Halifax JCRC hustings

JJ’s played host to vibrant political debate on Friday night as five candidates fought furiously over who would be the next President of the Committee, with one of the highest turnouts for the position in the HCSA’s history.

Controversy reigned though, after first year candidate Byron Karemba proposed a radical overhaul of the HCSA system if elected President. He accused YUSU of being the “problem” and that students should be taking more charge of events, citing disappointment over the Big Bang as an example.

By wanting to rewrite the HCSA constitution, he argued that the committee would be more visible to students, which he as a first year had apparently seen very little of. He stated that being “new and fresh” and having no previous attachments to the committee would help him bring the change needed.

There were other more experienced candidates, first in the form of Daveds Mootanah, whose club connections promised a party at Salvation should he win the position. His policies are mainly events focused, because, “that’s what freshers want – there’s a high demand for lots of events.”

Second-year, Ozge Bektasoglu, stressed the importance of improving what is already available in Halifax and wanted to improve communication with ideas like, “knock for your neighbours” and a freshers’ year book.

When asked what made her stand out, she stated her experience on the committee last year and her policies that, “cover all aspects of the college.”

Pav Dhande is another experienced candidate who wanted to, “put involvement at the heart of Halifax.” This involved not only better planning of events but redoing the Halifax website and newsletter and having events to rival Big D. He also promoted welfare policies, including free condoms for Halifax students and meetings with the YUSU officer in JJ’s once a term.

Finally another fresher, Arthur Barrow, also stepped into the foray by standing as someone “living and breathing” the issues felt by those in Halifax as a student living on campus. He also promoted the idea of a “truly united college” with cheaper and more frequent events.

Questions, both amusing and pertinent, raised many key issues, such as the distance between graduates and undergraduates, the non-alcoholic events proposed by many candidates, as well as the ever pressing problems over funding for sports and events. Last year’s President Lydia Blundell described the proceedings as “heated” but that it, “was so good to see people involved with college politics.”

Voting opens on Monday 6th.

Positions and Candidates:

President: Pav Dhande, Arthur Barrow, Daveds Mootanah, Byron Karemba, Ozge Bektasoglu
Vice-President for Services: Mark Young
Vice-President for Welfare: Ayaz Hussain, Hannah Amartey
Vice-President for Activities: Matt Wehrle
Treasurer: James Marsh, Natasha Behan
Entertainment Officer: Tallyia Charalambous, Frances Jennings and Greg Butler, Chris Edwards and Grace Picking, Anthony Quinn
Male Welfare Officer: Kyle Eyre, Neil Dodd
Female Welfare Officer: Emma Burns, Katie Cox, Jocelyn Cox
RAG Officer: Clare Friel, Max Khan and James Hill, Hannah Taylor
Male Sports Officer: Andrew Wallace, Gio Pilides and Tomasz Dobrzycki, Jacob Deppe
Female Sports Officer: Francesca Hall
Merchandise Officer: Izzy Carpenter and Nick Armstrong
Equipment Officer: Michael Sodde
Live Music Officer: Michael Holmes
Environment Officer: Sabrina Peters and Ross Irvine, Fergus Tevlin and James Sandwell
Sponsorship Officer: Barnaby Spink
Younger and Ingram Court Entertainment Officer: George Offer
Lindley, Wood and Irwin Court Entertainment Officer: Lizzie Williams
Undergraduate Ordinary Officer: Sergei Petunov, Jon-Paul Ward, Rebecca Irwin


  1. 4 Dec ’10 at 8:46 pm

    Former HCSA big dog

    It is great to see such interest in Halifax again. I applaud past Presidents Sharp, Powell and Blundell for dragging Halifax from mediocrity and to where it belongs.

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  2. You should really have noted the source of the ‘heated’ debate not merely mentioning it.

