Officer accuses YUSU President of “dirty politics”

“They are only telling the student body what they think the student body wants to hear – they can talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk.”

Chawla's position on the referendum defends the current role of YUSU Entertainment officer on campus

Chawla's position on the referendum defends the current role of YUSU Entertainment officer on campus

Sanchita Chasla, YUSU Entertainment Officer, has accused YUSU of taking down her second blog entry in “the name of dirty politics”.

The Entertainments Officers posted a blog on Thursday 29th November at 20:49. This broke campaigning rules, as only YUSU Officers and other elected chairs and representatives of YUSU can blog on the website, and campaigning activity must be done through means accessible to all.

After a complaint about the blog, it was felt by the Returning Officer, that rather than removing the Ents Officer’s blog and restricting the means by which they could express their views, each side would be allowed to post one blog putting forth their arguments.

The Returninng Officer commented: “There was as a campaigning tool that not all can access, however I am happy for each side to have one blog presenting their view, as now that there is a blog in response, what is presented is balanced.”

The post was made in response to YUSU President, Kallum Taylor’s, referendum on the proposed overhaul of the position of Entertainment Officer.

Taylor, “came up with the idea to change how YUSU support College ents after talking to the the College Ents teams themselves; they’re the ones who put on the events, and they’re telling me we need to change the system.”

On Saturday, 1st December at 16:35, Kallum Taylor posted the blog putting forth the arguments for the motion.

At 20:09 on Saturday, the Entertainments Officers posted a second blog, restating their arguments against the motion, which YUSU has confirmed “contained a number of personal comments, which is outside the campaigning rules, which specify that campaigning must promote or criticise the motion itself and not those campaigning for or against it.”

This action contravened what had previously been agreed and the blog was removed.

A further blog was posted by the Entertainments Officer at 20:31, before contact could be made outlining the reasons for removal and how to proceed.
Following a discussion between the Deputy Returning Officer and the Entertainments Officer, it was agreed that only one blog could be posted, and that this must not feature personal comments, but rather should focus on arguments intended to persuade people to vote either way on the motion. It was agreed, that the blog would be amended by the Entertainments Officer, which was done within the hour.

The original post was removed and the second post has been edited. In the re-posted blog Chawla had claimed the removal of her words threatened her democratic right to voice and expression.

In the second post that was edited, Chawla had written: “Looks like someone just took that right away from me by deleting my post in the name of dirty politics. So here I am… once again posting to make my views heard after having been silenced once.”
Chawla told Nouse that in deleting her blog post, YUSU had actively undermined the credibility of YUSU as a democratic union, by “taking away the right of free speech and expression”.

When asked what this indicated about the relationship between part-time officers and sabbs, she suggested that it showed YUSU to be a clique, closed off to most students.

Ankita Chawla, International Officer, told Nouse: “When you reported that YUSU was a clique, you were absolutely spot on as they only want to seem as if they are doing something beneficial when in reality, they are only telling the student body what they think the student body wants to hear – they can talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk.”

Chawla’s position on the referenda remains on the edited blog: “The need for Entertainment Officers role is pertinent because we definitely help societies, so to prioritize colleges over societies is neither fair nor democratic in a representative institution.

Taylor said, “In the past, YUSU hasn’t always been great at keeping up with the changing needs of our members. The role of Ents Officer might once have been important, but now there simply isn’t a role there for a student representative.

“It’s not the fault of the current Officers that there isn’t enough to do, it’s the fault of the role, and its time we sorted it out.”

This article was updated at 15:11 in order to match the version in the print edition.


  1. The actions by the current Ents Officers have been awful. Personal, vindictive attacks to save their skin when all year they haven’t done anything.

    And Mike Anstey only opposes this motion because he wants the position for himself next year!

    Absolute farce. The motion should pass and with any sense, the students at York will vote YES.

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  2. So, Kallum wants to get rid of Sanchita’s role (hardly surprising considering her incompetence) and improve the Union by giving college chairs what they’ve been crying for. But so the Ents Reps can show around Professor Green, flash off their black cards and take their friends into YUSU club nights for free clearly it’s not a role they want to get rid of.

    Chawla actually broke the campaign rules and they are lucky not to have faced a campaign ban. Perhaps campaign rules are too fascist for them.

