After two weeks and tough competition from Scott Perkins and Rebecca Lees for the position, Teddy Smith has been elected Accommodation and Community Officer. His mixture of a loud brand and ambitious, if sometimes sketchy, plans evidently grabbed the attention of voters.

At times it seemed that Teddy was everywhere on campus; certainly nobody could miss the potent combination of his mustard hoodie and bright pink t-shirt. His slogan ‘Safe as Houses’, while a little clichéd, was nonetheless memorable.

Yet Teddy did not just win as a result of his campaign, though undoubtedly he was the most recognisable candidate on campus running for this position. Voters will have been willing to trust he can provide such services as an expanded Hopper bus service to include Lenton, Dunkirk and Beeston and a Paris style bike loan system, despite the lack of concrete plans on how he aims to achieve this. However, it is obvious that his plans to completely reform the current SU website and to put pressure on Unipol to provide a relevant service have struck a chord with voters.

He attributes his success to the other candidates, arguing that “If they hadn’t run such good campaigns, I wouldn’t have been as good as I was.”

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57 Comments

  1. No Cap
    March 13, 2010 at 15:55 — Reply

    Teddy Smith: “If they hadn’t run such good campaigns, I wouldn’t have been as good as I was.” – I think you’ll find that the only reason you won was the Karni vote. This allowed you to defeat the two other candidates (Sam Stone was out of the equation with his terrible manifesto) who had infinitely better manifestos and better experience. Oh well, another example of what this university prefers.

  2. anon
    March 13, 2010 at 16:17 — Reply

    Don’t fair No Cap, at least Karni was defeated where it mattered the most. The Presidential position!

  3. A non-karni member
    March 13, 2010 at 16:21 — Reply

    I feel I am just going to have to copy and paste this in from a previous comment i left, as i feel this revelling in karni’s failure is unfair, and this beratement in their success is disgraceful!!

    Popularity will always come into it, but there should not be any belittlement or condemning Karni becuase of it. Karni offers a great opportunity: it opens up a window to view the workings of the SU (something which will be essential); it calls for the most proactive and enthusiastic people (another thing which will be essential) but also the approachable and friendly (yet another essential element).

  4. David Rees
    March 13, 2010 at 16:56 — Reply

    Hi guys, I’ve been reading a lot of negativity on these boards towards the Karni candidates. I was Director last year and it saddens me that there is so much hostility towards anybody who is involved with Karni for running in SU elections. The last two years have seen Karni take a massive step back from elections, actively not backing candidates who are running for SU regardless of any previous involvement they have had with Karni. Other SRS’s do not do the same.

    This was apparent in the losses of Emily, Will and Lawrence who have all been involved in the SRS. Its very easy to blame a lose on something like Karni but i feel it is pretty short sighted. The Karni exec works harder and closer for a longer period of time then any other committee in the university. The reason a lot of the people running come from Karni is because it gives you a view into the SU and you see what is wrong and what needs changes.

    “at least Karni was defeated where it mattered the most. The Presidential position!”

    No one from Karni was running for President. I don’t really see why you think its a victory to beat Karni, surly you should base your judgments on the candidates not their past work.

    Well done to all the winners last night, they all thoroughly deserved it and I wish them all the best luck for the next year.

  5. I'm interested
    March 13, 2010 at 18:16 — Reply

    David Rees, you say that “The last two years have seen Karni take a massive step back from elections, actively not backing candidates who are running for SU”

    I do not dispute this statement. However, you go on to claim that

    “Other SRS’s do not do the same.”

    This is a very broad and serious accusation.

    Are you actually suggesting the SRSs themselves, ie NOT individual members of the SRSs who are acting independently of the organisations – have been favouring certain candidates over others?

    If you are, please provide some evidence to back up your claim.

  6. No Cap
    March 13, 2010 at 18:34 — Reply

    Do not kid yourselves in thinking that Karni does not play a huge part in the elections – Karni still does. I’m sorry, but if you read the manifestos I think you will find he has minimal relevant experience, plus some incredibly irrelevant and ludicrous policies. It would seem obvious that Karni greatly helped him get elected (as is the case with so many other candidates). With all due respect to Mr Smith, this is another case of who you know, not what you are worth. However, he may yet prove his worth – I hope so for the entire student body.

  7. Unfair
    March 13, 2010 at 18:59 — Reply

    There seems to be a lot of emphasis on this ‘Karni vote’. What exactly is that? the 100 odd reps that make up Karni? because thats not enough to win an election. Or is it the people whom the said ‘Karni’ Candidate meets whilst working for their hall and for karni? because that is exactly the same as any SRS, AU club or SU society.

