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Glasgow University Guardian - March 3rd 2009 - Issue 7

Glasgow University Guardian - March 3rd 2009 - Issue 7



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The seventh issue in the 2008/2009 run of the Glasgow University Guardian.
The seventh issue in the 2008/2009 run of the Glasgow University Guardian.

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Published by: Glasgow University Guardian on Mar 03, 2009
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Glasgow University
Scottish Student Newspaper of the Year3rd March 2009
A TOTAL OF £673.27 WAS RAISED FORthe DEC appeal on the University’s fundraisingday. However the preceding occupation of theComputer Sciences Department provoked awave of complaints from students in Glasgow.The occupying activists had won theirdemand to publicise the DEC Appeal but wereheavily criticised for both their low turnout onthe fundraising day and their refusal to collectfor Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli-basedcharity that supports children from developingnations who suffer from heart disease. The
Occupation members come under fre
charity sends 49% of its proceeds to help chil-dren in Palestine.Although around 30 students took part inthe occupation, the group only signed out fourcollection tins for the whole fundraising day.Gavin Lee, president of the SRC, criticised theoccupiers’ lack of positive action saying:“We’re extremely disappointed that thosewho called for the fundraising day didn’t actu-ally support it. Had more people participatedwe would have been able to raise significantlymore money.”Raymie Kiernan, a representative of theStop the War Coalition (SWC) rebuffed, criti-cising the haste and lack of consultation withwhich the day was organised.He said: “The fundraising day wasn’torganised properly, the agreements weren’tstuck to and the university didn’t give muchnotice that it was happening and that had aserious impact on the money raised. Everybodyknows Friday is not a busy day.”“Without enough notice you can’t expectpeople to drop everything to do the collection,we got as many people as possible on a shiftrotation for the four cans we signed out.”There were also concerns as to the aggres-sive nature of a number of the slogans that thegroup chanted. The SRC took a strong line odisapproval against the reported antagonism.President Gavin Lee told Guardian that thecouncil had received anxious reports fromstudents across campus.
(Continued on page 4)
George Binning
THE FOUR MAJOR STUDENTorganisations at Glasgow Universityhave announced the nominationsfor their upcoming elections, and anumber of governing positions havebeen left without candidates.The elections for all four of theorganisations will be taking placethis week, although many of theimportant jobs have no studentsrunning for them.The Students’ RepresentativeCouncil (SRC), Glasgow UniversityUnion (GUU) and Queen MargaretUnion (QMU) will be holdingby-elections later in the month forsome of their most crucial spaces,after the initial nominations processresulted in too few applicants.15 out of 20 positions at the SRChave been left either uncontestedor unfilled.Both the SRC and GUU have onlyone candidate for their President. TheSRC will be holding an electionwith just one nominee, Laura Laws,while the union has announced itsnew president, Chris Jubb, ahead of the elections.The QMU has three candidatesfor its presidency, but a number of other board positions are currentlywithout nominees.In contrast, GUSA’s elections areset to be one of their most-con-tested for years, with two studentscompeting for its head position and20 nominees for the six OrdinaryMember places available.
 (Continued on pages 2 and 3)
Seats leftvacant instudentelections
News Staff 
Scholarshipinitiative isannounced
Ishbel Begg
THE RIGHT HON. CHARLESKennedy MP, last week launched thisyear’s Glasgow University TalentScholarship drive.Designed to aid students whocould face financial difficulties intaking up their place to study atGlasgow, fifty scholarships worth£1000 are being awarded each year.Mr. Kennedy, the currentUniversity rector, delivered theawards to the first 76 beneficiariesof the scholarship at a ceremonyattended by recipients and donors.Kennedy told Guardian why he ispromoting the scheme.He said: “It’s about wideningthe opportunity for people frombackgrounds where financiallythey wouldn’t be able to come touniversity, although they’ve got theacademic qualifications to do it.“I was the first member of myfamily ever to go to university, andI’m the youngest of three, but myparental income was such that I quali-fied for a full maintenance grant. Butsuppose I had been the eldest of three,and there were two other mouths tofeed, I wonder if that would havebeen a contributing factor.
