Ngwena and Humphrys face reprimand

A motion of censure, a political form of reprimand, has been brought against Tim Ngwena and Ben Humphrys, YUSU President and Welfare Officer respectively, for their “lack of commitment” to YUSU’s ongoing portering campaign.

The motion, proposed by Miles Layram, states that, “Tim Ngwena and Ben Humphrys gave the management YUSU approval over the portering cutbacks, despite being under an extremely strong and explicit UGM mandate to do the precise opposite” and that they “deceived students”.

Layram also accuses Ngwena and Humphrys of only organising campaigns against the portering cuts after outside pressure from YUSU, and that they made a “breathtakingly careless and counter-productive job of the Autumn welfare dossier,” that was purposefully vague, and unlikely to persuade the University to find the funds to reinstate 24 hour portering.

This comes after a new proposal to find funding to extend the recently cut portering hours was submitted by Layram. It stated that the costs for portering could be brought down, and that these costs could be covered through the surplus to budget profits made by The Courtyard along with a small increase in rent banding costs.

Layram suggested in the proposal that an increase of 9.5p in rent banding would enable portering hours in Derwent and Vanbrugh to be extended, ending at midnight rather than the current time of 6.00pm.

The censure motion also raised the issue of the overall rent banding increases that are to be implemented from next year, arguing that: “Tim Ngwena and Ben Humphrys have failed to campaign against the year-on-year five per cent (£4.50/week) rent increase – which by the end of the next three years will mean all students paying about £550 more per year.”

In the motion of censure, Layram argues that both of these issues, and the failure of Ngwena and Humphrys to produce any tangible results in the subsequent campaigns, is evidence of their lack of commitment in defending the views of the student body. He stated that “a signal needs to be sent out to all of the current and future sabbaticals that YUSU must campaign effectively, and must become something other than an irrelevant, self-regarding outpost of Heslington Hall.”

Ngwena, on his own part, answered these accusations, stating: “I object to the claims made against me, I have dedicated my time and commitment to this campaign from leading the protest all the way through to continued negotiations with the University, as recent as last week, at the University Student Services Committee. As President, I also have a mandate to look out for the interest of all students and so my time has to be spread across all campaigns, to ensure the union focuses on a range of issues.”


  1. So let me get this straight – Jason Rose thinks that the best use of YUSU funds is to pay for porters itself, and as YUSU campaigns officer he’s campaigning for an *increase* in rent for students?

    I’m not really sure how anyone can be surprised that Ngwena and Humphreys aren’t in support of such a stupid idea!!

    I wonder if when the university cut contact hours Jason will propose YUSU funding more lecturers!

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  2. Nice to see that people post with their names.

    I don’t support paying for it with rent but I think that it’s important enough an issue – you know, student safety – that if rent is the only way that the university can pay for it then it should be done (especially for 7p on top of the annual £5 increase).

    But that failure of logic is poor – firstly, I pointed out above that what I was accused of wasn’t actually true. It was Miles’ suggestions and not mine. Secondly, the contact hours aren’t anything more than a tiny amount of the lecturers’ decent salaries so I don’t see how finance would be relevant to that point.

    And it’s nice to see how much work you put into trying to persuade the university to pay for it. Had we more support previously, measures such as some recently suggested may not even need to be on the table. I’m not omnipotent and coming up with various proposals and arguing the important of porters is part of my MANDATE so feel free to criticise me for doing my job if you like.

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  3. “Nice to see people post with their names.”

    Sorry – I hadn’t realised ~J was a name.

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  4. Haha. Point. But everyone knows who I am anyway.

    The article has had bits and pieces fixed so my previous post isn’t 100% accurate any more and the post above it makes less sense. I’m now not mentioned in the story, am going to pretend that there has been no conversation on the wall below it and will vanish away to lurk once more >.>

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  5. On another note, where Ngwena went wrong was choosing to take on such a ridiculous campaign as that of porters.

    Tom Scott didn’t do a huge amount right, but his initial assessment on acceptance of the cuts was fair and sensible.

    For Ngwena to then back-track on this was stupid; and made YUSU look stupid in front of University administration. How can anyone take a Union that flip-flops every year on issues like this seriosuly?

    It seems that Ngwena has either a) showed his incompetence in running a campaign, or b) saw the pragmatism that Tom Scott was seeing and hearing, and with either of those things in mind, you lie in the bed you make: the censure is definitely fair.

    On another note; the use of Courtyard funds to pay for portering is a ridiculous and sets dangerous precedent; one that is startling to see comes from two people running for a sabbatical.

    Whilst it is not surprising such an imbecilic piece of policy is coming from Jason Rose, Chris Etheridge, especially as he’s running for D&S, should know better.

    I know who I won’t be voting for.

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  6. Why dont Jason Rose and Miles Layram go back where they came from. Individuals like yourselves, busy bodies if you will, make student politics embarrassing and everytime I read a blog I cringe at the pointless statements that are made.