    Given the amount of people from a Karni background who run and aren’t elected in elections (this years and previous ones) the ‘Karni Vote’ seems far from a trump card.

    Teddy’s experience in Karni and particularly as a head of Seven Legged Committee surely is something to value rather than belittle? Organising a 6500 person event spanning an entire city is nothing to turn your nose up at.

    Teddy, congratulations I wish you all the best!

  8. David Rees
    March 13, 2010 at 19:11 — Reply

    Im not trying to accuse anyone or any SRS of anything, but undoubtably when people involved with an SRS run for SU it puts that organisation in a difficult situation. Look at the current Karni exec and you will see that a point was made that no one could wear candidates t-shirts to promote them on nights out because Karni has to be so careful since it is targeted as being seen as having too much influence in elections.

    Personally I believe that more stringent rules should be implemented across the board with SRS’s to make sure that they are not used as media tools to promote with.

    Teddy was a Karni rep over a year ago, I don’t think you can seriously argue that that is the reason he got elected.

    “It would seem obvious that Karni greatly helped him get elected (as is the case with so many other candidates)”

    So many other candidates? Only one other person involved with Karni got elected, and he is an NUS delegate. These guys may not have exact experience at the moment, but thats because they haven’t had time because of what they did with Karni where they proved how capable they were.

    If you are not happy with the way the student body voted then endeavour to make sure they are better informed of manifestos, policies and that the 25,000 students who didn’t vote go and vote.

    Why do people latch onto the Karni tag but not New Theatre? Why do people think its unfair for people who have worked continuously within the SU for two years to run for SU exec?

    Personally I’m very happy for everyone who got elected, even those who beat close friends of mine. They have to have worked incredibly hard and done very well to get out to so many students and convince them to vote for them.

  9. No Cap
    March 13, 2010 at 19:12 — Reply

    @ Unfair
    You miss the point entirely and wish to ignore how Karni is really structured – if you have ever been involved in Karni then surely you will know and admit that Karni is a much larger network of people – and Karni actively seeks to remain in the SU good books. Also, to think that 100 reps is only a little advantage compared to knowing people in an SRS is incredibly naive!

    Furthermore, organizing a 6500 people event spanning an entire city might be something good for communications and organizational skills, but it has nothing to do with the understanding of a community – it is very different – not to mention the complete irrelevance with accommodation.

    Having said that, I wish him good luck and I really do hope he proves his worth – it is in all our interests.

  10. Unfair
    March 13, 2010 at 19:24 — Reply

    @No Cap

    I was merely trying to point out that Karni is not the only society that has networks asDavid Rees has already pointed out. Its hardly something you can only accuse ex-Karni members of doing.

  11. No Cap
    March 13, 2010 at 19:49 — Reply

    @ Unfair
    I appreciate this. However, you surely realize that Karni has a very large network. It is not just the current reps, it is aspiring reps, ex-reps, people actively involved around reps, others that have a huge interest in Karni activities. Yes, Karni does a lot of good things (even though some events are structured badly and could have a really bad impact on certain people), and this I do not doubt.

    However, it is a reality that Karni wish to remain in favour with the SU for some of the problems that surround the organization, and in my experience people involved in Karni unite to make sure the SU continue to close an eye on certain issues and encourage Karni events.

    If you consider all the people I have mentioned above, and if only a fifth of those people got five of their friends to vote for a candidate such as Teddy Smith, we are talking of a starting point of hundreds, probably more than half thousand votes – this is definitely not negligible, considering other knock on effects.

    I am only making the point that it is undoubtedly an advantage to be close to Karni in an SU election, regardless of manifestos. It is not the same as being involved in an SRS. I wish to stress, however, that I really hope he serves us well.

  12. SU fail
    March 13, 2010 at 21:03 — Reply

    I agree with No cap, Karni did have an awful lot to do with Teddy winning and it is a shame that popularity has won over policy and manifestos. Teddy was obviously not the most suitable person for this job and anyone who watched the question times would have seen this.
    Karni’s experience of ruining students image in the Community (rag raids are banned from several towns) and Teddy’s lack of knowledge is totally unapplicable to this role.

  13. anon
    March 13, 2010 at 21:36 — Reply

    Wait there isn’t a rule that prevents SRS executives from wearing candidates t-shirts and verbally showing support? if so, this is outrageous! Its like the BBC going on air and changing their logo and slogan to fit Labour or Conservative policies. Watch Oxfam as they declare their support for David Cameron. What a joke, what a bloody joke.

    I call a motion to ban all SRSs and previous SRSs executives members from publicly or privately supporting any candidate.

