Finding the new Special K

In my opinion, there’s nothing like a good bit of gossip and intrigue to kick off an election season. By all accounts, the idea of the media talking about candidates and the elections has got a few of the current YUSU Officers in a bit of a twist, but IMO it’s great to see potential candidates and their supporters use this as a forum that, hopefully, will make it a more thorough selection process.

I’m most interested by the (potentially innocent) campaign to get Steve Miller elected as President. IMO, no-one really knows if Steve actually wants to run, but it’s clear that if he was to chose to do so, he’d be a strong candidate: outside the YUSU clique, nicely exposed by York Come Dancing, a trusted public figure at the head of Doorsafe, and able to draw on a large network of friends and supporters. Don’t hold your breath though.

Moving on… Student Activities grew out of Socs and Comms and Student Development last year, and saw a returning incumbent Officer rejected by the electorate. Looking for votes this year, in my opinion, are 5 candidates, with varied CVs.

Luke Malkin, who must have had candidacy on his mind when he became the face of this year’s York Come Dancing, has been pretty clear with his intentions. He seems to have been the guest on every URY show this week, and – I think – is performing in Fusion in Week 8, just before voting opens. If some candidates are kicking themselves for not signing up for the dancing extravaganza last term to boost their name recognition, I reckon they’ll be even more annoyed to see rivals lit up on stage that weekend. He’s got a great smile. And he can dance.

Someone else who can dance is York Hornets President Hannah Barwick-Walters, who has, by all accounts, decided her YUSU race will be for Student Activities and not YorkSport President, where some had all but pencilled her in. She’ll be guaranteed an enthusiastic and dedicated campaign team, and if she can work the Hornets into it without stepping on any regulatory toes, IMO stands a very strong chance. And hey, if she can keep a team of cheerleaders in check, a plethora of Society Chairs should be a doddle.

Most people I spoke to earlier this term reckoned Chris Etheridge was lining up a run at Academic Officer, but he is apparently resolute about his candidacy for Student Activities. The current Campaign Officer has apparently already started talking to the important committees that the Officer needs to liaise with, and in my opinion will run on a strong RAG-related ticket in comparison to the incumbents weakness in that area this year. IMO, he’ll need to work hard to push his policies over the personality of his potential rivals.

Nick Scarlett is someone who needs no lessons in RAG matters – but will certainly benefit from a cult following, in my opinion. He’s currently Charities Liaison Officer, and so is well-versed in the technicalities and difficulties that bureaucracy at the Union level can pose. IMO he’ll make the most of his Cheesy Pop Soc connections, and will almost certainly benefit from the campaign support and leadership of election veteran Tom Flynn, who masterminded Lewis Bretts’s victory last year. Right now, I’d say he’s the strongest potential candidate.

Katie Unsworth is something of an unknown across campus, IMO, but can draw on her Alcuin RAG Rep experience and – I hear – her friendship with incumbent Rhianna Kinchin to draw up a successful campaign. Certainly not one to write off. Maybe the red paint will get dusted off and the Special K tactic will re-emerge. IMO, that and Brett’s now-infamous Fruit and Veg campaign were the most impressive election schemes last year.

The opinions expressed above are not representative of either those of Nouse, or of YUSU. They are the speculations and personal views of the author who is not a member of the editorial team, and should be treated as such.

23 comments

  1. 28 Jan ’10 at 9:12 pm

    nick Scarlett

    I love the fact this refers to the “veteran Tom Flynn”

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  2. 29 Jan ’10 at 12:38 am

    Daniel Linderman

    I wouldn’t be so sure if the backing of Tom Flynn would be wise after masterminding Brett’s misleading campaign with the leading policy of his fruit and veg stall. Then again, Flynn might come up with a more realistic leading policy for Scarlett – turning the lake into cheese every time cheesy pop soc want to perform perhaps?

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  3. Candidates are responsible for choosing policies to run on. A campaign team can help with how these are presented, i.e. big cardboard banners, giving out paper fruit….

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  4. ”I wouldn’t be so sure if the backing of Tom Flynn would be wise after masterminding Brett’s misleading campaign”

    Not relevant here. It was still a very good campaign. Getting elected and implementing policy are two different things. Flynn got Brett’s elected and is now lined up to help a few others this year.

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  5. Arghh crap use of ‘ in Bretts. Sorry.

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  6. Certainly know of at least one other thinking of running.

