Why on Earth would I want to Save the Guild?

Student politics warning: If you don’t like it don’t read it!

 As I wrote last week the Guild has its five day long referndum to apparently save itself tomorrow. I wrote what I thought to be quite an even sided post last week on the issue.

 Well I have just about lost my patience with the Guild over the last week, and its going to get a full throttling now, I am sure they don’t want this to happen on the eve of the chance to save The Guild, but quite frankly I and the committee don’t care, if it gets in the way.

 As you can see on our future events section, we are holding a YBF event in Birmingham in three weeks time. It was three weeks ago when this was agreed so I decided to get the ball rolling with the Guild.

 I was told I needed to book a room and get clearance from the Guild, fine that seems fair enough. However this is where the problems started, I sent an email to the person it concerned, she replied the following day saying she would get back to me.

 A week went by: heard nothing. Decided I would see her myself, she said she hadn’t had chance to email the Vice President’s, so I asked politely if she could do it then. Not overly happy but she got on with it.

 Another 10 days has gone by and I am yet to get any kind of clearance or any indication of whether there is a problem, or whether this can happen.

What really gets to me about this entire episode, is that only last week, I went directly to reception to ask about room bookings! AND ITS ALL FULL ANYWAY!!!

This situation could have been dealt with 3weeks ago there and then, instead I have had to chase and harry and waste my and their time, when all they needed to do is check one thing!

Is it any wonder, why the Guild has such a staggeringly low reputation amongst its actual students, less than 7% of people bother to vote in the annual elections! It keeps going on and on at the students about how we should save it?

It isn’t a case of saving it anyway its a case of changing the constitution, it massively bungled trying to explain that, there are now 6 groups supposedly explaining the referendum, the students don’t care it doesn’t effect them, as someone who tries to organise things I have get blockades put in my way, or just seemingly ignored.

I really did not want to have such a go at the Guild, but I fear it may be the only way things get things done.

For any Guild Councillors, Independent Chairs or whoever reading this, you might be interested to know, that 300 people read this blog a day, they are largely made up of University of Birmingham students.


13 thoughts on “Why on Earth would I want to Save the Guild?

  1. I quite agree jimmy, the Guild is obsessed with trying to get students engaged, an apparently their raison d’etre is to enhance the student life.

    wella s your example perfectly shows any student trying to get engaged is bowled over with obstacles, permission, different departments, and they certainly do not enhance the student life this way.

    we have one of the better guilds in the country, but i do think it needs to consider carefully how it deals with student groups and how much of a burden it places on committees who trying their best to put on events wich is difficult enough without the guild making it worse.

  2. I couldn’t agree more Jimmy, if the vote is lost the Guild gets run by the University and hence proper professionals, who would probably actually make the Guild more efficicent and run it as a business and not just as a social club for the student politicos.

  3. Tom you are very wrong, the point of the guild is that it is student run and provides an independant voice inwhich to challenge the university. if the university ran it, the university would control the most effective means of holding it to account.

    what the guild needs to do is to be improved within student management.

  4. I think it is an interesting comment that Tom makes about efficiency, although it would improve I dare say if run by the Uni, its objectives would not be what they are now, so its an entirely paradoxical situation.

    It is the bureacracy I find so difficult to deal with, and in the case I wrote above, the seemingly endless chasing that I have undertaken, I would like to reiterate that still no-one has got back to me despite the original enquiry being made three weeks ago!

    Steven it should be a great event, if you can send your details to the email address at the bottom of the future events page, then we will get back to you!

  5. so true.

    One of the things that needs to be sorted out in the Guild are room bookings (I am sure some Exec candidates will have this in their manifesto). The status quo obviously isn’t working as several people have pointed out (i.e. Catherine Goode from CVG) and hopefully somebody will review the system and make it efficient.

    However, this has not much to do with the referendum. The referendum is about giving the Guild a new legal foundation and getting the basic organizational structures right. Once the Guild has overcome this process (which has had occupied the Guild Exec for a long time thus hampering progress on actual issues i.e. room bookings) the actual issues can be tackled and the Guild can do what it can do best:

    Enhancing the student experience by supporting societies (i.e. through provision of rooms), supporting students and fighting on their behalf!


  6. To be fair Fabian, I agree that this post is hugely born out of fustration not nessercerily entirely with the referendum, but I think it just compounds a lot of the misery felt by people who have an interest in what goes on in the guild!

    I will almost certainly be voting ‘yes’ in the upcoming referendum, as I hope with the structucal changes that you talk about will make a difference, in enhancing the student experience. However, as I wrote last week if this terms into a referendum on whether the Guild is doing a good job, I think it could backfire.

  7. Your rant about the Guild will strike a chord with many students at Exeter. We also hosted a YBF training event a few weeks ago and ran into plenty of problems put up by the Guild. They said the event could only go ahead on campus if we advertised it to all political parties – and a Guild officer came along to make sure we weren’t being indoctrinated with centre-right politics. Gasp! Despite the action of the Guild (who seemed detirmined not to have Conservative politics on campus – DESPITE the fact that EUCF is by far the largest and most active political society on campus) the event was a huge success.

    This was the same Guild, by the way, who called me in for a meeting to discuss concerns that EUCF was discriminating against non Conservative students. Un-bloody-believable.

    Good luck!

    Christian May

  8. So many problems with the guild but nobody takes responsibility. After such optimism of our new exec being fresh they about to fail spectacularly. They will fail to reach quorum with the referendum and they have failed to inspire people to run for the exec next year. Dark days for the guild lay ahead

  9. AND with over 1000 votes to get in 2 days where do they concentrate their efforts … around the guild premises! Inspiring indeed

  10. Congrats on an amazing job Fabian and to everyone else who helped out, I have to say I never thought you’d made quoracy but it’s pretty much in the bag now.. Hopefully this will mean we have a less bureaucratic, more representative and more efficient guild!!

  11. Well that is a shock! I will have to shoot the person feeding me such information!! I’m not sure how they have been able to get over 1000 votes in a day but I am going out to buy a euro millions ticket because my faith is restored optimism.

    My point still stands about the amount of candidates running for sabbatical positions. If the guild is inspiring individuals to get involved then there would certainly be more people running. To have the two out of the three most important sabs uncontested seriously weakens the legitimacy and power of the exec.

    To echo Theo, well done to all those campaigning because they have obviously been out in force today!!

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