  14. Elizabeth 'egg' Goddard
    March 13, 2010 at 22:14 — Reply

    @anon

    A motion went to February SU Council (but no-one seems quite sure what actually passed after so many amendments) banning former, current and elect Representational Officers and Faculty Coordinators (or at least some combination) from supporting candidates.

    As a Representational Officer I’m pretty sure that SRS Heads and Exec have far more influence over more people than I do.

    I think a similar motion could certainly be put forwards for SRS Heads and perhaps SRS exec members. However, it is already the case that no SRS, as an SRS, is allowed to support candidates (in the same way that no society, AU club, etc can). We’re always talking about individual people.

  15. anonymous
    March 13, 2010 at 22:27 — Reply

    @ SU fail

    Your wrong! Rag raids have not been banned from any towns or cities…..

    Your facts are flawed…. much like you opinions!

    Jog On

  16. March 13, 2010 at 22:40 — Reply

    I believe the reason why they banned current Rep Officers and Faculty Coordinators (if i recall, they removed the ‘former’ from the motion in the amendment) from backing candidates is because they believed that people were grooming their successors – something which is obviously contrary to the democratic process. SRSs are clearly not in this position because they are outside the tent, as it were.

    I can’t speak for the other SRSs, but Impact made a clear demarcation between candidates from the editorial team and the content of our news reports – constitutionally we are bound to keep our reporting fair and unbiased, and we take that very seriously.

    If you were to ban our entire editorial team, that’s around 35 people you are excluding from the student political process just from Impact – many of whom have been some of the most active people in that process. Extend this to all SRS Execs, and you’re wilfulling excluding the most vocal student politicians on campus for no reason other than “They might influence some of their friends to vote a certain way”, something which anybody is capable of doing whether they are in an SRS committee or not.

    The Karni vote is a not insubstantial factor in campus elections (and I think David Rees’ argument defending Karni – “The other SRSs are just as bad” – is weak at best), but if we’re going to start banning individuals on SRSs from supporting candidates, we might as well just start banning people for having too many friends on Facebook.

  17. Hang on
    March 13, 2010 at 22:46 — Reply

    Are you seriously suggesting that you would ban any former, current or elect SRS execs from promoting any candidate – even in when they are going about their daily lives, away from their SRS or any office, event etc connected with their SRS?

    This would rule out at least 100 people from campainging in any way, shape or form.

    If so, it is arguable that the 200+ AU & society presidents (in their personal lives, not as part of societies) have as much influence as SRS exec so they should probably be banned as well.

  18. anon
    March 13, 2010 at 22:59 — Reply

    @Elizabeth

    Oh yeah I know an SRS as a collective entity cannot support a candidate. But when people use the phrase ‘xyz is supported by Karni’ they are using it as synomun for the ‘powers that be’. Which often simply translates to the people in position and influence, such as the exec and head.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, SRS execs hold more sway over the heart and minds of the student population than any faculty co-ordinator or representational officer can dare to dream. The idea that they are disallowed from supporting a candidate while individual exec members are free to roam around, declaring their support for their ‘buddies’ is unfair.

    The trouble is, when you get a number of exec members supporting one candidate, their opinions act as a ‘united’ voice. As representatives of their SRS , they are in affect carrying its brand where they go. Where they lead people, especially members of the SRS follow. Even more so do the people who wish to be ‘groomed’ as a future candidate.

    The motion should call to lay a blanket ban on all SRS Heads and their exec members. What good is banning heads when you have three exec members supporting their chosen candidate? It just defeats the purpose of positions of great influence from affecting the elections.

    In fact just to check, what is the rule on society presidents and chairs of councils?

    FAIRER ELECTIONS. FAIRER ELECTIONS. FAIRER ELECTIONS!

  19. Elizabeth 'egg' Goddard
    March 13, 2010 at 23:01 — Reply

    I’m not really suggesting SRS execs, no. I agree that it’s completely impractical. It’s just a question of where to draw the line.

    As a current Rep Officer, I’m banned from supporting candidates in a personal capacity or otherwise, regardless of which position they are running for.

  20. It's ok
    March 13, 2010 at 23:10 — Reply

    Don’t worry Egg – even if you were allowed to endorse a candidate, it wouldn’t influence me in the slightest :p

  21. Elizabeth 'egg' Goddard
    March 13, 2010 at 23:12 — Reply

    @It’s ok

    I know! Hence my point that I have stupidly little influence!

    @Dave Jackson

    It would be easy to amend a motion so that I cannot support candidates for my position and thus not “groom” them.