    ‘Career politicians’ have already begun to destroy this country, and if you represent anything of the future? well im off to Australia.

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  7. “Haha. Point. But everyone knows who I am anyway.”


    Nice and modest eh…

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  8. To be fair I think Jason was going more along the lines that he hasn’t made an attempt to hide his identity in commenting…

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  9. I absolutely agree with the what Miles Layram is saying.

    The point of a students’ union is, above all, to fight for the rights of students. The University made changes that most staff will readily admit were very damaging – and YUSU did nothing. Their porter campaign has been appallingly run. In fact, most of the pressure on the admin has come from Vision, Nouse and the porters’ union.

    YUSU’s campaign centred on showing the cuts would damage welfare but, in fact, the University never agreed to set a limit on how bad welfare would have to get before they reversed the cuts. The way they went about it was never going to work and they must have realised it.

    But it is not just the fact that the campaign was poorly executed, it is the sentiment behind it as well. The current sabb team have a worrying tenancy to support University admins over students. They were never truly committed to stopping the porter cuts. Sure, they posed for some photos at the demonstration, but they never personally really wanted to fight the changes. In fact, one of Ben Humphrys’ manifesto pledges was to protect the porters and yet he voted against the campaign!

    YUSU is increasingly becoming just part of the University administration. There is no sense of standing up for students anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t think next year’s sabb team will be any better.

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  10. I think this whole campaign needs a quick reality check. The government (the same government that promised to put ‘education, education, education’ as its top priority and then introduced top-up fees) is now cutting £2.5bn from higher education. Further cuts are likely to happen soon. Like it or not, this money will have to come from somewhere.

    As far as I can see, which may not be far at all, universities have the following choices; cut down on non-essential services (such as portering), raise tuition fees, accept more overseas students (at the expense of home students and regardless of academic competence) or shut down a few arts and humanities departments. I can’t know the priorities of other students, but I know what I prefer.

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  11. 1 Mar ’10 at 12:11 pm

    Wayne's Bridge

    Firstly, regardless of whether we all want a move towards greater portering provision, a students’ union actually campaigning for rent increases is, I believe, as counter-productive as the NUT campaigning for a reduction in teachers’ pay.

    I would imagine that in terms of campaigns, cheaper accommodation is a students’ union’s bread and butter and while such reductions may be improbable, a token effort should not be abandoned. If nothing else, YUSU should be fighting pretty much any rent increase ever proposed by the uni, be the very people to put such a notion forwards is madness.

    Much as the porters are extremely important, there are other services that are much more important, will YUSU share the burden of their provision in time to come?

    Ben (IMO) should still be censured (IMO), but only because he (IMO) talks without thinking and doesn’t actually listen, rather waits for his turn to talk (IMO).

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  12. 1 Mar ’10 at 12:53 pm

    A coincidence of timing?

    It would be interesting to know if Miles Layram is on the campaign team of another Presidential or Academic candidate.

    You’re telling me that this just happens to break hours before campaigning starts? Oh please.

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  13. I agree with the need for a reality check. It is a senseless waste of union time to pursue a motion of censure against them. Especially bearing in mind that they are fighting the corner for increased portering, just not in the extreme ways ‘Miles’ wants. Believe it or not, all the YUSU sabbs do have a tremendous amount of work to be getting on with, and a motion of censure against them for not putting a disproportionate amount of their time into one campaign (whilst a relatively important issue) is stupid.

    Agreed that the timing can’t be a coincidence.

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  14. I think that some people are confused. Firstly the attack on us for coming up with alternatives of funding and asking what Council thinks of them is EXACTLY out mandate. We were asked to come up with a number of funding methods by both Campaigns Committee and Council. Ultimately the suggestions and numbers were Miles’ but coming up with a number of methods is never a bad thing. Secondly, there isn’t a campaign for rent increases (and the previous UGM vote determined that YUSU would allow minor rent increases for portering anyway so it’s students’ fault for voting for the motion. Note again: I didn’t write that motion) but it’s simply suggesting that a tiny amount of rent money could go towards portering if it would give greater portering hours. Our rent already pays for a lot of the portering and though the university should buck up and pay for it, meetings with Tim and Ben haven’t persuaded them to so we need to find another way of doing it.

    On portering; firstly, they’re a necessary service. If someone thinks they’re about to be attacked, they go to a lodge. The way that most people go to campus is past Vanbrugh and so it’s a likely spot for potential attacks and students running to that lodge would find it empty. Even if they then ran the distance to Langwith, there’s no guarantee that a porter is there and since Derwent isn’t manned, where would they go? It’s a terrible system at the moment. People locked out of their rooms whilst showering don’t have phones to call security and have to walk down the dark side of the Biology building to fetch their keys, barefoot?