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  3. If you think I want this position next year- you have another thing coming! Don’t assume things about people without asking. If I run for this next year (if it’s still there) I will personally give you £100

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  4. @Disgruntled: Anstey looks like he wants to run for President, and both sides have broken the rules, it is not acceptable to be campaigning for referendum motions on the YUSU blog, and that started with Kallum’s blog, followed by those frankly unhinged posts by Chawla. A quick ctrl+F (type referendum) on the YUSU blog ( reveals that referendum motions have never been argued for on the blog, nor should they be. Chawla has behaved like a child, though Kallum’s ‘I did nothing at all wrong, I am above the fray’ post on the The York Politics Society forum was not behavior befitting a President. What a Joke.

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  5. same offer applied to the person above- if I run for that you can take £200 quid from me!

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  6. I’m all for democracy and I don’t like the fact a blog post was removed and edited without permission. People should have a right to give opposing arguments no matter how good or bad they are! That’s not very presidential at all, a thorough investigation should be done. Kallum is a really nice guy but he has been known for dirty tactics ask last years Vanbrugh Vice Chairs if you want proof!

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  7. Look I was a bit shocked by the NO campaign promoting personal views by someone on a page of an organization which is meant to represent me, this is against the rules of any Democratic organization. Secondly did she know what I wanted clearly not, if she had done the usual thing and spammed me on FB through friends etc. I would have probably listened and maybe voted yes. However by doing this they have shown they clearly don’t have the maturity and have to much vanity as people have said by simply wanting it so that they can hold onto the black card and pretend to be a ‘socialite’.

    Also their comment about helping societies is a bit null I have rarely seen them do that and most societies by pass them now and go straight to the university to get the things they need.

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  8. @Vanbrigade

    “Kallum…has been known for dirty tactics ask last years Vanbrugh Vice Chairs if you want proof!”

    Please would someone elaborate about this?

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  9. 5 Dec ’12 at 10:38 am

    @A stuffing the JCRC?

    up to 52 people sit on the the jcrc, with kallums friend, the union chair openly discussing stuffing the jcrc with more members at meetings

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  10. Kallum is enthusiastic. No doubt. But what has come out of his reign as president? a few more buses… he is all talk no action. sorry.

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  11. @A…ask Kallum about it and find out for yourself ;)

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  12. So much for #hellnoentswontgo


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  13. Boo hoo she’s not getting a new black card. She’s had her year worth of BNOC fame. Time to exit quietly, but no, she wants to keep her name out there and attempt to get some last ditch sympathy and publicity.

    Such a shame really considering she achieved so much.

    Also I like the completely unbiased quote about ‘YUSU cliques.’ Its not like it came from her twin sister…

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  14. @Oninye

    “Kallum is enthusiastic. No doubt. But what has come out of his reign as president? a few more buses… he is all talk no action. sorry.”

    what are you sorry for? your stupidity for judging a president before the first term has passed? in that case, you’re just about forgiven.

    In the short time he has been in charge Kallum has battled for student friendly buses, organised a well attended and successful march to London, helped organise one of the most sucessful freshers there has been as well as working long, long hours to ensure he gets to speak to as many students as possible, to try and get more than 0.5% of students interested in YUSU. I don’t think he is doing a half bad job…

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  15. @Ruud Gullit,

    Firstly- student friendly buses – which he initially lost in the first place is not an achievement, merely writing his wrongs.
    Secondly – organised a march to london? your clearly out of the loop because that is what YUSU STAFF are there to do and organise.
    Thirdly- Freshers week is primarily college JCRCs for their events and YUSU officers take theire respective networks under their wings to organise events- so dont try and make out he did anything of the sort.
    Fourthly- Making sure he speaks to as many students as possible- yes, i agree with you. +1 to Taylor.
    Lastly, getting people interested? No. There are more scandals which is why people are interested. The fact that the Unions own officers are rebelling (the chowla sisters, chris edwards, union chair) show what a “great presidency” he is running.

    You clearly dont know whats been going on so dont make it seem like you do, ok?

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  16. @graduate you have pav dhandey written all over you.

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  17. @Oninye

    Firstly- he did not lose them, the bus company took a stand, yusu didnt back down, now the bus company have backed down and compromised.

    Secondly- agreed, organised was the wrong word, but if you think that yusu staff have the power to drum up that much support by yourself then you are greatly mistaken. he took it by the horns and ran with it- york had the biggest numbers at that march, due to yusu and kallum. I remember a time where presidents were heavily criticised for not going all out for the original marches in London a few years ago, so good to see one making a stand.

    Thirdly- what about live and loud etc? again, another effort by yusu and the officers. freshers weeks doesnt just happen- YUSU support the chairs and organise their own events and this is headed by the officers.