  22. anon
    March 13, 2010 at 23:13 — Reply

    @ Hang on

    Lets clarify something here. 200+ AU/Society presidents do not have a collective executive authority. The SRS are one organization open up to every student, headed by a handle of people. Major difference in structure, channels of communication and sensitivity to influence. Major. Fact.

    @Dave Jackson

    What? you argue that we should ban faculty co-ordinators because they ‘groomed’ their successors. Yet you honestly believe SRS do not groom prime candidates onto the election stage ? banning support of candidates should follow positions of real influence and power. Hence why the SU executive are rightly banned. Please don’t try to argue faculty reps are above SRS executives in terms of influence on Student elections, its a joke and an insult to peoples intelligence. It was even noted by candidates, such as Ben, how much happen to be SRS related.

    We should never prevent SRS students from launching a campaign and exercise their right to stand for election. But I simply ask for them to do so on their own feet, supported from others who do not oversee a radio station or organise the ‘biggest student rag or summer party’.

    Oh wait, too much to ask obviously.

  23. March 13, 2010 at 23:31 — Reply

    I don’t think it’s possible for an SRS head to groom somebody for a position that isn’t theirs. How is my editor in chief qualified to, say, unfairly train somebody how to be LGBT Officer? Grooming isn’t about providing support to a candidate, it’s about being seen to handpick them to the detriment of others – discouraging their opposition from inside the organisation, giving the candidate an officer wants to win a disproportionate amount of training in the post before the election starts, say. SRSs are not capable of doing this, and this is what I mean by ‘grooming’.

    What you will find, also, is that many peoples’ closest friend groups happen to be ones made in SRSs – we work together for extended periods of time and often form very close friendships – if you were to ban committees, you’d actually be unfairly crippling certain candidates’ campaign teams from the very beginning not because they needed unofficial backing from an SRS, but because their most political active friends happen to be in an SRS. They’re not so much standing on their own feet as having their feet lopped out from under them.

    From a theoretical sense you almost have a point – people who have worked their way up in an SRS undoubtedly have more influence over their peers than somebody who doesn’t get involved in SU politics at all. But practically, it’s absurd to propose that the SU deliberately cuts its nose off to spite its face by excluding so many people from the political process.

  24. David Beckham
    March 13, 2010 at 23:34 — Reply

    Every candidate will have used friends and informal networks that they have gained through su activities – I’m sure Dalia had a near monopoly of votes from those actively involved in the women’s network and I’m also sure that George and his supporters wouldn’t be on here chastising her for this had she won instead. Stop being bitter just because your favourite candidate didn’t win.

  25. David Beckham
    March 13, 2010 at 23:39 — Reply

    classic Beckham, I posted it on the wrong article.

  26. Posh
    March 13, 2010 at 23:40 — Reply

    @David Beckham

    David you have great hair…. just thought you should know

  27. David Rees
    March 13, 2010 at 23:50 — Reply

    “and I think David Rees’ argument defending Karni – “The other SRSs are just as bad” – is weak at best”

    Haha I find it quite funny that you are part of impact and then go on to miss quote me…

    Im NOT saying they do it so we can do it. Im saying the exact opposite. We have tried to set the standard in Karni by NOT backing candidates because there is so much hostility towards the Karni bias in elections, and because I too believe in running as democratic elections as possible.

    Ex Karni people lost in these elections, had Karni supported them more would the outcomes change? Quite possibly. They had friends on the new exec who could not support them publicly because of Karni’s stance this matter.

    Im not saying other SRSs are bad so its ok for us to be bad too, Im saying more should be made to ensure the level of involvement must be level across the board. Because, yes, they do have a lot of influence IF they choose to use and abuse it. But Karni has not done this for the last two years and the anger aimed at it is misplaced.

    Oh and Ragraids have not been banned anywhere, ever….

    And the reason Karni candidates don’t have as much experience in certain roles is because they don’t have time. Karni is 24/7. What they have shown is that they are extremely capable people who have experience within the SU, and this is the same for many different SRSs.

  28. Paul
    March 14, 2010 at 00:01 — Reply

    The possibility of truly “equal opportunities” is a fairly remote one within these elections, because inevitably some people find themselves in positions of significant influence. As far as I can see, however, Teddy hasn’t exploited connections in any profound or illegitimate sense and has merely benefitted from knowing a few hundred 3rd years

    I’d suggest that much like with Will Vickers, Teddy’s victory is probably a combination of:

    a) Running an effective campaign.
    b) Weak campaigns from his competitors.
    c) Knowing a fair few people through his previous roles,
    c) An eye-catching (though probably unachievable) policy.

  29. Jo
    March 14, 2010 at 00:02 — Reply

    I partly agree with Dave Rees’ last point. The people who are most involved with running SRSs do a massive amount of work.