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  3. 4 Dec ’10 at 11:25 pm

    Former HCSA little prawn

    What was the big debate? DETAILS PER-LEASE

    btw DM 4 lyfe

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  4. 5 Dec ’10 at 12:29 am

    Daveds for President


    You should really go on to talk about Byron’s flipping mental policies…. crazy man…. and what the other positions had to say, the committee goes beyond the president and some interesting stuff went down!

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  5. VOTE PAV for a better Halifax, for everyone.

    Thanks for covering the hustings; great to see Nouse at all of them.

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  6. First years should not be allowed to run as president, it’s a joke.

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  7. 5 Dec ’10 at 1:31 am

    Ayaz Hussain


    any chance the author of this could amend my surname? its spelt “Hussain” :D great article that highlights each candidate’s priorities well!

    Pav 4 Pres!

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  8. @Ayaz Hussain Your name has been changed accordingly. Apologies for the misspelling

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  9. 5 Dec ’10 at 9:57 am

    Vote Byron for President

    Great article and great hustings on Friday night as well.
    Byron is not a “crazy man” and we should refrain from using such language since it can be considered not only defamatory but insensitive as well. What is it about Byron that scares you that you resort to such undignified language?
    @Worried Halifaxer, first year Halifaxians are just as concerned about the college as everyone else and we should encourage them to be engaged in college activities including running for HCSA positions.

    VOTE BYRON FOR REAL CHANGE AND AN ACTIVE HCSA. you can vote at yusu.org/vote

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  10. 5 Dec ’10 at 12:45 pm

    Pav for President

    Quite a good overview of all canditates for president. I think the fight will be between Daveds and Pav. They’re both great people for this, better than the rest and since Pav is ready to give much more than only events, he should be the president next year.

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  11. First years should be concerned but to be frank they don’t have a clue what’s going on in the university. How are you going to run a college when you don’t even know the processes of doing so? Other colleges such as Derwent have conditions you have to meet to run such as if you want to be Vice President you have had to have been on the Big D committee the year before as you will be running Big D. A first year becoming President will mean that they will take at least the whole spring term to get up to scratch with how everything runs and unfortunately the progress that our college has made recently will become rather stagnant. Yes first years should run for positions in the HCSA, but definitely not President.

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  12. @Worried Halifaxer

    The conditions you mentioned about Derwent JCRC are not true, not sure where you heard that. First years can run like everyone else, though perhaps they should not be able to – I agree that a first year will not have the relevant experience.

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  15. i agree that the fight is really between daveds and pav. generally it appears that way, and have you read the other people’s application forms ?! appalling, their lack of experience/relevant knowledge really shows.

    has any one else voted RON for a few of the positions? apart from the big ones, the choice was poor- makes me wish i ran now!

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  16. Former HCSA Big Dog is impressed with Blundell? I think you will find it’s her failures which have made this election so contested!!!!

    Fresher’s running for the position because of how poorly this first term has gone is a reflection of an appalling HCSA.

    Let’s hope things get better this year, whoever wins. From knowing 3/5 of the candidates, Pav seems to have the best idea of what to do with the college and a good understanding of what is plausible. If I was to recommend something to any of the candidates it would be to step as far away from this year’s committee and to appreciate that things need to be done differently.

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  17. Amused non-Halifaxer.

    Why not put a name to your incorrect and abusive bile?

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  18. Amused non-halifaxer

    I think you are very wrong indeed, i would not say that it it lydia’s failures that have made this so contested; actually i think it is quite the opposite it is the work that HCSA has done this year which has highlighted that the best and most important thing about being on the committee is that it is fun to get involved.

    I think Lydia can be very proud of what she has achieved this year and especially her role in helping to organise a very successful freshers week. At the end of the day it is obvious that lydia has been active as people have actually heard about things shes doing and now in turn would like to get involved.