(Continued on page 5)
Sean Anderson
Claire Strickett is impressed by Clint
Eastwood in what could be his last role
Robin Perkins joins the carnivalat Bolivia's cultural celebration
Bolivin' la vida loca
Gran Master 
New Director of LegalPractice announced
THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW HASseen undergraduate applications rise by 14.3per cent this year.The rise is the biggest increase for anyof the Russell Group institutions, a groupof the top 20 research-intensive universi-ties in the United Kingdom, which includesOxford, Cambridge and the London Schoolof Economics.Figures released by the Universities andColleges Admission Service (UCAS) showthat home, EU and international applica-tions to Glasgow, including applications in2009 for entry in 2010, rose from 21,147 in2008 to 24,171 for 2009.Fiona Andrews, Director of theRecruitments, Admissions and ParticipationsService believes the rise in figures reflectthe University’s increasing stature as aleading institute.She said: “We are delighted to see anincrease in applications to Glasgow whichspeaks volumes for the reputation of theUniversity and the high esteem in whichour teaching and research activities are held,both at home and abroad.”Overall, applications for the RussellGroup’s 20 institutions rose 7 per cent year-on-year, with a total of 1,890,236 applica-tions made.
14% rise in studentsapplying to Glasgow
DOUGLAS MILL HAS BEEN NAMEDas Glasgow University’s new Director of Professional Legal Practice.Mill, a Glasgow University graduatewith 18 years’ worth of experience inprivate legal practice and 11 years as Chief Executive of the Law Society, will beworking to strengthen the Department of Law’s links with the legal profession aswell as managing the return of the Diplomain Legal Practice.Professor Tom Mullen, Head of the School of Law, told Guardian thatthe appointment will greatly benefitthe University.He said: “Douglas Mill will bring acombination of vision, energy and prac-tical experience to his role as Director of Professional Legal Practice.”Mill explained how happy he is to bereturning to Glasgow University, saying:“I am delighted to return to my alma materto take up the challenge of deliveringthe University’s ambitious strategic plansfor the School of Law. I enjoy workingwith students and have always been veryinvolved in legal education.“With the 300th anniversary of theSchool of Law coming up in 2013, weaim to establish a centre of excellence forprofessional legal studies at Glasgow.”
GUSA elections attract competition
Ross Mathers
STUDENTS AT GLASGOW UNIVERSITY,in conjunction with the Royal ScottishGeographical Society (RSGS), have launchedan initiative to encourage more people to studyGeography at university.The move comes as figures show thenumber of students being recruited to studyGeography at Glasgow has been declining forthe past three years. In 2006, 107 level onestudents were recruited through the ScienceFaculty and by 2008 this number had droppedto just 47 students.While recruitments to the Earth Sciencecourse have been increasing gradually forseveral years, the 2008 recruitment figures forGeography are the lowest since 2000.The project, named ‘Global’, will be aimedat engaging school pupils and will attempt tointroduce them to new and exciting concepts inorder to bridge the gap between Geography atschool and at university.In addition, membership of the RSGS willbe widened to allow for a younger group. TheBBC’s ‘Coast’ presenter Nick Crane and thewriter, broadcaster and Glasgow PhD studentVanessa Collingridge have already shown theirsupport for the scheme.Dr. Gordon Curry of the Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences, speaking toGuardian, has argued that although there is aproblem with Geography recruitment there isstill success to speak of.He said: “Although Geography recruitmentinto Science Faculty declined last year, EarthScience recruitment increased. In a recentsurvey it was revealed that a higher proportionof our Earth Science graduates were in full-time employment or further study than for anyother UK Earth Science department.”Explaining the falling numbers of Geography students, Mike Robinson, Chairmanof the RSGS, told Guardian that it was in partdown to applicants choosing newer subjectsover Geography.He explained: “Geography is not attractingas many students as it once did, but this ispartly a consequence of the array of subjectsnow available and partly a low image and self esteem, so there is no question that it needs todo more to promote itself.”He therefore supports any attempts toincrease in interest in Geography.He said: “The RSGS, through initiativeslike Global, aims to help make these connec-tions between people, place and the planetfor the decision makers and geographers of tomorrow.”The initiative has already been piloted withGlasgow students Alyson Meeke and EmmaCulley delivering a talk for school pupils. Andit is now hoped that the scheme will be imple-mented throughout all Scottish universities.Speaking to Guardian, Emma explained theultimate aims of the initiative.She said: “Hopefully RSGS Global willhelp to dissolve the idea that Geography is justlearning about rivers and capital cities, andshow the great range of things which can bestudied within the discipline.”Mike Robinson of the RSGS claimsissues such as climate change make studyingGeography more crucial now than ever before.He said: “Geography is a brilliant subjectfor today’s students as it draws together science,arts, humanities and the environment.“It is a way of teaching citizenship, respon-sibility, giving a sense of place in the world andencouraging joined up thinking, so it has neverbeen more critical.”