    This makes them very qualified to run an SRS.

    However, does it make them more qualified than someone who has undeniably far greater experience and knowledge of how the SU exec & SU council work?

  30. David Rees
    March 14, 2010 at 00:18 — Reply

    I wouldn’t say more qualified no.

    But you do not vote, nor should a vote be won by just the most qualified person.

    Policies, character, ambition and so many other qualities are what people vote on. And just running a good campaign

    I think Paul sums up the points quite well

  31. No Cap
    March 14, 2010 at 00:24 — Reply

    David Rees – it is blatant that Karni backs certain people through word of mouth, and not only, and I have personally experienced this – so what imaginary standard within Karni are you talking about?

    The Karni vote does exist, it is a strong basis and wins people elections – the fact that a few Karni candidates have lost in these elections is an incredibly weak argument in defense of some unknown standard of conduct within Karni – it’s like saying that an overdraft facility is not useful to anyone because some people need more than their overdraft limit. Metaphorically speaking, that Karni overdraft was more than enough for Teddy Smith.

    SU Fail, I completely agree with you.

  32. David Rees
    March 14, 2010 at 00:59 — Reply

    You’d be surprised just how conscious Karni is with elections of what actions it takes on how far individuals can back candidates.

    When I was rep we used to have select candidates come in and speak to us about their policies and told we should vote for these people for the benefit of Karni.

    I stopped that last year and Samo this year has continued to maintain impartialness from the elections. Not to tell reps who to vote for, not allowing exec to wear candidates shirts on nights out or be part of their campaign team. Not actively backing anyone.

    If you don’t believe me I cant change your mind.

    Yes doing Karni got Teddy more votes, becuase he was involved and met more people, thats about the limit of it. Reps are genuinely not interested enough to encourage their mates to vote for teddy or work in some large Karni campaign team

  33. Phil Mitchell
    March 14, 2010 at 01:08 — Reply

    @No Cap

    Even if Karni does back people (which im pretty sure they dont) through word of mouth, how is this different from any other SRS, Committee, Society, or Representative Network? Weekone, Summer party, New theatre, Impact, URN, J-Soc, Blow Soc, Any large AU club, and the BME network, to name a few all have very large memberships. All have members running in elections more often than not. What is to stop them from mobilising voters from those organisations for their elections campaign? How is this any different from what Karni supposedly does? The fact of the matter is that people do vote for who they know because they will have built up some sort of relationship, trust or social contract with that person and are therefore vindicated to vote for someone they can trust to do a good job instead of a complete stranger.

    Everyone who runs in elections makes ridiculous manifesto pledges which are almost impossible to come through with, that’s politics. It is impossible to know how change can be bought about until you are actually in the position of power. Im sure I would vote for someone I trusted to do a good job instead of some stranger with impossible manifesto pledges.

    At the end of the day elections are about the popular vote! The person with the most votes wins because they are more popular with the public, through either persona, policies or sheer blind luck. Im sorry to state the obvious but this notion seems very lost on you! Who are you to presuppose what student voters want obviously they wanted George and Teddy otherwise the vote would have swung the other way.

    Are you suggesting that these elections are not democratic because there are some students who are more influential than others? Look at the political systems in both the USA and UK. Famous and influential public figures such as film stars, high profile business men and celebrity personalities donate, endorse and attach themselves to candidate and party election campaigns. How is this any different? If that is good enough for national elections then it is also good enough for Nottingham University Students Union. Or are we just special?

    Over and Out

  34. No Cap
    March 14, 2010 at 01:50 — Reply

    Karni is a huge network, and it has an extended network of people much bigger than most organizations, SRSs or Societies you have mentioned. In my experience with them they do back people as a network. Karni is a good organization, but has some problems, and needs to remain in favour with the SU for a number of reasons.

    My point is simply that this dictates the vote on a number of occasions, and this is not good, as it is about who you know not what you can do. This is bad for democracy as people with better capabilities can be pushed aside if they know fewer people.

    Having said this, I do not think that anybody should take away the right of any individual to support a candidate on a personal level. Certain networks or organizations, however, should not be allowed to do so, and rightly so. It is like that in the US and UK democracies as well, with regulations and checks by impartial bodies.

    Anyway, you put an interesting point forward there. Interestingly, the system of Nottingham University Students’ Union is more democratic than the UK one. As you probably know better than I do, a UK party can receive a higher share of the vote but have fewer seats in parliament than its rival party.