    And more importantly, we’re talking £16,000 here. In total. For both colleges. An academic department costs millions of pounds – this is a tiny amount. Please don’t suggest that the choice is one or the other! The choice would be having 10 porters at every college 24/7 or an Arts Department and it’s a ridiculous choice to outline. The other half of that is that the budget is from DFM which means that the only places the money would come from is the timetable to restore bridges, remove asbestos etc. If portering is ‘non-essential’ then those are presumably fine in your opinions too.

    Also I take the accusations of being a career politician incredibly harshly. I am not one. I started my first term being elected as the board of studies rep for my year. I was then elected onto Council as the Board of Studies Officer, to represent every subject at YUSU Council. The reason was to try and improve the academia at York. *Over a year later* I ran for a YUSU position and it would have been Academic Affairs if Leyland hadn’t been re-running. How is this a career politician? Because I want to become an MP who’s utterly, utterly obsessed with higher education? Or do I want to use the word Academic to get me onto postgrad courses? Or do I actually just care about the quality of degrees at York and how well students are looked after? The last one is the answer and I am insulted by the accusations!

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  15. 1 Mar ’10 at 1:32 pm

    Damian Pickard

    I’m gonna put someone’s head in.

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  16. “that was purposefully vague, and unlikely to persuade the University to find the funds to reinstate 24 hour portering”

    The portering dossier was vague and unlikely to convince anyone because THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that the changes in portering and security (that’s right, CHANGES, not just cuts) has had a negative impact on student welfare, in fact I believe Security incidents have decreased since the changes.

    This attitude of “we are just waiting for a [insert violent sexual crime here] to happen” from pro-porter zealots is disgusting and shouldn’t form the basis of any serious argument. More to the point, anyone in danger of an attack is going to run anywhere, not make a mental check of the nearest friendly, mid-50s porter.

    Finally, the intial UGM motion mentioned a rent increase as part of a possible funding solution, however it did not mandate anyone to push the uni to get students to pay for porters, EVEN if it did, what a stupid idea and what a bad precedent to set.

    It has got to the point where UGM motions are too stupid to have an effect on anyone who actually makes these decisions.

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  17. “If someone thinks they’re about to be attacked, they go to a lodge.”

    I may be even more stupid than I suspect, but my first instinct would be to call the security services or the police.

    “The way that most people go to campus is past Vanbrugh and so it’s a likely spot for potential attacks and students running to that lodge would find it empty.”

    The situation at this notorious campus ghetto is clearly getting out of control. More realistically, has there actually been a case where a porter has heroically prevented such an attack?

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  18. 1 Mar ’10 at 5:57 pm

    Simon Svabic

    Also I take the accusations of being a career politician incredibly harshly. I am not one. I started my first term being elected as the board of studies rep for my year. I was then elected onto Council as the Board of Studies Officer, to represent every subject at YUSU Council. The reason was to try and improve the academia at York. *Over a year later* I ran for a YUSU position and it would have been Academic Affairs if Leyland hadn’t been re-running. How is this a career politician? Because I want to become an MP who’s utterly, utterly obsessed with higher education? Or do I want to use the word Academic to get me onto postgrad courses? Or do I actually just care about the quality of degrees at York and how well students are looked after? The last one is the answer and I am insulted by the accusations!

    All for the cv mate. All for the cv

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  19. Bollocks to that. My CV is pretty packed already and people care more about the degree than a long list of activities. I stick to two society committees, two YUSU committees, drop out to do really well in my degree for a lot of the time and then run for a Sabb position and I get a much better CV.

    And I’ve been reliably informed that many of the posts above are deliberately stirring the portering because they’re members of the security services and not actually students. Since I know that at least two of the comments are, here’s my messages to you. Attitudes like that are why people prefer porters to security staff and I suggest you are nicer to people! University staff should stay out of student politics or at least have the bottle to be honest about who they are.

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  20. 2 Mar ’10 at 1:43 am

    Wayne's Bridge

    Reliably informed? You know that at least two are security staff?

    How Jason, how do you know this?

    What right do you have to such information?

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  21. Jason, I work in Security Services and I sit on the executive committee for Unison here at the Uni. When you are discussing serious issues like the portering situation and coming up with alternatives which could result in changes to say an employees terms and conditions, members of staff are very much affected by this. Rightly so you are focused on the problems encountered by the students. However because this affects staff aswell, staff members and TU reps are very much involved and has nothing to do with student politics! Security staff have no desire to stir things up as ourselves and porters are all part of the same team. I would be very interested to know which posts are from security staff.

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  22. Sorry if it sounded like I was attacking all security people – it’s good that university staff care! But some of the comments by the individual that I know of are actually pretty vicious and directed at individuals. As far as I’m aware I’m not allowed to actually identify people (which is why I didn’t) but it’s worth noting that there were security staff stirring things up back in November too!

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  23. 2 Mar ’10 at 12:18 pm

    Wayne's Bridge

    How do you know Jason?

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  24. I think it’s time for a change.