Geography scheme goes ‘Global’
THIS YEAR’S GLASGOW UNIVERSITYSports Association Council elections are set tobe the biggest for years, with many of its posi-tions hotly contested.There are 16 positions to be filled with12 of these requiring no past place in thecouncil. One year in the council is needed to beelected as President, Vice President Clubs, VicePresident Recreation, or Secretary.Ruth Humphreys and Stephen Flavahanare the candidates competing for the covetedposition of president, both having had pastexperience in the council as Secretary and VicePresident of Clubs respectively.The position of president involves not onlythe general running of GUSA and representationof student sport at Glasgow, but involvement indevelopment planning and maintaining a closerelationship with the SRS management.However the presidency is not the onlysought-after position with more than 20 of 2008’s Freshers’ Helpers and club membersalready in the running for the six OrdinaryMember positions.GUSA Secretary, Ruth Humphreys,explained that attempts to publicise the elec-tions had resulted in high levels of interest.She told Guardian: “It is looking like thesewill be the biggest elections to date for GUSAwith lots of interest already shown.“There has also been lots of advertising totry and raise the profile of the elections.”The elections are set to take place on March10 and voting will take place in the StevensonBuilding reception from 9am-5pm. In order todo so, voters must be current members of theSport and Recreation.Stephen Flavahan, speaking to Guardian,explained the importance of voting.He said: “Voter apathy has been a big issuefor all student organisations at one time oranother but students need to ensure they voteat this election so that the problems I knowstudents are facing — rising gym membershipcosts, Kelvin Hall closure and limited clubfunding — can be tackled.”
Ross Mathers
Jim Wilson
3rd March 2009
GUU declares by-election
NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2009general elections at the QueenMargaret Union closed on February27, with a number of positions leftuncontested.Three students — Aaron Murray,Lewis Mackenzie, and AngusShepherd — will be fighting it out towin the election and become the nextPresident.In contrast to this, five positionsare uncontested, including HonorarySecretary, and the roles of Events,Publications and Social Convenor.In addition, although there arethirteen Ordinary Board positionsavailable, only seven candidateshave been nominated. For the twoFormer Student Member board posi-tions, only one candidate has beennominated.Despite this, outgoing PresidentAlisdair Hunter has been impressedwith the election interest thus far.He told Guardian: “So far theresponse has been great. I think thefact that people invaded the computerscience building flies in the face ostudent apathy.“People seem excited about theelections and I’m sure there will begood turn-out.”Any member of the QueenMargaret Union can be nominatedfor any position, with first yearAngus Shepherd in the running forPresident. The manifestos for allcandidates will be available fromMarch 2, both online and around theUnion.Fourth year QMU member, NinDoherty, told Guardian why she islooking forward to election day.She said: “I think it’s reallyimportant to have a part in choosinga good board of management in theQM, as it’s a place that’s reallycentral to student life. It’s great tohave the opportunity to take part indeciding that.”Voting will take place in personon March 5 between 9am and 6pm,with the results to be announced laterthe same day in the Food Factory.THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THEGlasgow University Union has beendecided before the polls open dueto a mistake on an application formmade by one of the nominees.22-year old Sports Medicinestudent, Chris Jubb, will not facea public election after the nomi-nation form of fellow candidate,Graeme Ker was rejected for beingcompleted incorrectly.At the close of nominations onFebruary 26, a number of boardpositions did not have any candi-dates. These included the signifi-cant roles of Honorary Secretary andHonorary Treasurer.Other positions on the GUUboard will be subject to a by-electionlater this month, again due to candi-dates submitting wrongly filled outapplication forms.Only one student put himself forward for the position of GamesConvenor and, after his nomina-tion form was rejected, there will beanother by-election in order to fillthis post.
