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Vickers For President

Will Vickers has been elected SU President following an exhausting two week campaign.

At the end of a memorable race that saw the expulsion of one candidate for making offensive remarks during the Presidential debate, New Theatre President Vickers emerged victorious after beating off strong competition from his three competitors. Ben Ingram had put up a fierce fight with his campaign and it seemed possible that he could win it – for the last week his and Vickers’ Facebook groups had virtually equal membership. James Torrance also represented a formidable threat with his multiple campaign videos and a determined promise to make the SU more independent from the University. Hannan Azhar presented somewhat of a challenge too – as former International Students’ Officer he could count on getting the vote of Nottingham’s sizeable international student population.

But in the end it was probably a combination of Vickers’ sound policies and a good performance at the Presidential debate that enabled him to see off his opponents. Although Vickers’ pledge to bring in a Lenton hopper bus has come under criticism for being unfeasible, it is a policy with much widespread support. His other manifesto policies of creating an online system of academic feedback, better graduate job opportunities and increased provision for AU clubs, societies and postgraduates appear to be realistic and achievable goals.

Vickers’ use of the Presidential debate to pitch himself as an experienced and responsible candidate may also have had some bearing on the election result. During a heated discussion between him and Torrance on the merits of reducing drink prices in Mooch and the Den, Vickers vehemently argued that it would be fundamentally wrong for a President to push for cheaper alcohol when student drinking is a serious welfare issue.

“I’m just going to fall apart and watch Family Guy,” he said when asked about his plans for the night; “I just couldn’t stand up when I found out I’d won.”

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25 Comments on this post.
  • Anonymous
    13 March 2010 at 12:06
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    That’s some really poor grammar in the final sentence.

  • Rob
    13 March 2010 at 16:29
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    “Vickers vehemently argued that it would be fundamentally wrong for a President to push for cheaper alcohol when student drinking is a serious welfare issue.”

    HEY PREZ-ELECT! Leave us kids alone.

  • Steve
    13 March 2010 at 21:36
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    I want cheaper booze 🙁

  • Paul
    14 March 2010 at 00:38
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    I’ll look forward to the free hopper bus 🙂

    Assuming that Will Vickers spoke to the current President (or to our Accommodation and Community Officer) about whether a free hopper bus was actually plausible, he’s either:
    a) Deliberately misled voters.
    b) Foolish.

    Anyone fancy a bet on when he’ll accept/realise it’s never going to happen?

  • Paul
    14 March 2010 at 00:39
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    *Free Lenton Hopper bus

  • No Cap
    14 March 2010 at 00:50
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    @ Paul
    I would say both deliberately misleading voters and foolish.

    The argument against cheaper alcoholic drinks is completely flawed.
    Just say that me and my mate go into the SU bar, I have a budget of £20 and my mate £60. So, at £2 a pint, it would be okay for me to buy only 10 drink and my mate 30 (this is against Equal Opps). I know you are always going to get that difference whatever the price, but the higher the prices are the bigger the difference. Wouldn’t it be better to lower both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink prices (a pint of coke costs double what it costs in BZR), make it more inclusive and run strong campaigns on drink awareness for student welfare? I guess it is easier to make a bigger profit on the shoulders of those students who don’t care anyway.

    Another disappointment.

  • David Rees
    14 March 2010 at 01:10
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    Free Lenton Hopper Bus? I dont ever expect to see this happening.

    Cheaper drinks in Mooch and Den? Dangerous, personally I don’t think its too expensive, the Uni couldn’t drop them below £1.50 without having to rewrite its own policies on alcohol. £1.50 pints in mooch? I’d be happy with that but any lower and it begins to send out the wrong message

  • Just a suggestion
    14 March 2010 at 01:31
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    Why not promote more healthy drinking habits through lowering the price of non alcoholic drinks instead of keeping the price of alcohic drinks higher than many places in town?