    Vote Ollie Hutchings YUSU President 2010

    Policies @

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  25. I think Ollie would be a different type of president (and a good one) but even the presidents lauded as being a ‘YUSU outsider’ (Tom Scott, Tim, etc) soon get stuck with the same labels as any President who may have come from a more ‘traditional’ background.

    It comes down to the fact that YUSU and the wider student community is bigger than any one individual. The odds for a President to *really change* YUSU and how it is perceived, regardless of their ability and intentions, is close to 0. Regardless of what the winner achieves, the same criticisms will be made, the same articles by Nouse & Vision written and the same calls for ‘change’ 12 months down the line will happen.

    Ironic as it may be, perhaps the best way of achieving ‘change’ (if change is what you want) is by having someone who is settled in to the job and won’t have to spend the highly valuable summer months in YUSU boot-camp.

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  26. Miscellaneous censure motions stuff….

    The timing of the censure motions was determined by the spring
    Student Services meeting (i.e. the need to see how the preparation
    of the second dossier went, instead of submitting the motions a
    month before that, in week 4) and by the need to submit them before
    the summer term/handover period, by which time censure motions
    would lose much of their point. As regards the influence of the
    motions on the election results – forget it. The timing was BOUND
    to look like dastardly election tactics, and hence not have the slightest
    effect, and in any case Tim and Ben are the smoothest operators on
    campus, and are incumbents, and they’re bound to win. I’ve literally
    been telling people not to waste their time running against them.
    I had a choice – pull the censure motions because they’d look like an
    election stunt, or stick to my guns on the campaigns issue. I take
    the latter far more seriously than the former, especially as the election
    results are a foregone conclusion, and so I’ve put the motions forward. Like the YUSU results, the motions being voted down is
    a foregone conclusion. They won’t pass, and if I wanted them to pass I’d have toned them down and made people feel more comfortable
    about supporting them. But I wanted to tell the truth about the stuff
    I’ve seen – some of which I’ve still left out of the motions because people would think I’d made it up – and then if, say, a hundred
    people vote for the motions then at least that might send out a
    signal that some people are bothered about campaigns, and that Tim
    and Peter and whoever else should do a proper job on campaigns next year. Not just portering… rents and tuition fees as well. All these things are covered in the resolves of the motion. Most of the material relates to portering, because that’s where I’ve been most involved, and know the most, but ultimately none of this is about portering, it’s about campaigning. In past years, it has been the norm for YUSU to work with the management (Yorshop, Courtyard) AND question the management. That baton got dropped by Tom Scott, and needs to
    be picked up again – especially in the light of the massive service cuts
    and cost rises which are heading our way. Tim and Ben are repeating
    management arguments verbatim, even when those arguments are
    so full of holes you can barely see them. It’s not that they’re not
    campaigning enough. It’s that they’re not campaigning at all, and
    are actively working against campaigns. If you don’t believe me, I
    wish you could have seen the contrast last week between James
    Alexander, a hold-the-management-to-account former YUSU president
    who is now running for parliament, and Tim and Ben parroting every
    single management non-argument. False comparisons with non-like
    campuses, erroneous conflation of portering numbers and security numbers, selective and decontextualised use of statistics. The
    management have been using every single trick in the book. And
    you name it, Tim and Ben will fall for it, without the slightest attempt
    at scrutinising it, and then repeat as their own. Not to the Union
    Council, maybe, because they don’t want to look too pro-management,
    but certainly whenever campaigns work is actually being done they
    act like management spokespeople, and don’t scrutinise a thing.
    Tim and Ben may well be great on other areas, but these motions
    aren’t about that. The motions are ONLY about campaigns … and on
    that specific issue Tim and Ben are a disaster.

    2) I am NOT saying that the sabbs should devote all, or even much,
    of their time to portering or other campaigns. I’ve fully aware of all
    the other things they have to do, and that’s why I did all of the work
    on the costings (the key to getting any portering restored) myself,
    with help on the groundwork stats (like bed numbers) from Jason,
    and then just gave T and B easy summaries. I acted like a courtier.
    You don’t give the Queen a load of detailed stuff, you just do a
    basic summary, so she can decide in a couple of minutes. That’s
    literally how easy I made things for them. Ten minutes over the last
    three months would have been enough. Suggest a preference for
    one of the costings options over another. Perhaps tinker with an
    idea, or rule it out completely. Ten minutes would have been fine,
    and I virtually begged Tim for input (especially as he has won
    prizes for business). But he refused.

    This is not about putting the portering campaign ahead of anything
    else. It’s about putting in a VERY small amount of time, instead of
    leaving the entire thing to someone who isn’t even in YUSU, and who
    only happens to be involved because he successfully got portering
    reinstated before, and wanted to help again. I did NOT get involved
    with this in order to fight Tim and Ben. I have done more than
    anyone … more than Chris or Jason or whoever … to make it possible
    for YUSU to get a result without having to take time away from other
    stuff. And I spent ten hours removing the mistakes from their
    autumn dossier, only for them to continue working from their own
    version, and hand in a terrible mess. I have tried to help every single
    step of the way. They have been asked to do hardly anything, and
    yet they still havent’ done it. And yes, the portering stuff has taken
    up time in the SSC meetings. But if Tim and Ben could have got
    involved when they should have – last year – then they could have
    got a cheap little deal adopted months ago, and moved on.