  35. anon
    March 14, 2010 at 06:57 — Reply

    @ Phill

    You are wrong. SRS are comparable to public funded or charitable organizations. In the UK the best example is the BBC and Oxfam. URN like the BBC staff and Karni like Oxfam staff, should be regulated to ensure impartiality. These organisations are not private companies like the Daily mirror and individuals like Alan sugar, who are in their full rights to back who they wish. However, when the organisation is funded by the public, like SRS in the Student Union, then I argue like the BBC and Oxfam we should expect their members who have position of authority and influence, to sign up to a respect for impartially.

    If you want a truer comparison to the UK and Nottingham elections. The UK general election would have the BBC director general roaming around in public, declaring his support for a political party. Or imagine if Oxfam staff only invited candidates from a particular party, during the election.

    High flying business men in the UK and USA can attach themselves, but certainly there are rules and regulations. For example Alan sugar could not show his support on the BBC and would restrain from doing so on other channels.

    So no, i would argue the UK and Nottingham elections are no better at best.

  36. SU fail
    March 14, 2010 at 09:03 — Reply

    “I’d suggest that much like with Will Vickers, Teddy’s victory is probably a combination of:

    a) Running an effective campaign.
    b) Weak campaigns from his competitors.
    c) Knowing a fair few people through his previous roles,
    c) An eye-catching (though probably unachievable) policy.”

    Teddy may have run an effective campaign, but by no means was the campaigns from his competitors weak. This is demonstrated by the little amount he won by. The competitors also had eye-catching policys. Therefore I would say knowing a fair few people from Karni impacted heavily on his campaign. An example of this can be found with Sam Stone- who did no campaigning at all- yet still managed to get 500 odd votes- half the votes which Perkins got. To say that SRS’s have a big impact on the elections which rivals that of Karni’s is a joke- otherwise surely Perkins would have got a higher position than 3rd.
    Karni does impact hugely on elections and something needs to be done about it! Otherwise we will keep on getting candidates who are not suitable and don’t care about the job, but just want to spend a year not working and having piss ups!

  37. Pol soc
    March 14, 2010 at 14:09 — Reply

    SU Fail

    ‘just want a year not working and having piss ups’

    Please show me your evidence for this highly slanderous claim.

    Your bitter that the people you wanted in the Exec did not win. You and No Cap seem to think that Karni people should not run for SU Exec? Furthermore you also imply that most students will vite for someone purely because they are told to by a mate. This is insulting to students, just like many of your evidence lacking claims.

  38. Sam
    March 14, 2010 at 15:48 — Reply

    I think the issue is here is not Karni, it’s the University students as a whole. Having attended Friday’s results night and listened to all the results read out, it was evident that the number of votes cast was low and arguably not representative of the University’s population. In saying that, you do have to look at who is voting. Without generalising or trying to tarnish people with the same brush, those that take an interest in the Student Union and the elections are more likely to be those who involve themselves in SRS’s. In my first year I never bothered to vote, but as my time at Uni has progressed and I became more involved in different aspects of University life, I took more of an interest in the way that things are run. All the candidates running for Exec positions this year had already gained experience within the many SRS’s and AU clubs this university has to offer, be it Week One, New Theatre, Impact, Summer Party, SVC or Karni, not to mention the many who already act as NUS delegates and Union reps.

    I think people confuse the friendships that candidates have made through their involvement in SRS, with endorsement.

    Karni is a long established SRS at this university, and regardless of what students think about it, it has raised a tremendous amount of money for charity over the years.

    Teddy and George are both fantastic guys and there is a lot more to them than just the red t-shirt they wore a couple of years ago! They are two of the most enthusiastic individuals that I have ever met and I know they will do a brilliant job.

    Karni has nothing to do with the fact that out of a University of almost 30,000 students only around 4,000 bothered to vote.

  39. Paul
    March 14, 2010 at 17:12 — Reply

    “Please show me your evidence for this highly slanderous claim [that many Exec members want an extra year of piss ups without much work].”

    The times I’ve seen Exec members at clubs looking fairly hammered easily outnumbers the times I’ve noticed them achieving substantial change.

  40. Voice of Reason
    March 14, 2010 at 18:00 — Reply

    @ Paul

    Exec members are normal people…. Why cant they go out on a Friday night with their friends and have a bit of fun? Other young professionals do exactly the same. Why should it be different for our Exec?

    You talk of substantial change. How hard do you think this is? Very. The Union works on a 3 year plan and to change anything substantial takes time to go through due process. When this is coupled with the restraints put on them by the university, SMT, finance and time, I think the change and representation we currently get far outweighs what you would get from the majority of other Unions in this country. Yes all candidates promise the world when they are elected. But its not until they actually get into office that they realise the restraints that they are under.