    The only person that dosnt seem to understand the hard work that lydia has put in seems to be this Byron chap; and not wanting to discourage freshers running for the HCSA, it is obvious that his lack of knowledge and experience has been a big contributor to many of the simply ridiculous things hes been saying. For example he really can not possibly put any of the blame for the poor running of the “Big Bang” on Lydia as she was not involved in the organising of a YUSU event

    well thats all this disgruntled old man has to say, toodles

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  19. Wow – Is that really Commercial Services position: that the Big Bang was poorly run? People in Glass Houses…

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  20. 7 Dec ’10 at 11:51 am

    Byron Karemba

    Just to set the record straight, I think Lydia has been an awesome HCSA president and I think she has done an awesome job. Freshers week in Halifax was superb and that is largely due to Lydia’s great efforts. @At David Sharp I never said at any point all of the things you are accusing me of.
    Lastly I have decided to drop out of the election anyway because obviously reading the article and some of the comments here I have stirred up emotions which was never my intention. Good Luck to all the other candidates.

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  21. 7 Dec ’10 at 2:50 pm

    David Sharp lover


    I love you. You were an amazing President!


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  22. Anyone who has actually read all of my policies will understand I am not 100% about events. Looking at my other policies, I am looking to improve kitchen facilities especially in St Lawrence Court, enforcing and promoting a free bike rental scheme, enforcing installment of a new, not broken pool table in JJs, promoting careers talks in JJs (I have good relationships with some important members of finance and business societies here at University), revamping HCSA website (I have work experience in web designing, 2010), cultural society BBQs in Halifax to promote different cultures in Halifax – free food + much more on my event page: * *on.fb.me/votedaveds * .

    I think I will also be best in managing the new committee structure – I have had an internship in Project Management & Finance this year, gaining a lot of experience in how to efficiently and effectively manage time, money & resources. I fail to understand how a few of you would think that I only plan to cover one dimension of Halifax?



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  23. 7 Dec ’10 at 10:09 pm

    Fax Second Year

    I’m quite close friends with Daveds and Pav who we all know this is about, I’m actually probably closer to Daveds. He’s a great guy (Daveds) but I think that’s all he is. A great guy. I don’t think he’s ready to be president, and I fear for the next year if he gets elected.

    When asked how he’d summarise his campaign in one word, he said events. Pav is definitely a more varied candidate that looks set to serve everyone rather than just organising the odd night out.

    Good luck to both anyway.

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  24. I don’t think you’ve properly read my comment above. I clearly stated several of my policies not based on events? So I obviously won’t be organising “the odd night out”.

    I also don’t understand how you would “fear for the next year” if I get elected. Over the year I have gained a wealth of experience, not only on the HCSA, but on societies and other committees. I have also raised a lot of money for Halifax and RAG, of which people I’ve worked with and my ‘friends’ can vouch for. For example, Halifax winning Mr & Mrs York, which raised over £700 for charity.

    I am also currently creating my own culture society here at York, of which my ‘friends’ know about – which shows I am a very varied candidate. I therefore I don’t think you are more friends with me than you are with Pav if you have failed to realise or just don’t know what I have achieved over the year. Where have you been?

    I summarized my campaign in one word as “Events” to appeal my campaign to freshers: a high majority of freshers simply want more, bigger and varied Events. We will all remember first year at university for the rest of our lives – who will remember alcohol gel in toilets? …Exact reason to why I am choosing to harmonize my campaign to the right demand. This does not mean in any way that those are the only policies under my belt.

    I am getting critisized because I have the best experience in organising events. Who has the best experience in managing welfare?

    I hope I have helped cure your fear.


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  25. 8 Dec ’10 at 11:46 am

    Concerned Halifaxer

    Why is it then that only your friends know about this culture society that you are supposedly setting up? It seems slightly strange that such an experience would be worth promoting and telling people about?

    As a halifaxer, the events organised by halifax have indeed been absolutely shoddy after freshers week. There have been 2 events in 8 weeks. Thats pretty shocking dont you think? being part of the hcsa committee means that you have some degree of responsibility over this.

    Now by campaigning with the promotion of events, simply because you know that it will draw the crowd is surely misleading? You havent managed to prove to us in 8 weeks that you can successfully provide events, so how is it possible you can strut around promising something which you have already failed to deliver on?