    When the Union Council shot down all four options, I immediately came back with a fifth costings pattern, to fit in with what people wanted, and that may now be adopted by the University (fingers crossed). Either way, I have had to do the whole lot myself.

    Instead of saying “Yep, I messed up a bit, I’ll do a bit more”, Tim says (above):
    “I have dedicated my time and commitment to this campaign from leading the protest all the way through to continued negotiations with the University, as recent as last week.”
    He was brilliant at the demonstration in November. No question. And he was specifically mandated to take the issue to the SSC last week, so he did that too. And in the three months between? Nothing at all. Not ten minutes. Not five minutes. In the motion, I tried to give him a bit of credit, so I mentioned an information card he had said
    he’d do, but I’m not entirely sure he even did that. His use of the phrase “dedicated my time and commitment” sounds so sincere … his clever use of the construction “from X …. all the way through to Y” implies a whole big load of activity. But it’s a lie. I could hold back,
    and try to sound reasonable and quiet. But the truth is the truth,
    and I’m going to say it. Tim and Ben also misled students very
    badly last term regarding the management position. That’s all
    covered in the motion. Tim’s statement above is designed to show that he has done stuff over the last three months. He HASN’T. I’ve been on the inside of all this from day one (and I’m the person who got portering restored back in the day), and I’ve SEEN what has been going on…. and what hasn’t been going on.

    A few weeks ago, I was still going to submit the motions at the
    same time and with the same content, but I WAS curious about
    whether a SIDE-effect would be to get someone else elected. I could
    join the spin factory, and pretend it never crossed my mind what the
    fall-out would be, but of course it did. But the YUSU results will NOT
    be affected (Tim’s one weakness was that he couldn’t play the underdog, and I’ve just cured that for him by launching a censure motion) and the elections are NOT the motivation behind the
    motions, and never were or would be. I’m doing all this despite knowing what the YUSU and UGM results are bound to be. The next
    ten days will be a Tim love-in. Defending him at UGM. Defending
    him next week against the nasty portering guy. Voting him back in
    for a record-breaking second presidential term. But somewhere in all
    this, the truth should be registered, and perhaps send a signal sent out that in his second term he should start campaigning.

    Take the Union Council meeting the other week …. Tim knew
    all about those rents numbers for weeks, both via the easy, large-
    print little summaries I gave him – to keep any time demand on him
    down to an absolute minimum – and via the campaigns committee, but he refused to give ANY feedback at all (not even -“I’m not sure about any of these – maybe something else?”). But then he gauged the mood of the Council, and said precisely what everyone wanted hear.
    I then had to reformulate everything at the last minute – once again, me coming up with every single idea. He did the same at the end of the meeting. Everyone wanted to be told that portering could be funded without a rent rise, so Tim said that it could be. He said the money could be found from “certain other budget areas within the university”. He knows that isn’t true. He has sat in the management meetings, and he knows better than anyone that in the same term Hes Hall is making cuts to academic budgets it isn’t going to redirect anything into porters. And redirecting Courtyard profits hasn’t been well received (and has now been shelved). So that leaves rents. But the Union Council wanted to be told that we could square the circle on portering and rents, and have it both ways, so he fed people exactly what they wanted to hear – even though he knew it was false.

    I’m wasting my time on all this. Is anybody out there believing a
    word of this? Or is it all just an evil, fabricated YUSU election conspiracy? I can’t even NAME all of the presidential candidates. Honestly.

    I’ll try to make the rest of this more brief….

    The 7.5p a week rent rise which is now being considered is not
    great, but it only works out at £3 a year, and no better options seem
    to be available. Maybe if Tim had put those ten minutes into the portering options, he’d have found a better solution. But as it is, this is the best there is, and nobody has come up with anything better. If you want to crunch the numbers and find a better solution, go for it. All YUSU has come up with are variations on my figures which would either a) rely on a load of Courtyard profits (a lot higher than the c.£5K I myself was pushing for, before I gave up on it) or else b)
    a £45 a year rent rise option, which Ben mentioned to Council.
    The 7.5p option is one fifteenth that size, and it doesn’t ask for a
    penny out of Hes Hall (which is the only kind of offer they’re likely
    to consider even remotely – as proved at the SSC last week).
    Regarding any ramifications of the 7.5p rise on future rent rises
    and so on, this particular ringfenced rise, by establishing a link
    for the first time between service levels and what we pay, will do
    more good than harm. So far, rents have been arbitrarily going up massively – in three years’ time, some of the poorest students on campus won’t just be paying the £550 more per year mentioned above, they’ll be paying over a THOUSAND pounds extra a year. If
    we can get some portering back AND strengthen our hand on the fight against those massive rents rises, and all for what would in fact be £2.85 a year for the average undergraduate, then that’s the least-
    bad option. If I could decide it myself, the £15.4K from rents would instead come from a 0.75% salary cut for the top twelve managers. That’d be the only moral way to pay for portering restoration, as
    students shouldn’t have to pay a penny. But that’s also the way to get NO portering restoration, because the managers aren’t going to agree to salary cuts or diversions from any other budgets either.
    I was hoping to push things that way with my motion last term, but the management are being so recalcitrant that it’s now totally obvious that – despite paying themselves way-above-inflation salary rises for years – they won’t divert anything from anywhere.