    Fourthly- ents went because jcrcs wanted it to, union chair left for his own reasons. if that happened because the president has a back bone then so be it, but i’m sure more people are aware of YUSU now than ever before.

    Going back to my original point, why don’t we let YUSU/Officers have more than 8 weeks of term time in charge before assessing what has come out of their “reign”, OK?

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  18. ANYONE can organise buses to London, agreed… probably even you Oninye/Mike Anstey. However, not just anyone can fill those buses and get students to march on in the pouring rain.

    Also if you’re gonna list off officers the Union is in disarray with, try not listing those that are utterly incompetent.

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  19. My experience of Kallum is that he is the one officer who knows what he is doing, also one of the few who I actually think is worth some time. You probably find those who are leaving are the incompetent idiots, who don’t like being told they are incompetent idiots. I would prefer a elected dictatorship of Kallum at least stuff would probably get done.

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  20. Kallum is incredibly duplicitous, his antics as chair of the Vanbrugh JCR, his various attempts to ‘integrate’ Fairfax house in Vanbrugh by holding a football social in a students hall of residents, and the resulting disturbance, and the damage that was wrought to the ground floor toilets complete with the sick in the bath showed the great success Kallum had in ‘integrating’ Fairfax house, and illustrated his superb powers of perception, that it is totally cool to hold a social in someones residence with social (a) not including (most) of those in the house (b) happening late at night causing a disturbance to residents. We were treated like doormats, needless to say the provost disciplined the team (or at least told us he did…), oh did I forget to say that he never asked us? How we felt about a bunch of drunks getting pissed in our halls? He put pressure on the chair of Fairfax house at the time to allow it, residents were never consulted.

    Ngwena, Ellis and Zara but hey people fell for the guy who is all smiles and no degree.

    @Ruud Gullit
    (a) With regards to NUS demo, what a pointless waste of time and money, will it change the impact of fees? no.

    (b)Live and Loud is an event that is generally handled well, the acts that come is largely the luck of the draw, Professor Green’s attendance is independent of Kallum’s involvement, also I am under the impression that preparations for it start before he even takes the post, right?

    (c) Ents should have gone, agreed though Kallum should not have used the YUSU blog to push for the measure.

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  21. Dont be dragging me into this- i had an opinion regarding my name being used in the article!

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  22. @Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

    You think that getting Pro Green was just luck of the draw? And the use of an outdoor stage so everyone could see him was pre organised? Think again.

    Also, your comments regarding Fairfax house are grossly exaggerated.

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  23. I am so confused. You have a go at the ents officers for ‘personal comments’ being directed at YUSU, yet no one comments about Kallum’s personal attacks and attempts to belittle the work done by his own officers (I quote “following professor Green around all night and not wearing their damn high vis vests)?

    I know the ents officers as well as other YUSU officers personally and I guarantee Sanchita is far from incompetent. I suggest you avoid mindless gossip and biased judgments and keep off comment boards unless you have something constructive or mature to add. Mike Anstey and positions he does or does not want to apply for are of little relevance and there is no need to drag him into your little charade of support for Kallum by pathetically insulting an officer that stood up for her position.

    Secondly; I would suggest that sabb officers proposing motions should be something that YUSU rethink. Passing a motion should not be a popularity contest and I guarantee I am not the only one that thinks this.

    Ankita’s quote was given in the capacity of ISA president and International Officer. And they are not twins.

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  24. AND @graduate… You think Sanchita gives a crap about a black card? Really? Ha.

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  25. I agree wth katie- sanchita, ankita and mike dont need a black card at all. The international officers actually do what they do because they are passionate. the ents officers did what they could with what they had.

    I have yet to see any real results from kallum and agree with vanbrigade and oninyee. Sorry but ill believe the resuls when i see them.

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  26. if only black card was what the ents and intl officers were all about.. if it makes any of you feel better, sanchita gave away her NEW black card (which she will never have according to graduate) to the York entrepreneurs society during freshers… Mike is currently auctioning his, and ankita has donated hers to people like you who probably need one..

    so please don’t get it twisted.. neither of these people need the fame or black cards :) (as said by katie, and brucey)

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  27. Just to clarify, the previous comments are not mine and I am not involved any political debate about any members of YUSU

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  28. Presumably the cringe-makingly dreadful, self-congratulatory, vote-for-us puffery which YUSU has just been mailed out to every student on campus means that K.T. has decided to stand for re-election next term?

    I thought they were only meant to campaign once campaigning opened…

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