    You are being criticised because you have failed to deliver in your current position, and your arguements seem pretty clear that you are basing your policies by promising what people want, regardless of whether you can actually make them happen.


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  26. Daveds,

    it’s not about being memorable. That makes it sound like you’re running for President just for show. My biggest focus of my vice-presidential campaign is for alcohol gel in toilets! Not because its a memorable act but because its an essential amenity the University should provide. You lived in St Lawrence Court last year with me. You remember how we didn’t have sinks in the toilets? We had to walk through 2 doors to get to our bedrooms to wash our hands!

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  27. @ Daveds – it is not the role of the president to organise events, that is the role of the Ents officers, under the position of Vice-President for Services. The President is in charge of doing the stuff “no-one remembers”, maybe you should have thought about this before deciding to run for the top-dog, just so you’re remembered…

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  28. You guys are failing to understand a fundamental point that I am making…allow me to stress my opinion again:

    My *campaign* is focused on plugging my events policies – it is a good campaign strategy because it is what will appeal to freshers the most. It does not mean in any way that my *policies* are just events based. You are failing to understand my point.

    And @Yaz, it is everything to do about being memorable in my opinion. It’s your opinion if you think otherwise and you’re more than entitled to that, but I can tell you that a a range of people I’ve talked to will agree with me that they want a memorable year. You accuse me of going for a position just “for show”. This is a naive & presumptuous comment to make I think. I have successfully built up my repertoire over the past year and I now confidently believe I am fit for president for the a number of the valid reasons that I have stated above. I’m not going to get others to write comments for me, I am telling you this from me – not anonymous, so I hope you appreciate me answering your concerns and questions.

    Me and Mark Young were pretty much the only two court reps who organised events for HCSA with the help of Lydia (who I also think has done a great job over the year “Amused Non-Halifaxer”). I’ve organised the Halifax Vs Goodricke Bar Crawl this term which made over £200, only charging students £1.50 for the event. Maybe if the others pulled their weight, we could have organised more events this term. I also brought The Artful Dodger, Bar 9 & Bare Noize down for Freshers week – three acts in one night on a limited budget – I have not failed at all. It was a huge improvement from last year and I will definitely build on that with the experience I have now gained from getting those acts down, to getting even bigger acts down for next year’s Fresher’s week through fund-raising. I have prior experience of which others don’t have – how is Pav for example, planning to organise something to rival Big D next year with no prior experience in negotiating contracts & deals, knowing what’s currently in our league and what is not, and everything ranging from catering to accommodation costs that one has to consider and organise for an event like this? Trust me, it is a challenging job.

    Lastly, I’ve stated I am setting up a society – it is not established yet. Therefore it would be inappropriate of me to promote the society to everyone yet. This is something that again, you have read over “Concerned Halifaxer”.

    I’m not going to keep reiterating my points on here if you fail to realise what I have been trying to, so take care guys. Good luck to everyone for the elections!


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  29. Who is this pav guy he keeps putting stickers on my door and I can’t get them off! I’ve never even spoke to him, he’s lost my vote already! Also I live in st Lawrence. I don’t care about alcohol gel in the toilet. We’re students for christ sake I’m sure we can get over it. But seriously get rid of these stickers!!!

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  30. 8 Dec ’10 at 10:24 pm

    Concerned Halifaxer

    Freshers week aside, in all honesty can you say that you have given halifax enough to warrant you stepping up as president?

    your campaign focuses heavily on the promotion of events, and while you state that this is simply because it appeals to freshers, i keep stating that the events in the last 8 weeks have been poor, and if you were to become president, there is no guarantee of anything to change.

    Whilst not having hcsa experience could be described as a disadvantage for other candidates, ultimately it is you and your policies that are coming under scrutiny as to whether they can actually all be implemented.

    @fresher, you may not care about alcohol hand gel because you are a “student,” but remember there have been instances of swine flu in Halifax not to mention whole houses falling ill due to one person.

    nice to know that you dont care about basic hygiene, yet are infuriated by a sticker. not voting for people cos they’ve put a sticker on your door which you can’t get off? sounds incredibly childish not to mention foolish.