    I’ll make the rest of this shorter…

    There are various inaccuracies in the summary of the motions given
    above, and people have started to respond to those things like
    they are actually in the motions when they’re not. Please wait
    until you read the real things, and then see whether you think the
    grounds for a censure motion – “dissatisfaction with an aspect” etc. –
    have been met. If they have, vote for. If not, vote against.

    The portering cuts are already affecting things like societies and
    disability welfare issues. Ask Rhianna and Ben. There’s a lot of
    consensus on these things, just as there seems to be a consensus
    that the 7.5p idea is the least bad of the various options. And there
    is nothing in the LEAST bit “sick” about wanting to ward off future

    I’ve never met Tim in a non-YUSU context. Maybe when he’s not
    being a president he’s great. I even share a friend with him, in fact.
    I did meet Ben once before all this began, and we got on fine. This is NOT personal. It all sounds VERY personal, because it’s a motion of censure, and it’s all about pointing out what is going wrong. But if
    it were meant personally then it would go beyond campaigns.
    It doesn’t. It starts and ends with campaigns. Portering. Rents.
    Tuition fees. Nothing beyond that. And again, these are only censure
    motions. Not no-confidence motions. This isn’t Gracegate 2, and
    the motions are guaranteed to fail anyway. Tim and Ben will just send out a message to their 2000 Facebook friends, and that’ll be
    that. I’m not even ON Facebook. The results will probably make me look stupid, and maybe show what great campaigners Tim and Ben are.
    I’m not doing this to be popular, and I’m not doing this in order to
    get the motions passed. I just hope that if a hundred or so people
    vote in favour of the motions, then that will send out a signal that YUSU should start doing a better job, and start questioning the management.

    Jason’s right about the member of security, by the way.

    I don’t want to get caught up in typing messageboard stuff for the
    next week. But I’ve addressed everything people have been saying
    (so far) as directly and as fully as I can, and I might check back on
    here at the weekend.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Apologies for length.


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  27. This is a chatboard thingy, not an essay exchange site!!

    But I’ve read the above “essay” (well, maybe not the money bit
    in the middle) and the arguments are definitely all there….

    Some of the stuff which has been going on is BAD. The campus
    media should be looking into things like this, instead of mostly
    only criticising the sabbaticals once they’ve left (eg Tom Scott).

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  28. Anyone who questions Tim’s involvement in the fight for porters might want to check Nouse’s photo archive. There’s a certain rather prominent figure in all of them.

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  30. One 90-minute photo opportunity in November, and then
    nothing for three months. Yep. Great involvement!

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  31. There is really something wrong with us when we think that displaying commitment to the Union throughout your degree is a sign that you’re just looking for stuff for your CV. Freckleton has shown no signs of caring whatsoever about the union until he realised he doesn’t have a job for next year. Rose has at least shown that he cares and would know what the issues were if he won.

    Last year Ngwena ran for his CV, Langrish ran because he knew the union inside out and wanted to help. Scott ran for a laugh against Payne who wanted to help. Perhaps we need to blame ourselves: we blatantly voted for the wrong people.

    Vote for people who know what they are talking about and have the ability to stand up for the university. Which Ben has done on many occasions. Portering isn’t the be all and end all of the welfare role. Dozens of people owe him their mental health and will sadly never come forward to share that. He’s a great campaigner and voting for someone else would be our loss. His opponents wouldn’t be taken seriously by students or staff. This year the academic officer needs to fight to keep funding in the important places. Losing portering was unfortunate, losing the open door service funding would be worse.

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  32. First of all, why has a thread, again, turned into a place to essentially have a go at Jason Rose? I’ve said it before that, yes, Jason could maybe do with not commenting on university stories as much as he does, but regardless of if you don’t agree with everything he says or not, how dedicated he is to the university and to the students around him can’t be questioned. The amount of stuff he brought to Campaigns Committee whern he was first elected and how he has managed to get through most of it this year has been really impressive in my book, and I’m amazed by the amount of time and effort he’s put into it all given that he’s still been a student. (And no, I am not one of his ‘Official Campaigners’ before anyone asks)

    Secondly, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at how much prominence this story had been given on the website, and, oh look, part way down, Henry Foy is using the thread to promote a candidate who is standing in competition to Tim’s re-election. Admittedly, I haven’t been around for most of Tim’s term and I didn’t know him that well when I was a GSA Officer last year, but he always struck me as a very friendly, hard-working and dedicated chap, and people whose opinions I respect have seconded my view of him as well. I think it says a lot about the two publications that The Yorker instead chose to report this in a much more balanced way, reporting facts as facts, and opinions for what they are; opinions, and nothing else.

