Not quite Mount Rushmore

19 Aug

Sabbs last year decided to have their 6-foot faces towering over you at Potterrow like some slightly weird 1984-esque propaganda attempt. There is currently no such wonder in Potterrow as it has become festival central. But will we get big faces again in september?

We’ve said goodbye the faces of:

Liz Rawlings (One half of the yellow tick slate, the postgrad feminist)

Amy Woodgate (The pretty but quiet ballroom dancer one)

Sam Hansford (The one who failed at giving the budget at the AGM due to strange christmas themes) and

Stevie Wise (Other half of the yellow tick slate, the ginger with the awesomely loud laugh and brilliantly appropriate surname)

And we might gain:

Matt McPherson (The policeman with a love of welfare and cardboard circles. Also quite keen on graduate tax.)

Emma Meehan (The Labour Kid who liked speech bubbles in her campaign. Another awesome laugh too.)

Philippa Faulkner (The one with all the forks. Must claim some credit for introducing the Christian kids to EUSA campaigning) and

Mike Williamson (The one off the Defend Edinburgh slate. A not-so-friendly humanist with a love of interestingly sloganed t-shirts.)

Will the big brothers and sisters continue to watch over us?

On anonymity and accountability etc.

4 Aug

There’s been a bit of rap about this blog in the Twitterverse. Mostly about it being anonymous and wanting to try to make EUSA more accountable while it is. I think these are consistent aims.

eusa soap suds is officially endorsed by countdown

Over in dictionary corner...

A well know dictionary says:

Accountable =Explicable; understandable.

This is what I think EUSA lacks. Trying to explain it to someone outside is really really hard. It is even harder to try and understand that explanation.

This blog is going to try to explain all the complicated bits about EUSA that students often fail to understand. Yes, there are some ways EUSA is brilliant at being accountable, but on other bits it’s dragging its heels. How many students attend GMs? How many attend open meetings, or in fact know that they’re open? How many students are involved with action groups? Even how many vote? A lot less than there are students. Some of this may be apathy but I’d bet a fair amount is a lack of understanding and knowledge. I’m sure you’d get more people to vote and less to RON if all the positions and forums and committees were properly and simply explained to all students, and if it was easier to get involved. I’d really like more people to understand what EUSA is really about so it can represent students more.

I know it seems a bit ironic thinking a blog can do this when it is mostly going to be read by those already involved in EUSA. (Although, do not underestimate the numbers of interested non-hack students out there: let’s remember all the “I’m not a hack but” folk on the wonderful eusalicious.) This is the one failing of my plan… but there is stuff that needs to be said and explained and I thought a blog might be a useful way of saying it. It may prove completely useless but at least I tried. (Any ideas on another way would be most welcome).

And on the anonymity front: I am staying anonymous because I don’t think attaching a name is going to make things any better. I’m not the type to be needlessly mean with or without my name attached, I am not using it as a cover for bullying, I am using it because it is a way to stop things from being judged on face value. I am not a well-known EUSA figure, but I have just about grasped the workings after several years and wanted to share that.

Person in a suit with a bag on their head.

Paper bags...useful for carrying lunch and maintaining anonymity.

I’m sorry if you dislike that but that’s the way I am going to roll.

Sabbs. A very short introduction

1 Aug

I’m starting with the simpler stuff, because it gets much more complicated:

Sabbs (properly Sabbatical officers) are the only elected paid members of staff in EUSA. They spend a year representing students and running the student union. There are 4 roles which are all a bit different.

President. Currently Matt McPherson

The president represents the student body most widely. To the University, Government and community groups. They are the one who has overall responsibility for everything EUSA does. It’s a lot of responsibility but it also means that they have the most control over the direction of EUSA in their year and what its priorities are. The president will often be called on for quotes representing students views on particular topics (Think the recent city nightclub fiasco)

Vice President Academic Affairs (VPAA ) Currently Mike Williamson

The VPAA is concerned with the academic provision of the University. They represent students views to the university about academic matters such as the quality of teaching or library opening times. VPAA chairs Exec and has responsibility for the Postgrad, Academic Services, and Teaching and Learning sub committees.

Vice President Services (VPS) Currently Philippa Faulkner

The VPS is responsible for running the union outlets. This means quite a bit of financial know how is needed as they control the budgets and plans for the shops, bars and entertainment that the union provides and they also present the budget at the AGM. It is the VPS who chats with NUSSL (National Union of Students Services Limited) who support the students unions shops and bars by providing supplier discounts etc.

Vice President Societies and Activities (VPSA) Currently Emma Meehan

VPSA is an interesting role. They are involved in making decisions about societies and helping them being as good as they can, controlling the societies budgets and all, and they help organise events like the student festival but there is also an often unrecognised element of welfare provision. (Yonks ago there was a vp welfare but this died and was resurrected as VPSA….TrueFact)

And that is a little account of what the sabbs do in under 300 words. 🙂

Hello world!

24 Jul

EUSA sometimes seems like a little bit of a bubble. A bubble that is really difficult to burst. Everyone inside the bubble assumes everyone outside the bubble understands what is going on inside and even actually cares what is happening. This is not true and can makes those outside the bubble feel a little bit confused and slightly peeved at the bubble dwellers.

This is an attempt to break the bubble a bit and let ordinary students see the cogs inside. (this analogy is breaking down even more than I imagined…) This includes how eusa works as well as the odd bits of gossip.