    Does anyone have any proof that the policy of having drinks at the SU bar that are more expensive (than other SU bars) actually means people have more healthy drinking habits or are people just assuming that?

    Keeping alcoholic drinks prices high will only encourage students to drink supermarket booze in their rooms or go into town instead.

  • No Cap
    14 March 2010 at 01:32
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    Yes, I too would be happier with £1,50 drinks for the reasons stated above (alongside a reduction of non-alcoholic drink prices) – and yes, no lower than that is sensible as it would send out the wrong message.

    For once I agree with Mr Rees.. hear hear!

  • Rob
    14 March 2010 at 02:14
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    I agree with reducing prices for any type of drink in the den or mooch, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. But the idea our SU should be so pent up around drink awareness is ridiculous, let people do want, leave them alone and go away with your authoritarian concern with what,us, as students do.

  • Rob
    14 March 2010 at 02:26
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    “The Wrong Message”
    What is that exactly?
    Do you think students are not informed?
    Where has this conservative, moralising bullcrap come from? The disdain shown towards people is shamefull. ‘Ohhhhh, binge drinking is a problem. Dont do this, dont drink that, dont eat this’. Why dont you butt out of what people want to do and waste your ‘concern’ on more important issues than the actions of peoples lifestyle choices.

  • Angus
    14 March 2010 at 11:07
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    why doesn’t everyone just stop complaining and let him get on with the job…

  • Stop moaning!
    14 March 2010 at 13:03
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    To all the people who keep complainign about candidates- it’s getting boring. Though you and I may not agree with some of the choices, what’s done is done. (I certainly dispute whether 3 of the candidates have what it takes but…)

    Those of you who keep moaning didn’t have the guts to go for a position yourselves, so rather than setting people up for a fall, lets give the new exec the support they need to fulfil their promises.

  • Sam
    14 March 2010 at 13:08
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    You’re wasting your time on the drinks price debate, it is something over which the President has no control. For one, the FSO is chair of the Directors of the company and two, it isn’t something over which the Exec have any control, it’s up to the bar management to set the prices.

    As it happens they’re bound by – the SU’s policy file – the Best Bar None scheme – the conditions of the license – an agreement with the University on minimum pricing across all the bars.

    Next…?

  • James
    14 March 2010 at 13:22
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    every year i’ve been at uni a hopper bus has been promised by the President and every year it fails, surely subsidised travel using existing nottingham buses would be better and far more attainable.

    Student binge drinking isn’t the issue with the price reduction, if students want to drink too much then they will – fact. If the uni cut prices then their (and everyone elses) SU will be a more attractive place to go and in turn put more money back into the uni rather than supermarkets… i dont think the SU really care about health, thats a facade.

  • Dan
    14 March 2010 at 14:04
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    Will is going to be a fantastic President. It’s probably time to say that over the past two weeks, there have been many that have been quick to criticise candidates and the Exec Officers, keenly felt by myself I’m telling you. But decisions are made by those that show up, there is something deeply upsetting about hoards of people taking a swing at candidates and officers whilst then going home to sit back, do nothing and wallow in their own self-righteousness.

    Stand in an election, vote in an election, use the system before you wisely step back and say that it doesn’t work, that it doesn’t represent you. I congratulate Will, and all those that ran and voted, you deserve the utmost respect. The rest, just unremarkable voices in the crowd.

  • David Rees
    14 March 2010 at 15:20
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    What Dan said.

    Good luck Will, I reckon you’ll do a cracking job

  • James Torrance
    14 March 2010 at 16:34
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    Many of you know where I stand on the prices of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). However, I’m sure Will is going to do a really good job as President. I am completely certain that he is committed to making the Union better and, even on the issues where we disagree, am convinced that he is motivated by the interests of students, rather than anything else.

    Will won the election quite convincingly and made his position on many things very clear, including alcohol. I always welcome debate, but I’d encourage everyone to listen to the voice of the student body and support Will in achieving the aims he set out in his campaign. Things like a Lenton Hopper Bus are what students want him, as President, to pursue and we should help him do that.