    As for Ben, admittedly I am biased as he’s someone who I considered a good mate of mine when I was a York student, but I can say with firsthand experience of needing his assistance as a Welfare Officer on a few ocassions last year for both myself and other GSA members, that he has been very good at dealing with individual cases, and, as great as the YUSU sabbatical team has been this past year, I cannot think of a YUSU Officer who has been as committed and dedicated to their position as Ben has this year.

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  33. Jay, you are joking right? theyorker did two articles on this, the first one was… accused of bias, and the second one responding to that was… accused of bias, by Jason himself.

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  34. “I’ve said it before that, yes, Jason could maybe do with not commenting on university stories as much as he does”

    At least Jason is still a student at York, Jay…. I’m pretty sure the GSA would like it if you stopped name-dropping them in every single sentence too.

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  35. Alright, maybe you’re right, but I can’t re-read them. Maybe because they were biased, and I was rwading them with bias as an ex-Yorker writer!

    Are you saying that the above article doesn’t have a fair amount of bias to it though. Seems like a slightly concerted effort to belittle the many good things Tim and Ben have done this year. I think the person who brought up how this story has been reported immediately before campaigning is to begin has rather a good point personally.

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  36. Sorry, ‘Anon’. Considering this is the only university article I have commented on since leaving the University, you’re going to have to substaniate that. Interesting how you’ve chosen to make that comment publicly and anonymously, rather than contacting me privately as well.

    Also, I am very proud of the hard work and dedication I gave the GSA last year, so if I want to qualify a statement by saying that I used to be a GSA Officer, I think I’ve earned the right to do that.

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  37. Jay, first off, presumably this is your first comment since leaving the university because you often struggle to write coherent sentences, as evidenced above.

    Second, you are indeed entitled to refer to your time as a GSA officer (though you were at no time a GSA Welfare Officer as your comment above can be taken to suggest), but in the interests of honesty and full disclosure, you should probably also mention that you were a terrible officer who resigned, only to retract your resignation once the window for other methods, which might have secured your removal, had closed.

    *Note to the inevitable temptation of the moderator, as Jay is no longer a student, I don’t see why he should be afforded any protection from within the media charter, plus, nothing that I have said cannot be substantiated.*

    Finally, it is Ben’s interference in the aforementioned resignation that leads you to believe that he is so fantastic at dealing with individual cases. For me however, the fact that he was so willing to support you, just because you happened to be part of the LGBT community is in no way the mark of a fantastic, inclusive welfare officer. You need to substantiate first.

    Comment edited by a moderator. Statement needed sources for reasonable belief else it would be defamatory, Media Charter nothing to do with it.

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  38. Fair enough, though out of interest, what would be reasonable sources?

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  39. Substantiation should come first, not the other way round. I tried googling for a source to your accusations, but couldn’t find one.

    Far less moderation would be necesary if people sourced accusations they made or (in other cases, not this one) asked a genuine question on the truthiness of something rather than assert it outright as true.

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  40. No, to be fair you wouldn’t, that would require access to GSA closed minutes, which by the way, are amazing

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  41. ‘Ex-GSA’, if you think that I was a terrible officer, that’s fine, as that is your opinion, and you are entitled to it. I would be happy to give my side of what happened, but I’m going to respect the nature of ‘closed GSA business’, and I think you should be very happy about that given what you did severely compromised the Officer position you held at the time. What I will say is that anything that you consider a resignation was bullied out of me by you and others though, and the fact that I got you to instead agree to a course of action that was unconstitutional is your fault.

    Given how much I did for the GSA last year though, I don’t happen to agree. For example, I sat on three different YUSU committees for the GSA that my elected Press & Publicity Officer did not mandate me. In particular, despite the GSA having three places on the YUSU Equality, Welfare and Diversity Committee, I was the only GSA Officer who regularly attended that committee on behalf of the Association (Check EWD Committee minutes from January 2009 for verification of that).

    Also, in defence of Ben, I do not think he is a good YUSU Officer on the basis of how much he helped me alone. I think he’s a good YUSU Officer on the basis of two years of very good, hard, dedicated work as both a LGBT Officer and Welfare Officer, and I think you’ll find a lot of people would agree with me on that. If you remember correctly as well, it was not just Ben who “interfered” with what you were trying to do, but three other YUSU Officers as well, whose names I am not going to publicly drag into this, although I would be happy to give to the moderator if he would like to seek verification.

    Finally, I’m not surprised you’ve chosen to call yourself ‘Ex-GSA’, as given the amount of insults and unsubstantiated gossip contained in the above post and other posts you have made on other Nouse and Yorker threads, it would rather compromise your position to be publicly seen to be abusing York students, both past and present.