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  31. Didn’t realise how much I wrote earlier lol…wrote a whole essay. This comment box is confusing.

    But any of you who haven’t checked out my policies, go on on.fb.me/votedaveds to have a look. Voting closes Friday.


    (One of Vanbrugh’s ents reps recently successfully achieved Presidentship…goes to show events and experience in organising events is what a lot of people care about).

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  32. 8 Dec ’10 at 11:22 pm

    Halifax resident

    @Concerned Halifaxer. You say to Daveds “Freshers week aside, in all honesty can you say that you have given halifax enough to warrant you stepping up as president?”… You are contradicting yourself by supporting Pav if you feel that Daveds hasn’t done anything for Halifax. His long time experience speaks for itself I guess…
    The reason for not having so many events organised by halifax this term is because a) we are only aloud 2 late licenses for campus. This means we cannot organise lots campus events that run past 11. b) Organising events on campus also run the risk of competing with clubs from town. People are not going to go to an event on a wednesday night which conflicts with there social nights. C) If we constantly organise events then we will not see a large amount of people turn up, they wont have the money to go to all these events, YUSU and other societies also organise events which people want to go to. We would not see enough people coming to halifax events because of other commitments and desires for different events from other organisations. Instead, having one or two events strategically and well organised is better than having loads of rubbish events. Hope that clears up a few things, maybe if someone was on the HCSA last year they might know that.

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  33. 9 Dec ’10 at 1:38 am

    Sharpie for YUSU

    I think Sharpie’s diplomacy and general good looks make him my candidate of choice for YUSU President.

    Some say he’s on the older side, I instead suggest it is this wisdom that has made him a man.

    Anybody who has seen him pulling out the moves in the Willow can validate the claim, he knows which clubs deserve YUSU loyalty.

    On a more relevant note, it’s a shame that Byron has dropped out of the election. Although colleges were not to blame for The Big Bang, it is the HCSA President’s role to represent student views and take them to YUSU. I question whether Lydia has in fact hosted a forum to gauge Halifax opinion on the Big Bang, or taken it to YUSU at all.

    Sharpie will lift us Halifaxers out of this mire.

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  34. 9 Dec ’10 at 3:15 am

    Concerned Halifaxer

    @Halifax Resident. I think all of this years candidates have their shortcomings, and in no way do i have affiliation with any of the candidates, however it seems to me that a lot of Daveds policies are being questioned more so than others, because he has been on the HCSA and many halifaxers havent seen enough outside of freshers.

    Yes, most of freshers week was good, but it isnt simply about freshers week alone. While it is almost a given that freshers week is meant to be well organised, im trying to point out that this is only 1 week out of 30.

    I am not saying that halifax should hold weekly events, however from your arguement, we havent used any of our so called, “late license allowance.”

    The fax/goodricke bar crawl simply was a predrink on campus that ended in salvation, and then there was the fax off to sheffield. so please explain how this can be described as too many events, and i wouldnt exactly call both of them well organised either.

    Whilst i agree with you that too many events can be detrimental, there is no reason why we cant have more predrink gatherings on campus or JJ’s before moving onto whichever club people fancy.

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  35. All the candidates are FANTASTIC.

    Concerned Halifaxer, don’t have a pop at Daveds, yes he’s young, yes he’s mainly on events – but he really does have potential to be a fantastic popstar.

    Fresher, yes Pav may be putting stickers on your door, but boy can he sing a ballad.

    I really really hope to see both of them in the final, I can’t even say who is going to win!

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  36. “because he has been on the HCSA and many halifaxers havent seen enough outside of freshers.”

    Compared to what Pav has done, which is nothing at all? I don’t think you can criticise him based on that alone, as it is extremely ignorant to do so. His role last year was mainly to do with the social aspect of st lawrence court, I mean realistically what can a court rep do past social/welfare related tasks? Ask for a revamp of all houses?! Have a whip round and get the millions required to restore Halifax to standards appropriate for human civilisation?

