Fifth Week in OUSU Council: Everybody Lies

‘I’m surprised you’re not running’, he says. It’s mid OUSU Council, and we’ve broken for Pizza before Central Hustings. He goes on, saying that there’s usually only one reason to be ‘such a passionate speaker’ in Council and that’s because you’re jockeying for an elected position. I bite my lip, risking another glance into his eyes. I try to say, ‘I guess I’m just a passionate guy’, but what actually comes out of my mouth is a mumbled, ‘just not really that interested’. He smirks. I take a bite of pizza to prevent myself from saying anything else. At this point we’re interrupted; I’m only half disappointed.

The passionate speaking in question-at least, with regard to this week-was about an emergency motion that we were presented with yesterday, on the day of Council itself. It was-again-about free higher education. The London demonstration that we’d already voted to support had been challenged by the National Union of Students with safety concerns. I made a mini-speech in the guise of a short factual question, detailing the conversation I’d had with the demonstration’s organiser that afternoon, and my opinion that the safety concerns raised were on the whole spurious (and probably politically motivated by the NUS). This was also the opinion, as it turned out, of the vast majority of people in OUSU Council, even those who had originally voted against supporting the demonstration: Council voted overwhelmingly to reject the ‘safety concerns’ the NUS had raised on their facts, and we will, along with Student Unions up and down the country, continue to support the demonstration. (If you’d like to go on the demo, check out the email Jack has sent out, and please ask either of us if you have any questions).

The hustings in question are for OUSU’s new elected officers; they come in part and full time varieties. They look after areas such as welfare, equal opps, charities and communities, and there are also positions like LGBTQ, BME, and Women’s positions which run (among other things) equality campaigns. These hustings are coming to Catz this Friday at 6pm in the JCR. Please come down and hear what they all have to say! (They’re all really nice, and it’s a really good opportunity to ask them questions ahead of the election, which is next week).

If you read my last post you might remember that the current VP for Welfare, Chris Pike, was suspended two weeks ago. He’s now been unsuspended, though all details remain, for the moment at least, confidential. (I don’t know either).

Those were the most important things that happened, but look out for the various notices about campaigns and events that OUSU’s running-there are quite a few happening soon.

Despite the distraction I eventually finish my pizza, and I watch Central Hustings. They’re really interesting, and I’d really encourage everyone to come down to the JCR on Friday at 6pm. If nothing else it’ll get you fired up before the entz.

Christopher Casson

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