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  7. The special K campaign was rubbish. It didn’t really make that much sense. And apparently, if you go on the ‘Special K’ diet for one term, you drop a Woodstock – or at the very minimum, take it out of RAG’s hands.

    Also, why can we predict the people who are running? Where’s the underdog? Where’s the unknown? Each and every rumoured candidate have very impressive ‘Campus CVs’, that apparently entitle them to have a shot at a sab position. But I want to see first years and second years getting involved. What ever happened to asking your department for a ‘sabbatical’?

    I grow tired of student politics.

    Yours,

    A Cynic.

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  8. 29 Jan ’10 at 11:10 am

    Nick Scarlett Fan Club

    Nick Scarlett has lost one member of his cult following after dropping her on her head in Ziggys.
    Minus one vote.

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  9. 29 Jan ’10 at 11:25 am

    A. Politician

    A strong CV is no substitute for a list of silly impossible ‘policies’ advertised on a big colourful poster.

    A cult following can’t do any harm though.

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  10. If Nick Scarlett does have a “cult following”, its most likely to be from Kids Club and Kids Camp volunteers as that seems to be where all his friends come from…

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  11. Policies will be absolutely irrelevant, apart from headline ones such as Brett’s infamous veg stall. It will probably end up just coming down, as usual, to how recognisable a name is. Last I checked, York Hornets were a sports club not a society, so I’m not sure why their president suddenly decides to run for student activities. Although she might do a good job, you haven’t really mentioned any student activities experience.

    The way I see it, it’ll come down to Malkin’s campus celebrity status, backed up by very fortunately timed performances at YCD and fusion (though i think only a small minority of students will remember his name from these), vs Etheridge’s YUSU credentials vs Scarlett’s (serious) volunteering experience vs Barwick-Walter’s cheerleaders vs the unknown quantity that is Kate Unsworth.

    Will be interesting to see such varied campaigns.

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  12. On Nick Scarlett getting a cult following… I believe he looked after Charlie Leyland’s hamster once, so he’s probably got her backing.

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  13. 30 Jan ’10 at 8:47 pm

    Luke Sandford

    @A Cynic

    As a first year the idea of me, or any other first (and even second) years running for a sabb position seems pretty far fetched.

    None of them will have a chance without the credentials everyone else seems to have as head of societies etc.
    Although actually the defining factor will probably prove to be that no one will mention them in blogs like this, less people know their names, they will never have the kind of networks all these 3rd years are heavily exploiting to get support.

    Nick Scarlett: Kids club cult
    Luke Malkin: Being on loads of URY shows, YCD
    Unsworth: friends with Special K
    Hannah Barwick-Walters: The Hornet’s mass support

    The idea of any first year being able to achieve anything approaching these is laughable.

    I suspect most first years will view the high end YUSU elections as a distant process they had no real chance of being a part of.

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  14. 31 Jan ’10 at 12:06 pm

    Pete Waterman

    Ruddy brilliant the lot of them

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  15. I spotted Rhianna ‘Special K’ singing karaoke with Nick Scarlett the other night.. not sure Unsworth is the only potential candidate she’s friends with!

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  16. I also spotted Scarlett and Kinchin’s rendition.

    They were crap.

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  17. Well theres a typical Simon Cowell comment. :P

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  18. 31 Jan ’10 at 11:51 pm

    Chris Reardon

    As far as outsiders with big potential go, Peter Howes has got to be up there too. Apparently he’s running for Student Activities sabb, which makes sense given the amount of close work he’s been involved in with many societies. I know I’d rather have someone in who really understands how societies operate through personal experience, not just the usual YUSU questionnaires…

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  19. Re: Chris Reardon

    Student Activities is not just a society orientated role – it takes on the SDC role aswell…

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  20. 1 Feb ’10 at 12:56 am

    also interested

    true, SDC is a part of the role and it’s not all about societies. But, in fairness to the poster, it doesn’t mean he lacks experience in that area, just that he principally has society experience. No idea if he’s actually running though…

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  21. One of the candidates has already produced some very impressive branding! Going to be a great race!

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  22. “he is apparently resolute about his candidacy for Student Activities.”

    So resolute he switched to D&S once he realised he had no chance of defeating Malkin, Scarlett, Hesselwood or Unsworth?

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  23. I wouldn’t trust Nouse’s usage of the word “resolute” – he was always resolute that he wasn’t running for the AA position and that may be where it came from. Rumours aren’t always even based in truth so take every blog with a pinch of salt!

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