Ben Humphrys to run again… for Academic Officer

It seems second-term syndrome is catching amongst Union Officers.. There must be something in the YUSU water.

Ben Humphrys, incumbent Welfare Officer, has told OTR that he’ll be contesting the 2010 elections, but not for his current position – he’s got his eyes on Academic Officer instead.

It’s an interesting move. OTR hears that while he’s enjoyed the Welfare role, he reckons one-year with the Union doesn’t allow for a huge amount of impact, especially in a brand-new position.

A quick peruse through his election pledges details that his successes with a campus GUM clinic, a reformed Welfare committee, action on rogue landlords and the ill-fated portering campaign give him a generally positive report card for his term thus far. All signs point to a Course Rep-focused campaign, drawing on the need to continue the successes of Charlie Leyland this year.

YUSU-watchers and conspiracy theorists will point at the candidacy of Peter Warner-Medley for Humprhys’ current position and quickly make something out of their close friendship. In truth, Humphrys has made no secret of his support for the current LGBT Officer’s campaign, but that alone won’t get either of them elected.

Indeed, Rory Shanks and Ed Durkin tried to use their closeness as a campaign tool last year, visiting colleges in tandem. Neither were elected – Humprhys and Warner-Medley should take note.

Jason Rose – the only candidate a few days ago – now looks to be up against two candidates that will run very strong campaigns. Humprhys has won over campus already – defeating perennial also-ran Matt Pallas and cult favourite Jenny Coyle last year – and Chemistry BoS Rep. Matt Bailey is well-respected by those who understand the Academic role’s demands.

Certainly, it looks set to be a important job next year, what with tuition fee rises almost inevitable whatever government is formed in May. OTR reckons the candidates’ stance on the cap rise will feature heavily if the race is close.

All we need now are a few more D&S candidates and everyone will be in the same boat; OTR isn’t much of a fan of uncontested victory parades. Might Bretts jump on the incumbent bandwagon too? IMO, this blog probably won’t be his preferred medium through which to announce it…

Gossip and rumours to [email protected]

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.

13 comments

  1. i don’t think any sab should run for a second term. just makes things get stagnant and slows down the whole process of change.

    it sticks that the only person to have got a second term was matt burton after he had changed the rules to allow someone to do so. (if what i understand to be true is correct).

    new people, new ideas and new opportunities!!!

    change please… is that not what all the YUSU stuff advertising the elections’s says? not much change if it’s just an internal re-shuffle. sticks of a cleek (sic).

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  2. I wasn’t the only candidate a few days ago; I was just the only candidate mentioned in your blog a few days ago :P

    Large amount of competition will raise awareness for Academic issues so all I can say is “more people should run!” and we’ll let the student body decide if they want somebody with Sabb experience or somebody with new ideas. It’s also interesting when it’s not the same position – because, in reality, Ben will have fresh ideas too.

    But you’re incorrect about one thing, “anononon” – irrespective of whether I agree that there should be change or not, Matt Burton doesn’t stand alone in the “second term group” since Charlie Leyland has also had a second term and I know at least one individual who held separate Sabb positions around 5-6 years ago…?

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  3. thanks for the info ‘~j’, i thought i might be wrong on the whole second term running.

    in all honesty after the poor attendance of the last ugm, do students actually care? tim was popular last year and created a lot of buzz, however his ability to stay below radar this past term and last, has ensured that people don’t know what’s going on, unless they actively seek out the information themselves and it shouldn’t be like that.

    there are loads of people who don’t know what yusu is, let alone what it does.

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  4. “I don’t think any sab should run for a second term. just makes things get stagnant and slows down the whole process of change.”

    And I don’t think you should be able to vote after stating this view. I can make ridiculous claims too.

    2nd year Sabbs are, in fact, *much* more able to drive change, because they don’t have to spend a year (or even the summer) learning the job. Hence the most successful terms of office anyone can remember are Matt Burton and Charlie Leylend’s.

    As for a rules change. The Education Act 1994 states that 2 years is maximum for sabbatical officers to serve. York was one of a very, very, vert limited few to restrict this to 1 year – which probably has something to do with why, for a top 10 university, we’ve traditionally had such a low key union. Until now.

    We should judge candidates on policies and past behaviour. In which case, both Ben and especially Tim have ample reason to seek another term.

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  5. Anon, I wouldn’t say that. I think that Charlie’s first term was as successful as her second and the same is true of MJB – the reason that they got a second term was that they were successful and they weren’t successful solely because they got a second term. I don’t think you give the people themselves enough credit :P

    And in terms of judging people for a second term; I think everyone will have their own assessments of each Sabb officer and the media will probably have played a large part in this over the last year for most students. Rory didn’t fail massively on either policies or “past behaviour” but didn’t get re-election so I don’t think it’s that simple, to be honest!

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  6. Anon must surely be somebody breaking his New Year’s resolution.

    With regards the article, I really hope Ben is bested as I feel he has been on the wrong side of pretty much any debate I’ve seen him enter. I also feel that the ingrained welfare background is actually a potential hindrance when dealing with the Academic Affairs brief.

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  7. 7 Feb ’10 at 8:00 pm

    Another Ngwena Observer

    “We should judge candidates on policies and past behaviour. In which case …especially Tim have ample reason to seek another term.”

    Sorry, but what are you talking about? What exactly has Tim *done*. He’s a nice guy, but I genuinely don’t know of a single thing he’s actually achieved?!

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  8. Both Ben and Tim have done a lot and have performed well as Sabbs. Not everything they do goes published on the front page of Nouse or Vision and they were both at the front of the portering protest on regional news. And for Academic Affairs, welfare is a good background to come from. Many students suffer in their courses due to psychological or physical problems and knowing how to deal with those will help in Academic Affairs. Obviously it’s not as good as an academic background but you can’t say it’s a hindrance, surely?

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  9. 7 Feb ’10 at 11:40 pm

    The Original Ngwena Observer

    “they were both at the front of the portering protest”

    Cos THAT went well!

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  10. ur rite (above), campaigning for stuff is always good, but unless anything comes out of it, it’s a complete waste of time.

    all very well raising an issue, but we want results!

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  11. I take it you’re also campaigning?

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  12. 9 Feb ’10 at 2:41 pm

    Luke Sandford

    I don’t think you can call the portering campaign Tim and Ben’s success after all the hard work Campaigns committee did postering, raising awareness and planning the damn thing! I’m sure Jason and Chris wouldn’t mind some credit for that themselves!

    Given “the candidates’ stance on the cap rise will feature heavily if the race is close,” perhaps aspiring candidates would like to come along to campaigns committee, Wednesday G/020 5pm, to help out with the work we at Campaigns are already kicking off over the next term on this issue. Or will all the talk be so much electioneering? Go on, I dare you.

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