Three run forQMU top job
SRC lacks representation
THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS FOR THE STUDENTS’Representative Council (SRC) look like a foregone conclusionwith the overwhelming majority of open positions, including thepresidency, being left either unopposed or completely vacant.Of the 21 positions available only five will be contested,while six positions may be won by default. The remaining tenpositions will be left open for a by-election on May 6.There has also been no application for the position of Vice-President (Media & Communications), one of the four mostsenior positions on the council, all of which command a salaryof £15,216 per annum.Laura Laws, who is currently Vice-President of StudentSupport this year, will be President next year by default unlessthe majority of students vote to re-open nominations instead.Laws was careful not to claim her victory prematurelysaying: “Although I am running unopposed in next week's elec-tion, I'm not taking anything for granted.“I really want students to look at what I am proposing, comeand speak to me on election days and to vote for me if they thinkI am the right candidate for presidency.“If I do get elected, I'd obviously be absolutely delighted tobe SRC President 09/10.”The only positions that will be contested are those of the Vice-President (Learning & Development), Vice-President(Student Support), LBSS Faculty and Faculty of Medicineconvenors and Minority Ethnic Officer.Nominations for the other 16 posts will either be re-openedor will be subject to a ‘Re-open Nominations’ vote, in expec-tation of the May by-election. Nominations will open for theby-election on March 23. Information will be available anddistributed by the SRC in the coming weeks.Gavin Lee, the current SRC president, was disappointedby the lack of student participation in the nominating processstating that the SRC were examining the reasons for this.He said: “At the moment we're looking into different theo-ries about why fewer people ran in this election than we wereexpecting, and hoped for. It’s certainly a strange happeningconsidering the record-breaking number of candidates whostood in the Autumn Election.“Representation through the SRC is a key method of ensuring that students get the best experience possible at theUniversity, and as such its essential to have as many peopleengaged in Council as possible. It's disappointing that, lookingat the number of candidates, this has not happened as much asit could have.”In last year’s Spring elections four positions on the SRCwere won unopposed and two positions were left vacant. Evenin this comparatively competitive election, voter turnout was just over 7%.Laws admitted that the SRC would have to make an effort toengage with the student population.She said: “Next year I think we need to work really hard tobuild upon the relationship we have with students.”Her campaign has been built upon tackling the problemsfaced by students and graduates in the current recession.She explained: “It is essential to get formal recognition forstudents involved in volunteering or leading clubs and societiesand to continue to develop more opportunities for students todevelop their skills in preparation for getting a graduate job.”The elections will take place on March 4 and 5 with theresults due to be announced soon afterwards.There will also be a by-elec-tion for one of the Present StudentMember positions after a numberof students were disqualifieddue to mistakes made on theirapplication forms.Current GUU President, ChrisBirrell, explained that candidates aremade aware of the fact that theirapplication risks being rejected if itis not completed accurately.He told Guardian: “There arestrict legal procedures for charitiesand it says on the forms that theymust be filled in correctly or theywill be thrown out.“I think it is a shame that somany have been filled out wronglythis year but it is up to the candidatesthemselves to make sure that every-thing is in order before they submittheir application.”Birrell made clear that, althoughthe situation was not ideal, he wasconfident that Jubb would do well ashis successor.He said: “Chris is a really goodcandidate and I think he will be agreat president.”GUU members will be able tovote on March 5 with polls openfrom 9am-7pm in the DebatesChamber. The results are expected tobe announced later that evening.
George BinningIshbel BeggSarah Smith
Jim WilsonJim Wilson
3rd March 2009

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