    The hours the current Exec work are actually ridiculous. In any graduate job you would be working far fewer hours, with far greater financial rewards, professional training, and other benefits. I think you will find we are actually very lucky to have such talented, dedicated people representing us, because they are definitely not doing it for financial gains, or the ridiculous hours they work.

    All in all if you get involved you get great value for money from the services the Union provides.

    If you want to make substantial change. Perhaps you should run for office and find out how hard it actually is?

    [email protected]

  41. Paul
    March 14, 2010 at 19:56 — Reply

    @Voice of Reason

    I’m not saying the Exec should be any different in their social life, I’m just saying that free entry to club nights and various other perks act as a significant incentive. Many people run because they want another year of fun in Nottingham. Look at how many of this week’s losers will go on to do a Masters here, for example.

    If the Union works on a 3 year plan and Exec Officers are aware of the restrictions of this, they should surely be pushing for changes to extend the terms of Exec Officers or shorten the length of the plans? I find it very concerning that the people “setting the direction” of our Union so willingly accept such limited levels of influence.

    The reason that Exec Officers are paid so little for so many hours is that there will always be people willing to run for the positions. The University ties up the Exec with countless meetings in order to create another layer of bureaucracy that ultimately restricts the time and freedom required to carry out one’s mandate.

    Putting yourself forward in an Exec election knowing that you would have no real power to implement your policies if elected would be a disingenuous tactic (and most likely an ineffective one given the slim chances of success). The only way the Exec can ever exercise power is if it fights for that power instead of going on cosy trips to the rugby with the Vice Chancellor.

  42. Paul
    March 14, 2010 at 21:32 — Reply

    @ SU Fail

    “Teddy may have run an effective campaign, but by no means was the campaigns from his competitors weak. This is demonstrated by the little amount he won by. The competitors also had eye-catching policies.”

    Teddy won with 1958 votes whilst his nearest competitor had 1464. I can’t remember any of the other candidates policies; his bike lending idea might well be doing the work you’re attributing to Karni.

  43. anon
    March 14, 2010 at 23:12 — Reply

    “The Karni exec works harder and closer for a longer period of time then any other committee in the university”
    I think the Impact team, who work constantly ALL year round to would have something to say about this statement as I;m sure would many other committees

  44. William Shakespeare
    March 15, 2010 at 01:19 — Reply

    “I think the Impact team, who work constantly ALL year round to would have something to say about this statement as I;m sure would many other committees”

    I don’t think Dave is trying to take anything away from the great work that other SRS and Society committees do. Merely trying to say that you would be hard pushed to find a committee that works so hard for such an intense extended period of time. Emphasising previous members of the Execs commitment to the SU and therefore their suitability to be prospective candidates. The 35 or so hours a week is a lot to ask of any student. This is before you start including supervision of evening events, and leading events during holidays giving up significant periods of their holiday. Karni really is a 24/7 activity. Karni deserve all the credit they get!

  45. Before it all kicks off...
    March 15, 2010 at 01:45 — Reply

    Let’s not get into an argument about which SRS team puts in the most hours.

    It’s safe to say that the most dedicated people in each of the SRSs put in more hours to their SRS than their degree.

  46. Hmmm...
    March 15, 2010 at 13:14 — Reply

    I think the Karni thing is interesting but more importantly is that fact that Teddy Smith has NO IDEA how the Student Volunteer Centre works and that is where is office is based and what he will be spending half his time working on. Karni has nothing to do with the SVC and he probably cannot name any sutdent run projects or campaigns the SVC has run.
    This to me, is terrifying. I am furious that he went for this position. I am almost certain he only went for it because other positions had strong candidates going for them and he thought this would be an easy win. This is a very important position as it has so much to do with the local nottingham community and he’s just a joke. I cannot see him up at 9am doing a Dunkirk clean-up like Sam Wilkinson did. Him being elected has made me lose a bit of faith in the student population.

  47. SVC User
    March 15, 2010 at 14:05 — Reply

    Hmmm… makes a good point – and it was raised in the Candidate Question Time that he had no SVC-related policies. In his answer at CQT, he said he wanted to integrate SVC into the SU more – I’m not sure what he envisages beyond giving SVC a prominent office in Portland Building…

  48. Tony Blair
    March 15, 2010 at 14:09 — Reply

    @ Hmmm…

    Don’t you think you have shot yourself in the foot there slightly? Sam Wilkinson was on Karni Exec before he was elected!

    Maybe you should get your facts straight before you start throwing accusations around!