    As for the drinks issue, here’s my tuppence worth.

    1. It is within the power of the President (by convincing the Board of Directors, on which he sits) to direct the bar management to reduce prices. Yes, he’d have to convince a few people, including the FSO, but it isn’t set in stone. Best Bar None sets no minimum price and the SU’s own policy can be changed through SU Council.

    2. If the SU ends up massively subsidising a bar purely so that students have somewhere cheap to drink, the prices are probably too low. However, I don’t see a problem with the SU offering affordable drinks.

    3. The SU should reflect its students, not moralise to them. If the students want to drink on a budget, then the SU is well placed to provide them with a good quality, safe environment in which to do so. If it doesn’t, students will just go elsewhere.

    4. The SU should be aware of the risks of excessive drinking to the health of students. However, students won’t always have a University or a Students’ Union to hold their hand. Perhaps the SU should treat its students as the adults they are…

    JT

  • James Sanderson
    14 March 2010 at 16:51
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    Hear, hear Mr Torrance. I’m of the opinion that students should not be dictated to by the Union. If anything, the resounding voice from the University population is to lower the drink prices. Perhaps if the Union reviewed its policy in this respect, it could supplement this revenue stream through increased economies of scale.

    I think this may be one area where those in the ‘welfare camp’ may need to concede- there are plenty of other, more pertinent, welfare related issues at the Uni. to deal with.

  • Rob
    14 March 2010 at 16:58
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    Hear Hear Mr Torrance

  • Tom H
    16 March 2010 at 00:54
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    I seem to remember there being a “plan b” if the hopper bus plan doesn’t work – he said he was going to talk to NCT to try and get a removal of the flat rate so it isn’t so expensive for students.

    We’ll see what happens I guess; I really hope that the union can get a bus and other things that the students want, so that more people actually start to care about the union and feel it represents them. Apathy is a bit of an issue at the moment.

  • Back in the mists of time?
    16 March 2010 at 02:41
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    Can anyone remember a time when apathy towards the SU wasn’t an issue?

    Seriously – was anyone around 5 years (or even longer) ago? Was it as much of an issue then?

  • Dan
    16 March 2010 at 18:42
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    I have 260ish Facebook friends. From looking at the people who got elected this year I would need to double this figure to stand any chance of exec election – simply as a means of alerting enough people to the fact that I exist. How does one go about becoming a BNOC? I thought I was quite outgoing getting involved with my JCR this year…but it just doesn’t seem enough at this level…next year my degree counts so I need to concentrate on that rather than running an SRS or two!

  • It may surprise you…
    16 March 2010 at 19:08
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    @Dan – It’s a shame that you don’t think you will be able to balance your time as well as many of us who are very involved in the running of our respective SRSs.

    Few people become intensely involved in running SRSs during their first year. Even those who do become involved, eg Karni reps, (who are not even the most involved with their SRS), have a less intense introduction to being reps during the second half of their first year compared with the much more intense period in the first half of their second year.

    The majority of the people who are most involved with running SRSs are those who are in their 2nd, 3rd year or even doing a masters etc.

    Perhaps a significant factor influencing the high proportion of the SU exec who have been involved in running SRSs at the highest levels is not social networking but the fact that they have displayed an incredible ability to balance the various demands of their student activities, both academic and otherwise

  • David
    3 April 2010 at 18:41
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    TBH, I think the number of paid posts for the SU is ridiculous for what actually gets done. Take a look at http://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/about/yswd/. Well done to the FSO he made a hand book and uploaded a document. Do not worry though the environment officer has nearly got a water fountain installed not really a years worth of work. Obviously there are other admin tasks that have to be carried but why cant this be done by a member of university staff.

    I don’t know whether the lack things getting done by the SU is their fault or rather controls imposed by the university. However either way it is still wasteful.

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