    Given his constraints he did the best that he could, and all you really can do is put on the best social events possible to make up for the substandard accommodation and off campus location, and make the college feel united. And he did make the court truly social, with a variety of drinking & non drinking events, which is rare for a college to do and to keep them interesting and engaging- not just movie nights.

    I think this is also his downfall in regards to public opinion… People regard him as JUST a social person, because he’s a bit of a joker & people will assume he’s not going to be going for the higher level policies (involving bigger, more important things, involving the HCSA and the running of the college, inclusion of international students, improvements, services, etc, etc.) because he doesn’t come across as serious enough, or what you would expect from a president. I think it’s unfair to just disregard him because of his Essex boy demeanor. And to criticise him over being a 1 trick pony, when if you read his manifesto you could see he actually had some legitimate ideas…more ambitious than Pav’s by far, although I think that Pav is a realist and will be able to achieve his modest promises, and on a personal level (as I know both candidates) I think that Pav has the dedication and is more serious about it.

    Although I do think that provided you fill your form out to a decent standard, you utilise your £10 worth of print outs, and you’re not a complete psychopath it’s all down to who is the most popular/comes across nicest in house to house visits. So for this reason I truly believe that it’ll be Daveds (even though I put him second on my ballot paper!).

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  37. 9 Dec ’10 at 2:20 pm

    Sharpy's No.1 Fan!


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  38. 9 Dec ’10 at 4:22 pm

    Stuart Baggs

    Daveds isn’t a one trick pony… he’s not a ten trick pony… he’s a whole field of ponies and they’re literally all running towards the Halifax Presidency!

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  39. I do like a bit of Aretha Franklin and Aerosmith on the weekend…

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  40. is daveds trying to pass off things that are already in place as his own…

    Pool bikes

    The University of York offers a free cycle hire service for use by staff and students. There are 10 cycles available for hire, some of which can be hired from Halifax College reception.

    The bikes can be hired for up to 48 hours at a time in exchange for a £10 returnable deposit.

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  41. @Daveds M:
    1. “I am looking to improve kitchen facilities especially in St Lawrence Court,”

    having seen your kitchen last year, you should start by looking at yourself: washing up.

    2. Last year you ran for something – and mentioned turning off kitchen lights, your house (M, I think) kitchen lights were ironically always on.

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  42. @n

    calling a presidential candidate out on his washing up…seriously? did you investigate pav’s washing habits nd all to make sure you made an informed decision on such a pressing issue? we need to interview their nearest & dearest too, cos i’m worried about this daveds boy’s frivolous behaviour: dirty washing up is simply unacceptable and we need to go higher up and question how some one with such a blatant disregard of cutlery hygiene legislation was ever allowed to run for a position in our college.

    it all starts with washing up you see, but soon he’ll be forgetting to take his undies out the washing machine. heaven forbid. then slowly he’ll fall down a slippery slope of descent, until he is eventually rewearing socks cos he forgot to put a wash on…maybe even tshirts (sweet baby jesus let us pray he never stoops this low). i truly have sleepless nights worrying about the future of our precious college with such sources such as ‘n’ dishing the dirt on him.

    any sources close to pav that can inform us on his washing efficiency? has he ever left stubborn grime on YOUR baking tray? report back asap, as voting closes soon and i simply must know. thank you xx

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  43. 10 Dec ’10 at 6:40 pm

    Halifax High Horse

    Why don’t all those anonymous commenter’s try running for positions on the HCSA rather than criticising the hard work of those who’ve tried to make your time in Halifax more enjoyable

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  44. ANYONE WHO CAN’T WASH UP SHALL BE CAST OUT! Sorry for the shouting but this is an emotive issue for me.

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  45. does any one know when we find out the results?

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  46. Results will be announced at the Snowball on Monday evening!

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  47. thank you! i await the facebook updates in that case then…

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