  49. Hmmm...
    March 15, 2010 at 16:10 — Reply

    @ Tony Blair

    Re-read what I wrote. Yes I know Sam Wilkinson was Karni exec (Teddy Smith was only Karni exec for a very short period btw) but unlike Smith, Wilkinson had policies he could follow through with and knew a heck of a lot more about the SVC when he campaigned.
    I don’t know quite what you are getting at about me shooting myself in the foot…maybe you could explain yourself?

  50. Byron in the pine
    March 15, 2010 at 16:19 — Reply

    I agree with Tony Blair. Hmmm…you clearly seem to have overlooked the fact that a lot (all of these) newly elected exec 0fficers are going learn a hell of a lot before they even start their positions in early September. In fact they spend a lot of the latter half of the summer in training and handover from the previous officer holders. It is in this sense that a lot of the work with which they want to achieve in their year in office is formulated. Just because Mr Smith hasn’t got a HUGE amount of relevant experience, it doesnt mean that he wont do a fantastic job. And saying that you dont see him up at 9am doing a Dunkirk clean up like Sam Wilkinson is an utterly useless prediction. Do you know him? Have you based this on anything other than the fact that he isnt a tee total, lefty bore with a MASSIVE sense of humour failure like the rest of the people making denigrating comments about him? The purpose of the election campaign is for people to decide who they think would work well on the exec TEAM, and thus to produce results. Also for anyone else perpetuating this karni bashing mentality, give it a rest. You’re boring SO many people.

  51. Byron in the pine
    March 15, 2010 at 16:23 — Reply

    Teddy Smith WAS NOT karni exec for any period of time. Get your facts right.

  52. David Rees
    March 15, 2010 at 16:38 — Reply

    Errr Teddy was never Exec.

    But he is a great guy and helped run 7 legged

    just thought id clear that up x

  53. Bob
    March 15, 2010 at 16:39 — Reply

    Well you have shot yourslef in the foot by saying Teddy was Karni Exec for a short period whch is not true. He was never Karnival Exec. Get your facts right HMMM

  54. SU fail
    March 15, 2010 at 17:12 — Reply

    The point that Teddy knows absoloutely nothing about the community issues is a valid one though. To those who don’t believe me, watch the candidate question times.

  55. Paul
    March 15, 2010 at 18:33 — Reply

    “The point that Teddy knows absoloutely nothing about the community issues is a valid one though. To those who don’t believe me, watch the candidate question times.”

    Or the “Accomodation &” video from elections night:

    http://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/nuts/elections/

  56. Joe Spraggins
    March 15, 2010 at 21:44 — Reply

    Being on the current Karni exec I would just like to clear up a few things. Firstly, we had a meeting well before campaigning began, and decided the right thing to do would be to back no one in the elections. This was far from an ideal situation for some of us, I’m good friends with Will Burks and would have liked to have thought I would have been heavily involved in his campaign – however I wasn’t allowed to be and can safely say we all stuck to the rules we set out.

    In no way did we advise rep’s on who to vote for, despite numerous candidates coming in to ask for help .

    You can look at it two ways, because this massive grudge people hold against Karni will automatically make people vote against them, even if they could be the best person for the role. Just because people don’t like a few people or things going on within Karni, it doesn’t mean every person involved is a bad person and not suitable for a role of responsibility.

    In terms of Karni being impartial because of funding from the students, we don’t actually receive any money from the SU, and are completely self-reliant, yet we still stay impartial.

    ‘just want to spend a year not working and having piss ups’

    I find this comment highly offensive due to the amount of work i’m currently putting in towards my degree, while trying to balance this with the work I need to do for Karni. I’d love to know how many extra-curricular activities you do..

  57. Anon
    March 15, 2010 at 21:54 — Reply

    Teddy Smith has been democratically elected to the SU Exec – the huge student population had a choice of a variety of candidates, and they selected him fair and square.

    The vast majority of students stop caring about Karni when they get to Christmas of their first term of their first year – I personally don’t think the so called ‘Karni Vote’ exists in the manner that some people here suggest. I think very few people will look through the ballot paper and actively look for Karni people and vote for them – what is more likely is that they will at some point have met or heard of those people through karni (or a society – don’t forget that karni is not always the only thing these karni guys have done) – and voted for them on the basis that they have given up their time during their studies to contribute to the SU, or that they are a candidate they have met personally, and liked.

    The majority of posts on this thread are typically cynical reactive student points of view. Too many people at this university do not get involved with societies/SRS/elections themselves, do not vote, and then complain about the people who get elected when it is all too late (obviously this isn’t the case for all of you).

    Get used to it – life isn’t fair, and in general it IS about who you know not what you know. However, you get to know the right people by getting involved and networking – and this is what makes you the right man/woman for the job.

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