SURHUL, UCU and referendums

Apologies if you’re not a student, student of Royal Holloway, or otherwise in the mood for some politics. If you just read my blog for the geek stuff, move on.

I don’t like politics. I stay out of it when I can and when I get involved it’s because I actually think things are too important for me to just hide away. Student politics has a habit of turning nasty on a dime and I can do without the stress.

So why on earth am I bringing this mess to my humble home away from Facebook? Well, simple: I think it’s too important not to. Specifically a lot of people seem to misunderstand the issue and Facebook’s a crap place for good discussion and explanation. SURHUL tried to put up a page explaining both sides of the motion but I and several other people on both sides think it’s crap. So here’s my take on it. Continue reading SURHUL, UCU and referendums

How to fix voting by popularity

At SURHUL, the Student’s Union of Royal Holloway, University of London, we have a problem. I’m sure it’s not an uncommon one, particularly at student’s unions.

Our electoral system is essentially a popularity contest. Manifestos, campaigning and student outreach have very little impact on the results. Many positions are uncontested and whoever runs wins by virtue of being the candidate who is running; people assume that this means that they care about the position enough to run, and that’s enough for them.

I don’t think this is a good way to run elections, and it’s not something that should be encouraged. But it’s something that can be very easily fixed, or at least I think so.

Continue reading How to fix voting by popularity