 3, I now had other ideas. On Monday, I decided that saving myself from complete and utter humiliation (after having heard a story from last year) was more important than eating lunch. Thankfully, I did remember to eat.
  • There was one further moment of madness on Wednesday when I added one more commitment to my already hugely oversized list of commitments and decided to join the SSLC.
  • The week of extreme randomness (week 3) was not over yet. On Thursday I was stressing out so much about something that, in the great scheme of things, did not really matter. Although when you were told you would receive an email on Thursday morning, surely the natural reaction is to expect it to arrive somewhat before 6pm!

My randomness continues to this day (and most likely beyond). I nearly ended up going to Nottingham this morning with the Real Ale Society – a society of which I am not a member. They were all gathered around the entrance to Union North just before 9:30am. I thought that they were all councillors waiting for the training meeting. One of them asked me if I was going to Nottingham. He was wearing a Real Ale Society hoodie but I thought that it was perfectly possible for him to be a councillor.

“Errm, no. I’m here for council training.”

The Real Ale Society seemed to want my services for themselves. They told me that they too were waiting for council training and that we were going to Nottingham for the training.

But I was told that we were going to be in Union North – hence me being there at 9:30am on a Saturday morning. I fell for it and nearly ended up going to Nottingham. I don’t think that AJ would have been too happy with me not turning up for training because I’d been roped into going to some social in Nottingham with the Real Ale Society (probably involving a few pints of beer).

Thankfully, the guys from the Real Ale Society informed me that they were only joking. I was free to enter Union North and go to the training day.

The day was actually quite fun. I can go to Leamington some other weekend. I don’t think that I actually missed out, I believe the opposite. I’m actually now quite looking forward to our first council meeting on Tuesday evening. Some interesting motions are up for discussion. And add to that the fact that I really like arguing (though the technical term here is “debating”, or constructive arguing – unless of course I feel so passionately against a motion that I just have to come up with a really good point against it in order to get it rejected for the greater good of everyone because that is destructive).


October 20, 2006

I don't actually do 9:30am on a Saturday!

Follow-up to Yay!!!!!! from Warwick life according to Kerri

Saturday is my sleep in day. It always has been. This weekend, however, I have to get up as though it’s Monday (the day of my 9am lecture). Someone somewhere really does hate me.

Despite this, I could have been in an even worse situation. The crowd going to Leamington with the Tories have to leave campus at 9:15am. I have to arrive at my meeting at 9:30am but am reliably informed that coffee will be available. I’m sure that falling asleep on the training day is not the best of ideas.

So even more thank you to the very nice people who decided to give me an extra 15 minutes in bed – I’ll be making the most of it!


October 19, 2006

Yay!!!!!!

I’ve been so stressed out today that I sent an email earlier in the afternoon. Well, I’ve just had the reply I’ve been waiting for and want to say a really big

Thank you

to all those really nice people who voted for me!


A watched kettle never boils

I’m stressing out so much right now. I wrote yesterday that my weekend is in the hands of you guys. The only thing is that I still do not know what I will be doing on Saturday. I’ve checked my emails loads this morning but all I’ve had is spam – nothing whatsoever from the Union! Grrr!!! I really want to know what I am doing on Saturday and whether or not I was elected. I’m getting the feeling that someone somewhere really hates me right now.


October 18, 2006

SSLC for dummies

Earlier today, I sent a text message to my dad. I wanted to tell him that I was on the SSLC. He thought that SSLC and Union Council were the same thing. I don’t know why. They are completely different. SSLC is for course related issues (though I’ve heard of completely random other issues being brought up at meetings – such as water fountains and pedestrian crossings) and Union Council is about Union policy. I just hope that my dad was merely being psychic but I will find out soon enough.


Out of my hands

I realised today that I have a bit of an issue about what to do on Saturday. I have 2 “choices” but the decision is completely out of my hands. I could go to the council training day (which I have to go to if I’m elected but can’t go to if I’m not) or I could go to Leamington.

Leamington sounds much more fun but I really want to be on the council. I find myself, however, on a random Wednesday evening when I really should be working, really nervous about checking my inbox tomorrow morning. Whatever I end up doing on Saturday is completely out of my hands. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a situation before. Normally I make my own choices about what I want to do.

This is a really annoying situation for me as I always prefer to be the one who calls the shots on my plans. In a slight moment of madness (though one I do not in any way regret) I took the situation out of my hands and gave it to the people. I do not know what I will be doing on Saturday until I have checked my inbox tomorrow morning.

Democracy is evil! I really was not expecting that my plans for this weekend to be completely dependent on the results of the union council elections.

Disclaimer: I do not actually believe that democracy is evil, just taking the plans for my weekend out of my hands is.


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