DSR III: The Revenge of the Democratic Structures

In a bidding war, even when you win what you thought you wanted can be reappraised…old opponents resurface to raise the stakes. But it’s the things we walk away from that feel like they cost the most. And yet, it’s when we’ve been outbid — forced to watch our prize go home with others — that the rules of protocol no longer apply. I wouldn’t put you paddles away just yet. Who knows what bidders will do when they’re desperate.

Hello Guild Hacks,

We hope we didn’t distract you from Welcome Week too much but it seems that the Guild just couldn’t wait until Welcome Week had finished before it had its first bit of controversy. No, no we’re not talking about Sombreros, that was Very Tab 2013, Redbrick, keep up! nor are we talking about the Guild President’s new found national media career. At least the coverage was a bit better than the Cornwall Guardian.

We’re talking about the very hacky, very unexciting General Meeting. Although we can’t help but spot that it’s got all 5 Guild hacks riled up. Despite the previous team of officers attempting to push through a new model it yet again failed to reach quoracy for the second time on the referendum on the Guild’s democratic structures. It looks like the new officer team are going to railroad through a new system through with no consultation whilst ensuring no democracy gets in the way of the sabs being right ever again. Inevitably a No campaign has popped up as well just to add to the mix.

Firstly the Yes Campaign, once again led by the sabs who are desperate to scrap the room full of people who hate them. What are their main arguments? We hear you ask through gritted teeth! Well fear not we have digested it down for you all like a Guild Mother Penguin would do for its baby hack penguins.

· moving it all online makes the process easier for everyone to access by reducing the amount of time required.

· Officer Question time would still give accountability over officers by giving them a face to face opportunity to hold them to account but they’d then have to vote online. Which actually so What we would like to know at Gossip Guild HQ is whether questions can be submitted online like Jezza Corbyn’s PMQs.

· The system is not perfect and may require some adaptation in the future

Some obvious flaws:

We tasked our team of analysts to pick out some of the flaws of the Yes campaign’s proposed structure

· You will now require a two thirds majority to censure an officer with a 1% quoracy (approx. 300 people) makes it harder to censure an officer. Considering how few censures were actually submitted last year it seems all a bit surprising that the officer team feel insecure enough that they have to make it more difficult for them to be disciplined.

· 0.5% quoracy for passing ideas and submitting reprimands is just 150 people which isn’t a massive improvement on the amount of Guild Councillors at the moment.

· Students can no longer change by-laws but nobody other than those well versed in the workings of the under bonnet of the Guild understands how that *actually works* so is it actually that much of a loss?

· Sabbs control 50% of the assessment group which can propose amendments to ideas May be its time to let some other people have a say guys?

The No campaign on the other hand is saying the following as the main points of their opposition

· Lack of time for consulting of the Liberation officers and their respective associations on the proposed idea Which would all be well and good but if what the Yes campaign claims is true all of the officers got to sit down one to one with the sab team to talk it through.

· The new model and the General Meeting itself makes it difficult to pass anti-racist policy and punish racist behaviour by officers because the new system is a majoritarian system it would silence the voices of BME people unless they osufficiently campaigned to bring people round to their point of view rather the reserved places that Guild Council currently has for many under represented and oppressed groups.

· Due to staff moderation of the online forum debate would be reduced from 7 days to 5 days which would allow for less time to debate although it’s a lot longer than Guild Council currently stands

· The number of Liberation groups represented on the ‘assessment group’ isn’t enough which will lead to them being silenced. It also won’t allow for the nuanced experience of every liberation group to necessarily to be taken into account.

To guildgossip this very much looks like a set of groups within the Guild who are throwing their toys out of the pram because this system would essentially reduce their ability to elect their mates on incredibly small turnouts and then control Guild politics each year, much to the ridicule of many Guild politics ‘outsiders’

Liberation issues remain a concern but the new system gives every student the chance to vote and speak with ease on ideas. One positive that can be taken from this system is that it should be seen as giving a larger platform for the discussion and campaigning on Liberation issues.

At the end of the day it’s a competition to get the most of your friends, flatmates and acquaintances to give them their proxy vote or get them in the room rather than actually winning people over with a debate of ideas. gossipguild will be watching from afar and surely interjecting with snarky comments as the campaign takes a step up next week.

You know you love me,

Gossipguild