    Considering my original comment had nothing to do with the GSA, I suggest this be the end of it, as the only thing that stopped me at the time from complaining to the University hierarchy about your sustained bullying was the fact my role as Press & Publicity Officer required me to protect the GSA’s public image (which, admittedly, was a very difficult thing to do last year).

    Comment edited by a moderator

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  42. First off, where is the abuse Jay?

    Second, it was my understanding that Nouse didn’t allow statements that attempted to ‘out’ a poster, which the penultimate paragraph of Jay’s post does indeed attempt to do (though his statement could describe 8 former GSA Officers and I bet he’s not even sure who he accuses).

    Third, nobody other than one officer agreed to such an unconstitutional act, unfortunatley he was the President.

    And finally, I’d like to point out that since you left the uni, to my knowledge nobody has even mentioned your name, let alone abused you. I chose to post because it was frustrating enough having to listen to your opinions last year, you have left now, please do so quietly.

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  43. 5 Mar ’10 at 12:55 am

    Get over yourself

    Ex GSA, if you haven’t anything nice to say then dont say it at all, you vicious little man.

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  44. I would like to state publicly that I am not ex-GSA, as someone reading this might assume.

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  45. I have lots of nice things to say and was required to say them many times to the many lovely people who were made to suffer throughout last year.

    Just out of interest, what’s particularly vicious about my post?

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  46. 5 Mar ’10 at 11:45 am

    General Alexander

    Tom Flynn,

    But were you not GSA Ents Officer and then Treasurer once-upon-a-time?

    The General

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  47. Firstly, the second Yorker piece wasn’t in response to accusations of bias by me – it was in response to accusations of bias by someone else. I then had a lovely conversation on the piece because I felt that putting an entire article up in response to a claim of bias seemed like overreaction.

    Secondly, Jay did well in his job and was good at turning up to a variety of meetings in terms of YUSU interaction – I’ve seen nowhere near the same level of dedication from the GSA since he has left. And despite knowing a number of people on last year’s GSA committee and this year’s, I’ve had no bad word about him ever said to me. I know that’s not proof but I don’t really see how he could have been that bad? And at the very least it’s certainly justifiable to comment on relevant news articles!

    Thirdly, yes I do comment too much. I think that having YUSU interaction with the public is important; unfortunately it often seems like YUSU communication is criticised and for that reason most of the rest try to leave it alone. At least people are able to criticise me every day and I’m able to respond – this UGM motion is just about the first time I’ve seen a public dialogue about anyone but Lewis this year. I hope next year’s lot are more publicly interacting, whoever they may be. (Though probably not as much as I am, to be fair)

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  48. Given that this thread has left the original topic of the article, has nothing to do with my original post and has descended into nothing more than ‘Ex-GSA’ making a series of insults about me whilst hiding behind the smokescreen of an alias, I do not wish to demean myself any further by taking part in this, and as such, I will not be contributing any further to this.

    What I will say though, is that I have every right to express my opinions, just as ‘Ex-GSA’ does, regardless of how “frustrating” we may find the other’s, without fear of being insulted and persecuted. If ‘Ex-GSA’ chooses to continue to insult or make any more unsubstaniated allegations against me that I would regard as libellious, then, as far as I’m concerned, this stops being a disagreement between two people, and instead becomes something the police can deal with.

    Finally, I know who ‘Ex-GSA’ is*. It isn’t difficult given their past behaviour and their turn of phrase.

    *’Ex-GSA’ is definitely not Tom Flynn though.

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  49. 5 Mar ’10 at 4:07 pm

    'current-GSA' Rich Rhodes

    I think there are only a small pool of people who have any idea what happened last year, there are also only a limited number of people who have any idea about the dedication of GSA part-time and voluntary officers, unfortunately this doesn’t seem to include Jason Rose.
    I think everyone should remember that those GSA officers who do the same roles as YUSU sabbatical officers are doing full-time MA/Sc/Eng/Res or PhD courses alongside their posts.
    If anyone would like to become better informed about the GSA, you can go to our website or come into our office.

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  50. The police?

    As in Sting and the Police?

    I have nothing whatsoever against Jason Rose and actually quite like how often he posts, it keeps people on their toes. However, I’m not sure he is well judged to comment on how good a GSA officer is or is not – unlike the entire GSA exec’ who had to hold a special meeting to deal with the behaviour of a certain un-named officer last year and as such are pretty well placed to pass comment.

    As for Jay, he is correct in as much as I am not Tom Flynn (apologies to you for having being dragged into this). However, I do not ‘hide’ my identity for any particularly Machiavellian resaon or to protect some kind of campus status (I have none), rather to avoid any possibility that a potential employer could perform a basic google search and find my name in the same sentence as Jay.

    I still don’t see what is wrong with my post.

    Comment edited by a moderator

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